Leg before wicket, also known as LBW, is the most confusing rule of all the ways to get out. A simple way to explain that is that the umpire will call somebody out, if he thinks that the ball would have it the wicket if the pats of the batman wouldn’t have stopped it.
So basically if he thinks that the pads have stopped the ball from hitting the wicket.
However, it is not as simple as it seems. The umpire has to recognize other factors, too!
The batsman will not be out if:
- The ball pitches from the pad out to leg side. It does not matter if the ball would hit the stump. The batsman will not be called out. Remember, leg side is the side of the wicket on which the batsman is standing. So if he is right handed, he will stand on the right hand side of the wicket. (Seen from the bowlers point of view)
- The batsman hits the ball with the bat, before the ball can hit the pad.
- If the batsman attempts to hit the ball but misses and the ball hits the pad on the imaginary line between off side and leg side or on off side. So the pad has to be on off side and the ball has to hit it there, for the batsman to be called out.
- The bowler plays a no ball.
The batsman will be called out if:
- If the ball hits the pad in front of the stumps and would hit the wicket and the ball does not jump into leg side.
- The ball hits the pad on the off side and the batsman made no attempt to hit the ball.
Notice, the umpire must only make such a decision, if the fielding team protests and ask him to decide if the ball was LBW. This will be done by the fielding by asking of the umpire “How is that?” which normally sounds like “Howzat?” This is done in a loud and enthusiastic way.