Is he allowed to bat?

Ask the UmpireIs he allowed to bat?
Kevin Staff asked 2 years ago

In England’s first innings versus New Zealand at Lords, BJ Watling, the NZ wicketkeeper, got an awkward blow on the side of his knee which kept him out of the rest of that innings (Tom Latham took over as keeper). When NZ batted in reply, Watling came in at his normal position of number 7 and batted very well for a half century. However near the end of his innings he received a fast short pitched delivery about head high. In swaying back and attempting to ramp the ball he injured his neck with the back of the helmet. In England’s 2nd innings Latham again kept wickets with Watling off the field for the latter part of the 3rd day, all of the 4th day, and the early part (about 1 hour) of the 5th day when Trent Boult took the last 4 wickets. When NZ came in to bat in their 2nd innings they were quickly 3 wickets down for 12 runs in about 20 minutes. BJ Watling then came in at number 5 to join Kane Williamson.
       The question arose “ How could he do that when surely he had penance time to serve for being off field for so long?”

1 Answers
Kevin Staff answered 2 years ago

ICC and NZC Playing Conditions state that with a prolonged period off the field a batsman cannot take part until the fall of the 5th wicket or when a maximum of 120 minutes penance time has been served, whichever comes first. However the important fact is that penance time is not carried forward from one day to the next i.e. the slate is cleared overnight (MCC Law). It still doesn’t answer the question how he could be off field for an hour on the 5th day, then still come in to bat 20 minutes after the NZ innings started.
      The answer is simple: ICC and NZC Playing Conditions clearly state that there will be no time restrictions if “the player has suffered an external blow (as opposed to an internal injury such as a pulled muscle)”. In Watling’s case it was considered that his injury(s) were a result of external blows. An interesting scenario. (Kevin Earl, Northern Districts Umpires Operations Manager)