The entire field roared in unison. Even spectators were blaming him. The poor batsman didn’t know why he was declared out even before bowling. The batting side had enough balls to spare. But he was given out in the craziest form of cricket that Hyderbad witnessed on the eve of Independence Day this year. It was the Laws by Wife (LBW) over where wife or the alleging person (bowler) wanted him out even without bowling.
A group of men assembled in Hyderabad from all over India from men’s groups were playing on the ground. Two teams 498a Husbands and ATM (Any Time Maintenance) Husbands were taking each other head on. The batting side was known as Accused Team (line up – A1, A2….A11). The bowling side was known as Complainant Side (line up – LW1, LW2….LW11). [note – in court system accused are mentioned as A1, A2 etc., Complainants are referred to as Witness 1, Witness 2 or W1, W2 etc].
In this cricket, each time a batsman hit a four or six, he had to compulsorily run between two wickets (lower court and higher court) holding his ears – typical of an accused husband running between courts to get justice.
Since the batsmen was from the accused side, they were not allowed any protection just like husbands are not given any protection in court system. Bowlers (or the alleging side) however was given full protection. They had to bowl wearing full protection gears like helmets, pads etc.
Each over had 6 balls that the organizers called as allegations. Each time a bowler was bowling he was also raising an allegation.
“He was cruel”
“He used to beat me everyday”
“He used to drink every day”
“His mother used to threaten me over phone for dowry”
– were some of the common allegations regularly leveled against the batsmen by the bowlers. These are stereotypical allegations made against husbands in any divorce case nowadays.
Every time a bowler bowled a no-ball, it was considered as “no allegation” and the bowler was given another chance to make another allegation. It was representative of Indian legal system that provokes the wife to make more allegations. Every wide ball was considered as wild allegations. Some of the “wild allegations” leveled were –
“His cousin brother used to taunt me from USA”
“His ailing father also tried to rape me”
“Neighbors joined him in demanding dowry”
“I am 90 Kgs of weight now, because he didn’t give me any food”
Two batsmen were compulsorily given out after each over using rules of ‘Positive Discrimination’ that is used to create new family laws in India.
To declare a batsman ‘Out’, the umpire had to take the bail out and declare “Cancelation of bail’. Umpire had the option to either grant a ‘6’ under Restitution of Conjugal Rights (RCR) or ‘Out’ under Divorce laws (randomly whatever he wished).
The first over was marked as “Honeymoon Over”, [or Honeymoon ………Over], the fifth as LBW – Laws By Wife where wives could make any law, the last over was named Alimony over.
Tie in a match is called settlement whereas win in the match was termed as Acquittal. Score of the match was maintained in a chargesheet.
In this match as the 498a Husbands team was nearing their win the ATM husbands’ bowler came to bowl the fifth over. It was LBW or Laws – By – Wife over. The 498a Husbands needed only four runs to win in two overs. However, in the first ball itself the game was over. The bowler came and without even bowling claimed that the accused person (batsman) be given out. Since it was Laws by Wife over, law made by the bowler who was playing the role of a wife or alleging side was upheld and the umpire was forced to give the batsman out. The game was over without the winning side captain playing at all. ATM husbands won by LBW rule.
However crazy or funny it may sound, this game showed the reality of Indian family court system and the ordeal that husbands has to go through. Any achievement by the husband is dealt with by giving them punishment, whereas wives are allowed to bend or even create new rules. The spectators blaming the last batsman for being out by LBW rule shows how society comes together when blaming a man for anything.
Last but not the least, the unique game considered truth as retired hurt from the beginning. The organizers gave statutory warning to all for not considering a ‘Doosra’ as the first ONE was expensive enough.
*Cricket Theme Courtesy – Tr Parthasarathy of SIF Hyderabad