Leg Bye in Cricket: Unveiling the Unconventional Runs in the Sport

Find out what is leg bye in cricket sport by reading this entire article and you will be guided.

Leg Bye in cricket is one such unconventional method of scoring runs by the batting side. The cricket Leg Byes plays a crucial role in shaping the game. Leg Byes in cricket ensures the teams play a disciplined game and maintain the flow of runs.

A leg bye in cricket is counted as a legal delivery which is neither a “wide” nor a “no-ball”. But, it is an extra run that is credited to the team’s total rather than the batsman’s score.

The concept of leg byes continues to be a debate with the evolution of cricket. Moreover, cricket laws don’t penalize leg byes as a penalty run.

One set of individuals argues that the ICC needs to clarify and modify the rule to reduce the errors and controversy. While the other set of people accept that the rule enhances the dynamic approach of the sport. 

A leg bye in cricket adds an element of spontaneous and thrilling moments that sometimes lead to unexpected twists in the game.

What is a Leg Bye in Cricket?

According to Law 26, if a bowler delivers a legal ball that hits the striker’s body or pads and the batsman rotates the strike, the team enhances its total runs by considering them extras. 

The match umpires do not consider it as an “LBW” unless the ball is directed straight towards the stumps.

Due to the absence of contact between the bat with the ball, the batsman’s score won’t be credited with the runs.

Additionally, considering a boundary scored by striking the batsman’s pads is a “Leg Bye”.

Difference between Bye and Leg Bye in cricket

Most often people get confused between the terms “Bye” and “Leg Bye” in cricket.

A legal delivery that crosses the batsman without striking the batsman’s bat or body, but manages to take runs is known as a “bye”.

Similarly, if a legal delivery crosses the batsman without striking the batsman’s bat but hits the body or pads, and manages to take runs then it is known as “leg bye”

How did the rule of Leg Bye in cricket come into existence?

The exact origins of  Leg Bye in cricket remain unclear. However, there is a long and interesting history of leg bye in cricket . This includes the concept of awarding runs for a ball hitting a batsman’s pads or body.

Earlier in 1624, a popular book titled “The Compleat Gamester” mentioned the rule of leg bye in cricket. The book’s rule states that the batting side should receive runs if the ball hits the batsman. In such cases, a batsman moving to the non-striker’s side or taking double runs results in a leg bye.

In 1838, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), took initiatives to formalize the rule. Likewise, in 1845, the MCC’s laws of cricket published the rule of leg bye in cricket.

Leg Bye Rule in cricket is not valid under certain circumstances

Over the years, there have been several modifications to the leg bye rule with its continued controversies.

Here are such circumstances under which the Leg Bye rule in cricket is not valid:

1. Deliberate deflection by the batsman’s body:

A deliberate defection of the ball by the batsman’s body rather than the bat by changing the batting position.

In such scenarios, the umpires do not award leg bye. Rather, the umpires would consider it as an unfair method of scoring runs. The authorities will take severe action against the batsman for manipulating the natural flow of the game.

2. Ball strikes the Helmet:

If the ball strikes the helmet of a batsman and subsequently takes runs by moving from the striker’s end, it does not result in runs adding to the team’s total.

The umpires do not award leg bye in such condition. Additionally, the rule ensures to prioritize the safety of the batsman.

3. Double Hit on the body:

If a batsman intentionally hits the ball twice with his body, the umpires do not award a leg bye. Moreover, this rule prevents batsmen from engaging in unfair advantages by manipulating the ball’s motion.

4. The ball touches the hand while holding the bat:

The match umpires do not award leg byes in cricket if the ball makes contact with the batsman’s hand while holding the bat.

This rule differentiates the runs scored with the bat and unexpected deflections by the body.

5. Ball and Ball contact:

If the ball strikes the bat first and subsequently the pads, a leg bye is not awarded. As the batsman had the chance to make contact with the ball using the bat, the team’s total as well as the individual score will be credited with the runs.

Concluding Facts about Leg Bye Rule in cricket

Overall, in cricket, people often overlook and underestimate leg byes as an uncommon method of scoring runs.

Sometimes, these leg byes can alter the team’s fate in the last ball thriller of the chases. As a result, the peculiar methods of scoring runs in cricket add an extra layer of unpredictability and thrill to the match.

Moreover, a leg bye in cricket serves as a reminder that the batsman doesn’t rely on playing always with brutal shots. Rather, a cricketer can score these unconventional runs in the form of leg byes, exhibiting their instant decision-making skills and a touch of luck.

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