Extras in Cricket: 4 Types That Could Cost Runs

What are extras in cricket

Cricket is a game of runs and wickets, and specific rules govern this game. It has a vast concept with many different impressions, and “Extras” are one such concept in cricket’s comprehensive rule book. But what are extras in cricket? In simple terms, extras in cricket are an integral part of the game and can undoubtedly assist a batting team in increasing their total runs.

In this article, we dig deeper to define what extras are in cricket. We also discuss types of extras in cricket with examples from popular games.

What are extras in cricket?

In cricket, extras are ways of scoring runs other than by hitting the ball with a bat. Extras are not credited to any batsman but are added to the team total for the current innings. These are stated separately on the scoreboard and awarded to the batting team in specific circumstances, which we will discuss later in this article.

Cricket extras benefit the batting team but impact the bowling team’s game. Typically, the bowling team avoids giving up extra runs, but there have been instances across formats where teams have given up more runs than usual.

Here are some incidents where a team conceded the most extras:

  • West Indies have an awful record of conceding the most extras in a Test match. At the Kensington Oval in 1997, they conceded 173 extra runs against Pakistan.
  • During the 1989 Benson and Hedges World Series (ODI), the West Indies gave away 59 extra runs to Pakistan at 258/7 in 50 overs.
  • In the 2003 test match between South Africa and England at the Lord’s, Africa successfully put England under pressure by taking 64 extras.
  • Turkey currently holds the record for the most extras in a single T20I, 39 extras against the Czech Republic in the sixth match of the 2019 Continental Cup.

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Types of Extras in Cricket

After understanding what extras are in cricket, it’s time to discover the various types of extras in cricket.

Extras are classified into four categories:

  1. Illegal deliveries
  2. Bye
  3. Leg bye
  4. Penalty runs

Let’s have a look at each of these by one.

Illegal Delivery

Extras in cricket - Illegal deliveries

No ball

A no-ball is a run for the batting team when a bowler bowls an illegal delivery and breaks the rules of cricket. This extra run is also added to the bowler’s figures. An umpire can signal for a no-ball for many reasons, such as:

  • While delivering the ball, a bowler’s foot crosses the popping crease.
  • The bowler directs the ball above the waist of the batsman without pitching it on the ground.
  • The ball is thrown and not bowled.
  • The bowler’s arm is bent or jerked while delivering the ball.

A no-ball results in a free hit in the following delivery, where a batter cannot be dismissed by any method other than run-out. However, this is only relevant in ODIs and T20Is. Especially in T20Is, bowling a no-ball may significantly impact the game.

Bangladesh’s Mahedi Hasan bowled a no-ball in the final do-or-die over of the Asia Cup 2022, when Sri Lanka needed three runs in four balls. Sri Lanka capitalized on a golden opportunity to lead the team to a two-wicket victory with four balls remaining.

Wide Ball

The wide ball is also a type of illegal delivery when the bowler bowls the ball that is far away from the striker and passes out of the striker’s reach. An umpire can signal for a wide ball if:

  • A ball breaches the tram markings of the popping crease without making contact with the bat.
  • A ball bounces over the batsman’s head after being pitched.

Mohammad Sami of Pakistan bowled a wild 17-ball over for 22 runs in the 2004 Asia Cup, including seven wides and four no-balls, making it the second-longest and worst over in cricket history.

Hong Kong bowled 17 wide deliveries out of 18 extras against Pakistan in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022, assisting them to a massive total of 193/2 in 20 overs.


In cricket, a bye is a term used to describe the runs scored by the batsman when the bowler delivers the ball but completely misses the bat, body, or any other part of the batter’s equipment, but the runs are still scored. Byes usually occur in cricket when:

  • The wicketkeeper fails to collect the ball.
  • When the bowler bowls so far away from the stumps that neither the batsman nor the wicketkeeper has a chance of connecting with it.
extras in cricket - Bye

All teams have shown disciplined bowling in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 and rarely leaked any extra run-through byes. Sri Lanka received the most byes, four, in the fifth group match against Bangladesh.

Les Ames, England’s greatest wicketkeeper-batsman, set a record of 37 byes in Australia’s second innings at the Oval in 1934.

Leg Bye

A leg bye is an extra run in cricket where the ball misses the bat but strikes the batsman’s body or any other part of the equipment.

According to cricket rules, before declaring a Leg Bye, the umpire must consider whether or not the striker attempted to play the ball. This decision is entirely in the hands of the umpire.

Cricket extras - Leg bye

Leg Byes occur if:

  • The batsman attempted to play the ball with the bat but failed, or
  • Attempted to defend himself from being hit by the ball.

Sri Lanka conceded the most leg byes in six innings against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup 2022.

On 1 August 2008, England conceded the most leg byes in a test inning, 35, during their tour to South Africa.

Penalty Runs

Penalty runs are extra runs awarded to one team when the opposing team violates the game’s rules governing unfair play or player conduct. Any violation of these laws results in the loss or surrender of five penalty runs.

Cricket extras - Penalty runs

In cricket, the batting or bowling team gets 5 penalty runs under the following conditions:

  • One or both batters purposefully do not attempt to ground the bat to complete the run.
  • If batters deliberately waste time.
  • If batters are intentionally running on the pitch or causing damage to the pitch’s quality.
  • An illegal fielder makes contact with the ball.
  • Except with the approval of the umpires, practicing on the pitch on matchdays.
  • Using a cap or any other part of their clothing to field the ball illegally.
  • If the ball strikes a fielder’s helmet on the field.
  • Tampering or altering the condition of a ball.
  • The fielding members purposefully distract the batter.

India and Pakistan get an in-game penalty for retaining a slow over-rate in their Asia Cup 2022 match. They were forced to field with one fewer fielder outside the 30-yard circle.

West Indies gets 5 penalty runs in the second ODI due to illegal fielding by Pakistan because fielder Babar Azam gathered the ball behind the stumps using one of the wicketkeeping gloves.

Extras are a part of the game of cricket and positively impact one team while hurting the other. We hope that this comprehensive guide has provided enough information about what are extras in cricket and their various types so that anyone can be familiar with these cricketing terms.

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Cricket Extras – FAQs

What is fielding extras in cricket?

Fielding extras include byes, leg byes, and penalties awarded by the fielding team to the batting team.

How many players are there in cricket?

There are 11 players on each team. So, there are 22 players in the game. Take a look at the role and responsibility of each player in cricket.

Who is the richest cricketer in the world?

The richest cricketer in the world is Nawaz Sharif, followed by Adam Gilchrist, and Sachin Tendulkar. Here are the top 50 richest cricket in the world.

Are overthrows an extra in cricket?

An overthrow is not considered extra but is added to the score of the batter who hit the ball that was overthrown.

What are the most extras in an innings?

The most extras conceded in a Test match innings are 76, which India conceded against Pakistan in the third Test in 2007. Among the extras were 0 wides, 15 no balls, 35 byes, and 26 leg byes.

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