obstructing the field



  • adverb a mode of dismissal in which the batsman is given out ‘if he wilfully obstructs or distracts the opposing side by word or action’ (Law 37 § 1). The relevant section of the Laws elaborates on the two cases in which an appeal is most likely to be made, namely an attempt to prevent a catch being taken and an attempt to prevent a run out being made; and in all cases the umpire must be satisfied that the obstruction was intentional. A dismissal under this law is entered in the scorebook as ‘obstructing the field’, and the wicket is not credited to the bowler. Obstructing the field is one of the few modes of dismissal that remain valid even in the case of a no-ball, but it is doubtful whether this clause will ever be put to the test, given that only 19 players have ever been dismissed in a first-class game for obstructing the field.