AT the match I was watching on Saturday we had an occurrence that does not happen very often in senior cricket as it is more likely to happen with youngsters.

In fact, in 46 years of umpiring I have only seen it happen twice in senior cricket and that, funnily enough, was at the same ground as on Saturday.

The event was a ball bouncing more than once before reaching the popping crease. The batter hit this ball into the air and the fielder balancing himself on the edge of the boundary caught the ball, however the batter wasn’t out as the umpire had called and signalled ‘no ball’.

The umpires were questioned about this as some players seem to think the law said bouncing more than twice. That is not correct, it’s bouncing more than once.

The other occasion was when a club’s professional got into a bit of a tangle and the ball bounced twice before reaching the batter. There was a look of utter amazement by everyone which just shows it can happen to anyone.

I was also asked about a ball which pitches and ends up bouncing over the head of a batter. Why was this a ‘no ball’ and not a wide? Those of you who watch international cricket on TV or at county grounds see the umpire call wide for balls that pass over the batter’s head.

Most local leagues play to MCC law, including the Bolton League, and that states if a ball after pitching, passes over the head of the batter stood in an upright position at the popping crease then the bowler’s end umpire will call and signal ‘no ball’. When a new batter comes to the crease an umpire will try and gauge a feature behind him as a guide line for where the batter’s head would be standing upright in the crease. It could be the height of the fence, a mark on the sight screen, etc, that will help determine whether or not the ball would have passed over head height when stood upright.

Different competitions follow different playing conditions, which local umpires have to be aware of. The international and county games follow ICC laws, hence the confusion. It would be so nice if everyone followed the same laws for consistency and ease of understanding.