Andy Waller is out handled the ball

Andy Waller is the current coach of the Zimbabwe cricket team AFP

On September 17, 1994, Andy Waller was out ‘Handled the ball’ in a First-Class game while playing for the Mashonaland Country Districts against the Mashonaland Under-24 at the Harare Sports Club. Sarang Bhalerao revisits one of the rare incidents in the history of cricket.

It was a Logan Cup match between Mashonaland Country Districts against Mashonaland Under-24. The Country Districts won the toss and batted first. They scored 347 for four and declared. Iain Butchart scored an unbeaten 113 while Don Campbell hit 60 and Andy Waller was the other half-centurion with 53.

In reply, Mashonaland Under-24 side was dismissed for 259. The pick of the Country Districts bowler was leg-spinner Paul Strang who picked up seven for 75. Gavin Rennie was the top-scorer for the Under-24 side with 72.

In the second innings of Country Districts something unique happened. Waller was out ‘Handled the Ball’. So far in international cricket it has happened nine times: seven in Tests and two in One-Day Internationals (ODIs).

List of International cricketers out Handled the Ball in Tests:

1 Russell Endean South Africa England Cape Town 1957
2 Andrew Hilditch Australia Pakistan WACA 1979
3 Mohsin Khan Pakistan Australia Karachi 1982
4 Desmond Haynes West Indies India Mumbai 1983
5 Graham Gooch England Australia Manchester 1993
6 Steve Waugh Australia India Chennai 2001
7 Michael Vaughan England India Bangalore 2001

List of batsmen out Handled the ball in ODIs:

1 Mohinder Amarnath India Australia Melbourne 1986
2 Daryll Cullinan South Africa West Indies Durban 1999

The dismissal ‘Handled the Ball’ is indeed rare. According to the official Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) handbook The Laws of Cricket Law 33.1 states that a batsman is out handled the ball if:

(a) Either batsman is out Handled the ball if he wilfully touches the ball while in play with a hand or hands not holding the bat unless he does so with the consent of a fielder.

(b) Either batsman is out under this Law if, while the ball is in play, and without the consent of a fielder, he uses his hand or hands not holding the bat to return the ball to any fielder.

This was the 46th such instance in the First-Class cricket.

Country Districts were dismissed for 160 thus leaving the Under-24 counterparts to score 249 for a win. The wreckers-in-chief were twin brothers Everton and Darlington Matambanadzo and Sean Davies.

Under-24 side got home comfortably by six wickets with Grant Flower scoring an unbeaten 91.

Brief scores:

Mashonaland Country Districts 347 for 4 decl. (Iain Buchart 113*, Don Campbell 60*; Sean Davies 2 for 55) and 160 (Darlington Matambanadzo 4 for 52) lost to Mashonaland Under-24 259 (Gavin Rennie 72; Paul Strang 7 for 75) and 250 for 4 (Grant Flower 91*) by 6 wickets.

(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)