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County Championship 2023

Watch: One ball, two blocks – Colin de Grandhomme return throw incurs five penalty runs

Colin de Grandhomme penalty - de Grandhomme concedes five penalty runs with inappropriate throw in County Championship
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Watch: Colin de Grandhomme threw the ball at Essex batter Matt Critchley ‘inappropriately’ and conceded five penalty runs in Lancashire’s clash against Essex in the 2023 County Championship.

In the 26th over of the Essex first innings, Colin de Grandhomme bowled a good length ball on middle stump which was punched back down to the bowler by Critchley. De Grandhomme picked up the ball in his follow through and threw it back at the batter who, in order to protect himself, played a textbook backfoot defensive shot.

Essex were awarded five penalty runs for this seemingly innocuous bit of play, under law 42 of the MCC Laws of Cricket.


What is Law 42?

Law 42 deals with unacceptable conduct on the cricket field. It covers four levels of offences which carry varying degrees of sanctions and penalties.

De Grandhomme’s act falls under a Level 2 offence, which includes among other things, the act of ‘throwing the ball at a player, umpire, or another person in an inappropriate and dangerous manner.’

Law 42.3.2 states that in case a Level 2 offence takes place, ‘the umpire shall award five penalty runs to the opposing team,’ and ‘the umpire shall warn the offending player’s captain that any future Level 1 offence by any member of his/her team shall result in the award of five penalty runs to the opposing team.’

De Grandhomme immediately put his hand up in apology after the shy, which was hardly thrown at a vicious pace.

The five penalty runs didn’t matter in the larger scheme of things though as the match ended in a draw. Essex took a narrow lead of 12 runs in the first innings, but Lancashire responded nicely in the second to stack up 351-7, setting a target of 340 for the hosts, who finished the fourth innings at 128-4. The highlight of the match though, was Jimmy Anderson dismissing Sir Alastair Cook twice.

Watch Colin de Grandhomme throw the ball at the batter and concede five penalty runs

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