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CRICKET – Explanation and glossary of some cricketing terms

two men playing cricket



Leg bye – Maiden
over – Bouncer

Game or Fantasy?


I don’t profess to know the first
thing about cricket, but then that is the whole purpose of this page.  A small
insight into the world of cricket.


is a bat and ball team game with elaborate laws and traditions, certainly played in
England before the end of the sixteenth century and now popular throughout the world.

It is played by two teams of eleven players on a
field of unspecified size.  Two three stump wickets are set 22 yards apart on a
pitch.  “Creases” are marked with white lines to help determine a fair
delivery by the bowler and the successful completion of a run by the batsmen.

The ball is hard (usually made of cork and twine,
encased in leather in two halves with a central seam around the circumference.  This
circumference must be between 224mm and 229mm (8.81 ins to 9ins) and the weight must be
between 156 gms and 163 gms (5.5oz to 5.75oz).  It is usually red in colour, however,
occasionally white is used.

All rounder
describes a player who is good at all aspects of the game i.e. batting, bowling and

are the two pieces of wood placed on top of the three vertical stumps to form the wicket.

– hitting the ball with a bat.

refers to a fast, short pitched ball which is aimed at the upper half of the batsman.


as this implies, it is the edge of the playing area which can be marked by a white line,
rope or fence.  It is also the name given when the ball is hit outside this area
without touching the playing area first.

– dismissal of batsman when the ball knocks the bails off the stumps.

– throwing the ball.

Bowling Crease
refers to a painted line, 8ft. 8ins. / 2.64m in length extending on both sides of the
wicket behind which the bowler delivers the ball.

is a run scored from a ball which passes the batsman without touching his bat or body.

Carrying one’s bat

is a term given to an opening batsman (i.e. the first batsman in) who remains unbeaten
throughout the innings.

– one hundred runs scored by a batsman in one innings.

is a painted line within which the bowler must bowl and at which the opposing batsman

is when a batsman fails to score any runs.

is a run which is added to the total but not credited to the batsman.

– retrieving the ball and returning to the bowler.  The side not batting do the

  A side which bats first and leads by a set number of runs after both teams have
played their first innings has the option of making the opposing team bat again before
they do.

Full toss

  A bowled ball which does not bounce before reaching the batsman.

– the fielding position between point and slips.

  Three wickets taken with three consecutive balls by the same bowler.


  The part of the game in which the side is batting.

  A ball which moves in flight from off to leg stump.

Leg before wicket
when it is considered that a bowled ball would have hit the wicket
(i.e. stumps) had it not hit the batsman’s body or clothes first.  The cricketer is
dismissed from the field.


  A run obtained from a ball that hit a part of the batsman’s body apart from his

Leg slip
– a fielder positioned to catch a ball glancing off the bat to the leg side behind the

Leg spin.
A bowled ball which spins in such a way as to deviate from the leg side after bouncing.

Leg stump
– the stump on the leg side.

Leg theory
– bowling to leg with fielders massed on that side.

Leg trap
– a group of fielders near the wicket on the leg side.

Maiden over
– an over from which no runs are scored.

is a lower order batsman sent in to play when a wicket falls just before close of play.

No Ball

  A ball incorrectly bowled for which a penalty of one run is awarded.  No Ball
can be caused by a variety of reasons.

refers to a period of play.  In First Class cricket in Britain this currently
comprises six consecutive deliveries by one bowler from one end of the pitch.

– the area between the creases.


a fielder or the position, on the off side near the batsman.


  This is the method of scoring. Each time the batsmen run between the two wickets
one run is scored.

a member of the batting side who is allowed to run for a batsman who is injured during
the match.
  He must be equipped in the same way as the batsman for whom he is


  When a batsman is running between the wickets but does not reach the crease before
the ball touches the stumps.  This batsmen is then dismissed.

  The approach by the bowler before the ball leaves his hands.


  The stitching around the circumference of the ball.


  This is a removable screen (usually white) placed beyond the boundary behind the
bowler to give the batsman a better view of the ball.

is one run by a batsman.


a fielder positioned to retrieve balls glancing off the bat to the offside.

  A method of dismissal by the wicket keeper when the batsman is outside his crease
and the ball touches the stumps.

are wooden uprights (of which there are three) on which the bails are balanced to form the

– three wooden posts (stumps) 28″ (710mm) high and placed so as to total 9 ins.
(230mm) wide, on top of which are placed two wooden bails. Two wickets are used, one each
end of the pitch 22 yards (20.1m) apart.

– a ball bowled so high over or wide of the wicket that, in the opinion of the umpire, it
is out of the reach of the batsman.  A penalty of one run is invoked.

– a ball bowled so that it pitches under the bat.