What is the rule concerning the violation of a 11 player rule? What if the team fielding 12 players played half an inning without anybody noticing it? The game was a 20 over/side game and each team was allowed a super sub. Any 11 can bat and any 11 can bowl however only 11 can field.

I don't know if this has ever happened before, however it did to us. The team chasing noticed that the fielding team had 11 players on the field. Not sure when they added the 12th player, but there was no substitution called. I think the team played with 12 from the beginning. I cannot find any rule that addresses this violation. I wonder if this was the first time that this rule has been violated in such a way. It's dumb and funny at the same time. What should have happened!?!


2 Answers 2


Law 2.6 is pretty clear on this:

If a player comes on to the field of play in contravention of 5(b) above and comes into contact with the ball while it is in play,

(a) the ball shall immediately become dead and the umpire shall award 5 penalty runs to the batting side.

Assuming that the umpire's didn't enforce this, it's a tricky situation; the Laws don't cover situations where the umpires failed to enforce the Laws correctly. This is a classic case of "refer it to the organising body for the competition, and let them sort it out" - although it's going to be particularly tricky as nobody's going to be particularly sure when the team had 12 fielders and when they didn't, and how often the "12th man" touched the ball.

  • Or even who the 12th man was! Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 10:05
  • There was no substitute requested at any point in the game. I believe the game was played with 12 players on the field throughout the innings. the link to the live scores here : sportsquack.com/scores/cricket/full/58a8b783b410ed0324ae1fbc
    – Gubal 12
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 18:24
  • There's a big difference between "you believe" and "you can convince the organisers".
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 18:27
  • True, however, the same can be said otherwise since nobody knows when the 12th man entered the field. Even the captain of the fielding team isn't sure either.
    – Gubal 12
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 1:57

It's in strict contravention of the laws to field with more than 11 players (your question says they had 11 players on the field, but I think you meant 12). The umpires and the fielding captain are both at fault here, but primarily the umpires. The captain is probably at fault for not notifying the umpires of a substitute. The umpires are certainly at fault for not noticing. Especially since they should have been checking regularly for fielding restriction violations since this was, you said, a 20 over game, and there's no way they would have missed the additional man if they were doing so. Conversely, if they were checking, then the additional man was hopefully only on the field for a ball or two.

The 5 run penalty only applies if the substitute has come into contact with the ball. If he has, then that would apply. If that's not provable if he's been on the field for a long time, and in either case, then the umpires should instruct the captain to remove the 12th man from the field immediately, and report the incident to the organizers after the game as stipulated in Law 2.

It's not in law, but I would expect the opposing team to file a complaint with the organizers, and the umpires should expect a disciplinary process to follow for their poor on-field performance.

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