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RULE 23. END OF OVER/GAME

The AICF rules state that an over is completed when off the last delivery:

  • "The ball is fielded and held over the stumps at either end whilst at least 1 batter is in their crease and the umpire calls "Over".
  • All players on the court regard the ball as being "Dead" (ie. no further play is possible).
  • A wicket falls, excluding a mankad (subject to it being a legal delivery) and the umpire calls "Over"."

The last condition is very specific, and for this discussion we'll put it aside.

The rules then do not clarify if the first two conditions must both be met, or just one.

If just one (the first), then the batsmen immediately have taken from them the option of trying to sneak the one extra run that will give them the Grand Final win in the last over.

If both, then I'd suggest the first condition is redundant.

In reality, the second condition is the determining one, and the one that the players and umpires use--and it's the one I suggest all umpires should use.

So, if the batsmen do threaten to take another run, the umpire allows enough time for them to try. If they just stand there threatening but not actually doing, the umpire would then call "over" . . . but only after it was clear that the batsmen were given enough time to decide to try to sneak the extra run. Which particular fielder has the ball, and where they're standing, simply isn't an issue.

The umpire will of course end the match by calling "Game" after the last of the prescribed overs has been bowled.

No run penalties may be imposed after the umpire calls "Game"--so if a fight or a "situation" appears about to develop on court after the last over has been bowled, it might be a good idea for a short delay between that last call of "over" and the calling of "game".

I have seen some wannabees wait until "Game" has been called before smashing the stumps with their bat or giving an opponent a shove, knowing they and their team won't be penalised.

Of course, any misconduct occurring after "Game" has been called can still be referred to the duty manager, tournament organiser or centre management for possible further action.

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