Rules of The Game
As you may have deduced, the objective of each competing team would be to score more runs than the other – this is facilitated by scoring as many runs as possible, in an action defined as Batting, and by restricted runs scored by the opposition, in an action defined as Bowling. A third action, called Fielding, assists Bowling in restriction of run scoring. A majority of the action takes place on the 22 yard strip in the middle of the ground, known as a pitch.
There are three major formats of the game – Tests, played over two innings each over 5 days, One Day Internationals, played over a single innings each spanning 50 overs, and T20s, played over single innings each of 20 overs.
Runs can be scored in the following manner:
- Outfield runs – Batsmen stand on the pitch at either end; the batsman facing the bowler hits the ball into the outfield, and both players run simultaneously to the other ends of the pitch, simultaneously. For each time the batsmen reach the other end of the pitch before the ball is returned by a fielder from the outfield.
- Boundaries – These are awarded every time the batsman hits the ball hard enough to reach/cross the boundary rope. If the ball hits the ground before crossing the boundary, the 4 runs are awarded to the batsman; if the batsman’s hit falls on the rope, or over it, then 6 runs are awarded.
- No ball – A no-ball can be awarded for the following reasons; if the bowler oversteps his permissible delivery stride – bowls the ball on the full above the batsman’s waist – if the ball bounces twice before reaching the batsman – of if incorrect fielding positions are kept by the bowling side. A no-ball results in an additional run awarded to the batsman. In Tests, the ball is re-bowled. In One Day Internationals and T20s, the re-bowled delivery is a ‘free=hit’ for the batsman, i.e. he cannot be out (except run out) on that delivery.
- Wide ball – If the bowler delivers the ball unreachable by the batsman, either horizontally or vertically, it is called a wide. A run is awarded to the batting team, and the ball is rebowled.
- Bye – If the ball goes into the outfield without the batsman hitting it; runs made are as per outfield runs scored
- Leg Bye – If the ball goes into the outfield off an equipment of the batsman other than his bat (pads, helmet, etc.), and if the batsman has attempted a stroke on that delivery; runs made are as per outfield runs scored
Under 1. and 2. the runs are awarded to the batsman, runs scored as per 1. and 2. when 3. happens are awarded to the batsman, punitive runs under 3. and 4., and as many runs scored under 5. and 6. are categorized as Extras, not awarded to any individual batsman, but add to the team total.
- Bowled – If the ball, with or without contact with the facing batsman, hits the stumps behind him in a manner that at least one bail is dislodged. (refer Cricket Glossary)
- Leg Before Wicket (LBW) – For a batsman attempting a stroke, he is given out LBW if a ball deemed by the umpire as heading towards the stumps, i) hits a body part (usually legs, hence the name) before contact with his bat/gloves, ii) does not pitch outside the line of leg stump of the batsman, iii) hits the batsman in line with the stumps. If the batsman is not attempting a shot, then umpires can overlook criteria iii) to give him out
- Caught – A batsman is given out if the ball, after hitting his bat.glove of the hand in which the bat is held, is caught by a fielder on the full, i.e. before it hits the ground
- Stumped – If a delivery beats the batsman, and the wicketkeeper breaks the stumps in a manner which dislodges at least one bail, with the batsman outside his crease, and not attempting to take a run, then he will be given out Stumped.
- Run Out – If a batsman, while attempting to take a run, is short of his crease, with the stumps broken in a manner which dislodges at least one bail, either by the wicketkeeper or any other fielder, then he will be given Run Out.
- Hit Wicket – If a batsman himself breaks the stumps in a manner which dislodges at least one bail, either as a reaction after playing a shot, or while setting off for a run, then his out Hit Wicket.
- Obstructing the Field – A batsman could be given out Obstructing the Field, if the umpire is convinced that the batsman has intentionally obstructed the fielding side by words or action.
- Timed Out – If a batsman replacing an Out batsman does not come to the crease within 3 minutes, without a valid reason, he can be given Timed Out.
- Handling the ball – If the batsman intentionally touches the ball with the hand not holding the bat, without permission from the opposition
- Mankaded – A rare option, considered unsporting, this happens if the bowler, in his delivery stride, breaks the stumps of the non-facing batsmen dislodging at least one bail, with the batsman outside his crease. Officially, the batsman is deemed Run Out.
Under 1, 2,3,4 and 6, the wickets are credited to the bowler; the remaining are not credited to an individual bowler.
Winning in Cricket
- In Test cricket, a maximum of two innings can be played by each competing team, which need to be completed with 5 days. If team A scores A1 runs in innings 1 and A2 in innings 2, and team B scores B1 in innings 1 and B2 in innings 2, then the following outcomes are possible:
i) If A1 + A2 > B1 + B2, and all 20 wickets of team B have been taken within 5 days, then team A is the winner
ii) If A1 + A2 > B1 + B2, and all 20 wickets of team B have NOT been taken within 5 days, then the game ends in a Draw
iii) If A1 + A2 = B1 + B2, irrespective of the number of wickets to have fallen at the end of 5 days, then the game ends in a Tie
iv) If A1 > B1 + 200, then team A has an option to ask team B to bat again, without commencing A2
v) If A1 > B1 + B2, and all 20 wickets of team B have been taken within 5 days, then team A wins and inflicts an Innings Defeat on team B
- In One Day International (ODI) or Limited Overs International (LOI) cricket, a single innings, having a maximum of 50 overs, needs to be played between the two teams. If the match is curtailed due to rain or other disturbances which cause delay, overs can be reduced; however, a minimum of 20 overs per side needs to be played for an ODI to be considered as officially complete. So, if team A scores A1 in its innings, and team B scores B1, the following outcomes are possible:
- i) If A1 > B1 , after both teams play out the stipulated amount of overs, or if one or both teams get ‘All Out’ before the completion of the stipulated overs, then team A is the winner
- ii) If A1 = B1 , after both teams play out the stipulated amount of overs, or if one or both teams get ‘All Out’ before the completion of the stipulated overs, then the game ends in a Tie
- In T20 Internationals, the same format as an ODI is followed, with the exception that, instead of a maximum 50 overs, a maximum of 20 overs needs to be played between the two teams. If the match is curtailed due to rain or other disturbances which cause delay, overs can be reduced; however, a minimum of 5 overs per side needs to be played for a T20 to be considered as officially complete. Outcomes are similar to that of an ODI except: i) If A1 = B1 at the end of stipulated overs, game does NOT end in a tie. Instead, a Super Over is played, with both teams playing out an over each; the team with higher runs at the end of the Super Over is the winner. In case the Super Over is also a tie, then the team which has hit more sixes in the main innings, or in the Super Over is the inner; if still its a tie, then the team with more boundaries in the combined main innings + Super Over is the winner.
While this is a basic introduction to the rules of cricket, for more details kindly go to: http://www.icc-cricket.com/about/91/rules-and-regulations/overview