What will happen if a ball in play is lost or cannot be recovered? Does batting side keep any penalty for that?


I’m not a huge cricket know-it-all, but here is a rule from the cricket rule book:

Law 20.1 (Lost ball)

Lost ball. If a ball in play is lost or cannot be recovered, the fielding side can call "lost ball". The batting side keeps any penalty runs (such as no-balls and wides) and scores the higher of six runs and the number of runs actually run.

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    To my knowledge in cricket this(calling lost ball) never happened. check this link en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_ball – gout May 3 '12 at 6:59
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    Calling "lost ball" is actually different from losing the ball. You can lose the ball by hitting it out of the ground, for example. Then you need a replacement ball. Calling "lost ball" is a procedure for stopping play while the ball cannot reasonably be reached while still inside the field of play. Maybe you need to get tools or a ladder or swimming trunks to get the ball back, and then you can perhaps use the same ball to continue playing. – Peter Eisentraut May 7 '12 at 12:01
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    The link is no longer functional. Please update your post. – Gaurang Tandon Jan 18 '18 at 3:55

If the ball is lost or damaged, then it will be replaced by one of similar wear. In professional matches, several balls with different degrees of "use" are kept in reserve for this reason.

There is no penalty for either side for causing the ball to be lost or damaged during normal play, unless it is willful ball tampering.

  • +1. I think that both sides get to haggle with the umpire when selecting the replacement ball as of course each side may want more or less wear to suit their situation. – iandotkelly Jun 6 '12 at 18:29
  • There is no haggling. The umpires decide on the ball to be used, and neither team has recourse to dissent, except by walking out. – Nij Aug 23 '16 at 22:47

The batting side scores the higher of, 6, or, the runs they have run, including the run in progress when lost ball is called if they have crossed. Law 20.



Cricket Law No.20 LOST BALL states that if a ball in play can not be found or recovered, any fielder may call LOST Ball.

There are certain conditions for this. The ball should have been lost within the field of play. This scenario is a rare one in recent time. But due to some post holes, goal post, snake holes, there are chances that the ball cannot be recovered, or when a ball within the field is trapped in the tree or is surrounded by the snake and cannot be recovered, any fielder can call "Lost Ball" and the ball becomes dead.

Batsmen may take as many runs as they can, until any fielder calls "Lost Ball'. At the time Lost ball is called, the batsman can score as many runs as they can. If they have crossed for the 4th run when lost ball is called, 6 runs will be awarded to the batting side and the batsmen will remain at the end they were, when Lost Ball is called. But if the batsmen have completed 10 runs and crossed for the 11th run, all 11 runs will be scored, whichever is greater shall be scored. If the ball is played by the batsmen the runs will be credited to his account or if otherwise as the case may be, of extras, say No ball, Bye, Wide etc....

And the umpires will replace the ball with comparable wear with the previous ball.

  • Welcome to SE.Sport it seems that your reply do not add interesting info to other answer – Ale Aug 23 '16 at 18:45

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