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Cricket terminology for beginners

Cricket is a sport with a long and rich history. The game has been around for centuries and has been played for generations. Cricket is a game with a lot of terminologies. If you’re new to the game, all the jargon can be confusing. This blog post will explain some of the most common cricket terms. After reading this, you’ll have a better understanding of the game and be able to follow along when someone is talking about cricket.

Common cricket terms you must know


A boundary in cricket is the line marking the edge of the playing area. The boundary is either a fence or a line drawn on the ground.


A beamer in cricket is a delivery that is bowled very full and straight, hitting the batsman high on the body. If not played correctly, it can cause serious injury.


Bail in cricket refers to the two small pieces of wood, or sometimes plastic, that are placed on top of the three stumps at each end of the pitch. The bails are used to determine whether the batsman is out or not.


A bowler in cricket is a player who delivers the ball to the batsman from his or her end of the pitch. The prime objective of the bowler is to take wickets, i.e. dismiss the batsman.


A batsman in cricket is a player who is tasked with the primary responsibility of scoring runs for their team. They do so by hitting the ball with their bat, running between wickets, and working with their team’s other batsmen to create opportunities to score.


A bouncer in cricket is a short-pitched delivery bowled with the intention of rising up to the batsman’s chest or head height. The ball is delivered with very fast arm action and bounces off the pitch once it reaches the batsman.

Bye run

In cricket, a bye is when the ball is delivered by the bowler and goes past the batsman without being hit, resulting in the batsman’s team losing a run. Byes are often the result of a wide delivery, which is when the ball goes outside of the batsman’s reach.


“chucker” is a term used to describe a type of illegal bowling action whereby the bowler straightens his or her elbow during the delivery of the ball. This results in the ball being thrown rather than released from the hand, which is a major no-no in cricket.


In cricket, the term “cover” refers to the fielding position that is closest to the batsman on the off side of the pitch. This position is typically occupied by one of the team’s best fielders, as they have a clear view of the batsman and can field the ball quickly and accurately.


Caught in cricket means that the batsman has hit the ball and the fielding team has caught it before it hits the ground. This is one of the ways that a batsman can be dismissed and is one of the most common ways for a batsman to be out.


A crease is a chalk line marking the boundary between the playing field and the area beyond it. The crease is used to mark the batsman’s running ground, as well as the bowler’s delivery and follow-through area.


Doosra is a type of bowling in cricket that involves bowling with the opposite hand to the one which the bowler normally uses. It is considered to be a difficult delivery to master, and as such, not many bowlers are able to bowl it effectively.


Duck in cricket means when a batsman is out without scoring any runs off the delivery. It is also used as a term when the batsman is dismissed for a low score.

Dead ball

A dead ball in cricket is a ball that has been declared dead by the umpires. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as when a batsman is adjudged to be out, when a boundary is hit, or when the ball becomes lodged in a player’s clothing.


Extras in cricket mean anything that is scored beyond the total runs scored by the batsmen. This can include runs scored by the batsmen running between the wickets, byes, leg-byes, and penalty runs.

Fine leg

Fine leg is a fielding position in cricket that is on the boundary line behind the batsman and is typically manned by a tall player who can bowl or catch. The main purpose of fielding at the fine leg is to stop runs being scored and to field any balls that are hit in the air toward the boundary.


A four in cricket is when the batsman hits the ball to the boundary, scoring four runs. Four runs are the maximum number of runs that can be scored from one stroke of the bat, and so it is a significant contribution to the team’s total.

Full toss

A full toss in cricket is when the ball is delivered to the batsman without bouncing on the ground first. This type of delivery is more difficult for the batsman to play, as they have less time to react to the ball.

Good length

Good length in cricket means bowling the ball so that it pitches in the middle of the wicket, and then bounces to reach the batsman at waist height. This is the optimum length for a batsman to play shots and is also the most difficult length to bowl.

Half volley

A half volley in cricket is a ball that is bowled on the ground and bounced up to the batsman at waist height or above. It is a relatively easy shot to play, as the ball is not traveling too fast and is not bouncing too high.

Leading edge

The leading edge in cricket is the edge of the bat closest to the batsman. This is where the batsman will make contact with the ball when he is trying to hit it.

Leg bye

A leg bye is a type of extra run scored when the ball hits the batsman’s legs resulting in the batsman being able to run to the next base. Leg byes are not counted as runs scored off the bat, but rather as extras.

Leg break

The leg break is the most common type of spin bowling and is generally considered the easiest to bowl. The leg break is bowled by turning the cricket ball with the fingers so that it spins from leg to off.


A maiden in cricket is an over in which no runs are scored. A maiden over is often considered a good achievement for the bowler, as it requires a high degree of skill to prevent the batsman from scoring.

Mid off

Mid off is a fielding position in the sport of cricket. Mid off is situated at an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the batsman and is located between the wicket-keeper and covers.

Mid on

Mid on is a fielding position in cricket. It is one of the most important positions on the field, as the mid on fielder has a good view of the entire field and can help direct the other fielders.

Mid wicket

Mid-wicket is a fielding position in the sport of cricket. Mid-wicket is considered a relatively easy position to field in, as the batsman has to hit the ball a long way to reach the boundary.

No ball

No ball in cricket means the delivery is invalid and the batsman cannot be dismissed from that delivery. There are a number of reasons why a ball may be called a no ball, including if the bowler bowls a full toss above waist height, if the bowler bowls from the wrong place, or if the ball hits the bat before it reaches the stumps.


A nightwatchman is a lower-order batsman who is deployed to bat during the last few overs of the day in Test cricket, after the dismissal of one or more top-order batsmen. The main purpose of a nightwatchman is to protect the batsmen at the top of the order from having to face the new ball in difficult batting conditions, with the light fading and the pitch beginning to deteriorate.


When a batsman is out in cricket, it means that they have been dismissed and must leave the field. This can happen in different ways such as being caught out, bowled out, or stumped out.


An outfielder in cricket is a player who is stationed in the outfield, typically in the positions of the forward short leg, backward short leg, first slip, second slip, third slip, point, cover, or sweeper. The main role of an outfielder is to field balls that are hit by the batsman and to prevent runs from being scored by the batting team.


Outswing in cricket is a term used to describe the movement of the ball away from the batsman after it has been pitched. Outswing can be achieved by bowling with an off-stump line and using the seam of the ball to make it deviate from a straight line.


Pitch in cricket is the area of the field between the wickets, on which the batsman stands and off which the ball is bowled. The word “pitch” is also used to describe the surface of the pitch, which can vary in condition from match to match and from ground to ground.


In cricket, a point is a fielding position that is located on the off side of the pitch, between the square leg and point umpires. Points are often used in conjunction with the slips, as they provide the captain with an extra fielder to cover the off side.


In cricket, a run is the basic unit of scoring. It is the act of running between the wickets, crossing the batting crease, while the ball is in play.

Run out

A run out is when the batsman is dismissed by being forced to run between the wickets, with the fielding team managing to break the wicket before they reach the other end. This can be achieved by the fielding team either direct hit with the ball or by the ball deflecting off another player or object and hitting the wicket.

Reverse sweep

A reverse sweep is a cricketing stroke played in a similar fashion to a conventional sweep, but with the batsman’s body and legs reversed so that they are facing the opposite direction. The stroke is played with a very fine leg side field and is often used as a surprise tactic against spin bowling.

Reverse swing

Reverse swing in cricket is a bowling technique in which the cricket ball swings in the opposite direction to the usual swing. The technique is used by fast bowlers to get the ball to deviate from a straight line, and is particularly effective on dry pitches.


The term “rope” in cricket refers to the perimeter of the playing field. It is typically made of a white cord or wire and is used to mark the boundaries of the field.

Run rate

The run rate in cricket is the average number of runs that a team scores per over. It is used to predict how many runs a team will score in a given number of overs, and is a useful tool for setting targets.

Run up

In cricket, “running up” refers to the action of the bowler running toward the wicket to deliver the ball. The length of the run-up will vary depending on the type of delivery the bowler is attempting, and on the individual bowler’s style.


A runner in cricket is a player who is permitted to run between the wickets while the ball is being fielded by the opposition. This is usually done when the batsman is unable to run himself, such as when he is injured or when he has hit the ball to a deep fielder.


A stump is a vertical post that supports the two bails and marks the end of the pitch. It is also one of the three vertical posts that, together with the two bails, form a wicket.

Square leg

The square leg is a fielding position on the leg side, square of the wicket, about 15 to 20 yards from the batsman. The name comes from the fact that the umpire is square to the batsman, i.e. at right angles to the batsman’s wicket.


The seam of a cricket ball is the raised stitching that runs around the circumference of the ball. The seam can have a significant impact on the aerodynamics of the ball, and can also affect the way the ball bounces and spins.


Sledging is a form of verbal abuse in cricket, directed at a player by another player, typically from the opposing team. It is designed to unsettle the batsman or fielder and is often considered a form of gamesmanship.


A slog in cricket is a powerful shot played with a full swing of the bat, typically over the boundary fence for six runs. The term is generally used when the batsman is looking to score quickly and boundaries are scarce.

Slog sweep

A slog sweep in cricket is a powerful shot played by sweeping the ball hard and low to the boundary, usually from a good length or shorter. It is an attacking shot often used to score quick runs and is particularly effective against spin bowling.

Strike rate

The strike rate of a batsman is calculated by dividing the number of runs he scored by the number of balls he faced. A high strike rate indicates that a batsman is able to score runs quickly, while a low strike rate indicates that a batsman is not able to score runs as quickly.

Swing ball

Swing ball in cricket is a type of delivery where the ball swings in the air. It is generally achieved by the bowler by imparting spin on the ball. The aim of the bowler is to make the ball deviate from its original path in the air, making it difficult for the batsman to hit it.

Third man

The “third man” is a fielding position in cricket. It is located at the back of the slips, behind the wicket-keeper, and is usually the last fielder on the off side of the pitch.


A wicket in cricket is one of three things: the stumps and bails, the pitch, or the act of dismissal. The stumps are three vertical posts that support two bails, and together they form the wicket. The pitch is the strip of ground between the two wickets. The act of dismissal is when a batsman is out, and he/she is said to have been dismissed by the bowler.

Wide ball

A “wide ball” in cricket is a ball that is bowled so wide that it is impossible for the batsman to score off it. This is a delivery that is considered to be a no-ball, and the batsman is awarded a run.


A yorker in cricket is a ball bowled that hits the ground near the batsman’s feet, usually bouncing up to hit the bat low on the handle. Yorkers are generally very difficult to score off and are considered one of the most dangerous deliveries in cricket.

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