In amateur cricket, as a batsman, if you have only one planned shot, a hard one, and you know you are quite able to execute it, but a fielder, without obvious protection (e.g., a helmet), creeps up on you to say 4 yards, in front of you, what is the right thing to do?

Should you warn her/him? Should you inform the umpires? Should you refuse to bat? What?

  • Is cricket exclusively played by men? – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Jul 18 '13 at 20:26
  • @JacobJanTuinstra No. But the creeping-up-types are always men (in my experience). And, although not sure, I think the term "batsman" is unisex. – user1564 Jul 18 '13 at 20:32
  • I was referring to Should you warn him? and his in the title. – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Jul 18 '13 at 20:35
  • A couple of fierce shots whistling past his ear is likely to be enough to send him back to the outfield. When you say "creeps up", do you mean the fielder moves before the bowler starts his/her run up, or afterwards? – Spinner Jul 19 '13 at 9:32
  • @Spinner Yes, but what if the first shot hits her/him between the ears? :) I meant "before". – user1564 Jul 19 '13 at 9:37

In junior cricket, the (adult) coaches and umpires have a responsibility to ensure player safety and should (and in my experience typically do) intervene to prevent players putting themselves in unnecessary danger in this fashion. In Australia at least, over the last 5-10 years the wearing of protective equipment by junior players has become universal due to an increased desire for player safety.

On the other hand, if it is senior cricket then players can do as they wish. If you are batting and you feel that you are endangering a fielder, remember that is what they want you to think. The whole point of fielding so close is not to actually take a catch ( you don't need to be so close to do so) but to toy with the batter's mind. If the position of the fielder is worrying you, then the fielder is doing their job. Focus on your own job and let the fielder worry about their safety. Remember that the bowler is sprinting in and putting all their might into bowling a hard object as hard as possible at your head. The bowler doesn't want to hurt you as such, but your safety is none of their concern. You should have the same attitude about fielders.

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    In some districts in Australia, there is a requirement even in senior cricket for fielders to wear a helmet when fielding within 10 metres of the bat in front of the wicket. – Rob Hyndman Jul 19 '13 at 2:29
  • Umpires are also supposed to bear player safety in mind, and can & should mention to players that they're in an unsafe position. They can't force the player to move though. There is also the question of encroaching on the pitch, which fielders cannot do, and of shadows distracting the batsman - the fielder is required to remain still in this case. – TrueDub Apr 29 '15 at 14:54

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