What if a shot going for 4 interfered by the spectators in cricket game?

This actually happened to the recent club cricket game that I played last week. We needed 6 runs off 11 balls and had 3 wickets in hand. One of the batsman played a shot and ball was rolling slowly towards the boundary line, all of a sudden a kid (age ~7) took about 10 steps into the ground and tried to grab the ball but it went over him hit something and jumped not reaching the boundary line. Since kid made the interference batsman and umpire lost sight of the ball and they (batsmen) did not finish the third run wondering if the ball was caught by the kid or went to the boundary line. Meanwhile, fielder chasing the ball continued running and pick up the ball, threw it back to the keeper and they made an appeal for the run-out.

5 Answers

TL;DR: Umpire made a wrong decision if they had consulted with a captain regarding obstacle within the boundary [law] before the game and it was confirmed that it did not hit a kid [law 19.2.7] and hit fielder discarded item [law 28.2.3].

From laws of cricket: (emphasis added)

Law 2 – The umpires

2.3 Consultation with captains

Before the toss the umpires shall

  • 2.3.1 meet with the captains; the umpires shall determine

  • […]

  • the boundary of the field of play and allowances for boundaries, including whether any obstacle within the field of play is to be regarded as a boundary.

  • […]

  • 2.3.2 inform the scorers of agreements in,, and

Law 19 (Boundaries)

19.1 Determining the boundary of the field of play

  • 19.1.1 Before the toss, the umpires shall determine the boundary of the field of play, which shall be fixed for the duration of the match.

19.2 Identifying and marking the boundary

  • […]

  • 19.2.6 An obstacle within the field of play, other than as in 19.2.7, shall not be regarded as a boundary unless so determined by the umpires before the toss. See Law (Consultation with captains).

  • 19.2.7 A person or animal coming onto 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 or animal is made. The decision shall be made for each separate occurrence.

Law 28 – The fielder

28.2 Fielding the ball

  • 28.2.1 A fielder may field the ball with any part of his/her person (see Appendix A.12), except as in However, he/she will be deemed to have fielded the ball illegally if, while the ball is in play he/she wilfully

  • […]

  • discards a piece of clothing, equipment or any other object which subsequently makes contact with the ball.

28.2.3 If a fielder illegally fields the ball, the ball shall immediately become dead and

  • the penalty for a No ball or a Wide shall stand.

  • any runs completed by the batsmen shall be credited to the batting side, together with the run in progress if the batsmen had already
    crossed at the instant of the offence.

  • the ball shall not count as one of the over.

In addition the umpire shall

  • award 5 Penalty runs to the batting side.

  • inform the other umpire and the captain of the fielding side of the reason for this action.

  • inform the batsmen and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.

So, when a kid tried to grab the ball inside the ground but if it is confirmed that the ball did not hit him that is not to be considered as a boundary. However again if it is certain that the ball did hit something and jumped so depending on what was decided before game (whether that obstacle within the field of play is to be regarded as a boundary or not or if it was discarded piece of clothing, equipment or any other object of a fielder which made contact with the ball) umpire has to give decisions based on either [law 19.2.7] or [law 28.2.3].

However, if above things were not certain then from,

Law 2 – The umpires


2.11 Disagreement and dispute

Where there is disagreement or dispute about any matter, the umpires together shall make the final decision.

2.12 Umpire’s decision

An umpire may alter any decision provided that such alteration is made promptly. This apart, an umpire’s decision, once made, is final.

The umpires together made the final decision according to their interpretation of laws which wasn’t altered so it was final.

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