You have to love the game of cricket. If you’re American, you may not understand this.

Bryn Darbyshire plays cricket for the town of Lymington, got bowled a ‘No ball,’ because the bowler overstepped the crease. Bryn tried to play it anyway, and made only a feeble connection. The ball rolled to a halt, and Bryn kindly picked it up and threw it to a fielder. The umpire promptly said he was ‘Out.’ Apparently protocol requires the batsman to ask permission from one of the fielding side, otherwise he is deemed to have interfered with play.

By failing to do this, Mr Darbyshire became what is believed to be the first person ever to have fallen foul of a subclause to the rule that the MCC uses to adjudicate in a case of no ball. There are some other provisos. The batsman cannot be bowled, caught, or LBW off a no ball. However, he can be out if he handles the ball, as Bryn did, or obstructs a fielder, hits the ball twice, or gets run out taking a cheeky opportunist flier for a run.

If you really are at a loss as to what’s going on here, this should clarify matters. ‘You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.’

I know, it’s an old gag, but it’s still funny.

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