Can a batsman kick the ball in cricket?

In the sport of cricket, a batsman strikes the ball with a bat to score runs. He does so by guarding the stumps behind him by preventing the ball from hitting them. 

A batsman can be called out if his bat strikes the ball twice. He can also be called out if the ball strikes his pads first if at all his legs are positioned in front of the stumps (leg before wicket). Based on this can a batsman kick the ball in cricket? In order to understand this, let us consider the following scenarios:

Scene 1: Kicking the ball bowled by the bowler

If the ball released by the bowler is kicked by the striker, two things can take place. Firstly, if the batsman does this while standing right in front of the stumps, he is likely to be out leg before wicket. Secondly, if he does so without standing in line of the stumps, he still cannot score any run. This is because based on the law, it is not a “stroke” that a batsman had played. 

Scene 2: Kicking the ball thrown by the fielder

If the struck ball reaches the fielder who picks it up and throws it back to the fielder near the stumps, the batsman cannot kick the ball. This is because it violates the law and the batsman is out for “obstructing the field” 

Scene 3: Kicking the ball about to strike the stumps

In some cases, batsman edge the ball with the bat or the ball edges their pads and rolls back to the stumps they are supposed to guard. The batsman can now use any part of their body except the “hand not holding the bat” to deflect the ball away from the stumps. However, he should keep in mind that the deflected hit cannot result in any runs. Moreover, the batsman should also keep in mind that he cannot make the second strike if the fielder is about to catch it or if he deflects it when the fielder is attempting to catch a ball moving towards the stumps. 

Scene 4: Padded away

Padding away a ball is often seen when batsman are facing spinners. When the spinned ball is pitched outside the leg stump or in a direction safe enough from catching the batsman leg before wicket, the batsman move their front leg in line of the ball and pad it away. No run can be scored through this method.

Scene 5: Leg byes

If the batsman attempts to hit the ball with his bat but it misses the bat and deflects off the batsman’s pads, the runs later scored will be counted as leg byes. These runs will be added to the team total but not to the batsman’s individual score. Leg byes are signalled when runs off the batsman’s legs are not deliberate. 

Batsman can thus kick the ball only under certain laws of the game but kicking for the sake of scoring runs is a null point. 

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