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Bad Light Rule Explained

Bad light rule


Bad light rule, as the name suggests, refers to a rule which governs the condition of the match being played. It’s in respect of the availability of natural light in the ground, during the matches. Some find this rule to be irrelevant. While others, citing the safety of the players and others involved, argue in favor of it.

What is the bad light rule?

The bad light rule is a set standard. According to this, the continuation of a match, in presence of less light, is analyzed against a set standard. If the light falling on the ground or available therein falls below a certain level.

The umpires, also finds the same to be deficient. They can, for the safety of the players and others, either suspend the game or have it called off. The applicability of this rule has significantly impacted the course of various important matches.

Bad lights in stadium
Rain delays play during day one of the Third Test match in the series between Australia and South Africa at Sydney

Is bad Light Rule Appropriate?

Owing to the very nature of this rule, it has become the subject of much controversy. Some oppose it vehemently, citing it to be unfair, disproportionate, and unnecessary. There have been arguments that this rule has the potential to be misused against the winning team. As the match can, apart from being suspended for a specified period, even be called off.

On the other hand, others have argued that the rule plays a very critical role in observing and upholding safety standards. As this rule provides for suspension of the game during unfavorable environmental conditions. Which can culminate in severe consequences for the players, umpires, and others on the field. Further, they argue that this rule is only applied to the benefit of all, prioritizing safety over all other things. Hence, according to the advocates for the rule, who argue in its favor vehemently. It is not only beneficial but also necessary.

Recent Example of this Rule

During Day 2 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand in Southampton. The match was stopped twice, citing unfavorable conditions. Whereafter eventually the match had to be suspended due to bad light. This example reflects the application of the rule and how significant its impact can be.


Irrespective of the opinion of all involved, the bad light rule is a reality. Which has played a crucial role thus far. Even though it can be misused, sometime bowler can take the benefit of the batsman and vice versa. However, the advantages derived thereof cannot be denied. Even though there exist two viewpoints concerning it and it is the subject of much controversy. The bad light rule does not fail in delivering what it promises. i.e., the safety of players, umpires, and others on the ground. On the other hand, it is true as well that it can be misused. Bad light rule should be modified or complemented with such other rules. Then it may not prevent, but at least mitigate the chances of its misuse.



  1. Michael

    January 10, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    A very important rule made to facilitate the players

  2. Arbaz

    January 10, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Well explained

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