Cricket terms explained

Cricketing jargon buster

Cricket has an extensive number of terms associated with it and it's important to know your bails from your balls and your maiden from your nighwatchman. We've compiled a list of some of the most commonly used terms, to ensure that you don't get stumped by the cricketing terminology.

All-rounder
Refers to a player who is good at both batting and bowling, or may be a wicketkeeper who can also bat well.

Appeal
For a batsman to be given out, the bowling side must appeal to the umpire with a shout of 'How’s that?', often referred to or heard as 'howzat?'

Ashes
A small wooden urn containing the ashes of a bail which was burnt after Australia first beat England in 1882. It is currently played at approximately two yearly intervals, alternately in England and Australia.

Bails
The small pieces of timber which sit on top of the stumps – have to be knocked off or dislodged for a batsman to be given out.

Batsman

A player who is 'in bat' aiming to score runs.

Bouncer

A ball bowled at fast pace and pitched short with the intention of reaching the batsman at chest height – forcing him to take evasive action or to play a difficult stroke.

Boundary

The outer limit of the playing area marked by a rope. It also refers to a stroke by the batsman that hits the rope, gaining four runs.

Bowler

A player who delivers the ball to the batsman or batswoman. Types include: fast bowler, medium pace bowler and slow or spin bowler.

Box

The protective device worn by players to protect the pelvic bone and all the other important bits – you know what we are talking about! There are male and female-specific boxes.

Bye

A run scored through a means other than being hit by the bat. For example: the ball hitting the batter’s pad, after an attempt to play a shot and the batter is able to complete a run.

Caught behind

A ball caught off the bat or the glove by the wicketkeeper before it bounces.

Clean bowled

When a batter misses the ball completely and his stumps are directly hit.

Crease

Refers to the line located 48 inches (1.21 metres) in front of the stumps and denotes the batsman's ‘safe’ ground where he cannot be stumped or run out

Duck

A score of nought for a batsman. A ‘golden duck’ refers to being out first ball.

Edge

Refers to the perimeter of the bat which can be hit by the ball and lead to the batsman being caught.

Fielder

A player placed strategically within the field of play, with the object of stopping runs being scored and getting batsmen out.

Innings

The period of time spent batting by a team or an individual.

Leg before wicket (LBW)

A decision made by the umpire where the ball would have hit the stumps had it not hit the legs of the batsman first.

Maiden

Refers to an over (six balls) bowled without a single run being scored.

Nets

An area literally surrounded by netting, in which the players practice.

Nightwatchman

A player who normally bats near the bottom of the order, but is sent in near the end of the day’s play when a wicket has fallen to protect a better batsman – often when the light is fading.

Over

The correct number of consecutive balls that should be bowled by a bowler; consisting of six balls.

Pad

Protection for the legs used by both the batsmen and wicketkeepers to prevent them being hurt by the ball.

Run out

A means of getting the batsman out by knocking the stumps with the ball – before he has made his ground within the batting crease.

Stumps

The three sticks at each end of the pitch which has two bails set on top of them.

Test

An international match lasting five days and usually consisting of four innings.

Twenty20 cricket

Twenty20 is an explosive shortened version of cricket in which each side bats for 20 overs (120 balls).

Wicket

Can refer to several things including: the stumps, the batting section of the pitch or dismissal of a batsman, for example: 'a bowler has taken five wickets'.

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