Cricket is a game where rules and numbers rule supreme. If you did not already know, there are many primary laws of cricket, each of which has a number of supplementary laws. Cricket has a lot of regulations, but some of them are just plain strange, which drives people absolutely nuts.
Let’s take a look at some of cricket’s stranger and less-known regulations.
1. The Completion of a Hat Trick Can Take Two Innings or More!
A hat trick in cricket is when a bowler gets three wickets in three straight balls! A double hat-trick occurs when a bowler takes four wickets in the span of four consecutive deliveries!
Additionally intriguing, the three consecutive deliveries could occur in the same over, two separate overs, two different innings, or even two different matches! It counts as a hat-trick as long as the bowler gets a wicket in each of the three subsequent deliveries!
In cricket, hat tricks are uncommon. A hat trick in two distinct innings or games is much more uncommon. A hat trick stretched across three overs is even rarer!
Merv Hughes of Australia scored a really intriguing and challenging hat trick! He took a wicket with the final ball of his 36th over in the second test of the 1988–89 series against the West Indies. The Windies had only one remaining wicket when he returned to bowl, which he acquired on the first ball of his 37th over. He again took a wicket off the opening delivery of the second innings. His hat trick was therefore split over not just 2 innings but also 3 overs!
2. Batter Will be NOT OUT if the Ball Hits the Glove NOT Holding the Bat!
A batter’s glove is viewed as an extension of his bat. Therefore, a batter is ruled to be out caught when a ball hits their glove while they are holding their bat and goes straight to a fielder.
But did you know that a batter can be declared not out even if the other side’s fielding team catches the ball as soon as it strikes the batter’s glove?
However, this only applies if the batter’s glove receives a direct hit from the ball and his or her hand is not in any way holding the bat.
3. Ball Bouncing More Than Once is a No Ball
Rarely does the ball bounce more than once in modern cricket before it gets to the batter. And if it did, it is established that a ball is regarded as a No Ball if it bounces more than once before getting to the wickets on the striker’s end.
4. Batter Out on the Pitch for Obstructing the Play!
According to Law 37, a batter can be dismissed for willfully striking the ball and blocking the field while the ball is in play. What constitutes obstructing the field and what doesn’t depends on a number of factors. Most crucially, it is not deemed an obstruction of the field if a batter accidentally stops or hits the ball.
5. If the Bowler Throws the Ball Towards the Striker’s End, it is No Ball
Law 21.4 of the Laws of Cricket, which is about “bowler throwing towards striker’s end BEFORE delivery,” contains more information regarding this cricket rule. This basically implies that if a bowler decides to throw the ball towards the batter on strike while getting ready to bowl their next delivery and stepping back to take their run-up (also known as the delivery stride), the umpires can declare this a no-ball!
6. LBW stands for “Body before Wicket” in reality
Leg before wicket, or LBW, is one of the most frequent ways a batter is dismissed in cricket.
Did you know that “leg” in LBW can refer to any portion of your body instead of simply your leg? This simply means that provided other conditions for evaluating an LBW judgment are met, the batter may be declared out if the ball strikes the stumps or any part of their body.
7. Rule Regarding “Mowing of Grass on the Pitch”
It is not unusual to see someone mowing the grass on the cricket pitch. In order to maintain consistency throughout the field for cricket, it is actually necessary to mow the grass. The amount of grass that must be left on the field must adhere to certain guidelines. The pitch’s grass follows the same rules. Every day of the game, the cricket field must be mowed!
Essentially, this means that the field must be mowed, which involves cutting the grass off the field even when there is none!
8. Fielders Who are Wearing Gloves Incur Penalty Runs!
When catching the ball, a wicketkeeper frequently wears gloves. The only member of the fielding squad who is permitted to wear gloves is the wicketkeeper.
However, the really bizarre cricket rule is that the batting team receives 5 penalty runs if any other fielders use the wicketkeeper’s gloves (even for 10 seconds) without the aim of being a wicketkeeper!
9. Players Who Re-enter the Field Without Authorization will be Penalised!
Fielders and other players frequently leave the pitch, especially when fielding. When a player is not feeling 100 percent fit, this can happen. They may leave the field for a brief period of time and be replaced by a substitute fielder after providing the umpire with a good reason.
A player may also come back to the field, but only with the umpire’s permission. Therefore, once the over ends and the ball is dead, you will typically see a player enter the field.
The ball shall be deemed a “dead ball” if, however, the player enters the field in the middle of the over or in another manner and makes contact with it while it is in play without first obtaining the necessary permission from the umpire. The batting team will also receive five penalty runs from the umpires!
10. Playing Cricket is Possible Without Bail
If both umpires deem it necessary, a cricket match may continue without bails in accordance with Law 8.5 of the Laws of Cricket. Just in case you’re wondering, the answer is: “How would a batter be given out in such a situation?” Law 29.4 takes care of it, though!
If the game is played without bails, the umpires must determine whether or not the wicket has been hit in accordance with Law 29.4! If the umpire is confident that the ball, striker’s bat, or any other piece of the batter’s equipment has struck the wickets, the batter may still be given out.
11. Penalties for Wasting Time
The Fielding Side Wasting Time
If any of the two umpires believe that the over is moving too slowly or that time is being squandered in any other way, the captain of the fielding side is handed a first and final warning.
If any additional time wastage is discovered, the umpires might –
- Award 5 penalty runs, if time is wasted between overs.
- Immediately suspend the bowler from bowling for the rest of the innings, if time is wasted throughout the over.
Time Waste on the Batting Side
A first and final warning is issued if any of the two umpires believes one of the two batters is wasting time. If any other batter wastes time in that innings, the umpire will award the bowling team five penalty runs.
In all circumstances, the umpires report the incident to the respective cricket boards and the ICC, following which appropriate action may be taken against the captain, an individual, or the entire team as judged necessary.
12. It is NOT OUT if the Bails DO NOT FALL (Even if the Ball Gets Through the Stumps!)
Most of you are probably aware that when the ball hits the stumps, the bails on top of the stumps must collapse. That is a straightforward rule!
It was useful back when the only way an umpire could be certain that a ball had hit the stumps was if the bails had dropped. Giving a batter out if the bails do not dislodge does not make complete sense in current times, especially with all of the technology of replays, reviews, and LED bails.
What’s strange about this cricket rule is that a batter is declared NOT OUT even if the ball goes through the stumps but the bails don’t come off!
13. Out with the “Returning the Ball” Rule!
As a player, you must be mistaken if you decide to make a friendly gesture by assisting your fielding by returning the ball to them! A batter might be given out if he decides to “return the ball” to the fielder without their approval; hence, such a gesture should not be regarded as friendly!
14. The Three-Minute Rule
An incoming batter must be ready to play within 3 minutes of the previous batter being out, according to Law 40 of the Laws of Cricket. If this does not occur, the batter might be given out, “Timed Out”!
A batter has only 3 minutes to put on their kit and get ready to face the ball. As a result, even before a wicket falls, a batter who is expected to bat next is usually padded up and ready to bat.
15. The Play Will Not Begin Unless the Umpire’s Signal is Accepted!
We have all seen a cricket umpire deliver various signs, such as a six, four, no ball, or even a wide. But have you ever thought to whom the umpire is signalling? Is it the batter, the captain, the audience, or the camera?
The umpire actually gives these signals to two official scorekeepers (also known as scorers), who are seated adjacent to a huge scoreboard on a cricket pitch. Their role is to monitor the signals, calculate the score, and update the scoreboard.
However, one of the rules of cricket specifies that the scorers must acknowledge all umpire signals. Typically, this is accomplished by raising a flag after the signal is issued, letting the umpire know that the scorer has noticed the signal and taken it into consideration.
If the scorer fails to acknowledge the umpire’s signal for whatever reason, the game cannot proceed!
16. Penalty if the Ball Strikes the Helmet (or Any Other Fielding Team Equipment!)
According to cricket rules, a fielding squad is not permitted to store any equipment used on the cricket pitch.
This means that the helmet, which is frequently seen behind the wicketkeeper, is technically not permitted on the cricket pitch.
However, if a fast bowler and a spin bowler are bowling simultaneously, a wicketkeeper may need to switch or rotate between their cap and helmet. Bringing the helmet from outside the field after each over will waste a lot of time in this situation. As a result, umpires permit wicketkeepers to retain their helmets on the pitch behind them.
If the ball strikes the helmet, the batting team receives five penalty runs!
What’s more, it’s not only the helmet; if the ball strikes any fielding team equipment on the ground, five penalty runs will be awarded.
17. Umpire Position Change at Striker’s End
Most of us are aware that the umpire at the striker’s end, also known as the leg umpire, spends the majority of his time on the pitch’s leg side.
It is also common knowledge that the leg umpire has the option of standing on the opposite side of the pitch if their view is obstructed in any way.
If the leg umpire decides to do so, he must notify the captain of the fielding team, the batter at the striker’s end, and the other umpire. Otherwise, the ball is presumed to be dead!
18. Handling the Ball!
Even though it is a rare occurrence, a batter has been given out in this manner on several occasions. The batter is permitted to protect the wickets under this cricket rule. This means they can use any part of their body, including their pads, helmet, and even the bat, to keep the ball from striking the stumps. They can even use their hand; however, the batter cannot use any hand other than the one holding the bat!
This simply means that if a batter defends the ball while holding the bat with both hands and deflects the ball with any of his hands while still holding the bat with both hands, the batter will not be given out!
19. A Ball That is Obstructed in the Air by an Object is a “Dead Ball”
According to cricket rules, if a batter strikes the ball in the air and it meets an obstruction while still in the air, the delivery is deemed a “dead ball” and is not counted. No runs will be scored, and a batter cannot be out in such a situation.
20. Any Obstacle on the Ground is Not a Boundary!
If a batter strikes a ball and the ball is stopped by a dog or a bird that happens to enter the ground at the right time, it is not considered a boundary (even if the ball was crossing the boundary line before it was stopped). However, for fixed barriers such as a tree, the two captains and umpires must agree that it should be deemed a boundary.
21. Penalty Runs for Kicking the Ball Over the Boundary!
If a fielder purposely kicks the ball outside the boundary, the batting team receives at least four runs. There have been cases where a fielder has accidentally pushed the ball past the boundary. A fielder purposely putting the ball past the boundary, on the other hand, is extremely rare.
22. A Batter CAN NOT be Given OUT Without an Appeal!
A wicket appeal is a typical occurrence in the game of cricket. However, while appealing to a bowler is quite common, it is not widely understood that a batter cannot be given out if the fielding team does not appeal! This is true even if the batter is legally out, but if the fielding team does not appeal, neither of the two umpires can rule the batter out.
23. Rule of Fake Fielding
The fake fielding rule is a relatively new addition to the cricket laws. According to this rule, “fake fielding” occurs when a fielder does not properly collect the ball but his actions give the idea that he has the ball, preventing the batter from scoring runs. The fielding team can face a penalty of five runs for such behaviour. They created this cricket rule to prevent fielding teams from duping the batter while maintaining fair play.
24. Rule on Appeal Withdrawal
This cricket rule is both fascinating and strange! A captain of the fielding team may withdraw an appeal after gaining approval from the umpire who made the decision to dismiss the batter under Law 31.8 of the Laws of Cricket.
This effectively means that, even if a batter has been given out by the umpires, the skipper can withdraw the appeal and ask the batter to continue after receiving confirmation from the umpire!
25. Batter CAN NOT Hit the Ball Twice
Law 34 of the cricket laws adjudges a batter out if he/she wilfully strikes the ball a second time with his/her bat before it touches any fielder. There are, however, two major exceptions to this rule. These are as follows:-
A batter is NOT OUT even after hitting the ball twice if the batter –
- Strikes the ball for the second time to return it to the fielder. However, before touching the ball with the bat or any other part of his body, he/she must obtain permission from the fielder.
- Strikes the ball a second time to protect his wickets (to keep the ball from hitting his wickets).
Even if they hit the ball a second time, a batter can use their bat to prevent it from striking the wicket.
26. Strangest Not Out Rule
If a fielder catches the ball after it has touched the fielder’s cap, helmet, or body fabric, the batter is not out. What’s more bizarre is that if the ball touches any other part of the body after the fielder catches it, the batter is ruled out.
27. There Will be No Runs Awarded for Deliberate Padding
You may have noticed batters purposefully stopping the ball with their pads, particularly when a leg-spinner bowls a leg break from outside the line of the leg stump. However, purposely padding the ball does not allow the batter to run.
The runs will not be counted even if the ball races to the boundary. It is not the same as leg byes. The umpires will only allow leg-bye runs if the batter attempts a legitimate shot and misses, and the ball contacts their pad. Or if the batter is attempting to avoid getting hit by the ball.
28. Maximum of Two Fielders Behind the Square Leg
Few people are aware of this cricket rule that only two fielders can remain in the minor region between the square leg and long stop positions. They implemented this cricket rule to protect batters from now-illegal bodyline deliveries. In such deliveries, the bowler may target the batter’s upper body, causing a mistimed stroke as the batter tries to avoid being hit.
Also Read: The Cricket Fielding Positions – Explained
29. The Rule of the Shadow
According to this cricket rule, a fielder is not allowed to move if they throw a shadow on the pitch until the batter plays the shot or the ball reaches the batter. The batter must concentrate completely when facing the delivery. This rule eliminates any undue distractions that the batter may encounter while focused on the ball.
30. Penalty for Intentional Short-Run
A short run occurs when either of the batters does not ground their bat within the popping crease before going for the next run after taking a run. In such a case, the umpire declares a short run, awards the run and determines the striker on the next ball in accordance with MCC Law 18.3.
Players frequently abuse this cricket rule to ensure a better batter is on the striker’s end. The umpires will disregard all runs scored on that ball and penalize the batting side 5 runs if they believe the batters intentionally took a short run.