Cricket/Laws of Cricket
LAWS OF CRICKET.
As Revised by the Committee of the Marylebone Cricket Club, 1884 and 1889.
The Game 1. A match is played between two sides of eleven players The Game, each, unless otherwise agreed to; each side has two innings, taken alternately, except in the case provided for in Law 53. The choice of innings shall be decided by tossing.
Runs. 2. The score shall be reckoned by runs. A run is scored—
1st. So often as the batsmen 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.
2nd. For penalties under Laws 16, 34, 41, and allowances under 44.
Any run or runs so scored shall be duly recorded by scorers appointed for the purpose.
The side which scores the greatest number of runs wins the match. No match is won unless played out or given up, except in the case provided in Law 45.
Appointment of Umpires 3. Before the commencement of the match two Umpires shall be appointed, one for each end.
The Ball. 4. The Ball shall weigh not less than five ounces and a half, nor more than five ounces and three-quarters. It shall measure not less than nine inches, nor more than nine inches and one-quarter in circumference. At the beginning of each innings either side may demand a new ball.
The Bat. 5. The Bat shall not exceed four inches and one-quarter in the widest part; it shall not be more than thirty-eight inches in length.
The Wickets. 6. The Wickets shall be pitched opposite and parallel to each other at a distance of twenty-two yards. Each wicket shall be eight inches in width, and consist of three stumps, with two bails upon the top. The stumps shall be of equal and sufficient size to prevent the ball from passing through, twenty-seven inches out of the ground. The bails shall be each four inches in length, and when in position on the top of the stumps, shall not project more than half-an-inch above them. The wickets shall not be changed during a match, unless the ground between them become unfit for play; and then only by consent of both sides.
The Bowling Crease. 7. The Bowling Crease shall be in a line with the stumps, six feet eight inches in length the stumps in the centre, with a return crease at each end, at right angles behind the wicket.
The Popping Crease. 8. The Popping Crease shall be marked four feet from the wicket, parallel to it, and be deemed unlimited in length.
The Ground. 9. The Ground shall not be rolled, watered, covered, mown, or beaten during a match, except before the commencement of each innings and of each day's play; when, unless the in-side object, the ground shall be swept and rolled for not more than ten minutes. This shall not prevent the batsman from beating the ground with his bat, nor the batsman nor bowler using sawdust in order to obtain a proper foothold.
The Bowler 10. The ball must be bowled; if thrown or jerked the umpire shall call "No Ball."
No Ball. 11. The Bowler shall deliver the ball with one foot on the ground behind the bowling crease, and within the return crease, otherwise the umpire shall call "No Ball."
Wide Ball. 12. If the bowler shall bowl the ball so high over or so wide of the wicket that, in the opinion of the umpire, it is not within reach of the striker, the umpire shall call "Wide Ball."
The Over. 13. The ball shall be bowled in Overs of five balls from each wicket alternately. When five balls have been bowled, and the ball is finally settled in the bowler's or wicket-keeper's hands, the umpire shall call "Over." Neither a "no ball" nor a "wide ball" shall be reckoned as one of the "over."
14. The bowler shall be allowed to change ends as often as he pleases, provided only that he does not bowl two overs consecutively in one innings.
15. The bowler may require the batsman at the wicket from which he is bowling to stand on that side of it which he may direct.
Scoring off No Balls and Wide Balls. 16. The striker may hit a "No Ball," and whatever runs result shall be added to his score; but he shall not be out from a "no ball," unless he be run out or break Laws 26, 27, 29, 30. All runs made from a "no ball," otherwise than from the bat, shall be scored "no balls," and if no run be made one run shall be added to that score. From a "Wide Ball" as many runs as are run shall be added to the score as "wide balls," and if no run be otherwise obtained one run shall be so added.
Bye. 17. If the ball, not having been called "wide" or "no ball," pass the striker without touching his bat or person, and any runs be obtained, the umpire shall call "Bye;" but if the ball touch any part of the striker's person (hand excepted), and any run be obtained, the umpire shall call "Leg-bye," such runs to be scored" byes" and "leg-byes" respectively.
Play. 18. At the beginning of the match, and of each innings, the umpire at the bowler's wicket shall call "Play." From that time no trial ball shall be allowed to any bowler on the ground between the wickets; and when one of the batsmen is out, the use of the bat shall not be allowed to any person until the next batsman shall come in.
Definitions. 19. A batsman shall be held to be "out of his ground," unless his bat in hand or some part of his person be grounded within the line of the popping crease.
20. The wicket shall be held to be "down" when either of the bails is struck off, or if both bails be off, when a stump is struck out of the ground.
The Striker is out—
The Striker. 21. If the wicket be bowled down, even if the ball first touch the striker's bat or person; "Bowled."
22. Or, if the ball, from a stroke of the bat or hand, but not the wrist, be held before it touch the ground, although it be hugged to the body of the catcher; "Caught."
23. Or, if in playing at the ball, provided it be not touched by the bat or hand, the striker be out of his ground, and the wicket be put down by the wicket-keeper with the ball or with hand or arm, with ball in hand; "Stumped."
24. Or, if with any part of his person he stop the ball which, in the opinion of the umpire at the bowler's wicket, shall have been pitched in a straight line from it to the striker's wicket and would have hit it; "Leg before wicket."
25. Or, if in playing at the ball he hit down his wicket with his bat or any part of his person or dress; "Hit wicket."
26. Or, if under pretence of running, or otherwise, either of the batsmen wilfully prevent a ball from being caught; "Obstructing the field."
27. Or, if the ball be struck, or be stopped by any part of his person, and he wilfully strike it again, except it be done for the purpose of guarding his wicket, which he may do with his bat, or any part of his person except his hands; "Hit the ball twice."
Either Batsman is out—
The Batsman. 28. If in running, or at any other time, while the ball is in play, he be out of his ground, and his wicket be struck down by the ball after touching any fieldsman, or by the hand or arm, with ball in hand, of any fieldsman; "Run out."
29. Or, if he touch with his hands or take up the ball while in play, unless at the request of the opposite side; "Handled the ball."
30. Or, if he wilfully obstruct any fieldsman; "Obstructing the field."
31. If the batsmen have crossed each other, he that runs for the wicket which is put down is out; if they have not crossed, he that has left the wicket which is put down is out.
32. The striker being caught no run shall be scored. A batsman being run out, that run which was being attempted shall not be scored.
33. A batsman being out from any cause, the ball shall be "Dead."
Lost Ball. 34. If a ball in play cannot be found or recovered, any fieldsman may call "Lost Ball," when the ball shall be "dead"; six runs shall be added to the score; but if more than six runs have been run before "lost ball" has been called, as many runs as have been run shall be scored.
35. After the ball shall have been finally settled in the wicket-keeper's or bowler's hand, it shall be "dead"; but when the bowler is about to deliver the ball, if the batsman at his wicket be out of his ground before actual delivery, the said bowler may run him out; but if the bowler throw at that wicket and any run result, it shall be scored "no ball."
36. A batsman shall not retire from his wicket and return to it to complete his innings after another has been in, without the consent of the opposite side.
Substitute. 37. A Substitute shall be allowed to field or run between wickets for any player who may, during the match, be incapacitated from illness or injury, but for no other reason, except with the consent of the opposite side.
38. In all cases where a substitute shall be allowed, the consent of the opposite side shall be obtained as to the person to act as substitute, and the place in the field which he shall take. 39. In case any substitute shall be allowed to run between wickets, the striker may be run out if either he or his substitute be out of his ground. If the striker be out of his ground while the ball is in play, the wicket which he has left may be put down and the striker given out, although the other batsman may have made good the ground at that end, and the striker and his substitute at the other end.
40. A batsman is liable to be out for any infringement of the Laws by his substitute.
The Fieldsman 41. The Fieldsman may stop the ball with any part of his The Fieldsman person; but if he wilfully stop it otherwise, the ball shall be "dead," and five runs added to the score; whatever runs may have been made, five only shall be added.
Wicketkeeper. 42. The Wicket-keeper shall stand behind the wicket. If he shall take the ball, for the purpose of stumping, before it has passed the wicket, or, if he shall incommode the striker by any noise or motion, or, if any part of his person be over or before the wicket, the striker shall not be out, excepting under Laws 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30.
Duties of Umpires. 43. The Umpires are the sole judges of fair or unfair play, of the fitness of the ground, the weather, and the light for play. All disputes shall be determined by them, and if they disagree, the actual state of things shall continue.
44. They shall pitch fair wickets, arrange boundaries where necessary, and the allowances to be made for them, and change ends after each side has had one innings.
45. They shall allow two minutes for each striker to come in, and ten minutes between each innings. When they shall call "Play," the side refusing to play shall lose the match.
46. They shall not order a batsman out unless appealed to by the other side.
47. The umpire at the bowler's wicket shall be appealed to before the other umpire in all cases, except those of stumping, hit wicket, run out at the striker's wicket, or, arising out of Law 42; but in any case in which an umpire is unable to give a decision, he shall appeal to the other umpire, whose decision shall be final.
48. If the umpire at the bowler's end be not satisfied of the absolute fairness of the delivery of any ball, he shall call "No Ball."
48a. The Umpire shall take especial care to call "No Ball" instantly upon delivery; "Wide Ball" as soon as it shall have passed the striker. 49. If either batsman run a short run, the Umpire shall call "One Short," and the run shall not be scored.
50. After the Umpire has called "Over," the ball is "dead," but an appeal may be made as to whether either batsman is out; such appeal, however, shall not be made after the delivery of the next ball, nor after any cessation of play.
51. No umpire shall be allowed to bet.
52. No umpire shall be changed during a match, unless with the consent of both sides, except in case of violation of Law 51; then either side may dismiss him.
Following Innings 53. The side which goes in second shall follow their Innings. innings, if they have scored eighty runs less than the opposite side.
54. On the last day of a match, and in a one-day match at any time, the in-side may declare their innings at an end.
1. The side which goes in second shall follow their innings, if they have scored sixty runs less than the opposite side.
2. The match, unless played out, shall be decided by the first innings. Prior to the commencement of a match it may be agreed that the over consist of five or six balls.
The Laws are, where they apply, the same as the above, with the following alterations and additions.
1. One wicket shall be pitched, as in Law 6, with a bowling stump opposite to it at a distance of twenty-two yards. The bowling crease shall be in a line with the bowling stump, and drawn according to Law 7.
2. When there shall be less than five players on a side, bounds shall be placed twenty-two yards each in a line from the off and leg-stump.
3. The ball must be hit before the bounds to entitle the striker to a run, which run cannot be obtained unless he touch the bowling stump or crease in a line with his bat, or some part of his person, or go beyond them, and return to the popping crease.
4. When the striker shall hit the ball, one of his feet must be on the ground behind the popping crease, otherwise the -umpire shall call "No Hit" and no run shall be scored. 5. When there shall be less than five players on a side, neither byes, leg-byes, nor overthrows shall be allowed; nor shall the striker be caught out behind the wicket, nor stumped.
6. The fieldsman must return the ball so that it shall cross the ground between the wicket and the bowling stump, or between the bowling stump and the bounds; the striker may run till the ball be so returned.
7. After the striker shall have made one run, if he start again, he must touch the bowling stump or crease and turn before the ball cross the ground to entitle him to another.
8. The striker shall be entitled to three runs for lost ball, and the same number for ball wilfully stopped by a fieldsman otherwise than with any part of his person.
9. When there shall be more than four players on a side, there shall be no bounds. All hits, byes, leg-byes, and overthrows shall then be allowed.
10. There shall be no restriction as to the ball being bowled in overs; but no more than one minute shall be allowed between each ball.
RULES OF COUNTY CRICKET.
1. That no cricketer, whether amateur or professional, shall play for more than one county during the same season.
2. Every cricketer born in one county and residing in another shall be free to choose at the commencement of each season for which of those counties he will play, and shall, during that season, play for that county only.
3. A cricketer shall be qualified to play for any county in which he is residing and has resided for the previous two years; or a cricketer may elect to play for the county in which his family home is, so long as it remains open to him as an occasional residence. A man can play for his old county during the two years that he is qualifying for another.
4. That, should any question arise as to the residential qualification, the same should be left to the decision of the committee of the Marylebone Club.
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.