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.


All-rounder – a player who is proficient in both batting and bowling; the majority of players are specialists in one discipline


Arm ball

Attack – though the batsmen score the runs, "the attack" always refers to the bowlers, who take the wickets

Away swinger – see "Out-swinger"



Bail – see Wicket

Ball – see Cricket ball

Bat – see Cricket bat

Batsman – see Batting (cricket)

Batting – see Batting (cricket)

Batting average

Batting order


Benefit season





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)

Bowler – see Bowling (cricket)

Bowling – see Bowling (cricket)

Bowling action

Bowling analysis

Bowling average

Bowling crease

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)



Carrom ball

Carrying the bat

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


Corridor of uncertainty – a phrase describing a narrow line of flight on and just outside a batsman's off stump in which the bowler may seek to pitch the ball; there is a perception that a ball pitched along this line causes the batsman real difficulty in deciding whether to play or leave the ball

Cover point


Cricket ball

Cricket field

Cricket pavilion

Cricket pitch

Cricket season

Cricket statistics


Day/night cricket

Dead rubber

Declaration – tactical decision by the batting team's captain to close the innings while the team still has wickets in hand

Deep extra cover

Deep fine leg

Dilscoop – see "Marillier shot"

Dismissal – see Dismissal (cricket)




Duckworth-Lewis method


Economy rate

Extra – runs which are not scored from the bat; they comprise no balls, wides, byes and leg byes and so are a form of penalty imposed on the fielding team; known in Australia as "sundries"


Fast bowling (LF/RF)

Fast medium pace bowling (LFM/RFM)

Fielded – see Fielding (cricket)

Fielder – see Fielding (cricket)

Fielding – see Fielding (cricket)

Fine – a complicated term used in the naming of certain fielding positions (e.g., fine leg) but also in the definition of an area of the field in relation to the batsman. Basically, a fielding position is fine if the fielder is at a narrow angle behind "square" (i.e., behind an imaginary extension of the popping crease to each boundary). Fielding positions which are fine include backward point, deep fine leg, fine leg, gully and third man.

Fine leg

Finger spin bowling – see Spin bowling

First XI

First-class cricket

Five for




Follow on – in a double innings match, the side batting second may be obliged to bat the third innings (i.e., bat a second time out of turn) because of the size of their first innings deficit (e.g., 200-plus runs behind in a Test match)

Forward defence

Free hit

Full toss


Googly – also known as a wrong un or a bosie, an off-break being bowled by a leg-spinner with a leg-break action (right-arm bowler) or an orthodox delivery being bowled with a chinaman action (left-arm bowler). Essentially, the ball spins in the opposite direction to that of the spin bowler's "stock delivery". It was devised by B. J. T. Bosanquet at the end of the 19th century and the Australian term "bosie" was coined in his honour.

Grip – a term used in both batting and bowling with emphasis on the variations deployed. A batsman may hold in his bat handle in a number of ways depending on how he plans to play against a particular bowler: for example, "bottom hand down" means he has a very low grip on the bat handle because he intends to play a lofted shot. In bowling, the grip is key to the whole process as the delivery is determined by how the bowler grips the ball in terms of the placement of his fingers on or near the seam; if he wishes to "spin" or "swing" the ball in a certain way, he must use the appropriate grip.

Gully – an off side fielding position fairly close to the wicket where the fielder has a good chance of catching a ball that flies off the outside edge of the bat. The position is wide of and below the "slips" so the fielder is "fine" of "point", meaning he stands just "behind square" to the left of point if the batsman is right-handed.


Half-century – term applied to any score by a batsman between 50 and 99

Half-volley – a delivery that pitches just short of a "good length" and is usually hit for runs

Handled the ball – an unusual means of dismissal whereby a batsman deliberately, and thus illegally, uses 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)

Hat-trick – three wickets in consecutive deliveries by the same bowler. The term originated when H. H. Stephenson achieved the feat playing for the All-England Eleven at the Hyde Park Ground, Sheffield in 1858. A collection was organised and someone decided to buy Stephenson a hat with the proceeds.

Hawk-Eye – a technological aid to the third umpire and used in the decision review system (DRS); it tracks the trajectory of a delivery, omitting the presence of the batsman, so that "leg before wicket" (lbw) appeals can be judged

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

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 somehow hitting it with his foot or leg

Hook – a shot across the line of delivery to hit a ball that has been delivered at or above shoulder height (i.e., a "bouncer"), the batsman aiming for the stretch of boundary centred at "deep square leg"; it is a risky shot but, if successfully executed, the hook often clears the boundary for six runs

Hot Spot – a technological aid to the third umpire and used in the decision review system (DRS); it films the batsman with an infra-red camera so that any impact by the ball on a bat or pad is highlighted as a white spot (the "hot spot") in the resultant image

How's that? – see "Owzat?"


In-swinger – a fast delivery in which the ball swings (i.e., achieves lateral movement) in the air and moves from off to leg (i.e., it swings into the batsman having seemed to be going outside the wicket on his off side); a fast bowler effects swing by using a particular grasp of the seam in his hand before releasing the ball.

Infield – loosely used term for the area of the field that is close to the pitch; broadly speaking it is delimited by the cover point and mid-wicket fielding positions; the outer area closer to the boundary is called the "outfield"

Innings – see Innings

Inside edge – when a batsman does not time his shot correctly and the ball touches the edge of the bat closest to his legs, the shot is called an "inside edge"; if the ball flies off the inside edge and onto the stumps, the batsman has "played on" and is out

International Cricket Council (ICC) – see International Cricket Council; the sport's global governing body


Jock strap – a form of male underwear worn by batsmen and designed to hold the box firmly in place to protect the genitals


Keeper – abbreviation of wicketkeeper

Keeping the strike – scoring a single or a three from the last ball of an over and so retaining strike for the start of the next over

Knock – slang for a batsman's innings, referred to as a "good knock" if he makes a high score

Kolpak ruling – legislation passed by the European Court in 2003 which enables overseas players to play in British and Irish domestic cricket

Kwik cricket – a variation of the sport used primarily as an introduction to cricket for children


Laws of cricket – see Laws of cricket

Left-arm orthodox spin – see "Slow left-arm orthodox"

Left-arm unorthodox spin – see "Slow left-arm chinaman"

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 (LB) – 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 break and googly (LBG) – a style of bowling in which a leg spinner will sometimes deploy the googly

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

Leg cutter – basically a leg break bowled by a fast or medium-pace bowler, except that it does not spin and achieves its "break" after hitting the pitch

Leg glance – a deft shot which aims to deflect a leg side delivery from its course and towards the fine leg boundary

Leg side – the segment of the field which is left of and behind the right-handed batsman, delimited in-field by the line of "square"

Leg slip – a fielding position on the leg side which is equivalent to "first slip"

Leg spin – see "Leg break"

Leg theory – the "technical term" given to "Bodyline" bowling because it involved an arc of close fielders on the leg side who were grouped to catch a delivery being fended away from the batsman's body

Length – reference to the distance which a delivery travels before pitching: e.g., good length, short pitched, full toss

Limited overs cricket – see Limited overs cricket

Line – reference to an imaginary line between the two middle stumps

Line and length – a type of bowling, often associated with medium pacers, who pitch the ball just outside the off stump on what is termed a good length just in front of the batsman. The batsman is forced to play a stroke to this sort of delivery, usually defensive, to protect his wicket.

List A – the statistical standard approved by the ICC for major limited overs cricket but excluding Twenty20

Lob bowling – a type of underarm bowling in which the ball is given a high trajectory

Long hop – a short-pitched delivery with little bounce and so easily hit by the batsman

Long leg – a fielding position on the boundary behind and to the left of the batsman

Long off – a fielding position on the boundary behind and to the left of the bowler

Long on – a fielding position on the boundary behind and to the right of the bowler

Long stop – a rarely-used fielding position on the boundary directly behind the wicketkeeper; it was commonly filled in 18th century cricket when George Leer of Hambledon was a noted exponent

Lost ball – if the fielding team cannot locate the ball after it has been hit, they must call out "lost ball" so that the umpire can halt play while a new ball is obtained; the batsman is credited with six runs

Lunch interval – the first interval in a day's play; its timing, though scheduled, is flexible depending on match and weather conditions


Maiden – an over in which no runs are scored from the bat; it is credited to the bowler in his statistical analysis

Mankading – the act by the bowler of breaking the wicket at the non-striker's end to run him out before the bowler has begun his delivery. Bowlers sometimes warn a non-striker about "backing up" (i.e., leaving his safe area before the ball has been bowled). It is named after Vinoo Mankad who was involved in a controversy for running out an Australian batsman in this way during a 1947–48 Test match in Australia.

Man of the match – a subjective award given after some types of match to the player deemed by the judge(s) to have been the outstanding performer

Marillier shot – also known as the "dilscoop" or the "paddle scoop", though these have certain technical differences, it is an unorthodox batting stroke developed in Twenty20 by Zimbabwean batsman Dougie Marillier; it is a very risky stroke achieved when the batsman "flicks" the ball over the heads of both himself and the wicketkeeper but, if successfully done, it almost always results in a boundary

Medium pace bowling (LM/RM) – a type of bowling often associated with "line and length" and use of the "seam"; a medium pacer will often try to contain, rather than dismiss, the batsman by bowling accurately and economically without taking risks

Mid off – a fielding position on the off side which is to the left of the bowler and a few yards behind him

Mid on – a fielding position on the on side which is to the right of the bowler and a few yards behind him

Mid wicket – a fielding position on the on side which is halfway between the centre of the pitch and the "deep mid-wicket" boundary


Nelson – a score of 111 with associations of superstition

Nets – a practice pitch is surrounded on three sides by netting to contain the ball within the pitch area

Nightwatchman – a lower order batsman who is sent in ahead of schedule when a wicket falls towards close of play; the captain hopes that the nightwatchman will manage to stay in till play ends so that a recognised batsman does not have to face the last few overs

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

Non-striker – the batsman not "on strike" who is standing at the bowler's end of the pitch

Not out – see Not out (cricket)


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

Odds match – essentially historical as such matches were common in the 19th century when "travelling elevens" like the All-England Eleven were in vogue; it is simply a match in which one team has more players than the other

Off break (OB) – an off spin delivery by a right-arm spin bowler which turns from the off side towards the leg side when the batsman is right-handed

Off cutter – basically an off break bowled by a fast or medium-pace bowler, except that it does not spin and achieves its "break" after hitting the pitch

Off side – the half of the field to the right of a right-handed batsman or to the left of a left-handed batsman; opposite of "on side"

On side – the half of the field to the left of a right-handed batsman or to the right of a left-handed batsman; opposite of "off side"

On strike – the batsman who is facing the bowler is the "striker" and, therefore, "on strike"

Out – see Dismissal (cricket)

Out-swinger – also called the "away swinger", a fast delivery in which the ball swings (i.e., achieves lateral movement) in the air and moves away from the batsman's body to his off side (i.e., it swings away from the batsman having seemed to be going to his leg side or straight towards him and his wicket); a fast bowler effects swing by using a particular grasp of the seam in his hand before releasing the ball

Over – a period of play in which six successive deliveries are bowled by one bowler from the same end of the pitch; the name comes from the umpire's call of "Over!" after the sixth delivery has been completed; the next over is bowled by a different bowler from the other end of the pitch

Overarm bowling – see Overarm bowling

Overthrow – an additional run taken by the batsmen after a fielder's return throw has gone astray

Owzat? – meaning "How's that?", the usual shout uttered by a bowler when appealing for a batsman to be dismissed


Pads – protective gear for the knees and shins worn by the batsmen and the wicketkeeper

Paddle scoop – see "Marillier shot"

Pair – "getting a pair" is achieved by a batsman who is out without scoring in both innings of a two-innings match; short for "pair of spectacles", meaning two zeroes

Partnership – basically, the time in which the same two batsmen are batting together; in common usage, the number of runs scored during their partnership is referred to as "an nth wicket partnership of x runs"

Pavilion – a structure common to cricket grounds in which the players' dressing rooms are located; the pavilion is generally the club's headquarters and seating is usually provided there for the club members; large pavilions (e.g., at Lord's) also serve as grandstands

Pinch hitter – a baseball term used here for a lower order batsman who has been sent in early with instructions to try and increase the run rate

Pitch – see Cricket pitch for the playing area. As a verb, the word is used for the ball bouncing during delivery to the batsman.

Pitched delivery bowling – an evolution of underarm bowling in the early 1760s when bowlers began to pitch the ball instead of rolling or skimming it along the ground; the introduction necessitated the invention of the straight bat to replace the former "hockey stick" shape. Lumpy Stevens was the first great bowler using the new style.

Play and miss – the batsman attempts a shot but misses the ball; the phrase is commonly used if the batsman has narrowly missed the ball which is then caught by the wicketkeeper, the inference being that he would have been out if he had touched the ball

Playing on – the batsman makes contact with the ball but diverts it onto his wicket; in the scorecard, the dismissal is recorded as "bowled" and credited to the bowler

Playing time – in a first-class match, the scheduled playing time is six hours in a day with intervals for lunch and tea

Point – a fielding position which is "square" and on the off side about halfway to the boundary; variations are "silly point" (close in) and "backward point" (on the boundary)

Popping crease – a line drawn parallel to the bowling crease and four feet in front of it; the batsman is "safe" from stumping and run out if his bat or any part of his body is grounded behind the crease; the batsmen complete runs by grounding their bats there. The line is physically drawn on the pitch only but in fact it extends from the backward point boundary to the square leg boundary.

Powerplay – a rule introduced in 2005 concerning fielding restrictions in limited overs international (LOI) cricket; it applies not only to the first ten overs of every innings, but also in two blocks of five overs to be used at the discretion of the fielding captain

Pull shot – the batsman hits "across the line" against a short-pitched delivery, playing the ball to the leg side and directing it towards the central part of the boundary between deep mid-wicket and backward square-leg


Quick (or quickie) – slang for a fast bowler


Referral – request to the off-field third umpire to review an on-field umpiring decision (see "Umpire Decision Review System")

Result – a match may be won by either team or may be either a draw or a tie; a win is by either a number of runs (i.e., if the team batting last was all out without reaching their target) or a number of wickets (i.e., the number of wickets standing when the winning run was scored)

Retired hurt – the phrase used in the scorecard if a batsman cannot continue his innings due to illness or injury; the batsman can return later but only after a wicket has fallen

Return – the throw by a fielder, to either wicket, having fielded the ball

Return creases – two lines at either side of each wicket which extend backwards at right angles from the bowling crease and four feet four inches from the middle stump. Their purpose is to limit the area in which the bowler's rear foot must land in the delivery stride, which means he must be within that range of the wicket when he bowls.

Reverse swing – while normal swing is movement in the air away from the shiny side of the ball, reverse swing is the opposite and tends to happen with an older ball

Rollers – a revolving cylinder on a central axis used for flattening turf, it is used on the pitch before each innings to even out the surface

Rough – the area of the pitch that has been subject to wear and tear by bowlers' footmarks; spin bowlers try to capitalise by pitching into the rough as it gives them more "turn"

Roundarm bowling – see Roundarm bowling

Run – see Run (cricket)

Run chase – the attempt by the team batting in the final innings to win the match by outscoring their opponents; if they succeed, they have won by the number of their wickets still standing

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

Run rate – more applicable to limited overs than first-class, it measures the average number of runs per over

Run-up – the bowler's approach to the wicket; a fast bowler may need a run up of several yards, a spin bowler only a few short steps

Runner – if a batsman is injured so that his running is impaired, one of his team can run for him. The runner stands at "square leg" and runs to a point in line with the "popping crease" at the bowler's end. He must carry a bat and wear all the same equipment as the batsman he is assisting; and he can be run out.


Score, scorer, scoring – see Scoring (cricket)

Seam – the raised stitching around the ball

Seam bowling – a type of bowling, generally at a medium to fast pace, which utilises the raised seam of the ball to try and cause an uneven bounce on pitching; a bowler using this technique is commonly referred to as a "seamer"

Second XI – in effect, a club's reserve team; England and Wales have a Second XI Championship contested by the clubs in the County Championship

Session – a day's play is divided into three sessions delimited by lunch, tea and close of play

Shine – meaning the shine on the ball when it is no longer new and the fielding team have tried to polish one side of it to assist a swing bowler; the batsman hitting the ball is sometimes said to be "taking the shine off"

Shooter – a delivery that fails to achieve bounce as a result of pitching on an uneven spot in the pitch; it is so-called because it deviates sharply at low or ground level towards the wicket and can be unplayable by even a top-class batsman

Short of a length – bowlers generally pitch the ball in an area just in front of the batsman that is called a "good length"; a "short-pitched delivery" is one that pitches short of this good length so that it has extra bounce (see also "bouncer")

Short square leg – as for "square leg" except that the fielder is very close to the batsman. If the batsman has a "side-on" stance, the short square leg is in effect crouching directly behind him. Brian Close was a noted short square leg fielder.

Side on – a description of the bowler's action, resembling the "cartwheel" in gymnastics, if his body from his back foot to his leading arm are aligned in the direction of the batsman. A bowler needs athletic prowess to properly execute a side on delivery. Fred Trueman was one of many bowlers noted for their ability to bowl in this way; it is considered a "classic" action. The term is sometimes used about a batsman if, in his stance, he is similarly "side on" to the bowler.

Sightscreen – a large hoarding or screen which is directly behind each wicket and outside the field of play; its purpose is to provide a clear background which assists the batsman in seeing the ball being delivered. The screen is white in daytime play when a red ball is in use and is covered in black material for an evening game in which a white ball is used.

Silly (fielding positions) – adjective applied to fielding positions which are dangerously close to the batsman; they include "silly point, "silly mid off" and "silly mid on"

Single – the completion of one run only between the wickets is called a single; note that two runs is called a two, never a double

Single wicket – see Single wicket cricket

Sitter – a catch which should not be at all difficult to hold

Six – six runs are awarded to the batsman whenever the ball is hit over the boundary on the full

Slider – a delivery by a "wrist spinner" (e.g., LBG, SLC) which has "back spin" (i.e., spins with reverse rotation)

Slip – any of four off side fielding positions close to the wicket which form an arc between the wicketkeeper and the "gully"; the one next to the wicketkeeper is called "first slip" and the others are "second slip", "third slip" and "fourth slip". If all four positions are occupied, the term "slip cordon" is sometimes used. The purpose of the slips is to catch any deliveries which deflect off the outside edge of the bat but are travelling wide of the wicketkeeper.

Slog – basically a loose and hefty swing of the bat with minimal technique and the intention of hitting the ball out of the field; a very risky shot generally associated with "tail-enders"; players who "slog" on a regular basis are generally known as "sloggers"

Slow left-arm chinaman (SLC; unorthodox) – a style of left-arm wrist spin bowling in which the ball is released from the hand over the little finger (this is sometimes called a "back of the hand" delivery). The resultant rotation of the ball is clockwise. The bowler normally operates on the right side of his wicket, so that his bowling arm is "over the wicket". If the batsman is right-handed, the bowler directs his delivery in a diagonal direction towards the batsman's off stump and the ball on pitching turns in from the off towards the batsman and his leg stump. If the batsman is left-handed, the chinaman turns away from him towards his off stump. The origin of the term "chinaman" is uncertain.

Slow left-arm orthodox (SLA) – a style of left-arm finger spin bowling in which the ball is released from the fingers with an anti-clockwise rotation. The bowler normally operates on the right side of his wicket, so that his bowling arm is "over the wicket". If the batsman is right-handed, the bowler directs his delivery in a diagonal direction towards the batsman's leg stump and the ball on pitching turns towards the off and away from the batsman. If the batsman is left-handed, the orthodox delivery turns in from the off towards the batsman and his leg stump. There have been numerous great SLA bowlers, including Wilfred Rhodes who holds the world record for the greatest number of wickets taken in a first-class career.

Slower ball – a tactic used by a fast bowler to deceive the batsman, the delivery being bowled at medium pace instead of the usual fast pace

Spin bowling – see Spin bowling

Splice – the joint between the handle and the blade of the bat

Square – a complicated term used in the naming of certain fielding positions (e.g., square leg) but also in the definition of an area of the field in relation to the batsman. Basically, a fielding position is square if the fielder is somewhere along an imaginary extension of the popping crease to each boundary. Fielding positions which are square include point, deep point, square leg and deep square leg. The square leg umpire stands there so that he is in line with the popping crease in order to judge run out and stumping appeals.

Square leg – a fielding position on the line of "square" about halfway between the wicket and the boundary; the fielder in this position will stand moreorless alongside the square leg umpire

Square leg umpire – while one umpire stands behind the wicket at the bowler's end, his colleague occupies a position on the line of "square" so that he is in line with the popping crease in order to judge run out and stumping appeals; if there is a square leg fielder, they stand moreorless alongside each other

Sticky wicket – also known as a "sticky dog", a pitch drying after rain creates notoriously difficult batting conditions so that the batsmen are said to have been "caught on a sticky wicket"; with routine covering of pitches in recent decades, the sticky wicket has become rare in first-class cricket

Stock bowler – a bowler, usually of steady medium pace, who consistently pitches the ball on a "good length" to make runscoring difficult; such a bowler is taking no risks and is not necessarily trying to take wickets

Stock delivery – a bowler's standard type of delivery; any variation is termed an unorthodox delivery (e.g., a leg spinner's stock delivery is the "leg break" and he might occasionally bowl a "googly")

Stonewaller – a batsman who specialises in defensive strokes, generally without trying to score any runs

Straight bat – the bat when held vertically or when a shot is played in which the bat is swung through the vertical; "playing a straight bat" has become a common term for honest and uncomplicated dealing in real life

Strike rate – (a) the percentage of runs scored over deliveries received; (b) the average number of balls bowled between taking wickets

Striker – the batsman facing the bowler who is "on strike" to receive the ball being bowled

Stroke – any attempt by the batsman to hit the ball with his bat; each type of stroke has a designated name

Stump – see Wicket; the three stumps are called "off stump", "middle stump" and "leg stump"

Stumped – a common means of dismissal that it is executed by the wicketkeeper alone (and credited to him) 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)

Stumps – the end of a day's play; based on the act of removing the stumps when play has ended

Stump-cam – a tiny television camera housed in a stump

Sundry – see "Extra"

Substitute – substitute fielders are allowed but they may not bowl or keep wicket; substitute batsmen are not allowed but are known to have been deployed historically; see also "Twelfth man"

Sweep – a shot played by the batsman from a semi-kneeling position and playing across the line of delivery to try and hit the ball towards the square leg or mid wicket boundary

Swing bowling – a seam delivery in which the ball swings (i.e., achieves lateral movement) in the air and moves either towards (in-swinger) or away from (out-swinger) the batsman; a seam bowler effects swing by using a particular grasp of the seam in his hand before releasing the ball which has been judiciously polished, by the bowler and fielders, on one side of the seam only. Polishing one side assists lateral movement as air flows more easily past the shiny side than the worn side, causing the ball to deviate in flight so that, if the shiny side is on the left, it swings to the right

Switch hit – a shot played by a batsman who has altered both his stance and his grip during the bowler's run-up, thereby converting himself from a right hand bat (RHB) to a left hand bat (LHB), or vice-versa


Tail – the last three or four positions in the batting order which are generally filled by the team's bowlers and, sometimes, the wicketkeeper; these are the players, known as "tail-enders", who lack recognised batting skills and, depending on how many there are, the tail is described as long or short; if the tail-enders do well and unexpectedly score a lot of runs, it is often said that "the tail wagged"

Tail-ender – a player of limited batting ability who has one of the positions at the end of the batting order; see "Tail" above

Tea interval – the second interval in a day's play; its timing, though scheduled, is flexible depending on match and weather conditions

Teesra – an "off break" variation devised by Saqlain Mushtaq; basically, the bowler pitches outside the off stump and the ball turns but with more bounce than a standard delivery

Ten wickets in a match – sometimes called a "ten-wicket haul"; an outstanding achievement by a bowler who has taken at least half of the twenty wickets available in a first-class match; the number of such instances are generally included in a player's career statistics under the heading of "10wM"

Test cricket – see Test cricket

Test match – an international match between two teams representing full ICC member countries played under first-class rules and scheduled for five days; Test matches are globally the sport's highest standard of play

Third man – an off side fielding position on the boundary which is "fine" of "deep backward point"; a shot between the slips and gully would go to third man

Third umpire – an off-field umpire who makes the final decision when appeals or reviews are referred to him by the two on-field umpires; television replays are provided to assist him in making his decision

Throw – the act, by a fielder, of either aiming the ball at a wicket to attempt a "run out" or of returning the ball to one of the wicketkeeper or bowler

Throwing (illegal) – an arm action by the bowler which breaks the rules and is penalised as a "no ball"; essentially, it means the arm is straightened during the delivery as in a standard throwing action

Tie – the result in a first-class match when the scores are level and, unlike a draw, both teams have fully completed all their innings: i.e., specifically when the team batting last are all out. In a limited overs game, a tie is achieved if the scores are level on completion of both innings and no tie-breaker rules can be applied.

Timed out – an unusual means of dismissal given when the next batsman has not arrived at the wicket within two minutes of the previous one being dismissed

Timeless match – historically, a match for which no time limit was set with the intention of playing on until one side achieves victory

Ton – slang for "century"

Top edge – the ball touching the upper edge of the bat when it is moving horizontally through a shot like the "square cut"; often results in a catch by the wicketkeeper or a slip fielder

Top spin – a spin delivery in which the spin is towards the wicket, causing the ball to increase its forward speed on pitching

Toss – see toss (cricket)

Track – alternative name for the pitch

Turn (batting) – the point at which a batsman completes one run and decides to go for another, depending on whether the fielders have recovered the ball yet

Turn (bowling) – the effect on a spinning ball when conditions enable it to deviate sharply from a straight course after pitching; in such conditions, it is said that the pitch is turning (i.e., turning the ball); turn is enhanced if the bowler can pitch into any "rough"

Twelfth man – a reserve player who is able to act as a substitute fielder when necessary (substitutes cannot bat or bowl)

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 a maximum twenty overs and the highest-scoring team wins


Umpire – see Umpire (cricket)

Umpire Decision Review System – a system which allows the fielding captain or the batsmen to request the third umpire to review the standing umpires' previous decision using technological aids, in the hope of having a dismissal awarded (in the case of the fielding captain) or overturned (in the case of the batsman).

Underarm bowling – see Underarm bowling

Unorthodox – (a) an improvised and unusual shot played by the batsman (e.g., Marillier shot); (b) left arm spin bowling achieved by using the wrist to effect spin: see "Slow left-arm (unorthodox) chinaman (SLC)"

Unplayable delivery – subjective view that a ball was impossible for the batsman to play, with all credit due to the bowler


Village cricket – a generic term applied to local club cricket in which the playing standard is of minor quality; in practice, village cricket includes games involving local teams from towns and cities, not just villages; historically, matches at this level were sometimes referred to as "parish matches"


Walk – action of a batsman who is "giving himself out". This is when a batsman believes that he has been dismissed and sportingly "walks" (i.e., back to the pavilion) despite the umpire signalling "not out" or before the umpire has signalled "out". There have been stories, associated with bowlers like Fred Trueman, about batsmen deciding to walk because they no longer wished to face his bowling!

Wicket – see Wicket. The term essentially refers to the arrangement of the stumps and bails for use as the bowler's target but is also used as a synonym for both the pitch (e.g., a "sticky wicket") and a dismissal (e.g., the "fall of a wicket").

Wicketkeeper – see Wicketkeeper

Wicketkeeper-batsman – a variation on "all rounder", this is a specialist wicketkeeper who is also worth his place in the team for his batting alone and may even be good enough to open the innings: e.g., Adam Gilchrist. Most wicketkeepers, like bowlers, are ordinary batsmen.

Wicket maiden – a maiden over (no runs scored) in which the bowler dismisses a batsman (i.e., takes a wicket). It is called a "double wicket maiden" if he takes two wickets.

Wicket-to-wicket – basically, an imaginary line drawn down the centre of the pitch between the middle stumps of both wickets and used colloquially to describe bowling which is straight with no movement off the line of delivery

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; in addition, the ball must be re-bowled

Wrist spin bowling – see Spin bowling

Wrong un – see "Googly"; this is a term sometimes used in Australia for the googly


X. Tras – slang for "extras" to imply that an imaginary batsman, sometimes called "Mr Extras", was responsible for scoring the extras in a team's total (there have been instances of extras achieving the "top score" in a team's innings)


Yorker – a fast, straight delivery which the bowler pitches on or close to the popping crease and therefore just in front of the batsman's toes. It is designed to pass under the bat just as its downswing becomes vertical. If successful, the batsman is said to have been "yorked". The yorker is pitched closer to the wicket than a "half-volley" but not as close as a "full toss". The term's origin is uncertain and it is not necessarily connected with Yorkshire.


Zooter (or zoota) – credited to Shane Warne and supposedly a variation of the leg-spin "flipper" which stays close to ground with little bounce; probably not an intentional delivery as reduction of the bounce is extremely difficult to manage