Is there a rule that states that a batsman must be ready for the bowler, or is it just good etiquette? I'm not referring to waiting for a new bat to come in after a wicket has fallen. I'm talking about a bowler having to wait for the batsman mid-over, to get ready to receive the next delivery.

In a recent match, the bowler was bowling off a 10 yard run up. For every ball, a particular batsman was waiting 3-4 yards leg side of the wicket. He waited for the bowler to get to his mark and be ready to start the delivery, before he then walked into the crease and took his guard to receive the ball. This was adding a slight delay to every ball, and (perhaps intentionally) annoying the entire field!

On occasion this would be fine, but this batsman did it every single ball. I was always taught that it is the batsman's responsibility to be ready for the bowler (assuming the batsman has reasonable time). In this case, with the bowler having a 10 yard run-up there was always plenty of time for the batsman to get ready.

I have scoured the rules but can't find anything that explicitly states one way or the other. All I can find under the dead ball rules is

Law 20.5 Ball ceases to be dead.

The ball ceases to be dead – that is, it comes into play – when the bowler starts his/her run-up or, if there is no run-up, starts his/her bowling action.

and under 20.4.2 Either umpire shall call and signal Dead ball when the striker is not ready for the delivery of the ball and, if the ball is delivered, makes no attempt to play it.  Provided the umpire is satisfied that the striker had adequate reason for not being ready, the ball shall not count as one of the over.

This implies that unless the batsman has a good reason not to be ready, he has to be ready to receive the ball. "adequate reasons" is a bit vague - there are many adequate reasons that could fit in here, but if the batsman's batting mannerisms are simply that he likes to wait for the bowler to be ready, then surely that doesn't apply?

Was it reasonable for the batsman to oblige the bowler to have to wait for him to be ready every single delivery, or, given there was no adequate reason, could the bowler have legitimately just started bowling?

Where in the rules does it govern who has to be ready for who?

1 Answer 1


20.4.25 is the section that covers it. The umpire has to be satisfied that the striker had an adequate reason.

Just not being ready is not a adequate reason. However not being ready because a bowler takes a deliberately short run is an adequate reason.

Another key part is that the batsmen needs to make no attempt to play the ball.

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