Cricket: Williams one of rare group to be dismissed, handled ball

Will Williams. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Will Williams. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Poor old Will Williams.

He is going to be remembered as the guy who have got out, handled ball, on debut.

The 20-year-old Canterbury medium pacer did not know the rule, so when he got a bottom edge into the pitch and saw the ball was about to hit his stumps, he palmed the ball away with the cup of his hand.

There are 10 ways to be dismissed in cricket and that is one of them.

Williams is only the fourth person to be dismissed handled ball in New Zealand first-class cricket.

The last bloke to lose his wicket that way was former New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan in Hamilton in 1991-92, so Williams is in some reasonable company.

It is an extremely rare mode of dismissal. There have been just nine instances in international cricket.

South African Russell Endean (1957) was the first international player undone for using his hand to swat the ball away. It had looped from his pads and threatened his stumps before he padded it with his mitt.

Other notable players who suffered the same fate include Australian great Steve Waugh, West Indies opener Desmond Haynes and English pair Graham Gooch and Michael Vaughan.

Otago batsman Alan Gilbertson was out handled ball against Auckland in January 1953, and the only other time it has happened in New Zealand first-class cricket was when the MCC's Edward Benson used his hand to stop the ball in a game against Auckland in 1929-30.