India vs West Indies 1983: Desmond Haynes becomes 4th batsman to be dismissed handled the ball

Desmond Haynes © Getty Images (File Photo)

Desmond Haynes was given out handled the ball on November 27, 1983. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at a freak dismissal.
“The striker is out Handled the Ball if, except in the circumstances of 2 (Not out Handled the Ball) below, in the act of playing a ball delivered by the bowler, he wilfully strikes the ball with a hand not holding the bat. This will apply whether No Ball has been called or not and whether it is the first strike or a second or subsequent strike. The act of playing the ball shall also encompass both playing at the ball and striking the ball more than once in defence of his wicket.” – Law 33.1.
India were already 0-2 down in the series when they reached Bombay (now Mumbai) for the fourth Test. They had been decimated at Kanpur and Ahmedabad (though they had got away with an honourable draw at Delhi). Desperate to pull one back, India prepared a turning track at Bombay.
Navjot Singh Sidhu [who had made his debut at Ahmedabad], Balwinder Sandhu, Sandeep Patil and Kirti Azad were all left out of the Indian side; the selectors brought in a fit Dilip Vengsarkar along with Ashok Malhotra and Madan Lal; they also included Shivlal Yadav, who had not played a Test in two years, as a third spinner. West Indies, on the other hand, decided to drop Gus Logie and picked a debutant in the form of Richie Richardson.

Gavaskar disappoints…
After his 90 at Ahmedabad there were speculations that Sunil Gavaskar would reach his world record 30th Test hundred at Bombay; no city, in the opinion of the locals, deserved to see it more than his hometown. Some of them had even managed to sneak fire-crackers inside the ground.
After Kapil Dev won the toss, Malcolm Marshall brought one back to Gavaskar; the ball took the top of his right pad, brushed against the thigh, and Jeff Dujon came up with a catch. Madhav Gothoskar gave him out leg-before. “I was disappointed, because I thought the ball had hit me too high and at [Malcolm] Marshall’s pace would definitely have gone above the stumps,” Gavaskar later wrote in Runs ‘n’ Ruins. He had scored 12 with two boundaries, but had faced only six deliveries.

… but Vengsarkar makes up
Anshuman Gaekwad stood strong before he was bowled by Michael Holding for 48, adding 133 with Dilip Vengsarkar. Vengsarkar batted superbly (“I have seldom seen Dilip [Vengsarkar] bat better anywhere, even in a First-Class match”, wrote Gavaskar), and he found able support in Malhotra. He brought up his hundred in only 134 balls with 13 fours.
Vengsarkar sliced the next ball he faced from Winston Davis to Richards at gully. Malhotra fell before stumps as well, and India returned at stumps at 259 for four with Ravi Shastri on 29 and Roger Binny on 14.

Shastri and Binny make it big
Shastri and Binny hung around the next morning, but missed out on a trick or two by not moving things along and seizing the initiative. They did add 127, but it took them 202 minutes. Binny was the first to go, trapped leg-before by Marshall for a 165-ball 65 that included. Kapil and Madan Lal followed suit, and Shastri was eventually the eighth to fall for a 218-ball 77 with nine boundaries.
Syed Kirmani hung around, adding 48 with Yadav and 30 more with Maninder Singh. India were eventually bowled out for 463 — but they batted for 142.5 overs. Holding finished with five wickets while Marshall claimed three. However, things looked good for India, since Larry Gomes had managed to obtain some turn in the four overs he had bowled.
West Indies ended the day without a run on the board.

Yadav claims two
Kapil got Shastri to open bowling with him and soon introduced both Maninder and Yadav into the attack. Yadav tossed one up to tempt Gordon Greenidge; the ball dipped and beat the bat; and turned back almost miraculously though the gate to clean bowl Greenidge. It was an off-spinner’s delight.
Two balls later Richardson played across the line and was trapped leg-before to Yadav. He had registered a duck on debut, and was really not happy about it. Gavaskar later wrote that Richardson “made a big show as if to say that the ball touched his bat but it was nowhere close to it.” Viv Richards walked out with the score on 47 for two.

The King arrives
Richards was not been in the best of nick. Before the Test, Gavaskar, always a Richards fan, had mentioned casually that Viv needed a hundred in the series to justify the heaps of praise Gavaskar usually ushered on him. Richards had turned around and said “Hey maan, don’t put more pressure on me.”
He began in a subdued fashion, but soon realised that counterattack was the best way to handle turn; he launched a furious assault, lofting all three spinners with ease. His confidence rubbed on to Desmond Haynes, who grew stronger and stronger with time. He hit a six and soon brought up a well-deserved fifty.
At this time, Yadav was turning the ball by the proverbial mile and Shastri and Maninder were backing him up by bowling a tight line and length, but Richards and Haynes kept things going. Kapil tried his medium-pacers, Binny and Madan Lal, but they could not break through either. Eventually he brought himself on.

The dismissal
Haynes had looked perfectly at ease when it happened. Gavaskar recollected: “[Desmond] Haynes played forward to the ball but the ball trickled back towards the stumps. In panic Haynes bent down and gloved it away to safety. What he should have done was to have pushed it away with his bat.”
Kapil turned around and appealed to Gothoskar immediately. Gothoskar asked Kapil whether he wanted to withdraw the appeal, but Kapil had no reason to. The appeal was withheld. Haynes went up to Gothoskar (he was under the impression that he had been given out LBW) and tried to explain that he had actually played the ball. “It just went to show that even Test players do not always know the rules,” Gavaskar wrote.
Haynes became only the fourth batsman to have been given out handled the ball in Tests. The previous batsmen were Russell Endean (against England at Newlands, 1956-57), Andrew Hilditch (against Pakistan at WACA, 1978-79), and Mohsin Khan (against Australia at Karachi, 1982-83).

The rest of the Test
Kirmani missed an opportunity to stump Richards, and Kapil dropped a catch as well when Richards hit a straight one to him at mid-wicket. Richards scored a gritty 120 with 15 fours and a six. India struck back, and had a real chance at 238 for five before Jeff Dujon and Clive Lloyd added 119 and prevented the hosts from taking control of the Test.
Yadav’s five-for eventually restricted the tourists to 393. Once again Gavaskar failed (much to the disappointment of the Wankhede crowd), edging Holding to Richards, and Gaekwad followed suit as well. With Vengsarkar suffering from a back pain, Shastri walked out; at stumps India were 45 for two, 115 runs ahead, with Malhotra on 25 and Shastri on 12.
India might have pushed for a victory next morning, but suffered from a triple blow when Shastri, Binny, and Kapil fell in quick succession, reducing them to 121 for five. Madan Lal helped Malhotra add 52, who remained unbeaten on a 122-ball 72 with ten fours. Kapil asked the tourists to chase 244 in 156 minutes.
Kapil removed Greenidge early, and there was a mini-collapse when the spinners reduced West Indies to 68 for four from 40 for one. There were still 13 overs to be played, but Gomes and Lloyd played out time. West Indies finished with 104 for four.

What followed?

  • West Indies won the series with an innings victory at Eden Gardens with Marshall and Holding bowling out the hosts for 90 in the second innings.
  • Gavaskar eventually scored his 30th century in the sixth Test at Chepauk. Batting at four he scored 236 not out — then the highest score by an Indian.
  • Since Haynes, three other batsmen have been dismissed handled the ball in Tests: Graham Gooch (against Australia at Old Trafford, 1993), Steve Waugh (against India at Cheapauk, 2000-01), and Michael Vaughan (against India at Bangalore, 2001-02).

Brief scores:
India 463 (Anshuman Gaekwad 48, Dilip Vengsarkar 100, Ravi Shastri 77, Roger Binny 65, , Syed Kirmani 43*; Michael Holding 5 for 102, Malcolm Marshall 3 for 88) and 173 for 5 decl. (Ashok Malhotra 72*) drew with West Indies 393 (Desmond Haynes 55, Viv Richards 120, Clive Lloyd 67, Jeff Dujon 84; Shivlal Yadav 5 for 131) and 104 for 4.
(Abhishek Mukherjee is a cricket historian and Senior Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He generally looks upon life as a journey involving two components – cricket and literature – though not as disjoint elements. A passionate follower of the history of the sport with an insatiable appetite for trivia and anecdotes, he has also a steady love affair with the incredible assortment of numbers that cricket has to offer. He also thinks he can bowl decent leg-breaks in street cricket, and blogs at He can be followed on Twitter at