THE LBW RULE
One of the more common ways that a batsman can be given out, leg before wicket (lbw) is a bit like the offside rule in football – it’s difficult to understand and you can spend ages trying to explain it!
Here are some key pointers to help you get your head around those tricky decisions…
1. An umpire can only give a batsman out lbw if there is an appeal. This is why you’ll hear many shouts of ‘howzat?’ during a game. If you don’t ask, you won’t get.
2. The umpire must be certain that the ball is going to hit the wicket. The batsman always gets the benefit of the doubt when the umpire is unsure, which results in a lot of bowlers looking puzzled and scratching their heads.
3. You may have seen a ‘red zone’, an imaginary line between wicket and wicket, on television pictures. This is because, if the batsman was playing a shot, the ball must have hit him within this zone for him to be given out. However, if he was NOT playing a shot, he can be out if it hit him outside the zone.
4. The batsman cannot be given out if the ball pitches (bounces) outside the line (that red zone again) of leg-stump.
5. The ball must have struck pad first. If it hit the bat before the pad, the batsman is not out. It’s not ‘bblbw’ (bat before leg before wicket). That would be too confusing!