One wonders what entries lay hidden in score-sheets of the yesteryear © Getty Images (representational photo)
One wonders what entries lay hidden in scorebooks of the yesteryear © Getty Images (representational photo)

The Laws of Cricket stipulate 11 ways in which a batsman can be dismissed. However, Arunabha Sengupta brings to light some of the other modes and manners of dismissal documented in the scorebooks of serious and village cricket over the years.

We all know of the stumps being hit, shattered, uprooted and the batsman walking back with bowled against his name. Or the fielder swooping up the catch and running wild in celebration. Or the frown that etches the brows of the returning man when the umpire has held up an appeal for leg before wicket. And the disgust when he is caught short of his ground while going for a run. Even waiting anxiously as the third umpire tries to decide whether he had grounded his bat before the wicketkeeper whipped off the bails.

Bowled, caught, run out, stumped, leg before wicket are the five common dismissals in the game. But there are six more.

It is not unusual for the batsmen to step on his wicket. Caps falling and dislodging bails have also taken place often enough.

With the inclusion of the more and more minnows into the fray, even Test cricket has seen the advent of ‘retired out’ since the first decade of this century.

There have been the occasional instances of handling the ball. Steve Waugh, Desmond Haynes and Mohinder Amarnath being some of the big names associated with this form of dismissal.

Even of obstructing the field has registered on the scorebooks of international cricket, great names such as Len Hutton and Inzamam-ul-Haq falling in this way.

Timed out and hit the ball twice have not yet taken place in Test cricket, but they do occur in the scorecards of the First-Class game.

However, old scorebooks of First-Class, grade cricket and the village game do reveal quite a few more ways that batsmen have managed to get out down the years.

James Southerton once had the following appearing against his name as mode of dismissal: ‘Retired, thinking he was caught 0’.

In his late fifties, William Lillywhite was listed as – ‘hurt by Fellows on wrist and refused to go in’.

Even in the modern times, Dirk Wellham’s hit wicket appeared in scorebooks as ‘helmet fell on stumps.’

Some of the other obscure but rather interesting modes are listed below:

– Gave up his bat (generously wishing to give someone else a turn, a variant of which was often witnessed in Hong Kong Super Sixes)
– Not out disabled, fingernail knocked off
– Did not go in, being lame
– Retired hot
– Left his wicket thinking he was bowled
– Dropped his spectacles on the wicket
– Remembered a previous engagement
– Retired, sick on wicket
– Ricked his back
– Shambled out
– Ran away — scared by the bowler
– Unfinished owing to disputed decision on the question of lbw
– Given out unfairly and refused to retire

And here are some of the absolute winners:
– Shamefully refused to go in
– Fison … left to catch a train to the Continent
– G Plank, walked out … not arrived yet …