This is a perfectly acceptable way of using a mobile phone during a cricket match © Getty Images
This is a perfectly acceptable way of using a mobile phone during a cricket match © Getty Images

Playing at Pomonal Recreation Reserve on November 28, 2014, Marcus Elliott was given out in the most bizarre of manners. Abhishek Mukherjee recounts a rare incident that took place during the Grampians Cricket Association (GC) Juniors Under-16 tournament.

Law 35.1: Out Hit wicket

(a) The striker is out Hit wicket if, after the bowler has entered his delivery stride and while the ball is in play, his wicket is put down either by the striker’s bat or by his person as described in Law 28.1(a)(ii), (iii) and (iv) (Wicket put down) either

(i) in the course of any action taken by him in preparing to receive or in receiving a delivery, or

(ii) in setting off for his first run immediately after playing or playing at the ball, or

(iii) if he makes no attempt to play the ball, in setting off for his first run, providing that in the opinion of the umpire this is immediately after he has had the opportunity of playing the ball, or

(iv) in lawfully making a second or further stroke for the purpose of guarding his wicket within the provisions of Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once).

Batsmen have trod on to stumps; their bats have been flung out of their hands on to the stumps, as have been their gloves; hats, caps, helmets, and even the sola topee (Mohinder Amarnath accompanied the topee on to the stumps) have crashed on to the wicket to grant wickets to the bowlers.

But mobile phones? The USA-based Cricket Wireless, of course, is a subsidiary of AT&T Inc. and provides voice, text, and data services, but we are discussing something else here.

Cellular error

The incident took place in a Grampians Cricket Association (GCA) Juniors Under-16s match between Youth Club and Pomonal at Pomonal Recreation Reserve Ground. The hosts put Youth Club in, but Caleb Bretherton and Nathan Churchill put up 86. A mini-collapse followed, Youth Club lost 3 wickets in 5 minutes, and out walked Marcus Elliott.

Josh Kelly took the score to 100, but Elliott managed to play only 2 balls during the process. He somehow managed to keep the third ball he faced out, but his cell-phone ricocheted on to the stumps. The umpire had no option but to give him out hit wicket.

In Elliott’s defence it can be said that he had completely forgotten about the mobile phone after those eventful 5 minutes. A case may also be made for him, given that Allan Lamb had once walked out at the middle with a cell-phone in his pocket during a Test.

What followed

After another quick wicket, Elliott and William Hackwill ensured there was no more damage and took the Youth Club score to 195 for 5 in 35 overs. The hosts used all eleven bowlers. In response, no Pomonal batsman reached 20 as they crawled to a mere 139 for 5. Youth Club won on first innings lead and acquired 6 points.

Unrelated fact: An interesting aspect of the match is the number of extras the sides conceded. There were 115 extra balls bowled, while 40 per cent of the runs scored came in extras.

Batting side Score Extras % runs in extras Wides No-balls Extra deliveries
Youth Club 195 62 31.79% 30 20 50
Pomonal 139 72 51.80% 38 27 65
Total 334 134 40.12% 68 47 115

Brief scores:

Youth Club 195 for 5 in 35 overs (Caleb Bretherton 43, Joshua Kelly 52*, Extras 62) beat Pomonal 139 for 5 in 35 overs (Extras 72) on first innings lead.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Chief Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)