Ball kid enters field of play, picks up the ball to hand it to fielder


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A unique incident occurred on Wednesday, January 18, during the game between Desert Vipers and Abu Dhabi Knight Riders at the International League T20 tournament. Knight Riders’ Sabir Ali tumbled over the ropes while attempting to save the ball on the boundary line when a ball boy entered the field of play, picked up the ball, and handed it to the fielder.

When the Desert Vipers were chasing the 134-run target set by the Knight Riders, Sherfane Rutherford smashed the ball towards the ropes off Sunil Narine’s delivery in the 15th over. Sabir Ali ran after the ball and returned it to the playing area only inches from the boundary rope. The ball boy then walked in and handed Ali the ball, who then threw it towards the wicketkeeper.

In the meantime, the batters ran three runs, and since it was not declared as a dead ball even after external interference, the three runs were awarded. The fact that the Vipers were given three runs during the event greatly amused the Knight Riders’ fielders and even the commentators.

The decision by the umpires stood correct as according to the MCC Laws, rule 20.4.2.12 states that:

“Either umpire shall call and signal Dead ball when he/she considers that either side has been disadvantaged by a person, animal or other object within, or over, the field of play. However, if both umpires consider the ball would have reached the boundary regardless of the intervention, the boundary shall be awarded.”

In addition to that, another clause in the laws states: “A person, animal or object coming onto, or coming over the field of play while the ball is in play shall not be regarded as a boundary unless the umpires determine otherwise at the time that contact between the ball and such a person.”

If an outsider comes onto the field while the ball is in play, the umpires will have the last word on whether to declare a dead ball or reward a boundary. The ball was not ruled dead since the ball kid did not jeopardize either team by his presence and simply scooped up the ball once it had been stopped.

A four was not signaled because it was improbable that the ball would have made it to the boundary in this situation even if it hadn’t been picked up. The Vipers would have scored a four, though, had he picked the ball before it was stopped and there had been a strong likelihood that it would pass the ropes. The Laws state that the ball would have been a dead ball if the kid had interfered with and hampered Ali’s attempt to follow down a run, hindering the fielding side.

 

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