The leg before wicket (lbw) law is to cricket what the offside rule is to football - confusing.
However, you do not need a PhD from Oxford or Cambridge University to work it out - just this simple guide.
The umpire will consider an lbw decision if he believes the ball would have hit the stumps had it not been obstructed by the batsman's pads.
But the umpire also has to take other factors into consideration.
THE BATSMAN IS NOT OUT...
If the ball pitches outside the line of leg stump, regardless of whether or not the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps.
If the ball hits the bat before striking the pad.
If the batsman is struck on the pad outside the line of off stump having made a genuine attempt to hit the ball.
If the bowler bowls a no-ball.
One of the most important rules when making an lbw decision is a batsman CANNOT be given out if the ball pitches outside leg stump. It does not matter if the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps, it cannot be given out.
Often an lbw decision looks out at first glance, but TV replays showed the ball pitched outside leg stump, even though it would have struck middle stump.
THE BATSMAN IS OUT...
If the batsman is struck on the pad in front of the stumps and the ball has not pitched outside leg stump (ie the ball has pitched in line with the stumps, or outside the line of off stump).
If the batsman is struck on the pad outside the line of off stump having not made an attempt to hit the ball.
This is an important part of the lbw law to remember as a batsman CAN be given out playing no stroke - even if they are struck outside the line of the off stump - as long as the ball is going on to hit the stumps.
A batsman can still be given out lbw even if the ball has not hit their pads.
For example, a batsman can be given out lbw if they have been hit on the helmet.