Cricket Rules – Understand The Basic Concepts

Cricket Rules – Understand the basic concepts to enjoy the Cricket game better

Cricket has become one of the most popular sports in the world after football. Few countries not only consider cricket just as a sport but also worship as its biggest religion.

Mainly, without understanding the basic concepts, if you watch cricket matches, you might feel cricket is a complicated game.

In this guide, you will explore the fundamental rules of cricket that captivate every cricket fan during the match.

Understand  the Playing XI concept :

Cricket is a game that is played between two teams, comprising 11 members each, known as the Playing XI. These players are selected from the allocated 15-member squad.

After forming your Playing XI of your team, the remaining players are known as “Bench Players” or “Extra Players”. They can be substituted as fielders if any one of the playing XI gets injured or is forced to stay out of the field due to unavoidable circumstances.

Know the different playing equipment:

The five basic equipments such as the bat, ball, wickets, stumps, and bails comprise the main essence of cricket.

Pitch Size and Ground Shape:

Any cricket match is usually played on a large circular or oval-shaped ground consisting of a 22-yard pitch at the centre, within the small inner oval. A set of three wickets with two bails on its top are placed at separate ends of the pitch (one at the bowler’s end and the other at the batter or striker’s end).

Number of Balls in an Over:

The match is divided into separate sections known as overs, which are further split into balls. Typically, a bowler should bowl six balls in an over.

Penalty Deliveries in Cricket | Cricket Rules:

At times, a bowler might bowl more than six balls in an over due to the penalty deliveries bowled such as the no-ball, wide ball and dead ball:

  • No- Ball: It is a credit to the batting side that happens when a bowler’s front foot or back foot crosses the crease, or if the ball is bowled above the batter’s waist height. In such cases, a batter’s dismissal is not valid for a no-ball. As a result, a free hit is awarded to the batting side, which is a license for a batter to play risky shots without having the fear of losing their wicket. However, certain dismissals like run-out, handling the ball, hitting the ball twice and obstructing the field can be valid even if a no-ball is being bowled.
  • Wide Ball: If a ball delivered is beyond the batter’s reach, it is known as a wide ball and an extra run is awarded to the batting side. Interestingly, dismissals like run-out and stump-out are valid in the case of a wide ball.

  • Dead Ball: This happens if the ball is bounced more than one time on the pitch or if the umpire isn’t ready. There wouldn’t be any free hit or extra run awarded to the batting side. Rather, the ball wouldn’t be counted and needs to be bowled again.

Number of Overs in an innings:

Especially in limited-overs cricket like the One-Day Internationals (ODIs), a 50-over match is conducted per inning. Whereas, the shorter format like the Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) matches consists of 20 overs per innings.

In a longer format like test cricket, a minimum of 90 overs will be played per day and the match continues for up to 5 days within the allocated hours on each day.

Toss- an important factor in Cricket:

Most importantly, winning the toss plays a crucial role which can determine upto 70-90% of the match outcome. At the same time, a team’s skills and strategy by adapting themselves to play under tricky conditions can outsmart the decision of the toss-winning captain.

The home team’s skipper flips the coin and the opponent team’s captain makes their call as “Heads” or “Tails”. Interestingly, the captain has the right to choose if their opponent should bat or bowl first after winning the toss, thereby having the maximum advantage to make decisions based on the pitch conditions.

Number of Batsmen and Bowler on the field during an innings:

The batting team will have two batters on the pitch during an innings, whereas the bowling side will have all 11 players on the field (one of them bowls at one end and the other player as wicketkeeper stands behind the stumps).

Umpires in a Cricket Match:

Two on-field umpires one at the square leg and the other at the bowler’s end make the decisions during the match. However, either the batting or bowling side can challenge the umpire’s review through the Decision Review System (DRS). The third umpire analyzes the recorded videos of the game in slow motion and provides a conclusive result to help with close decisions.

Fielding Restrictions during Powerplay overs

Typically, the fielding restrictions are applicable in the white ball cricket format like the ODIs and T20Is. During the powerplay overs, only two fielders can be placed outside the 30-yard circle (near the boundary).

Powerplay Overs in ODIs:

There are three powerplay sessions in an ODI match as explained below in detail:

  • First 10 overs: Only 2 fielders can be positioned outside the 30-yard circle.
  • 11 to 40 overs: Upto 4 fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.
  • Final Overs (41 to 50 overs): A maximum limit of upto 5 fielders can be placed at the 30-yard circle.

Powerplay Overs in T20Is:

There is only one powerplay over in T20I matches, and that too in the starting overs (1 to 6 overs) and two fielders are permitted to stand outside the 30-yard circle. Once the powerplay overs are completed, there must be a minimum of 4 players inside the 30-yard circle. In other terms, five players can be positioned near the boundary ropes.

What Is Bazball In Cricket  – Explained


There are several cricket rules, out of which the basic laws are listed, which will be useful for every beginner to understand the concepts in depth and enjoy the sport of cricket.

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