Lets say a batsman hits a shot and in midway it hits a bird in the air and then as soon as it hits the bird, the ball starts falling down and is caught by a fielder, will the batsman be given out?

I searched a lot all over but could find nothing about a rule which clarifies this, any help will be appreciated.


3 Answers 3


This is one of the reason why what we commonly think of as 'rules' of a sport are usually actually called 'laws'. See the Laws of Cricket

They are called Laws because you cannot possibly define to the very last possible detail every single possibility that might happen - such as the example here. In cricket the laws are applied by the Umpires and their ruling is final (except in some cases where technological challenges are allowed in certain circumstances).

So in the case here, the Umpire would apply Law 32 (Caught) - which states that one condition for a fair catch is that:

(ii) the ball is at no time in contact with any object grounded beyond the boundary.

A bird in the air, is not grounded beyond the boundary

In addition it later states:

a catch shall be considered fair if .... (f) the ball is caught off an obstruction within the boundary that has not been designated a boundary by the umpires before the toss.

The umpires are not going to designate a temporary phenomenan such as a bird to be a boundary so this would clearly be a fair catch, and the batsman would be out.

  • I assume this is also why you sometimes see fielders jump in the air outside the boundary, knock the ball back into the air, jump back inside and catch it. A legal catch.
    – ChrisH
    Jul 27, 2012 at 22:26
  • @ChrisH - yes, exactly, or even if they don't catch they might turn a 6 into 4 or fewer runs. Jul 27, 2012 at 23:09
  • It's potentially worth noting here that the Laws have been updated since this answer was written. I'm not sure how the changes affect things as they now refer specifically to "fielders" and make no mention of other objects.
    – Philip Kendall
    Jan 6, 2015 at 21:03
  • I didn't know you have good knowledge of Cricket. Do you play this sport?
    – A J
    Apr 4, 2018 at 5:36
  • @AJ ..... I used to play very badly, just for fun with work colleagues when I lived in the UK. Here in the USA I'd have to seek out a group to play with and I'm probably not good enough. I still enjoy watching it. Apr 4, 2018 at 11:20

The rule for all indoor stadiums having roofs are that if the roof is closed and the ball hits the roof, then it is considered a dead ball.

Hussey hits the roof with a monstrous shot.

  • How does this help answer the question in any way? A bird is completely different to a roof. Dec 23, 2012 at 22:28
  • 2
    Yes, I agree that a bird is completely different from a roof. However, as far as cricket goes, the ball hitting anything in the air, irrespective of if it is a bird or a roof, the rules remain the same. The video clip shows an example of how, in this scenario, the umpire has to call it a dead ball as the ball hit the roof. Dec 24, 2012 at 2:47
  • The same rules also apply to a spider-cam, which is not a grounded object. "Henriques to bowl his third over. And the crowd and the viewers just witnesses a rare incident! Henriques fired a short ball and Karthik smashed that towards midwicket that found the spider cam! As per the rules, it was declared as a dead ball" bit.ly/Ut8nmS Dec 30, 2012 at 4:38

I believe the first answer is incorrect.

If the ball hit a flying bird it would probably be called a dead ball, as I believe it has to go directly to a human fielder without touching anything else to be considered out caught.

In the same way that if the ball hit a helmet on the ground, bounced up and someone caught it, it would be a dead ball and 5 penalty points awarded to the batting side.

  • 4
    If you believe an answer is incorrect, please include a comment for the answer stating why so the user may improve upon it. Also, "first" may be relative if each answer has the same number of votes.
    – user527
    Dec 19, 2012 at 14:21
  • I would read all of Law 32 .... I think your interpretation is incorrect. Clause f deals with bounces off obstructions - and states they are still fair catches. At no point does it state it needs to go directly to a fielder. A catch that bounces off another player is still a catch if it doesn't hit the ground or something grounded beyond the boundary for example. Nov 23, 2013 at 2:58

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.