There are no official rules in cricket, but there are some things that most people agree on. These “laws” of the game apply to every part of the match, from changing ends to what happens when the clock runs out.
Many of these laws have been around for years and are generally accepted as being correct, even if they are not always enforced by umpires. Others are more recent innovations that seem to be growing in popularity.
This article will look at ten basic cricket laws and see whether they really do exist or not. Some will turn out to be false myths while others may be seen as outdated practices that should be left behind forever!
I will also take a closer look at why some of these laws are wrong and how professional cricketers manage them in matches. This article is written with someone who has never watched a cricket match before, so please bare with me as I try to make this as simple as possible.
The law is a statement of what is considered to be correct or incorrect behavior
In cricket, there are several laws that govern how the game should be played. These rules are usually described as “laws” but some people may refer to them as “guidelines” because they feel that not all members of the community agree on whether these things constitute a rule or not.
The most well known of these laws is when you bounce the ball more than twice off your foot before throwing it. This is referred to as “playing with the hands behind your back” and is strictly prohibited in almost every format of the sport.
Other examples include using the feet for batting (instead of the bat) and hitting underhand instead of over hand. All of these things are illegal unless specifically allowed by the rules.
There are two types of cricket laws
In cricket, there are two main categories of rules or laws-county laws and international laws. County laws apply only to domestic cricket leagues such as The Indian Premier League (IPL) and Australia’s KFC Big Bash League (BBL). International laws apply at all levels of the game — Test matches, one dayers, and Twenty20 contests.
Test match laws regulate things like how many balls each player is allowed per over, what kind of shots are legal (no fieldings with your feet), and how long a time limit you have to bowl an allotted number of balls. One dayer games have a different set of laws than twenty 20 games because they play for a shorter amount of time.
These short form cricket laws usually do not include any restrictions on how many balls an individual bowler can deliver in a given period of time.
The offside rule
The other major difference between soccer and cricket is what we call the in-field rules. In football, there are only two of these: the goal line and the half field line. Either one can be crossed by an attacker for a touchdown, or a defender needs to be at least 2 yards away before they can do this.
In cricket, however, there are several more! These include the forward defensive boundary (the FDB), backward defensive boundary (the BDB), and the halfway mark. An example of the last would be when a bowler bowls a ball that goes over the batsman’s head, so it becomes a run out situation.
The Aussie term for this is “overhead” but you don’t need to know their language to understand why it matters. It does! Because if the batter makes no attempt to catch the ball as it rolls past his feet, then he will not get credit for a run out, nor will he earn a bye due to being too close to the next bowler. This is called encroaching and results in a free hit for the batting side.
This brings us to our next topic…does cricket have laws? Yes, it most definitely has! And just like any game with rules, people tend to debate them sometimes heavily and even create new terms for them.
The onside rule
The onside rule is one of the trickiest in all of cricket. It seems very simple, but getting it wrong can be disastrous!
The onside rule states that if the ball goes out of bounds (off the field) with the batsman still trying to run down the pitch, then his team will get a new chance to go at the batting side for a goal from anywhere behind the baseline.
This happens when the bowler bowls a bad delivery or the fielder misses an easy catch. When this happens, the umpire calls what is known as an “onside” decision.
If you are thinking that this sounds like the same thing as a throw-in, you would be right! A throw-in occurs when the defending team puts the ball into play by throwing it. An onside decision does not require a throw, so make sure you know the difference!
There is no hard and fast rule about how long the batsmen have before they must begin their run, but most coaches suggest keeping your feet moving while you wait. This helps you time the rush better!
Once the batter has enough time to prepare for the run, he can choose to stop or keep running. If he chooses to stay and watch the ball, he may be able to save some runs by making a more solid hit.
A leg side boundary is any ball that bounces off the back of the field, behind the last player’s feet and in between both goal lines. It can be hit by either team!
The ICC has some rules about how many balls constitute an over but they don’t include anything about leg side boundaries. This may seem odd because it happens quite frequently during a match.
However, there is one rule that does apply to leg side boundaries – if the scoring team manages to get 5 runs from a single bounce of the ball then their innings must be stopped and a new batting powerplay given.
This happened during a recent Test match where England were playing Australia at The Oval. In this situation, when the Australians scored 4 runs after hitting the ball just once it was deemed too close for regulation and so a Power Play took place.
A leg-side run can be intercepted if the fielder is able to reach it with his hands before it touches the ground. This is considered a legal “catch” because it stops the ball moving forward, and thus preventing a score of runs.
When performing a leg-side catch, you should not pull your foot back too quickly as this could result in injury to yourself or the player at fault. When they try to go past you, they may trip over your feet. You can also use your hand to stop it rolling away more slowly than just using your feet.
The umpire will check whether or not the batsman was trying to avoid being hit by the ball and if he wasn’t then he will award a penalty run (one extra base per batter) unless he calls an illegal throw which would start a new innings.
Football has some very specific laws that govern how players must behave during a game. The same goes for rugby! Whilst cricket does not have explicit rules about throwing or striking an opponent, there are certain actions that are clearly wrong.
Throwing the ball towards the field of play is called obstruction, deliberately hitting someone else while playing is brawling and anything beyond the boundary line is a goal kick. If these things occur then the offending team will receive two additional points after each time out, making their total bonus five instead of three.
In cricket, a run out happens when your team cannot field safely without you going after the ball. It is typically done through poor fielding by the other side or due to an error made by yourself as a player.
Once you go for the ball, you have officially lost the race to it and are considered out. The fielder may try to stop you with his/her hands or body, but you must keep trying to reach the ball.
If a batsman scores while you are running down the pitch, this will not result in them being awarded a penalty run, because there are no rules against that.
A drop ball happens when the fielders converge to catch a bowler’s throw, and then fail to do so before he runs off the pitch with the bat in hand. It is up to the batsman whether to take his run or not, but if he does it will result in a penalty shot for the fielding side. The batting team can choose to retry or forfeit depending on how close they were to victory!
The laws of cricket don’t specify what must be done after a drop ball, but most referees use their own personal interpretations of them.
Some say that once a fielder catches the ball, he has ‘control’ of it until he throws it away, at which point it becomes un-fielded again. This means that he cannot simply walk off the pitch without conceding a goal.
Others believe that instead of throwing the ball immediately, the fielder must perform an action called taking aim. Only once he has taken this aim does he have control over the ball again, and thus allowed to go his separate way.