Ben Stokes Is Out Obstructing The Field (And The Twitter Debate That Ensued)

Ben Stokes was out in the one-day international last night.

That’s not a very big occurence.

However, he was out obstructing the field.

And that’s the biggest news since…I don’t even know.

If you haven’t seen the dismissal, here it is:

According to Law 37 of the Laws of Cricket:

1. Out Obstructing the field

Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if he wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action.  In particular, but not solely, it shall be regarded as obstruction and either batsman will be out Obstructing the field if while the ball is in play and after the striker has completed the act of playing the ball, as defined in Law 33.1, he wilfully strikes the ball with

(i) a hand not holding the bat, unless this is in order to avoid injury.  See also Law 33.2 (Not out Handled the ball).

(ii) any other part of his person or with his bat.  See also Law 34 (Hit the ball twice).

2. Accidental obstruction

It is for either umpire to decide whether any obstruction or distraction is wilful or not.  He shall consult the other umpire if he has any doubt.
© Marylebone Cricket Club 2013

(There are other parts to the law, but they’re irrelevant).

Stokes has become just the sixth person to be out obstructing the field in a ODI, and the first Englishman. So when he tells his career to his grandkids, he’ll always have this to tell them.

Normally, I wouldn’t discuss things like this, but I got involved in a bit of a massive debate on Twitter. So, I decided I’d share the debate.




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