Rules of Cricket


Getting Out

In baseball, the event of a batter getting out is called an out. In cricket, the event of a batsman getting out is called a wicket.
First, necessary definitions: Technically, whenever the members of the fielding team think a batsman is out, they must appeal to an umpire to make the ruling that he is out. In practice, this is only used for cases which are not obvious to everyone. Bowled is almost always obvious and caught is usually obvious; when these are obvious the batsman will simply walk off the field. Other methods usually or always require an appeal, and the batsman will wait for the decision of the umpire. If the fielding team neglects to appeal to an umpire for a non-obvious decision, the umpire will not make any ruling at all, and the batsman is not out by default.

Extra Detail: It is against the spirit of the game to appeal while knowing that the batsman is not out; for example, pretending to have caught a catch when the ball actually touched the ground. Players found guilty of breaching this deliberately can be penalised by the match referee.

The Ten Methods of Getting Out

There are ten methods of getting out.

Extra Detail: The first five methods occur commonly, and make up perhaps 99% of all wickets. The next two are quite rare. The last three methods almost never occur.
In baseball, the strike zone, at which the pitcher must aim to strike out a batter, is 17 inches wide. In cricket, the wicket, at which the bowler must aim to bowl out the batsman, is 9 inches wide.

1. Bowled

If the bowler bowls a ball at the batsman and: the batsman is out bowled. The batsman is out whether or not he is behind his popping crease. He is also out if the ball breaks the wicket after deflecting from his bat or body. The batsman is not out if the wicket does not break.
In baseball, you catch balls on the fly. In cricket, you catch balls on the full.
In baseball, the ball must visibly deviate from the bat for the batter to be out caught. In cricket, you are out caught so long as the umpire is convinced the ball touched the bat at all, possibly only on audible cues.

2. Caught

If the bowler bowls a ball at the batsman and: the batsman is out caught.

Extra Detail: If a fielder catches the ball, but touches the boundary or anything beyond it while still touching the ball, then the batsman is not out and scores a six. If a fielder catches the ball after it has bounced off a wicket, player, or umpire, the batsman is out. If the ball has bounced off any form of protective gear worn by a fielder, such as a helmet or shinguard, the batsman is not out.

3. Leg Before Wicket (LBW)

In baseball, if the batter is hit by a pitch, he walks. Batters are rarely hit by pitches. In cricket, if the batsman is hit by a ball, he may be given out LBW, but usually nothing happens. Batsmen are frequently hit by balls.
If the bowler bowls a ball at the batsman and: the batsman is out leg before wicket (LBW).

4. Stumped

If the bowler bowls a ball at the batsman and: the batsman is out stumped.

5. Run Out

In baseball, you can tag out a runner between bases by touching him with the ball. In cricket, to get a runner out between the wickets you hit the wicket with the ball.
If the ball is live and: the batsman is out run out.

Extra Detail: The fielder may break the wicket by either:

It is possible for the non-striker to be run out if the striker hits the ball straight down the pitch towards the non-striker's wicket, and the bowler deflects the ball on to the wicket while the non-striker is out of his crease. If the ball is hit directly on to the non-striker's wicket, without being touched by a fielder, then the non-striker is not out. Note that the ball is live while the bowler is running up to bowl, so if the non-striker leaves his crease (in preparation to run) while the bowler is running up, the bowler may run him out without bowling the ball. Batsmen cannot be run out while the ball is dead - so they may confer in the middle of the pitch between balls if they desire.

6. Hit Wicket

If the bowler bowls a ball at the batsman and: the batsman is out hit wicket.

Extra Detail: The bat or other equipment does not need to be touching the batsmen when it breaks the wicket. If the batsman loses his grip on his bat, or his helmet falls off, and either break the wicket, the batsman is out. The batsman can break the wicket when either turning for another run or completing a run - that is not out.

7. Handled The Ball

If, at any time: the batsman is out handled the ball.

8. Obstructing The Field

If: the striking batsman is out obstructing the field.

If the ball is live and:

that batsman is out obstructing the field.

Extra Detail: Note that deliberately running a path between the wickets so that a fielder attempting to throw the ball at a wicket is obscured by the batsman's body is not considered obstructing the fielder, and the batsman in such a case is not out obstructing the field. Standing there and attempting to swat a thrown ball away is, however, obstructing the field.

9. Hit The Ball Twice

If the bowler bowls a ball at the batsman and: the batsman is out hit the ball twice.

Extra Detail: This means that if the ball has been hit and is bouncing around near the wicket, the batsman may hit the ball away to prevent being out bowled, without being out hit the ball twice. He may not, however, score runs from the second hit, other than overthrows.

10. Timed Out

If a batsman is out and: the new batsman is out timed out.

After a Wicket Falls

In baseball, the batting order must be communicated to the umpire before play and cannot be changed. In cricket, the batting order does not need to be communicated to anyone, and can be changed at any time for any reason.
In baseball, some games allow a designated hitter to bat in place of the pitcher, so the pitcher does not need to bat. In cricket, there is no designated hitter rule. All the bowlers must bat.
When a wicket falls (i.e. when a batsman is out), the out batsman leaves the field, and the next batsman in the team comes in to bat. The not out batsman remains on the field, at the wicket that was nearer to him than to the out batsman when the wicket fell. The order in which batsmen come in to bat in an innings is not fixed. The batting order may be changed by the team captain at any time, and the order does not have to be the same in each innings.

When ten batsmen are out, no new batsmen remain to come in, and the innings is completed with one batsman remaining not out.

Extra Detail: Crediting the Wicket

If a batsman is out bowled, caught, LBW, stumped, or hit wicket, then the bowler is credited with taking the wicket. No player is credited with taking a wicket if it falls by any other method.


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