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Cricket
Laws and Terms

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Laws
Terms
Fielding Positions
Umpires' signals

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Cricket: Laws and Terms

Laws

Number of ways of being out (includes Timed Out) Click to show or hide the answer
Runs scored if the ball hits a helmet or other piece of equipment on the field of play belonging to, but not being worn by, a member of the fielding side Click to show or hide the answer
Distance between the creases Click to show or hide the answer
Overs before a second new ball can be taken in Tests (previously 85) Click to show or hide the answer
Minimum 1st innings lead to enforce a follow–on, in Tests Click to show or hide the answer

Weight of the ball Click to show or hide the answer
Circumference of the ball Click to show or hide the answer
Maximum width of the bat Click to show or hide the answer
Maximum length of the bat Click to show or hide the answer
Height of the stumps Click to show or hide the answer
Width of the wicket Click to show or hide the answer
Length of each bail Click to show or hide the answer

Terms

Ball aimed (usually accidentally) at the batsman's head, without bouncing Click to show or hide the answer
Tactic used by England in Australia 1932–3, developed by Douglas Jardine at Nottinghamshire with bowlers Harold Larwood and Bill Voce – a development of leg theory, with faster, short–pitched deliveries; Jardine called it "fast leg theory" Click to show or hide the answer
A 'sack' is the Australian term for what's known everywhere else as a Click to show or hide the answer
Off–break bowled by a left–arm bowler Click to show or hide the answer
Invented by Saqlain Mushtaq, exploited to great effect by Muttiah Muralitharan; name is Urdu and Hindi for "the second one" or "the other one" Click to show or hide the answer
Being out first ball Click to show or hide the answer
Known in Australia as a Bosie (after its inventor) Click to show or hide the answer
Given in the 19th century to a bowler who took three wickets with consecutive balls Click to show or hide the answer
Fruity term used for a practically unplayable delivery (also known as a 'corker') Click to show or hide the answer
Tactic of bowling at the leg stump (a forerunner of bodyline) – used successfully by Barnes and Foster for England in Australia, 1911–12 Click to show or hide the answer
111 runs, for a side or a batsman – considered unlucky (especially in the English game), probably because it looks like the wicket with the bails removed Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Lower–order batsman who comes in following the fall of a wicket late in the day, rather than risking the wicket of a more capable batsman Click to show or hide the answer
Fielding side attempting to influence the umpires or undermine the batsmen's confidence Click to show or hide the answer
Australian term for extras Click to show or hide the answer

Used to determine the result of rain–affected games in limited–overs cricket; named after its inventors (two English statisticians); first used in 1996–7, officially adopted by the ICC in 2001 Click to show or hide the answer
Took over as custodian of the Duckworth–Lewis method (his name being added to its name) in November 2014, following the respective retirements of Messrs. Duckworth and Lewis Click to show or hide the answer

Fielding positions

Cricket fielding positions are best described with the aid of a diagram; but this website prefers to use words wherever possible. If the following descriptions leave you none the wiser, I recommend the BBC's guide (which does include diagrams).

If you're still none the wiser, my advice would be just to memorise the names of the positions and not to worry too much about the descriptions. You'll rarely be asked anything other than something like "In which sport might you stand at silly point?"

The side of the field on which the batsman holds his bat Click to show or hide the answer
The side of the field that the batsman's back side tends to point towards Click to show or hide the answer

The leg side is less commonly referred to as the on side.

Behind the wicket, on the off side, only slightly further from the bat than the wicket–keeper Click to show or hide the answer

There may be several slips, standing so as to form an arc – typically three or four if a fast bowler is on, but on rare occasions there may be as many as five or six. The one nearest the wicket–keeper is first slip, the next is second slip, and so on. For a slow bowler there's rarely more than one slip – often none at all.

Behind the wicket, on the leg side, only slightly further from the bat than the wicket–keeper Click to show or hide the answer

Leg slip is much less commonly used than slip, and there's rarely more than one.

Wide of the slips, only slightly behind the wicket (between slips and point) Click to show or hide the answer

There may occasionally be two gullies.

Behind the wicket, on the off side, closer to the boundary (behind the slips – or where the slips would be (not often used if there are slips in place) Click to show or hide the answer
Behind the wicket, on the leg side, closer to the boundary Click to show or hide the answer
5 to 10 yards beyond the non–striker's wicket, on the off side – where the captain often fields, so that he's close to the bowler and can discuss tactics with him Click to show or hide the answer
Near the boundary, beyond the non–striker's wicket, on the off side Click to show or hide the answer

The equivalent positions on the leg side are called mid–on and long–on.

In front of the bat, on the off side, but close in (less than about 20 yards from the bat) Click to show or hide the answer
Square of the batting crease, on the off side Click to show or hide the answer
Very close to the bat, on the off side, slightly forward of square Click to show or hide the answer
Square of the batting crease, on the leg side Click to show or hide the answer
Very close to the bat, on the leg side, slightly forward of square (opposite silly point) Click to show or hide the answer
Between point and mid–off (i.e. on the off side, typically around 40 degrees in front of the bat) – covering the drive, and calling for good fielding skills Click to show or hide the answer
Between point and cover Click to show or hide the answer
Between cover and mid–off Click to show or hide the answer
Between square leg and mid–on (i.e. on the leg side, typically around 40 degrees in front of the bat) Click to show or hide the answer

Some positions – most commonly third man, fine leg, square leg and extra cover – can be modified with "short" if they're closer to the bat than normal, or "deep" if they're closer to the boundary than normal.

As will be obvious if you count the number of positions I've listed, not all of these can be used at the same time.

The collective placings of all nine fielders (not including the bowler and the wicket–keeper) is known as the field setting. There's no such thing as a standard field setting, but a typical one may be three slips, one gully, cover, mid–off, mid–wicket, square leg, and fine leg. Note that this is six fielders on the off side and only three on the leg.

Umpires' signals

One arm raised, with the index finger pointing upwards Click to show or hide the answer
One arm waved from side to side, finishing across the chest Click to show or hide the answer
Both arms raised above the head Click to show or hide the answer
One arm raised horizontally (at shoulder height, sideways) Click to show or hide the answer
Both arms outstretched horizontally Click to show or hide the answer
One arm raised above the head Click to show or hide the answer
Raising one leg and tapping the knee Click to show or hide the answer
Raising the ball in one hand (showing it to the batsman) Click to show or hide the answer
Tapping the shoulder with the hand of the same arm Click to show or hide the answer
Crossing the wrists below the knee Click to show or hide the answer
Drawing a square in the air Click to show or hide the answer
Bringing one arm across the chest and touching the opposite shoulder Click to show or hide the answer
Pointing to his wristwatch (late in the day) Click to show or hide the answer
Touching each shoulder with the opposite hand Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017