Rules of Cricket for beginners -


Rules of Cricket

Rules of Cricket | The Code of Cricket  -

A cricket match is played between two teams of eleven players. But it can be played with fewer members if both the sides agree to do so. Each team plays under a captain, and the members of the team must be named before the toss takes place. After the toss the members of a team cannot be changed without the consent of the two Captains.

No match in which teams have more than eleven members or less than eleven members can be regarded as First Class.

Deputy Captain

1. If a captain is not available at any time, a deputy must act for him to deal immediately with the points arising from disputes and laws.

In Case of Illness

2. If any member cannot partake in the match due to illness or injury, a substitute may be allowed to field or run between the wickets.

No other Reason
Except for illness or injury, a substitute cannot be allowed for any other reason without the consent of the two captains.

No Batting or Bowling
The substitute is not allowed to bat or bowl. He can only field or run between the wickets.

The Original Player
The original player can bat or bowl, even though substitute has acted for him previously. 


3.  Before the toss for innings takes place, two Umpires should be appointed. They control the game from either end. They should work with absolute impartiality. 

No Change
No umpire can be changed during the course of a match without the consent of the two captains.

The umpires should arrive on the field thirty minutes before the start of a play. 

The Scorers 

4. All runs scored must be recorded by the scorers appointed for the purpose.

All instructions and signals given by the Umpires should be accepted and acknowledged by the Scorers.

Doubtful Points
To clear up doubtful points there should be a consultation between the scorers and umpires.

The Ball

5. The ball should weigh not less than 5 ½  ounces, nor more than 5 ¾ ounces.

It should measure not less than 8.13/16 inches, not more than 9 inches in circumference.

New Ball 
Each captain may demand a new ball at the start of each innings.

Last Ball
In case of a ball having been lost, the umpires shall allow the use of a new ball.

Life of a Ball
The life of a ball has been fixed at 200 runs. After that a captain can demand a new ball.
Rules of Cricket | The Code of Cricket  -

The Bat

6. The bat should not be more than 4½  inches in the widest part. It should not exceed 38 inches in length.

The Pitch

7. The Pitch is the area of the ground between the bow ling creases. It should be five feet in width on either side of the line joining the centre of the wickets.

Responsibility for Pitch
The executive of the ground is responsible for selection and preparation of the pitch before the game starts. After that, its maintenance is a responsibility of the Umpires.

No Change
The pitch cannot be changed during a play without the consent of the two captains.

The Wickets

8. The wickets are pitched opposite and parallel to each other at a distance of 22 yards from stump to stump.

Each wicket should be nine inches in width.

Each wicket consists of three stumps with two bails on top of them.

The top of the stumps must be 28 inches above the ground.

Sizes of Bails
A bail must be 4.3/8 inches in length, and should not project more than ½  inch above the stump.

The Creases 

9. The bowling crease shall be in line with the stumps. It shall be eight feet and eight inches in length. The stumps should be in the centre. The return crease should be at each end at right angles behind the wicket.

The Popping Crease
The popping crease should be marked four feet in front of and parallel with the bowling crease.

Both the return and the popping crease shall be deemed unlimited, in length.

Care of Pitch

10. The pitch should not be rolled during a play except before the start of each innings and of each day's play.

If Captains Agree
If both the captains agree, the pitch may be swept and rolled for not more than seven minutes.

During a Play
A pitch should not be mown or watered during the play.

Covering the Pitch

11. The Pitch should not be completely covered during a match. The covers should extend not more than 5½  feet in front of the popping creases. 

Beating and Sawdust

12. The Batsman may beat the picth with his bat, and the players may secure their footholds by the use of sawdust.

Wet Weather
In wet weather the Umpires should see that the holes made by the bowlers and batsmen are cleaned out and dried.


13. Each side has two innings taken alternately.

Choice by Toss
The choice of first innings is decided by tossing on the field of play.

No Change of decision
The winner of a toss cannot alter his decision to bat or field once it has been communicated to the other captain.

Following Innings

14. The side which bats first and leads by 150 runs in a match of three days or more ; by 100 runs in a two- day match ; or by 75 runs in a one-day match, shall have the option of requiring the other side to follow their innings.


15. In a match of three or more days, the captain of the batting side may declare an innings closed at any time on the second and succeeding days. In a two day match he can close only on the second day but not later than 1 hour and 40 minutes before the closing time. In a one-day match he can close at any time.

Start and Close 

16. The umpire at the bowlers and calls "play" at the start of each innings. The side refusing to play shall use the match. No trial ball is allowed after "Play" has been called.

The umpires shall allow 10 minutes between each innings and two minutes for each freshman to come in.

Time for Meals
The umpires shall allow such intervals as have been agreed upon for meals.

Outgoing and Ingoing
It is important that the in-going batsman should pass the out-going batsman before the latter leave the field of play.

No Bowling Practice
No bowling practice on the pitch is allowed at any time during the game.

Time to End 

17. The umpires should call "Time" and remove both the wickets on the stoppage of the bails from the play at the end of the game, the end of the day or any interval.

An "Over" should always be started if "Time" has not been reached, and should be completed unless a batsman is "out" and retires within 2 minutes of the completion of any period of play.

Over in Progress
An "Over" in progress at the close of a play on the final day of a match should be completed at the request of either captain even if the wicket fall after "Time" has been reached.

Scoring a Run 

18. A run is scored so often as the batsman after a hit, or at any time while the ball is in play, shall have crossed and made good their ground from end to end.

One short
If the batsmen run a short run, that run shall not be scored.

Striker Caught
If the striker is caught, no run shall be scored.

Run Out
If a Batsman is run out, that run which was being attempted shall not be scored.


19. Before the toss for innings the umpires shall agree with both sides on the boundaries for play, and on the allowances to be made for them.

An umpire shall call or signal "Boundary" whenever in his opinion a ball in play hits, crosses or is carried over the Boundary.

Exceeding Allowance
The runs completed at the instant the ball reaches the boundary shall count only should they exceed the allowance.

Wilful Act
If the boundary results from an overthrow or the wilful act of a fieldsman, any runs already made and the allowance shall be added to the score.

Lost Ball 

20. If a ball in play cannot be found or recovered, any fieldsman may call "Lost Ball," when 6 runs shall be added to the score.

Runs Already Scored
If more than six have been run before "Lost Ball" be called, as many runs as have been run shall be scored.

The Result 

21. A match is won by the side which has scored more runs than scored by the opposing side in its two completed innings.

One-day Match
One-day matches, unless played out, shall be decided by the first innings.

Given up as Lost
A match may also be determined by giving up as lost by either side.

A match not determined in any of these ways shall count as a "draw".

The Over 

22. The ball be bowled from each wicket alternately in Overs of either 8 or 6 balls according to the agreed conditions of the play.

Reckoning as Over
Neither a "No Ball" nor a "Wide Ball" shall be reckoned as an "Over".

Finishing an Over 

23. A bowler shall finish an "Over” in progress unless injured or suspended for unfair play.

Changing Ends
A bowler can change ends as often as he desires, provided that he shall not bowl two "Overs" consecutively in an innings.

Determining Side
A bowler may require a batsman at the wicket from which he is bowling to stand on whichever side of it he may direct.

Dead Ball 

24. The ball shall be held to be "Dead" on being finally settled in the hands of the wicketkeeper or of the bowler or on reaching or pitching over the boundary; or lodging in the dress of a batsman or umpire; or on the call of "Over" or "Time" or on a batsman being out from any cause ; or on a penalty being imposed.

Ceasing to be Dead
The ball shall cease to be dead on the bowler starting his run or bowling action.

No Ball 

25. If an umpire is not satisfied with the absolute fairness of the delivery of a ball, he shall call or signal "No Ball" instantly upon delivery.

One Foot Behind
It is "No Ball" if the bowler has not some part of it behind the bowling crease and within the return crease, and not touching or grounded over either one foot or crease.

Jerked, Not Bowled
It is No Ball" if it is thrown or jerked, and not bowled.

No Ball is Not Ball 

26. The ball does not become "Dead" on the call of "No Ball".

Hit a "No Ball"
The striker may hit a "No Ball" and whatever runs result shall be added to his score.

Runs Made
Runs made otherwise from a "No Ball" shall be scored "No Balls".

No Runs Made
If no runs are made, one run shall be scored.

The penalty for a "No Ball" is only scored if no runs result otherwise.

Wide Ball 

27. If the bowler should bowl the ball so high over or so wide of the wicket that it passes out of the reach of the striker, the umpire shall call and signal "Wide Ball".

Wide Ball is not Dead 

28. The ball does not become "Dead" on the call of "Wide Ball". If no runs are made, one run shall be scored.


29. If the ball, not having been called "Wide or "No Ball" passes the striker without touching his bat or person, and any runs are scored, the umpire shall call or signal "Bye".

Leg Bye
If the ball touches any part of the striker's dress or person except his hand, and any run be obtained, the umpire shall call or signal "Leg Bye".

Kneeing or Kicking
The deliberate kicking or kneeing of the ball is regarded unfair and the umpire should call for "Dead Ball".

The Wicket is Down 

30. The wicket shall be held to be down if either the ball or the striker's bat or person completely removes either bail from the top of the stumps; or if either or both of the bails be previously off, strikes a stump out of the ground.

Use of Hand or Arm
Any player may use his hand or arm to put the wicket down, or even should the bails be previously off, may pull up the stump, provided always that the bail is held in the hand or hands so used.

Disturbance is not Down
A wicket is not down merely because of the disturbance of the bail but it is down if it lodges between two of the stumps.

Out of his Ground 

31. A batsman is held to be "Out of his ground" unless some part of his bat in hand or of his person be grounded behind the line of the Popping Crease.

Batsman Retiring 

32. A Batsman may retire at any time, but may resume his innings without the consent of the opposing Captain, and then only on the fall of a wicket.

Retired, Not Out
When a batsman retires on account of illness or injury, the innings is recorded as "Retired, not out".


33. The striker is out "Bowled" if the wicket be bowled down, even if the ball first touch his bat or person.

Kicks or Hits
The striker, after playing the ball, is out "Bowled", if he then kicks or hits it on to his wicket before the completion of his stroke.


34. The striker is out "caught", if the ball, from a stroke of the bat or of the hand holding the but not the wrist, be held by a fieldsman before it touches the ground, even if it is hugged by the catcher or accidentally lodged in his dress.

Playing Area
The fieldsman must have both his feet entirely within the playing area when the catch is completed.

Handled the Ball 

35. Either Batsman is not "Handled the ball" if he touches it while in play with his hands, unless it be done at the request of the opposite side.

Hit the Ball Twice 

36. The striker is out "Hit the ball twice"-if the ball be struck is or be stopped by any part of his person, and he wilfully strike it again except for the purpose of guarding his wicket which he may do with his bat or anu part of his person, other than his hands.

No runs
No runs except those which result from an overthrow shall be scored from a ball lawfully struck twice.

Don't Hit Twice to Avoid Catch
A batsman should not attempt to hit the ball twice, if so doing he checks the wicket-keeper or any fieldsman trying to catch the ball, he is out.

Hit the Wicket 

37. The striker is out "Hit the Wicket" if in playing at a ball he hits down his wicket with his bat or any part of his person.

Not in Running
The batsman is not out for breaking the wicket with his bat or person while in the act of running.

Leg Before Wicket 

38. The striker is out L.B.W." if with any part of his body except his hand he intercepts a ball which has not first touched his bat or hand, which otherwise would have hit the wicket.

Obstructing the Field 

39. Either batsman is out "Obstructing the field" if he wilfully obstructs the opposite side, should such wilful obstruction prevent a ball from being caught.

Run Out 

40. Either batsman is out "Run Out", if in running or at any time, while the ball is in play, he be out of his ground, and his wicket be put down by the opposite side.

Who's Out
If the batsmen have crossed, he that runs for the wicket that has been put down is out. If the batsmen have not crossed, that batsman is out who has left the wicket.

Neither Run Out
If the ball is played on opposite wick, neither batsman is "Run Out", unless the ball has been touched by a fieldsman before the wicket is put down.


41. A fieldsman is not "Stumped", if he be out of his ground otherwise than in attempting a run, and the wicket be put down by the wicket-keeper without the intervention of another fieldsman only when the ball has touched the bat or person of the striker may the wicket- keeper take it in front of the wicket for this purpose.

Ball Rebounding
The striker may be stumped if the wicket is broken by a ball rebounding from the wicket-keeper's person.

The Wicket-keeper 

42. The wicket-keeper shall remain wholly behind the wicket until a ball delivered by the bowler touches the bat or person of the striker, or passes the wicket, or until the striker attempts a run.

The Fieldsman 

43. The fieldsman may stop the ball with any part of his persons, but, if he wilfully stops it, five runs shall be added to the runs already scored. If no runs have been made, five shall be scored.

The penalty shall be added to the score of the striker if the ball has been hit, but otherwise to the score of the Byes, Leg-Byes, No balls, Wide Balls as the case may be.

The fieldsman must not use his cap, etc. for the purpose of fielding a ball. The five runs are a penalty and the batsman do not change ends.

Duties of the Umpires 

44. Before the toss for innings, the umpires shall acquaint themselves with any special regulations, and shall agree with both captains on any other conditions affecting the conduct of the match. They shall satisfy themselves that the wickets are properly pitched. They shall agree on a watch or a clock to be followed for the purpose of time.

45. Before and during a match the umpires shall ensure that the conduct of the game and the implements used are strictly in accordance with the laws. They are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. They are the final judges of the fitness of the ground, the weather, and the light for play in the event of a decision being left to them. All disputes shall be determined by them. Ifthey disagree the actual state of affairs shall continue. The umpires shall change ends after each side has had one innings.

Uninfluenced by Others
The umpires must not allow the attitude of the players or spectators to influence their judgment and decisions.


46. The umpires shall not order a batsman out unless appealed to by the other side which shall be done prior to the delivery of the next ball and before "Time" is called.

At Bowler's Wicket
The umpire at the bowler's wicket shall answer appeals before the other umpire in all cases except those arising out of the laws 38 or 42 and out of law 41 for run out at the striker's wicket.

Unable to Give Decision
In any case in which an umpire is unable to give his decision, he shall appeal to the other umpire whose decision shall be final.

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