Letter: An issue not to be dismissed lightly

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The Independent Online
Sir: The 'handled ball' dismissal of Graham Gooch at Old Trafford raises a number of issues relating to the inadequacies and ambiguities in the laws of cricket. I list below some food for thought (including some hypothetical cases). I would appreciate your and other cricketing experts' comments: 1. Why, if the hand or glove is regarded as an extension of the bat when a stroke is made, is it considered not to be part of the bat a split second later in an incident as exemplified with Gooch's dismissal? 2. If Gooch's hand had still been in contact with the bat when he deflected the ball away from the wicket, would he still have been given out? 3. Would a batsman be given out caught if the ball touches his hand/glove which is not in contact with the bat at the moment of contact, and is subsequently caught by a fielder? (You occasionally see a batsman take one hand away from the bat when defending against a ball that rears up). 4. Why was Gooch's wicket not credited to the bowler (Hughes) when it would have been (as 'bowled') if Gooch had not deflected the ball away from the wicket?

Yours faithfully,

I H BERRESFORD

Poynton, Cheshire

8 June

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