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The Simple Cricket Dictionary

28 May , 2019  

This definitive dictionary of cricketing terminology will have you commentating on games like a pro...

With origins dating back to the 16th century, cricket has been around for decades. And whilst its popularity has (obviously) increased tenfold over its 500-year history, many still struggle to understand, the somewhat complex, terminology. From ducks and ‘LBWs’ to creases and yorkers, it can leave everyone feeling slightly stumped. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered with our very own simple cricket dictionary.

Bails: Two small pieces of wood that sit on top of the stumps to form the ‘wicket’ – “The bails fell off the stumps after the ball hit them.”
Batsman: One of two players on the batting team who is at the ‘crease’ or a player who specialises in batting – “He’s more of a batsman than a bowler.”
Bouncer: When the bowler bowls a fast and short ball which comes up near the batsman’s head – “Woah, look at how quick that bouncer was, it nearly hit his head.”
Boundary: The edge of the pitch – “He stopped the ball before it hit the boundary and went for four.”
Bowled: A way for the batsman to be ‘out’, when the bowler’s ball hits the stumps and removes the bails – “The batsman left the pitch after being bowled.”
Bowlers: A player who delivers the ball to the batting team or a player who specialises in bowling – “He never bats high, he’s a bowler.”
Box: An item of equipment batsman wear to protect their bits – “Don’t forget to wear your box, you don’t want to hurt the crown jewels.”
Bye: A run scored when the ball is not hit by the batsman or caught by the wicket keeper – “It’s missed everything, it’s gone for a bye.”
Caught: A way for the batman to be ‘out’, when a fielder catches the ball without it bouncing – “They’ve caught him, he’s out.”
Century: A batsman scoring 100 runs in a game – “He celebrated scoring a century.”
Crease: Painted white lines at either end of the pitch which help determine where batsman and bowlers should stand – “The batsman stood at the crease waiting for the ball to be bowled.”
Dot Ball: A ball bowled without any runs scored off it – “Nothing happened, he’s bowled a dot ball.”
Duck: When a batsman gets out without scoring any runs – “Zero runs and he’s out, he’s got a duck.”
Extra: A run scored without the batsman doing anything (can be a ‘bye’, ‘leg bye’, ‘penalty’, ‘wide’ and ‘no ball’) – “The batting team scored 220 including 17 extras.”
Four: A shot that hits the boundary and instantly scores four runs to the batting side – “He’s hit it for four there, no one is stopping that ball from touching the boundary.”
Golden Duck: When a batsman gets out on the first ball faced – “Well that’s embarrassing, he’s been on the pitch for five seconds and is out with a golden duck.”
Half Century: A batsman scoring 50 runs in a game – “He celebrated scoring a half century.”
Innings: Each player or team’s turn to bat – “They scored 170 in their innings.”
LBW (Leg Before Wicket): When the batsmen gets out by having his leg in front of the wicket – “He’s got to be out, that was definitely an LBW.”
Leg Bye: A run scored when the ball comes off a batsman’s thigh pad or leg after he’s tried to play the ball – “He tried to hit it, but it hit him and has gone for a leg bye.”
Leg Side: The side of the pitch behind the batsman as he goes to hit the ball – “He hit it over the leg side.”
No Ball: When the bowler bowls an illegal ball (can be overstepping the ‘crease’, bowling above waist height, throwing or having more than two fielders behind square on leg side) and the batting side is awarded one extra run and the ball has to be bowled again – “His front foot is over the crease, it’s a no ball.”
ODI (One Day International): An international match which takes no more than one day to be played and is limited to 50 overs per innings – “England are playing Windies in an ODI today.”
Off Side: The side of the pitch in front of the batsman as he goes to hit the ball – “He hit the ball off side.”
Out: When a batsman has been dismissed from the pitch – “The balls been caught, he’s out.”
Over: When a single bowler bowls six consecutive legal balls – “The bowler took one wicket during his over.”
Runs: The way to score in cricket – “The winning team scored 267 runs.”
Run Out: When a batsman gets ‘out’ by the opposition hitting the wicket whilst he’s outside the crease – “What a great bit of fielding, he’s been run out.”
Sandpaper: What teams use to try and tamper with the ball – “Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner got caught roughing up the ball with sandpaper and banned from the sport for up to 12 months.”
Seam Bowler: Bowlers who focus on bowling with seam movement – “He’s more of a seam bowler than a spin bowler.”
Six: A shot that goes over the boundary without touching the ground and instantly scores six runs – “Look at that shot, he’s definitely hit it for six.”
Slip: Positions of fielders, the ‘first slip’ being next to the wicket-keeper – “Move into the slip, we can catch this ball.”
Spin Bowler: Bowlers who spin the ball using their fingers or wrists – “He’s definitely a spin bowler with that delivery.”
Stump: One of the three vertical poles that the bails sit on – “They placed the bails on top of the stumps to signify start of play.”
Stumped: When a batsman gets ‘out’ by the wicket-keeper hitting the wicket with the ball when the batsman is outside his crease – “That was an easy one, he’s been stumped.”
Test Match: A match played over five days with unlimited overs – “India have a test match against Pakistan next week.”
T20: A match where each team has an innings of 20 overs – “Lancashire are playing Yorkshire in a T20 game tonight.”
Wicket: Can be one of three things; (1) a set of stumps and bails, (2) the pitch or (3) term used when a batsman gets out – “(1) The batsman stood in front of the wicket, (2) it had been raining so the wicket didn’t look too good, (3) the bowler took three wickets in his innings.”
Wicket Keeper: The player on the fielding side who stands directly behind the batting end wickets – “The wicket keeper stumped the batsman to get him out.”
Wide: When a bowler bowls the ball wide of the wicket, giving the batting side an extra run – “The bowler’s bowled that wide, he’s going to back to bowl an extra ball.”
Yorker: When the bowler bowls a fast ball that lands really close to the batsman – “It’s going to be tricky for the batsman to hit that.”
5-fer: Five wickets taken by a team or bowler – “The bowler took a 5-fer during his innings.”
10-fer: Ten wickets taken by a team or bowler – “The bowler took a 10-fer during his innings.”


If watching the Cricket World Cup has left you inspired, take a look at our Cricket Essentials page here, which has everything you need to take your lawn to Lord’s this season.

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