Paddy O'Hara's Teasers - Part 1

Posted in Education

Paddy O'Hara of NIACUS (and member of the MCC's Laws sub-committee) has compiled the following questions, which were used with some of our top umpires over the summer.

The questions act as a fantastic form of revision over the winter months. The first set of five questions are reproduced here  - they have been discussed on our Facebook page over the last few weeks.



1.  A fielder leaves the field at 2.57 pm. At 3.10 pm. There is a drinks interval, which lasts 4 minutes.  The player returns to the field for the resumption of play following the interval.  At how many minutes past 3.00 pm.  Would he be allowed to bowl?


2.  A fielder leaves the field at 2.30 pm.  He returns at 3.20 pm.  At 3.30 pm, rain stops play, which resumes at 4.00 pm.    What is the earliest time this player would be allowed to bowl?



3. A fielder leaves the field 12 minutes before the 40-minute lunch interval. He does not return until 14 minutes after play has resumed.  How long must he be in the field before he would be allowed to bowl?




4.  A fielder leaves the field for 25 minutes.  He returns for 20 minutes, before he has to go off again for a further 10 minutes.   How long must he wait until he would be allowed to bowl?



5.  (Umpires should understand the scorers` job).  Having conceded 1 run and taken 1 wicket in his first 2 overs, a bowler starts his next over as follows:

Wide ball from which the batsmen run a single.

Wide ball that runs to and crosses the boundary.

Wide ball from which the striker is out Stumped.

Rain then stops play and with no resumption, the match is abandoned.

How would this bowler’s analysis be recorded in Overs, Maidens, Runs and Wickets?






How did you get on? Answers here



Set 1 Answers.


General advice and best practice :-


In all matters concerning timings, umpires should act together.

Umpires must be informed as to why a fielder is going off the field.

The umpire`s consent is required for a fielder to return.

This consent is given “as soon as practible”.  You do not necessarily need to wait until the end of an over.  A fielder could be allowed back during an over, as long as it does not disrupt the flow of the match – e.g. if a wicket falls or a boundary is scored are two examples.

It is desirable that the batsmen are kept informed when these changes occur.


1.  14 minutes  ( 3.14pm ).     His absence was less that 15 minutes playing time, so incurs no penalty.

(Remember also, agreed drinks breaks are scheduled intervals. They can be taken earlier than the scheduled time if a wicket falls within 5 minute of that time. They should  be kept as short as possible but never exceed 5 minutes. 

It is best practice for the umpires to be back in  their respective positions before the players.  The fielding side and the batsmen at the wicket can agree together  to forgo a drinks interval. )  (Laws  2.5  &  15.)


2.  4.10 pm.      He was absent for 50 minutes playing time.  He was back on the field for 10 minutes before rain stopped play, so he still has 40 minutes to serve.  This is an interruption not an interval .   If the fielder returns at the resumption of play after an unscheduled break in play the time lost (in this case 30 minutes) counts as time on the field, meaning he has a further 10 minutes to serve.

(50 – 10 = 40 – 30 =10.)        (Law 2.5)


3.  26 minutes.     He was absent for 26 minutes playing time – 12 minutes before a scheduled interval and 14 minutes after it.   This is a single absence.  (Law 2.5)


4.  5 minutes.     In this example the fielder had  returned, so the absences are calculated separately.

Off for 25 minutes.   Back for 20 minutes so 5 minutes still to serve.   His second absence was only 10 minutes so does not incur any further penalty (less than 15).

(Law 2.5)


5.     O.        M.        R.      W.


Although 3 balls were delivered at the start of the 3rd. over, they were all Wides and so do not count as part of the 6 fair balls of an over.   However note that if the scorers were recording balls bowled they would correctly record 15. (not 12)

In that 3rd. over :-

Ball 1        1 + 1  = 2 runs (Wides)

Ball 2        1 + 4  = 5 runs (Wides)

Ball 3        1 + w = 1 run   (Wide)  

(Add this to his previous 2 overs. )      (Law 25.7   & Tom Smith`s Cricket Umpiring and Scoring Part III.)