I HAD to smile recently when a ball become lodged in the batsman’s pads after he had hit it.

There were calls of catch it and the batsman was jumping up and down, trying to shake the ball onto the ground.

It was a perfect case of players not knowing the laws of the game.

Once lodged in the batsman’s pads or clothing the ball is automatically dead. Nothing else can happen.

There is no catch if the fielders pick the ball out of the pads. If the batsman picks the ball out of his pads he cannot be out obstructing the field.

Meanwhile, a new adaption to the ‘beamer’ law came into being this year.

Last year it was any full-pitch ball over the waist height of the striker when stood upright in the crease would be called a ‘no ball’ and the bowler given a warning – that was even if the ball slipped.

Two such incidents and the bowler would be taken off and not allowed to bowl in the innings

A few changes have been made as there was always a debate about what was waist height.

It was deemed to be at the player’s bottom rib – now it’s the waistband of the trousers being worn.

Also the umpire now takes into consideration if the ball was dangerous.

Some full-pitch deliveries were often wide of the batsman and would go down as a warning against the bowler.

While under the new law a ‘no ball’ would still be called, a warning will not be given in this case.

The umpire will only issue a warning if he decides the ball is dangerous to the batsman. The relative skill of the batsman is also taken into account.

This rule was particularly hard on junior players whose bowling was often wayward.

Many leagues agreed that in junior matches the bowler would only be taken off if he bowled a full-pitched ball for the third time.

Now with this new law they fall into line with senior cricket as the umpire has to decide if the ball bowled was dangerous as well as being above trouser waistband height.

The umpire at the striker’s end can sometimes assist his colleague over the height of the ball by using a signal prearranged before the match started, however it is the bowlers-end umpire who has the final say.