This week, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common cricket rules. We will go through each rule clearly and simply so that you can easily compare them with other versions. Some of these are very familiar while others may not be!
Many people who have never watched a cricket match become confused by certain laws and how they are interpreted. The law in question often seems ambiguous or even subjective depending on what person or organization is interpreting it.
That’s why we will only include legitimate, published interpretations of these laws. There might be slight differences in wording between different sources but the meaning will remain the same!
By having a clear understanding of the laws, you will know if your action violates one or more of them. That could potentially end the game because someone would need to protest your behavior before play can continue.
Cricket is a pretty light-hearted game though, so usually everyone agrees to accept the consequences of the violation instead of calling for a time out or an early stoppage.
Definition of onside
The term onside comes from field hockey, where it refers to the position of the ball being in or out of bounds. In cricket, it means only that part of the field is out of play. For instance, if the batsman hits the ball over the boundary line, then he has run out himself by hitting into the field. If the fielder touches the ball with his hands before it goes out of bounds, then he will get a quick throw-in instead!
That doesn’t mean, however, that he can’t try to chase down the player who threw the ball away. It’s just that he must do so within six yards (five meters) of the throwing side. This is called a forward run, and it gives the batter time to return to base safely.
If you ever see the ball go off the pitch after someone throws it away, then immediately stand about five feet (one meter) beyond the edge of the playing surface and wait for players to come back onto the turf. That way they won’t be able to take advantage of the lost opportunity either.
Definition of backward defensive push
There is another type of stop which can sometimes occur when fielding positions are close together. When this happens, one defender may choose to step backwards rather than forwards towards the incoming bat or ball.
Definition of straight
A cricket ball is said to be “in-line” when it bounces in a very short, quick time. When this happens, we say that it has gone straight or hit the bat hard. This does not necessarily mean that the batsman made a good play though!
A batted ball can go either way depending on how well your batting team defends the other side’s shots. If the bowler bowls with control then a lot of balls will go down the pitch and into gaps where only the batter can run. Or if he bowls without control then many times the ball will bounce high and the striker needs to make a choice whether to try to hit it again or let it drop down a gap.
If you are able to defend a bad shot by letting it fall then great! But if you feel that there could have been more success if you tried to hit it then you should consider going back and changing positions or stepping out.
Definition of wide
A wider leg is when one foot is at a 90 degree angle to the other, with both feet in the air. The batter has not advanced past the forward defensive position. This is called a “wide” or a “defensive backstep”.
It is illegal for the fielding team to run down the ball before it touches the ground unless the batsman hits it hard enough that it goes out of control, or he uses his legs in an attempt to keep it alive. In these cases, the umpire will call him for running outside your off-stump.
This is because by doing so you have given your opponent too much time and space to hit the ball cleanly. If they are able to then they can more easily score a goal or drop a catch, which would negate the very purpose of the game!
Running between the wickets is also referred to as a short pass. It is legal if done properly but only if there is no chance of catching the ball before it reaches the fielders.
Definition of close
A catch is considered to be “close” when it appears that there was no chance of the ball going down in the field of play with it being caught, or if the fielder had little time to react before the wicket-keeper got his hand onto the bouncing ball.
In these cases, we count it as a “man’s man” effort, and therefore not worthy of an extra try. It also depends on what kind of season you are having! If the game is very one sided then perhaps using this rule would help give your team some momentum.
However, most cricket matches have enough drama and action for this rule to not apply.
Definition of fair
A fair ball is one that bounces or is thrown by an arm of the fielder. It can be hit with ease, or bounced more than once. A direct free-hit may result in a run for your team!
A dropped catch does not constitute as a foul unless it is deliberate. If the fielder drops the ball but there was no dive, then only a warning will be given to him/her. For a close call, the umpire may choose to give either a penalty shot or a drop.
The term “fair” applies to all types of cricket shots; batting balls, bowling balls, fielding positions, etc. The word has become very popular due to the use of technology and computer programs such as CricketXML, which have made it possible to track every single play of the game.
Definition of no-ball
A No-Ball is when the umpire calls out an error or violation of the rules of cricket. These are usually called during the game, but some may happen at the beginning to set the tone for the match. Some examples of things that can get you a no ball include bouncing the pitch more than once, stepping onto the field with your foot before the crease is clear, too many steps into the ground while the batter is preparing to run, and so on.
The type of pitch will also play a factor in whether it is called a no ball. If the bounce is very high then it could be considered illegal, as could if there was water on the surface which might prevent the bat from sticking. The same goes for if the pitch has dried up slightly and there is not enough grass left to hold the shape.
This does not mean that if these things happened early in the game that the player would automatically lose the next few balls though! It just means they would have to start again until they got the hang of the laws better.
Definition of DRS
The Decision Review System (DRS) was first implemented in 2007 as an extra tool for umpires to use when reviewing close calls or potential fouls. Since then, it has grown into one of the most talked about features of cricket.
The system works by having two people – either from the same team or the other side – review a decision made during play. They have up to twenty-four hours to make their call before a ruling is finalised.
If they agree that the original call should be upheld, then no change is made to the result of the game. But if they think the player deserved a penalty or red card, they will introduce a new rule which gives them the right to take a quick count after the ball event.
This is done via a small box positioned next to the stumps where each member puts down their hand according to whether the offence happened and what action should be taken against the offender.
After both members have put down their hands, the umpire makes his decision depending on who’s palm is covered with theirs. By doing this, the rules say he cannot overrule their choice unless they withdraw their vote.
How to become a cricket expert
There is always something happening in a game of cricket. Whether it’s an over that goes for three balls or a player who makes a spectacular catch, there are lots of exciting moments to watch.
By now you have probably watched some games and can easily tell which players like Michael Hussey or Steve Smith enjoy going hard at a ball and which ones seem to play without any real intensity.
This may be because they have learned how to control their emotions, but it could also be due to them not knowing the rules of the sport properly.
So here we will go through all the different types of shot and what your role as a fan is!
Become more knowledgeable about the laws of the game
There are several ways to gain knowledge about the Laws of Cricket. You do not need to know everything about every rule, just understand the basics so you can help out referees, decide whether a call was correct and recognize potential offences.
Some people already have extensive knowledge of the game and are sharing it with others, making it easier to get started.