Rules of Cricket


Extras

Extras are runs scored by means other than when a batsman hits the ball with his bat. Extras are not credited to any batsman, but count toward the team total for the current innings. Thus, the total number of runs for the innings is equal to the sum of the individual batsmen's scores plus the extras. There are four types of extras:

1. No Ball

A no ball is roughly analagous to a balk in baseball. If the pitcher balks, the batter is awarded a base. In cricket, if the bowler delivers a no ball, the batting team is awarded a run. No balls are, however, much more common than balks. 5-10 no balls per innings is common.
If the bowler bowls a ball at the batsman and either: the umpire will call "no ball" immediately in a loud voice and signal a no ball with his arm. The ball does not count as one of the six balls in the current over, and one run is credited to extras as a no ball. The batsman may hit the ball and score additional runs as usual, and may not be out by any means except:

2. Wide

A wide is roughly analagous to a wild pitch in baseball. If the pitcher throws a wild pitch, runners may advance, but at the risk of being thrown out. In cricket, if the bowler delivers a wide, the batting team is awarded a run automatically, without needing to run. Wides are somewhat more common than wild pitches. 1-5 wides per innings is common.
If the bowler bowls a ball at the batsman and: the umpire will signal a wide. The ball does not count as one of the six balls in the current over, and one run is credited to extras, as a wide.

3. Byes

A bye is very similar to a passed ball in baseball. If the ball passes the catcher, the runners may advance at the risk of being thrown out. In cricket, if the ball passes the wicket-keeper, the batsmen may take runs at the risk of being run out. Byes are slightly more common than passed balls. Most innings are completed without any byes being scored.
If the bowler bowls a ball at the batsman and: the batsmen may attempt to score runs by running between the wickets. Such runs are credited to extras as byes and the umpire will signal them as such.

Batsmen may be run out attempting to run byes, so if the wicket-keeper catches the ball they will not run unless they are desperate to score a run in the closing stages of a game and hoping the wicket-keeper will fumble the ball attempting a run out. Byes are much more commonly scored after the wicket-keeper fumbles or misses the ball entirely, allowing the batsmen a chance to run safely.

If the wicket-keeper misses the ball and it reaches the boundary, four byes are scored. If byes are scored off a no ball or wide, they are credited to extras as no balls or wides respectively, not as byes.

4. Leg Byes

Leg byes have no good analogue in baseball. If the batter is hit by the ball, it is usually considered the fault of the pitcher, and the batter is awarded a free base. In cricket, if the batsman is hit by the ball, it is considered a common consequence of attempting to hit the ball and failing. The only compensation is that the batsmen may still attempt to score leg byes, at the risk of being run out. Leg byes are the most common form of extra. 10-20 leg byes per innings is common.
If the bowler bowls a ball at the batsman and: the batsmen may attempt to score runs by running between the wickets. Such runs are credited to extras as leg byes and the umpire will signal them as such. Batsmen may be run out attempting to run leg byes. If the ball reaches the boundary, four leg byes are scored.

If, in the umpire's opinion, the striker did not attempt to hit the ball or evade being hit by the ball, the batsmen may not score leg byes. They may attempt to run, and may be run out, but when the runs are completed the umpire will signal dead ball. The runs are not scored and the batsmen must return to the wickets they were at before attempting to run.

Extra Detail: In recent years, some cricket commentators, ex-players, and even international umpires have expressed the opinion that leg byes should be abolished from cricket. Their reasoning is that the batsman has failed to hit the ball with the bat, and should therefore get no benefit at all. The popularity of this opinion has grown to the stage where it is an often-debated question amongst fans, but it still appears to be a minority opinion and there are no moves (yet) amongst the cricket establishment to experiment with changing the law.


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