It’s the Ashes again (hurrah!) and time to drift away from the laws of every day life to something much more important. The laws of cricket (not rules).
Through the haze of long sunny afternoons into early evenings, with the radio on in the garden and a glass of something cold, let's just remind ourselves what it is we’re looking for next time Anderson is on the attack. What are the ten ways you can get out in cricket?
(1) You can be bowled…
If the ball knocks one (not all) of the bails off the stumps, the batsman is out. It doesn’t matter where on his body the ball hit him first - or even if he hit the ball - but it won’t count if it hit someone else first.
If you hit the ball with the bat and then it is caught without hitting the ground, you are out. The same applies if it came off your hand if it was covering the bat - but not anywhere else - and not if your hand was off the bat at the time (imagine an invisible bat that you’re not allow to cover).
(3) ….or leg before wicket.
LBW of course. You can’t block the stumps with your body – only your bat. So if it hits your body when it would otherwise hit the stumps, you are out LBW. ‘Did he get an inside edge?’ you’ll often hear: why? Because if that happens, i.e. the ball skims the bat, you are not out if the ball then goes on to hit you because it hit your bat first. There are two other conditions: the ball cannot first bounce wide of the wicket on the side where the batsman’s legs are ('leg side' of the wicket) OR if the ball hits the batsman outside of the 'off stump' (where his bat usually is) even if it was still going on to hit the stumps, if he attempts to play a shot, he is not out.
That’s the top three! The next three are pretty standard too.
(4) Run out
If you are the wrong side of your crease (or officially, ‘popping crease’) – the line painted in front of the stumps - with play going on (and don’t think there isn’t much debate over that!), and your wicket is knocked off by the opposing team, you are out.
Similar to above, but if you don’t run you might take a step forward to take a shot. If you are out of your crease and not attempting a run, the wicket-keeper can take your wicket - and then you’re out.
(6) Putting your own wicket down
A Shane Warne classic - if you put down your own wicket you are out. You’ll have to be starting your move to hit the ball, or while starting your run but if you knock the bails off it’s your own fault.
Now for the less well known!
If you are a Batsman and you pick up the ball without the permission of the other side you are out. Sounds tough. It really can be! A couple of Ashes ago, the ball lodged in Ian Bell's knee pad at Lords – clever boy – he didn’t do anything but wait for the wicket keeper to come and pick it out.
(8) Hit Twice
If you hit the ball twice, without permission (it’s cricket after all!) you are out – except – if, and only if, you are defending your stumps.
If a batsman obstructs the field by action and here’s the important bit - or words – he is out. But it’s rare. In the Indian Premier league Yusuf Pathan became only the sixth person to go out this way in first class cricket. How? He was adjudged to have kicked the ball during a run, so that it went out of the way of the bowler who was trying to get to it.
(10) Time out
You have just 3 minutes to replace the batsman who has just been sent - out - back to the pavilion. That’s it. Late? You're out!
So there we have it.
Come on England!