It is not uncommon to see bowlers get a talking-to from the umpires for running on the protected area of the pitch… but batsmen? Less so.
That is what Keaton Jennings was warned about as he resumed his Test career, against Pakistan at Headingley. After two balls from Mohammad Abbas, umpires Rod Tucker and Bruce Oxenford came over to discuss where Jennings was taking guard. It seems that, having set up outside his crease, his stride was taking him too far down the pitch.
This comes from last year’s update to the Laws, which now take into account batsmen encroaching on the protected area down the middle of the pitch, beginning 5ft/1.52m from the popping crease. Law 41, covering Fair Play, includes the following provision:
Law 41.15.1 The striker shall not adopt a stance in the protected area or so close to it that frequent encroachment is inevitable.
The striker may mark a guard on the pitch provided that no mark is unreasonably close to the protected area.
The batsman is entitled to one warning, after which the umpires can choose to call dead ball, and even award five penalty runs to the fielding side.
After re-marking his guard (still outside the crease), Jennings was seen checking with Tucker, at square leg, a couple of balls later, and was apparently within acceptable limits. Despite having another thing to worry about on his return to the Test side, he was able to retain focus and help England put on their best opening stand of 2018.