1. Home
  2. /

  3. /

    Laws and Regulations of Cricket (Part 1)
Laws and Regulations of Cricket (Part 1)
Laws of cricket. Source: Zupee

Laws and Regulations of Cricket (Part 1)

Cricket goes beyond the mere act of hitting a ball and scoring runs. This guide aims to clarify the puzzling regulations that contribute layers of strategy and anticipation to each match. From deciphering terms like 'LBW' to exploring the intricate techniques of 'leg spin bowling,' this comprehensive manual is intended to enlighten beginners and deepen the understanding of devoted fans. 

The objective is to demystify the complexities, provide clarity to the uncertainties, and demonstrate how these laws shape the magnificent spectacle of cricket. Whether you're a newcomer seeking to unravel the sport's enigmatic rules or a long-time enthusiast aiming to expand your knowledge, this guide can serve as your passport to a more enriching and well-informed cricket experience.

Cricket play. Source: The Cricket Monthly
Cricket play. Source: The Cricket Monthly

Basic Rules of Cricket

Cricket is a team sport played between two teams, each consisting of 11 players. The game revolves around two primary aspects: batting and bowling. The objective of the batting team is to accumulate as many runs as possible, while the bowling team aims to limit the scoring and dismiss the opposing batsmen. Both teams take turns to bat and bowl, and the team that scores the most runs by the end of the match emerges as the winner.

The cricket field is oval-shaped and includes a rectangular pitch that is 22 yards long, situated in the centre. The pitch has two ends, each equipped with a set of three stumps referred to as a wicket. One of the ends is taken by the bowler, who delivers the ball in an attempt to hit the wickets, while the batsman stands at the opposite end, striving to prevent this by striking the ball.

Scoring in cricket involves the batsmen crossing each other as they run from one end of the pitch to the other after the ball is hit. This action results in the accumulation of runs. If the ball reaches the boundary of the field, the batting team is awarded four runs if it has made contact with the ground before crossing the boundary. But, if the ball crosses the boundary without touching the ground, the batting team is credited with six runs.

The game is divided into distinct segments known as "balls," which represent a single delivery of the ball from a bowler to a batsman. A set of six balls is referred to as an "over." An innings consists of a specific number of overs or a designated period of time. In a one-day international match, each innings consists of 50 overs, while a twenty-twenty international match consists of 20 overs per innings. In contrast, a test match is constrained by a predetermined number of days, typically five, with 90 overs played each day.

During the innings, the batting team has two batsmen present on the field, while the opposing team, known as the bowling team, positions their 11 players as fielders in various parts of the field. One player from the bowling team serves as the bowler, delivering the ball, while another player acts as the wicketkeeper and stands behind the wicket. The match also includes two on-field umpires who make decisions during the game. Additionally, a third umpire oversees the match via a screen and assists with uncertain or close decisions.

The Intricacies of Cricket Laws

Cricket laws, overseen by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), give this sport its distinctiveness. While the fundamental concept is straightforward, the intricacies lie in the numerous regulations that govern how the game is played. For example, there are ten ways in which a batsman can be dismissed: bowled, caught, leg before wicket (LBW), run out, stumped, hit wicket, hit the ball twice, obstructing the field, handling the ball, and timed out. Each of these methods of dismissal has its own specific rules and conditions.

The LBW rule, in particular, is one of the most complex laws in cricket. The umpire must take into account several factors before determining if a batsman is LBW, such as whether the ball pitched in line with the stumps, whether the batsman attempted a shot, and whether the ball would have hit the stumps had the batsman's leg not obstructed its path.

Another intricate law pertains to fielding restrictions in limited-overs cricket. Depending on the format and stage of the game, there are regulations concerning the maximum number of fielders that can be positioned in specific areas of the field. These laws introduce an additional layer of strategic thinking to the game, as captains must constantly adjust their field placements following these restrictions.

If a match is delayed or abandoned due to unfavourable weather conditions, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has a rule known as Duckworth-Lewis. The primary objective of this rule is to determine the winner based on the current state of the game. It takes into account various factors such as the number of overs bowled and the run rate.

Cricket play. Source: Remitly Blog
Cricket play. Source: Remitly Blog

Demystifying Cricket Jargon

Cricket jargon can be quite puzzling for those who are unfamiliar with the sport. Words like 'googly', 'doosra', 'silly point', and 'fine leg' may sound amusing, but they carry significant meaning within the context of a cricket match. To illustrate, a 'googly' refers to a type of delivery where a leg-spinner spins the ball in the opposite direction to their usual deliveries, aiming to confuse the batsman.

'Silly point', 'short leg', and 'fine leg' denote specific fielding positions. 'Silly point' is a close-in position situated on the offside, named as such due to the perceived risk faced by the fielder in that position. 'Short leg' is another close-in position on the leg side, while 'fine leg' is a fielder positioned behind the batsman on the leg side, usually near the boundary.

The 'doosra' is a particular delivery employed by an off-spinner. It serves as the off-spinner's equivalent to the leg-spinner's 'googly', spinning in the opposite direction to their typical deliveries. These examples merely scratch the surface of the extensive and vibrant vocabulary of cricket terminology.


Get the latest news to your inbox.

Subscribe to the newsletter

We value your privacy and promise not to distribute your email to third parties.