Appeal (cricket)

From Academic Kids

In the sport of cricket, an appeal is the act of a player on the fielding team asking an umpire for a decision regarding whether a batsman is out or not. According to the Laws of Cricket, an umpire may not rule a batsman out unless the fielding side appeals. There have been occasions when a batsman has otherwise technically been out, but the fielding team neglected to appeal, and the umpire did not rule him out.

According to the Laws of Cricket, an appeal is a verbal query of the form "How's that?" to an umpire. Since the taking of a wicket is an important event in the game, members of the fielding team often shout this phrase with great enthusiasm, and it has transmuted into the slightly abbreviated form, "Howzat?" often with a greatly extended final syllable.

Although technically an appeal is required for the umpire to make a decision, in practice it is often obvious to all that a batsman is out, and the batsman will walk off the field without waiting for the decision of the umpire. This is invariably the case when a batsman is out bowled or to an obvious catch. However, the batsman is always entitled to stand his ground and wait for a decision from the umpire. In cases where he considers he might not be out, such as a catch taken low near the grass or where it is not clear if the ball hit the bat, batsmen will take this option. It is then up to the fielding team to appeal for a decision. Sometimes a batsman will walk even when it is not clear to others that he is out, if in his own mind he is certain he was out; this is considered to be the epitome of sportsmanlike behaviour.

Some decisions, such as leg before wicket, always require an appeal and the umpire's decision, as no batsman will pre-empt the umpire on what requires fine judgment of several factors. Run outs and stumpings are usually appealed and decided by an umpire, unless the batsman is painfully out of his ground and obviously out.

Under the ICC Cricket Code of Conduct, it is considered unsportsmanlike to:

  • appeal excessively;
  • appeal in an intimidating manner towards an umpire; or
  • appeal under the knowledge that the batsman is not out.

Any instances of such behaviour are punishable by fines or match bans, as adjudicated and imposed by the match referee.

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