What are the rules of cricket?

Known to man since the 16th century, cricket has been ruling open fields since it’s discovery. Perhaps the most popular sport in the world, cricket is adored by everyone alike.

Owing to the age and wisdom of the game, there have been several changes to the game of cricket. With older generations figuring out the bounce and blossom of the sport to the newer folk incorporating the best of their innovation, we’ve witnessed monumental changes to the game.

So, what is cricket, and what are the rules of cricket?

This guide explains to you the basic rules and regulations of the game. These rules may change across different areas and formats.

What is cricket?

The main objective of the game is to score more runs than your opponent team in order to win. The game is played in ‘overs’, with each ‘over’ consisting of a bowler who throws a ball at a batsman for a total of 6 times. The batsman can then hit the ball across the field or boundary to score runs. When a ball flies over the boundary, it is considered a six, winning the team six runs. When a ball crosses the boundary through the field, it is considered a four, winning the team four runs. Batsmen also score runs by running between the wickets after hitting the ball across the field.

The team that scores the most runs wins the match.

Rules of cricket

  • Cricket is played by two teams. Ideally, each team consists of 12 players. 11 players from each team play on the field and the twelfth man is a reserve player.
  • A toss decides which team will bat/bowl first.
  • The bowling team must bowl 6 deliveries in one over to enable the batting team to score.
  • A game of cricket usually has two umpires who make decisions on the game. They count the deliveries, call ‘wides’, ‘no-balls’, and ‘wickets.’
  • A batsman can be declared ‘out’ in the following circumstances:
  1. Bowled - When a bowler successfully hits the wickets behind the batsman.
  2. Caught - When a fielder catches the ball (without bouncing) after the ball has been hit.
  3. LBW (Leg before wicket) - When the ball first hits the batsmen’s pads in its direct path to the wickets.
  4. Stump - When the wicket-keeper strikes the wicket with the ball in his hand, ideally when the batsman is out of batting crease while attempting to hit the ball.
  5. Hit wicket – When a batsman hits their own wicket accidentally.
  6. Handled ball – When a batsman deliberately handles the ball.
  7. Hit ball twice – When a batsman hits the ball twice.
  8. Run out – When the opposing team hits the wickets before the batsman is increased while scoring a run.
  9. Obstruction – When a batsman purposely causes an obstruction to a fielder from getting the ball.
  • There are international and domestic variants to the game.
  • The format of the game depends on the duration i.e. the number of overs. A One-Day International (ODI) consists of 50 overs. Test Match consists of unlimited overs and a Twenty-20 (T20) consists of 20 overs each.

How to score?

A batsman must run between the wickets across a pitch to score runs. He/she may do so when he/she deems safe to run without giving an opportunity for the opponent team to run them out. If a ball crosses the boundary, a batsman may not run.

Runs can be also scored when the bowler balls a:

Wide – When the ball is too far away from the wickets.

No-ball – When the bowler oversteps the bowling crease.

Bye – When the wicket-keeper fails to control the ball and a run is taken.

Leg-bye – When the ball touches the batsman’s leg or body and a run is taken.

Based on whoever legally scores the most runs, the winner of the game is decided.

We hope that this guide can help you understand the basic rules of cricket. Take up cricket as your everyday sport today!

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