Our bowler banged it in short of length, in line with the off stump, and the batsman swings across the line sending the ball straight up over the pitch. Both batsmen immediately set off for the run and the wicket keeper stepped in the middle of the pitch to take the catch. The keeper was so bad at the catch attempt that the ball, which had a lot of back spin on it, went straight through his outstretched hands without making any contact whatsoever, and rolled back and hit the stumps all by itself. By this time the runner had reached the batting crease and he just stood there calmly watching the ball come back and hit the stumps. The striker was given out - bowled. Pretty straight forward isn't it?

But my question is: do you consider that the batsmen had crossed for this wicket, even though the striker was bowled?

The new batsman ended up taking strike in the middle of the over in this case. But I cannot find anything in the MCC rules that refers to change of strike with respect to someone being bowled out. What do you think? Or by any freak chance has anyone seen this before?


2 Answers 2


There should not be a change of strike if the batsman is bowled. The umpire made the correct decision by letting the new batsman face the next ball. This is covered by Law 18, which states that the rule of batsmen crossing only applies if the dismissal is Caught, Obstructing the field or Run out.

11. Batsman returning to original end

(a) When a batsman is dismissed, the not out batsman shall return to his original end [...] with the three exceptions of

  • Run out [...]
  • Caught
  • Obstructing the field,

for all other methods of dismissal.

Point 12 then goes on to detail what happens in the cases of Caught, Obstructing the field, and Run Out, which is that if the batsmen have crossed, the not out batsman faces the next ball.

12 Batsman returning to wicket he has left

(a) When a batsman is dismissed Caught, Obstructing the field or Run out [...], the not out batsman shall return to the wicket he has left but only if the batsmen had not already crossed at the instant of the incident causing the dismissal.

I have left out the parts of the law that apply if there is a runner, as it makes it hard to understand, that is why there are several [...] in the quote.

  • 2
    Yes, it is well hidden, as Law 18 is about scoring runs. I was expecting it to be in a Law about dismissals, or in a Law about the new batsman.
    – Fillet
    Jul 2, 2014 at 7:42

Since I couldn't find it in the law, I posted a law query to lords.org. The reply I got from them is below. Which says that it is an unlikely scenario though Law 18.11 will apply (as said by @Fillet) and the non-striker will have to go to his original end.

Thank you for your email to MCC.

This is a somewhat unlikely scenario. If the ball goes high enough for the batsmen to cross before the ball lands on the wicket, then the wicket-keeper or another fielder would almost certainly have a chance to reach the wicket and catch the ball - he would be unlikely to leave it to chance that it might hit the wicket. Furthermore, the striker himself might be better advised to stand his ground and defend his wicket by means of a legal second strike with bat or pad (as long as he does not interfere with any fielder trying to catch the ball or handle the ball.)

Nevertheless, Law 18.11 specifies that when a batsman is dismissed the not out batsman will return to his original end in cases except for the specific exceptions of run out, caught, or obstructing the field. Bowled not being one of these exceptions, the not-out batsman would have to return to the non-striker's end.


Yours sincerely,

Neil Robinson
Research Officer
Marylebone Cricket Club

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.