County batsman out in rare fashion

Kent batsman Sean Dickson the 60th man to be dismissed handling the ball in first-class cricket

South African Sean Dickson has become just the 60th man in first-class history to be given out handled the ball.

Dickson was dismissed in the unusual fashion on the first morning the Kent's English Division Two county match against Leicestershire at Grace Road, sent on his way without scoring after just eight balls of the match.

Dickson chopped down on a full delivery from Ben Raine before the ball started to trickle slowly back towards his stumps. Despite having ample opportunity to kick the ball away or hit it with his bat, Dickson leant down and stopped the ball with his right hand.

Leicestershire wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien appealed before umpires Steve Gale and Russell Evans came together and Dickson was sent on his way.

Dickson is just the second Kent player and the first since George Bennett in 1872 to be dismissed handling the ball.

Incredibly, the most recent incident of handling the ball in first-class cricket also came against Leicestershire, Indian Cheteshwar Pujara dismissed in that fashion playing for Derbyshire two years ago.

There have been 59 previous incidents of a batsman being given out handling the ball in first-class cricket, the first of which was James Grundy, who suffered the fate while playing for the MCC against Kent in 1857. 

It's occurred only 10 times at international level and only thrice this century at the highest level; Australia's Steve Waugh in a Test against India in Chennai in 2001, England's Michael Vaughan also in a Test against India in 2001 and most recently Zimbabwe's Chamu Chibhabha in a one-day match against Afghanistan late last year.

To his credit, Vaughan was able to see the lighter side of welcoming a new member to one of the most exclusive clubs in world cricket.