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Laws of Cricket 1947 Code (Fourth Edition)
Law 17 - Commencement and Close of Play and Intervals

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The umpires shall allow such intervals as have been agreed upon for meals, 10 minutes between each innings and not more than 2 minutes for each fresh batsman to come in. At the start of each innings and of each day’s play and at the end of any interval the umpire at the bowler’s end shall call “Play”, when the side refusing to play shall lose the match. After “Play” has been called no trial ball shall be allowed to any player, and when one of the Batsmen is out the use of the bat shall not be allowed to any player until the next batsman shall come in.


  1. The umpires shall not award a match under this Law unless
    1. “Play” has been called in such a manner that both sides can clearly understand that play is to start
    2. an appeal has been made
    3. they are satisfied that a side will not, or cannot, continue play
  2. It is an essential duty of the captains to ensure that the “in-going” batsman passes the “out-going” one before the latter leaves the field of play. This is all the more important in view of the responsibility resting on the umpires for deciding whether or not the delay of the individual amounts to a refusal of the batting side to continue play.
  3. The interval for luncheon should not exceed 45 minutes unless otherwise agreed (but see Law 10, Note 2). In the event of the last wicket falling within 2 minutes of the time arranged for luncheon or tea, the game shall be resumed at the usual hour, no allowance being made for the 10 minutes between the innings.
  4. Bowling practice on the pitch is forbidden at any time during the game.

Reproduction of the Laws of Cricket is by kind permission of Marylebone Cricket Club