I WAS asked a couple of questions recently regarding cricket law.

The first was about a player arriving late and what would the consequence be?

Well, if his side is fielding then he cannot have a bowl until he has been on the field for the length of time he has been off – this is known as penalty time.

There used to be a 15-minute allowance before this could happen but not now.

If the innings finishes and he has not completed his penalty time then that carries over into his side’s batting innings.

He cannot bat until his penalty time has ended unless the side is five wickets down and then he can.

But what if his side is batting first?

In that case, he can bat at the fall of the next wicket regardless of how long he has been late.

The next question was “What happens if he misses the whole of his side’s batting innings. If he is a bowler when can he bowl?”

Now that caused a few re-readings of the law and a few phone calls.

The umpires would have no idea when this player had arrived.

There is nothing in the law to cover this other than not taking the field with his team when penalty time is to be served.

When the side is batting he has not taken the field so the powers that be who I consulted agreed he can bowl straight away.

Another query I had recently was why a wide was called for a switch hit.

The umpire has to determine when the ball is bowled where the batsmen is standing in his normal guard position.

If the ball goes past him on what was the original leg side,even though he has switched around then it will still be called a wide.

The reason for this is not the position the batsman has finished up in,but the position he was in when the bowler commenced his run- up.

This switch hit was first introduced in 2008 by Kevin Pieterson against New Zealand and the law makers have had many looks at this and have decided not to make any law changes, other than a fielder can change his position in anticipation of where he thinks the batsman will hit the ball.

If they did allow a switch from off to leg then the fielding side could possibly find themselves being no- balled for more than two fielders on the new leg side! It was far simpler to leave the law as it was.