Cricket Rules – 42 rules of cricket that govern the game

Cricket rules

Cricket has been around for centuries and is beloved by millions worldwide. As with any sport, some rules govern the game and ensure that it is played fairly and safely. These rules are known as the 42 rules of cricket, providing the framework for the game to be enjoyed by everyone. This blog post will look at the 42 cricket rules and discuss how they work together to make cricket the game we know and love.

The Law of Cricket – 42 Cricket Rules

Cricket laws describe a set of guidelines that specify the game’s rules to be adhered to globally. This original code, drawn up in 1744, was cared for by the Marylebone Cricket Club in London.

42 Laws define how to play cricket, and they have been altered six times in the past. The latest changes were made in October 2017. In the first six years before 2017, all six codes were subject to interim revisions, so there are multiple versions. Today, we will discuss the new rules released in October 2017.

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Cricket rule 1: The Players

Two teams consisting of eleven players each can play cricket. Apart from the official international matches, the competing teams can decide to have more than or less than eleven players per side. But at no point can more than eleven players be on the field.

Cricket rule 2: The Umpires

Two on-field umpires govern the official cricket matches. They apply the rules and make the on-field decisions about scores. They also have to inform or signal the scorer about the change ins cores. At the international level, there is a third umpire, whose primary task is to assist the on-field umpires in decision-making. He has access to high-resolution cameras and slow motions to make decisions.

Cricket rule 3: The Scorers

There are two scorers in every official cricket match. Their task is to maintain the scores, as the umpires signaled accurately. They are not supposed to follow their own opinions about the on-field action.

Cricket rule 4: The Ball

In cricket, the ball’s circumference can vary between 8.81 to 9 inches (22.4cm- 22.9cm), and it is approximately 5.5 to 5.75 ounces (155.9g- 163g). Smaller and lighter balls are specified for women’s and junior cricket. Unless the ball is lost, only one ball is at play. The critical point is that it is replaced with a similar ball, not a new one.

After a minimum allotted number of overs have been bowled (currently 80 in Test matches) as prescribed by the regulations applicable to the match, the ball may be changed with a new ball at the request of the fielding side. A vital part of the game is the gradual degradation of the ball throughout the innings.

Cricket ball rules

Cricket rule 5: The Bat

A bat can be up to 38 inches long, 4.25 inches wide, 2.64 inches deep at the center, and 1.56 inches deep at the edges. A bat’s hand or glove is considered part of it. The Laws have decreed that the bat’s blade must be made of wood since the Combat incident in which Dennis Lillie brought out an aluminum bat.

Cricket rule 6: The Pitch

The pitch is a rectangular area on the ground 22 yards long and 10 feet wide, selected and prepared by the Ground Authority, but the umpires then control its use. A pitch must be fit for play; if it is not, the umpires can change it with the consent of both captains. Professional cricket is usually played on grass. For non-turf pitches, the artificial surface must be at least 58 ft (17.68 m) long and 6 ft (1.83 m) wide.

Take a look at the list of the world’s largest cricket stadiums.

Cricket rule 7: The Creases

This law dictates where and how the lines should be positioned. In cricket, the pitch is used for determining the line for bowling creases. It is vital because the pitch determines what areas are allowed for scoring as well as for determining the point from which each bowling pitch starts. It is recommended that each bowling crease be 8 feet 8 inches (2.64 m) long, centered on the middle stump at each end, with the bowling creases terminating at one of the return creases.

Popping Crease

A popping crease is made at each end of the pitch in front of the stumps to determine whether a batsman is on his ground. It is necessary to place the popping crease 4 feet away from and parallel to the bowling crease. Even though the popping crease has no restrictions as to length, it must be drawn at least 6 feet (1.83 meters) on either side of the imaginary line connecting the middle stumps.

Return Crease

Return creases are lines drawn along each side of each set of stumps along the pitch (so there are four return creases in total, one on either side of each set of stumps). Four feet four inches (1.32 meters) on either side of and parallel to the imagined line connecting the centers of the middle stumps. The return creases lie at ninety degrees angle from the popping crease and the bowling crease. A return crease terminates at one end at the popping crease; the other must be marked until it reaches a minimum distance of eight feet (2.44 m) from the popping crease.

Cricket rule 8: The Wickets

Three 28-inch (71.12 cm) tall wood stumps line the bowling crease, having equal distances between each stump. The wickets are positioned 9 inches (22.86 cm) wide. For men’s cricket, the wooden bails must not exceed 4.31 inches (10.95 cm) in length and cannot project more than 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) above the stumps. In junior cricket, wickets and bails are specified differently. If windy conditions are present, umpires may dispense with the bails.

Cricket rule 9: Pitch preparation and maintenance

Maintaining the pitch is essential to ensuring a fair and competitive game of cricket. As such, the Laws of Cricket outline specific rules for the preparation and upkeep of the pitch. In cricket, the ball always bounces on the pitch, and the condition of the pitch significantly impacts the ball’s behavior. As a result, detailed rules on pitch management are required.

This law lays down a set of rules for which pitches are prepared, mowed, rolled, and maintained during a match. For instance, the grass on the pitch must be kept at an even length, and the surface must not be watered excessively or overly hardpacked. If these conditions are not satisfied, then the playing conditions may be deemed unfair or dangerous, leading to potential disciplinary action from the match officials.

Cricket rule 10: Pitch cover

It is said that the pitch is covered when the groundskeeper’s place covers on it to protect it from rain and dew. The Laws stipulate that the pitch cover regulations shall be agreed to in advance by both the playing captains. As a ball bounces differently on wet ground than on dry ground, the decision regarding whether to cover the pitch greatly affects how it reacts to it. A bowler’s run-up (the area beyond the pitch where he delivers the ball) should be kept dry to prevent injuries from slipping and falling, and the Laws also require these areas to be covered when it’s wet.

Cricket Pitch rules

Cricket rule 11: The intervals

Each day there are pauses of various lengths; a ten-minute break between each inning and a break at noon, afternoon tea, and the end of a day’s play for refreshments. There is prearranged time to take food and drink breaks, depending on how long a team’s been batting and the time elapsed in the match.

Cricket rule 12: The start of the play

A game will begin with the umpire’s call of play and end with a call of time. The last hour of a game needs to include at least 20 overs and is extended as long as there are at least 20 overs, as required.

Cricket rule 13: The innings

Both the teams agree before the game whether there should be one or two innings per side and whether the innings should be time or over-limited. More likely, these decisions will be made by Competition Regulations rather than pre-game agreements. In two-inning games, the sides bat alternately unless the follow-on is enforced. If all batsmen have been dismissed, no more batsmen are available, or the batting captain declares or forfeits an inning, the innings is closed.

Cricket rule 14: The Follow-On

If it is a two-inning match, and the team batting second scores noticeably fewer runs, the team that batted first can enforce a follow-on. The advantage of implementing it is that the team that batted first can win the match without batting again. In test match cricket (5 days match), the gap between the runs scored by the two teams should be a minimum of 200 to enforce the follow-on.

Cricket rule 15: Declaration of an innings

The batting team’s captain can declare the innings whenever s/he deems fit when the ball is dead. In the same way, s/he can forfeit any innings before it has started.

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Cricket rule 16: Result of the match

Cricket works simply because the team that hits more runs wins the match. The match is tied if both teams end up with the same score. There is another scenario in which the time runs out before completing both innings. In such a case, the match is adjudged as a draw.

Cricket rule 17: The over

The cover is one of the most critical rules in cricket, with each bowler being allowed to bowl a maximum of six consecutive deliveries, leaving wide balls and no-balls aside. Two different ballers ball overs from opposite ends of the pitch. It helps maintain a consistent flow of the game and also helps ensure that teams cannot exploit a weak bowling attack.

In addition, the over provides an opportunity for batsmen to practice their skills, as they can attempt to score runs against any particular bowler. By enforcing the rule of six deliveries per over, cricket maintains its unique flavor and intensity.

Cricket rule 18: Runs scoring

A run is scored when the two batters’ change ends. Theoretically, the batsmen can make several runs from a single legitimate delivery.

Cricket rule 19: Boundaries

A boundary is marked around the cricket ground, and the bowling team endeavors to keep the ball within the boundary. Four runs are credited to the batting team if the ball goes over the boundary after one or multiple bounces. But if it crosses the boundary without hitting the ground, then six runs are awarded.

Cricket rule 20: Dead ball

The play begins when the baller starts his run-up. When all the possible action comes to an end, the ball is considered to be dead. The critical point is that once the ball is declared dead, no run can be scored, and the batsman cannot be adjudged out. There can be several reasons, but the primary among them are:

  • When the batsman is out.
  • When the ball has been hit for a four or a six
  • A fielder, wicketkeeper, or bowler has caught it.

Cricket rule 21: No ball

The umpire can adjudge a no-ball for several reasons, namely if the bowler oversteps the bowling crease, delivers the ball with an illegal action on more than permissible bending at the elbow, if the ball rolls over to the batsman, or is dangerous for the batsman to play. When the umpire declares a no-ball, one run is added to the batting team’s total, and the bowler is expected to ball an additional delivery to fulfill the quota of six balls in an over.

Cricket rule 22: Wide ball

The umpire can declare a delivery as a wide ball if they feel that it is too wide for a batsman to hit a proper cricketing short. Once a delivery is declared a wide ball, the baller is required to ball an extra ball, and one run is added to the batting team’s total. There are selected ways in which a batter can be adjudged out on a wide ball. The chief among them is stumping, hitting the wicket, running out, and obstructing the fielder.

Cricket rule 23: Byes and Leg Byes

If the ball runs through without touching the batsman when he tries to play a shot, it is called a bye. If the ball touches the batsman without the bat being involved, and it results in runs, it is called a leg bye. But if the batsman does not attempt a shot or makes no attempt to evade the delivery, leg byes cannot be scored. Runs scored of both byes and leg byes are credited to the batting team’s total, but they are not added to the individual tally of the batsman.

Leg bye - Extras in cricket

Cricket rule 24: Substitutes

The fielding team can bring in a substitute if the player on the team is injured or sick. However, the substitute fielder cannot bat, bowl, or captain the team. As soon as the player on the team recovers, they have to report on the ground.

Cricket rule 25: Runner

If the batsman is injured or sick and cannot run, then s/he may be allowed a runner but with the consent of the opposition captain. This system allows the batsman to continue batting while the runner runs. Current international Cricket Council rules discourage the use of a runner. The batsman can return to the field during the innings if and when he recovers.

Cricket rule 26: Practice on the field

There cannot be any batting or bowling practice on the pitch during the match days. It is only allowed on the practice pitches that are located on the side of the ground. The bowlers are permitted to take trial run-ups only if the umpires feel it won’t damage the playing field.

Cricket rule 27: The Wicketkeeper

The wicketkeeper is the fielder from the bowling team who stands behind the wickets and collects the ball once it has been delivered by the bowler (and not hit by the batsman). S/he is the only fielder who is allowed to wear gloves and put on leg pads while fielding.

Cricket rule 28: The Fielder

The fielder is anyone of the ten players of the bowling team (one being the bowler) positioned at different places in the cricketing field to stop runs or dismiss the batsman by catching or running him out. Apart from the bowler, there can be ten other fielders at any time.

Cricket rule 29: The fall of the wicket

A wicket is said to have fallen if it is hit by the ball when the batsman tries to play a shot, and one of the bails is displaced from its groves. If there is a situation where both the bails have already fallen and the attempt to dismiss a batsman is made, then one stump must be removed.

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Cricket rule 30: Batsman out of their ground

This cricket law covers the circumstances in which a batsman may be declared out of their ground. According to this law, a batter may be given out if they leave the crease without permission from the fielding side before the ball has been bowled. It includes leaving their ground to avoid being stumped, run out, or hit by the ball. This law is important as it helps ensure that all participants in the game abide by the rules, providing a fair chance for each side to win.

Cricket rule 31: Appeals for dismissing a batsman

One of the important ways of dismissing a batsman is through appeals. An appeal is made by a member of the fielding team to the umpire when they believe the batsman is out or has committed an act of unfair play. It could include Leg Before Wicket (LBW), caught behind the wicket, obstruction of the ball, being outside the crease, or playing a shot with the wrong hand. If the appeal is successful, the batsman must leave the field, and the fielding side is awarded one wicket.

Cricket rule 32: Bowled

This rule covers the situation when the batsman is bowled out. It happens when a bowler’s delivery hits the stumps of the wicket, knocking off the bails and leaving the batsman unable to continue batting. It is the ultimate display of a bowler’s skill and technique and usually marks the end of an inning.

Take a look at the two types of skill bowling – Doosra Ball and Chinaman bowling.

Cricket rule 33: Caught

Cricket is a sport of intricate rules and regulations, and the ‘Laws of Cricket’ play an integral role. One of these laws is that of a batsman being ‘caught out.’ It occurs when a fielder catches a ball hit by the batter before it touches the ground. It is a crucial part of cricket as it gives the fielding team a chance to gain control of the game. In addition, the umpire must make a judgment call to decide whether or not the catch was fair and valid.

Cricket rule 34: Hit the ball twice

A batter cannot hit the ball twice unless the fielder first touches it. This rule is in place to protect fielders from being targeted by the batsman. Additionally, it prevents situations where the bat or ball may injure a fielder after it has been struck twice by the batter. If the batsman is found guilty, the umpire can declare him out.

Cricket rule 35: Hit Wicket

It is one of the important rules of the game and ensures fairness. The rule states that when the bowler has entered his delivery stride, and the batsman knocks off the bails by touching the bat or any part of his clothes or equipment, he must be adjudged out. Interestingly, the batsman will also be declared out if he dislodges the bails with his clothes or equipment in setting off for a run.

Cricket rule 36: LBW

This law states that a batter is out when the ball strikes its leg pads, and the umpire believes they have obstructed it from hitting the stumps. It is essential that players and umpires alike understand the intricacies of this law to ensure fair play and justice. Before declaring a batsman out, the umpires have to decide whether the ball hit the pads in line with the stumps and if it was at a proper height.

Cricket rule 37: Obstructing the field

When playing cricket, it is important to know the rules regarding obstructing the field. A batter cannot wilfully obstruct a fielder by word or action. It means that if a fielder is attempting to take a catch, for example, and the batsman moves to impede their progress, it will be an obstruction. If a batsman is judged to have obstructed the field deliberately, they may be given out in addition to receiving an official warning or a fine. Additionally, the striker is out if the non-striker does something that prevents a catch.

Cricket rule 38: Run out

Runouts are a crucial part of cricket and a critical defensive tactic. According to the Laws of Cricket, a batter can be given out if they are out of their crease when the ball is in play. It can occur if the fielder catches the ball after it bounces and then breaks the wicket. The Laws of Cricket also state that a batsman cannot be run out if they are on their ground when the wicket is put down.

Cricket rule 39: Stumping

One of the important laws is batsmen stumping. According to law 39, if the wicketkeeper puts down the wicket with a ball in their hand while the batsman is not in the crease, the batsman is out for being stumped. The bowler gets the credit for a stumping, and the batsman is given out regardless of whether a run has been taken. Stumping can be an excellent way for bowlers to break up partnerships or gain an advantage during a match.

Cricket rule 40: Timed Out

Rule 40 states that if a batsman is not ready to take their guard within 3 minutes of the fall of the last wicket, the umpire shall call and signal ‘Timed Out.’ This rule ensures that the game does not become too slow and stagnant due to long delays between innings. As such, it is an important reminder for players to stay alert and attentive during the game. It also encourages sportsmanship from both teams by ensuring that the game progresses quickly and without unnecessary delays.

Cricket rule 41: Unfair Play

Unfair play outlines the types of behavior considered unsportsmanlike and punishable by umpires. This law addresses on-field conduct, such as running on the pitch, damaging the pitch, or deliberately distracting a batsman. It also covers off-field issues, such as ball tampering, bribing players to perform specific actions, or trying to alter the result of a match. The consequences for breaking this law vary depending on the severity of the offense and can include warnings, suspensions, or bans. Ultimately, it is up to the umpires to decide the appropriate punishment in any given situation.

Cricket rule 42: Players’ Conduct

Rule 42 of the laws governs the players’ conduct, stating that “the captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the spirit of the game as well as within the laws.” This means that all players must be respectful and considerate to one another and that dangerous or unsportsmanlike behavior will not be tolerated. It also means that captains are accountable for their team’s actions and can be held responsible if any rules are broken. By abiding by the spirit of cricket and its laws, players can ensure that the game remains a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

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Cricket Rules – Takeaway

  • The first law of cricket was established in 1744.
  • There are 42 laws of cricket.
  • There are 11 players on each team.
  • The ruling of the umpire is final
  • An over consists of 6 balls.
  • Some of the fouls in cricket include damaging the pitch, batsmen stealing the runs, illegal deliveries, and unfair bowling.

Cricket Rules – FAQs

What are the fundamental rules of cricket?

One of the fundamental rules of cricket is that there are always two teams and 22 players. Read this article to learn the 42 laws of cricket.

How do you score in cricket?

To score a run batter needs to strike the ball and run to the opposite end of the pitch while the other batter runs in the other direction.

What does 5 mean in cricket?

Generally, penalty runs are awarded five at a time.

What are extras in cricket?

Extras in cricket are a way of scoring runs other than hitting the ball with a bat. Read this article to learn about the types of extras in cricket.

How many players are there in Cricket?

In total, there are 22 players in cricket. Take a look at the roles and responsibilities of each player.

Who is the god of cricket?

Sachin Tendulkar is called the god of cricket.

Who is the king of cricket?

Virat Kohli is the king of cricket.

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