The LBW law states that even if a batsman is struck outside the line of off, he will not be given out if he is attempting to play a shot. However, I repeatedly see with DRL the third umpire overturning an on-field decision if the replay shows the batsman was struck outside the line if he was playing a shot and the majority of the ball was going on to hit the wicket. For example, in the current 2nd Test England v Sri Lanka, Moeen was given out on field and when we saw the replay, Michael Atherton said that it was a pity because England had no reviews remaining and he was struck outside the line. Surely it should make no difference whether the batsman is struck outside the line or not, the key is whether he was playing a shot or not?
Moeen was given out because the umpire thought he was struck in line, and the umpire thought the ball was going on to hit the stumps; therefore whether he was playing a shot or not was, in the umpire's opinion, irrelevant.
If England had still had a review left, they could have used the review, at which point it would have shown:
- The ball was going to hit the stumps
- But Moeen was struck outside the line.
and therefore Moeen would have been given not out - assuming that the bowler's end umpire believed Moeen was making an genuine attempt to play a shot.