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Cricket (sport)/Glossary

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Glossary of terms related to Cricket (sport).


This is a glossary of terms used in the sport of cricket.


Bowled – a common means of dismissal by which the bowler has hit the wicket with the ball and the wicket has "broken" with at least one bail being dislodged (note that if the ball hits the wicket without dislodging a bail it is not out)

Bye – extra(s) awarded if the batsman misses the ball and it goes past the wicketkeeper to give the batsmen time to run in the conventional way (note that the mark of a good wicketkeeper is one who restricts the tally of byes to a minimum)


Caught – a common means of dismissal by which the batsman has hit the ball with his bat or with his hand and the ball was caught on the full by a member of the fielding side


Handled the ball – an unusual means of dismissal whereby a batsman must not deliberately use his hand to protect his wicket (note that the bowled ball often hits the batsman's hand but this is not intentional by the batsman and so is not out; though he can of course be caught off his hand)

Hit wicket – a common means of dismissal whereby a batsman did just that, often by hitting the wicket with his bat or by falling onto it or running into it

Hit the ball twice – an unusual means of dismissal that was introduced as a safety measure to counter dangerous play and protect the fielders, although when it does occur it is usually because the batsman has tried to stop the ball hitting the wicket after he has already played it


Leg before wicket (lbw) – a common means of dismissal that is complex in its application but basically means that the batsman would have been bowled if the ball had not hit his leg first; this decision is entirely based on the umpire's judgment but the fielding side must appeal for the dismissal first

Leg break - a delivery bowled by a leg spin bowler; bowled to a right-handed batsman, the ball will turn from the leg side to the off side (i.e., it will pass in front of the batsman from his left to his right)

Leg bye – extra(s) awarded if the ball hits the batsman's leg, but not his bat, and it goes away from the fielders to give the batsmen time to run in the conventional way; note that a leg bye cannot be claimed if the batsman did not try to play the ball with the bat


Major cricket – a term used mainly in a colloquial rather than official sense to encompass all forms of the sport that are played at the highest level. Historically, major cricket includes first-class cricket, List A limited overs cricket, single wicket and other forms in which players and/or teams of high standard are taking part. The term has tended to be used in recent years to equate List A limited overs with first-class cricket.


No ball – a penalty of one extra that is conceded by the bowler if he breaks the rules of bowling either by (a) using an inappropriate arm action; (b) overstepping the popping crease; (c) bowling with a foot outside the return crease


Obstructed the field – an unusual means of dismissal that tends to involve a batsman deliberately getting in the way of a fielder


Powerplay – a rule introduced in 2005 concerning fielding restrictions in One Day International (ODI) cricket; it applies not only to the first 10 overs of every innings, but also in two blocks of five overs, Powerplays, which will be used at the discretion of the fielding captain.


Run – the basic unit of scoring; in simple terms, the batsman having hit the ball with his bat runs to the other end of the pitch to complete a "run" and so adds one run to his own and his team's total

Run out – a common means of dismissal by which a fielder has broken the wicket with the ball while a batsman was out of his ground; this usually occurs by means of an accurate throw to the wicket while the batsmen are attempting a run


Stumped – a common means of dismissal that it is executed by the wicketkeeper alone after the batsman has missed the bowled ball and has stepped out of his ground; the keeper must break the wicket with the ball in his hand for a stumping (if the keeper throws the ball at the wicket, it is a run out)


Third umpire - (or TV umpire) is an off-field umpire who makes the final decision in questions referred to him by the two on-field umpires; television replays are available to the third umpire to assist him in coming to a decision.

Timed out – an unusual means of dismissal that means that the next batsman did not arrive at the wicket within two minutes of the previous one being dismissed.

Twenty20 cricket (pronounced, but not written, 'twenty-twenty cricket') – a fast-paced, shortened form of the game introduced in England in 2003, in which each team plays an innings of twenty overs and the highest-scoring team wins.


Umpire - a person who has the authority to make decisions on the cricket field, according to the Laws of Cricket.


Wide – a penalty of one extra that is conceded by the bowler if he bowls so that the ball is out of the batsman's reach

Notes and references

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