In a recent game the batsman charged the bowler on a "Free hit". He missed the ball, which was taken by the wicket-keeper, who broke the wicket with the batsman out of his ground, and appealed.

The decision was given as "not out". We debated and decided that as the batsman did not continue running but turned and returned towards his crease the decision was correct. Is this the correct interpretation?

2 Answers 2


The batsman can only be Run Out in this situation if it is attempting to score by running between the creases. If no such attempt is made, the batsman is Stumped instead (Law 39.1, Out Stumped and Law 38.2.b, Batsman not Run Out).

As a delivery is a free hit, the batsman cannot be out Stumped (Law 28.17, Out from a No ball, which is further applied to the free hit itself). Whether the batsman was or was not attempting to run between the creases cannot be determined by anybody who was not present and does not have access to conclusive video or audio evidence.

In the case that it is not clear even to witnesses or by examination of evidence (and in particular, it is not clear to the umpires of the match in question) benefit of the doubt is presumed for the batsman (Law 27.6, Consultation by umpires), and therefore the decision should be not out.

  • I think this is correct (although a batsman can definitely be "run out" by fielders other than the wicketkeeper even if not attempting a run), but I'm having trouble putting together the actual Laws which mean that this can't be classified as a run out. Could you add references to the specific sections you're using to come to this conclusion?
    – Philip Kendall
    Jan 29, 2017 at 12:56
  • Well, the definition of Stumped is per Law 39, and Law 38 completes the exclusion of Stumped from being used as Run Out if the batsman is not attempting to run while out of the crease on a no ball.
    – Nij
    Jan 29, 2017 at 20:26
  • 1
    Ah yes - I'd missed the last paragraph of 38.2(b), and got confused by the reference to 38.2(b)(ii) in 39.3(b). I wonder why the bit starting "If No Ball has been called" isn't 38(b)(iii).
    – Philip Kendall
    Jan 29, 2017 at 20:36

Law 39 Stumped states that a batsmen may be out stumped from a delivery that is not a no ball. Hence from a free hit he can not be out stumped.

The key section in that law is 1(iv) and 1(iv) b which say if without the intervention of another fielder the batsmen would be given out stumped even if he would have been run out.

So if he is not attempting a run he would always be ruled out stumped unless the keeper passes the ball to a fielder, so the batsmen would be not out stumped off a no ball.

However if the ball had been passed to say 1st slip and then the wicket broken the batsmen would be out run out.

  • I do think 38.2(b)(ii) is crucial here - without that section, 39.3(b) would mean that the batsman is run out, as 39.1(a)(i) means the batsman is never ever considered to be stumped. I fully admit this is being pedantic, as the intent of the Laws are relatively clear.
    – Philip Kendall
    Jan 29, 2017 at 20:41
  • Good day. We concluded that there was no intent to run, a double step to the bowler is using your feet, not running. As the batsman then turned to return to his crease we saw this as a stumping. WE also agreed if the WK had passed the ball to a fielder who then broke the wicket it would have been a "run out". Thanks for the chat.
    – Brian Catt
    Jan 30, 2017 at 12:44

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