The MCC’s Laws of Cricket has a specific law that details the rules of how players must conduct themselves on the field.
In cricket, in order to deem the batter out, it is the umpire’s decision that decides the final verdict. It is a rule that the players must appeal the umpire mandatorily for the latter to announce their final decision. Instances where a batter is bowled, evidently caught out, usually do not require an appeal as they are visually obvious.
An appeal by the fielding side is commonly seen in questions regarding leg before wicket. The fielding side usually appeals by saying “How’s that?” or “Howzat?” which is followed by the umpire’s decision. However, there are scenarios where the player’s appeals are unsportsmanlike.
According to Law 42 of MCC, appealing in an unsportsmanlike manner is seen when the player appeals excessively, appeals by intimidating the umpire or papeals despite knowing that the batter is not out. This is considered a Level 1 offence as per Law 42.
When a player commits a Level 1 offence such as this, the fielding side’s captain is warned about the breach of law. If the offence is repeated again, then the opposition is awarded 5 penalty runs.
Unsportsmanlike appealing is often intended to overwhelm the umpires and force them to make a decision in the fielding side’s favor. Thus, it is one of the toughest challenges for the umpire to remain steadfast on the decision they make. Additionally, it comes under the duty of the umpires to report any such appealing to the referee who can take further actions by imposing a fine on the captain or the involved player.