Show Menu

Quick Guide to Cricket Rules

Cricket is a complex and strategic sport with a rich history and a set of rules governed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Understanding these rules can greatly enhance your appreciation of the game, whether you’re a seasoned follower or new to cricket. This comprehensive guide delves into all the essential rules of cricket, from the basics of gameplay to the nuances of specific regulations.

The Basics of Cricket

The Field: A cricket field is oval-shaped, with a rectangular pitch (22 yards long) in the center. The pitch has a wicket at each end, consisting of three stumps topped by two bails.

Objective: The objective is to score more runs than the opposing team. Runs are scored by hitting the ball and running between the wickets or by hitting boundaries.

Teams: Each team has 11 players, including batsmen, bowlers, and fielders. One team bats while the other fields, and then they switch roles.

The Gameplay

Innings: A cricket match consists of one or two innings per team, depending on the format. An innings ends when ten out of eleven batsmen are out or a predetermined number of overs have been bowled.

Overs: An over consists of six legal deliveries bowled by a bowler.

Batting: Batsmen aim to score runs by hitting the ball and running between the wickets or by hitting the ball to the boundary.

Bowling: Bowlers aim to get the batsmen out by delivering the ball in various ways to hit the stumps or induce mistakes.

Fielding: Fielders aim to support the bowler by catching the ball, stopping runs, and getting the batsman out.

Scoring Runs

Runs: Batsmen score runs by running between the wickets or hitting the ball to the boundary (four or six runs).

Extras: Runs awarded to the batting team for illegal deliveries or fielding errors, including wides, no-balls, byes, and leg byes.


Out: A batsman is out if the ball hits the stumps (bowled), is caught by a fielder, hits the wicket while running (run out), or other specific situations like LBW (leg before wicket).

Not Out: A batsman is not out if they are hit by the ball without attempting a shot and the ball would not have hit the stumps.

Types of Deliveries

Legal Delivery: A ball bowled within the bowling crease and not violating any rules.

No-Ball: An illegal delivery, such as overstepping the crease or bowling above waist height. Results in an extra run and a free hit in limited-overs cricket.

Wide Ball: A ball bowled too wide for the batsman to hit. Results in an extra run.

Formats of the Game

Test Cricket: The longest format, played over five days with two innings per team.

One-Day International (ODI): A limited-overs format with 50 overs per innings.

Twenty20 (T20): A shorter format with 20 overs per innings, popular for its fast-paced action.

Umpires and Decision-Making

Umpires: Two on-field umpires enforce the rules, make decisions on dismissals, and are assisted by a third umpire for video reviews.

Decision Review System (DRS): A technology-based system used to review and overturn on-field decisions.

Fielding Positions

Cricket has numerous fielding positions, each with specific names like slip, gully, mid-off, mid-on, fine leg, etc., strategically placed to support the bowler and prevent runs.

Spirit of the Game

Cricket is not just about rules but also about sportsmanship, respect, and the spirit of the game. Fair play and respect for opponents and umpires are integral to the sport’s ethos.

Understanding these rules is essential for fully appreciating and enjoying cricket. As you watch or play the game, keep these guidelines in mind to deepen your understanding of this fascinating sport.

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 1 vote