Faf Du Plessis and the declaration – Still a better love story than Twilight Saga

Faf Du Plessis clever declaration act

Faf Du Plessis and the declaration - Still a better love story than Twilight

What happened and When?

South African skipper, Faf Du Plessis, who was batting on 118, chanced upon a conversation between umpires and Warner. The Australian batsman had just returned to the field after a stint off for a period of time getting treatment on an injured shoulder. He got to know that David Warner had to field for 6 more minutes before he could open the innings for the Aussies. Sensing an opportunity, he declared their innings. African skipper, Faf Du Plessis’s genius declaration stopped David Warner from opening the innings. This incident took place on November 14, 2016.

A similar act was committed by him against Bangladesh on the second day of the test match. Tamim Iqbal was off the field for 49 minutes as he opted to take some ice but was all set to take the field after tea, before which the Proteas declared their innings.

If you didn’t know…

Under cricketing rules, a player must be on the field for the same time they spent off it, before being able to bowl or bat again – in Warner’s case, he was caught short. Once a player is off the field for longer than two overs, he is not permitted to bat or bowl until he has served the same amount of time back in play.

The Law

The law that talks about this aspect of the game comes under section 24 of the MCC handbook. Law states that:

‘He/she shall not be permitted to bowl, until having been back on the field of play for a period of time known as Penalty time as described in 24.2.3 to 24.2.7 and 24.

The player shall not bowl until all of his/her Penalty time has been served. On any occasion of absence, the amount of Playing time for which the player is off the field shall be added to any Penalty time that remains unserved, subject to 24.2.3’.


Faf Du Plessis’s act, although is permitted under the law, seems to be unethical. Factually speaking, it doesn’t seem to make any kind of difference to the batting side, but at times it might have a mental impact due to a change in their batting order.

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