In cricket, there are 10 ways a batter can be ruled out. Some like ‘catch out’ are common, while others like ‘handling the ball’ are rare. Nonetheless, there have been many strange dismissals recorded in the history of international cricket. On the one hand, some were seen as funny incidents, while others raised eyebrows of many. Whether it be sheer bad luck or brain fade, here are the Top 10 strangest ways a batter has lost his wicket-
1. Taijul Islam (Bangladesh)
This incident occurred during the 2nd Test match of the Bangladesh Tour of Sri Lanka in 2021. In reply to Sri Lanka’s 493/7d, Bangladesh was 251/9. In the 83rd over, Taijul Islam defended a Suranga Lakmal delivery off the back foot, but in the process, his shoe came off the backfoot, resulting in his trailing foot disturbing the stumps as he got out hit wicket.
2. Misbah-Ul-Haq (Pakistan)
On the first day of the first Test of Pakistan Tour of India in 2007-08, Pakistan chose to bat first. When Pakistan was tottering at 229/8, Misbah had scored 82 off 242 balls. In the 96th over, he punched towards point and ran for a single, when a moment of madness doomed on him. Dinesh Karthik threw the ball towards the non-striking end. Misbah would’ve easily gotten his 83rd run had he grounded the bat. Instead, he jumped to avoid the ball, which went on to rattle the stumps as Misbah was suspended mid-air.
3. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
During the 2009 Compaq Cup Final between India and Sri Lanka at Colombo, the hosts were chasing 320. In the 28th over, they were reeling at 182/6 when something bizarre happened. As RP Singh bowled a low-full toss, Sangakkara went for a big shot. Such fast was the swing of the bat that it came off Sanga’s hands and somersaulted over his shoulders to fall on the stumps, dismissing him hit wicket.
4. Junaid Siddique (Bangladesh)
Siddique faced a very unfortunate dismissal during Bangladesh’s one-off test against New Zealand in 2010 at Hamilton. Chasing 404, Bangladesh was 51/1. In the 9th over, Chris Martin bowled a short-ball, completely surprising Siddique. The ball hit Siddique’s arm and bounced a couple of feet over him. As he searched for the ball, the ball dropped on the stumps, as Bangladesh lost their 2nd wicket.
5. Cheteshwar Pujara (India)
In the 1st Test between India and England in 2021 at Chennai, India was reeling at 73/4 while replying to England’s 578 (thanks to Joe Root’s 218). Pujara and Rishabh Pant joined hands to take India to 192/4. In the 51st over, Dom Bess bowled a short ball, luring Pujara to play a big pull shot. But what should’ve been an easy boundary turned out to be a wicket, as the ball rebounded off the back of Ollie Pope at short leg and was easily pouched by Rory Burns at mid-wicket.
6. Inzamam-Ul-Haq (Pakistan)
India was touring Pakistan in 2006. During the 1st ODI at Peshawar, Inzamam found a new and bizarre way to get out. In the 44th over of the second innings, he punched off the back foot towards Suresh Raina at mid-off who collected and threw the ball towards the striker’s end. Inzamam, who was way out of the crease, stopped the ball with his bat from reaching the stumps. Indians successfully appealed and umpire Simon Taufel raised his finger after discussing it with square leg umpire Asad Rauf.
7. Azhar Ali (Pakistan)
Azhar Ali got out funnily during the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test between Pakistan and Australia in 2018 at Abu Dhabi. In the 53rd over, Ali edged Peter Siddle past gully. Since the edge was thick, Ali thought the ball would easily reach the boundary. They didn’t run at all. Little did they know that the ball stopped short of the boundary. Mitchell Starc picked up and threw the ball towards the striker’s end, where Tim Paine was quick to whip the bails off. Azhar Ali was run out on 64.
8. Andrew Symonds (Australia)
This dismissal is from the first match of the VB Series 2005/06 between Australia and Sri Lanka at Melbourne. In the 40th over of the first inning, Andrew Symonds smacked a Jehan Mubarak-delivery hard. So fast was the shot that Michael Clarke at non-striker’s end didn’t get any time to get out of the ball’s way. The ball bounced off Clarke and was caught by Tilakaratne Dilshan at mid-wicket. Symonds had to go back at 66.
9. Luke Ronchi (New Zealand)
In the 5th ODI between West Indies and New Zealand at Hamilton in 2014, Luke Ronchi hit the ball for a four but instead was given out. That’s because after hitting the ball, Ronchi accidentally stepped on the stumps and was given out a hit wicket.
10. Graham Gooch (England)
In 1993, Australia toured England and Ireland. During the 1st Test against England at Manchester, England was set the target of 512 runs. They were going well at 223/3, with Gooch not out on 133. When Merv Hughes bowled a short ball to Gooch, the latter defended the ball, only to realize that the ball was going to hit the stumps. Instinctively, Gooch slapped the ball away from the stumps with his hand, which according to the rules of cricket, is not allowed. As a result, he was given out ‘handled the ball’. His wicket triggered a collapse as England lost the match by 179 runs.