Glossary of Cricket Terms
Bails - Two bails or small cylinders are balanced at the top of three vertical dowels or stumps, the entire unit is called the wicket.
No Ball - Not a magician's trick! The umpire is signalling a ball (pitch) thrown from outside the boundaries of the correct bowling position (the popping crease).
Batsman - The batsman is the player wielding the long, flat, laminated willow bat.
Bowler - The bowler is the player throwing the red, leather ball at the batsman.
Bowling A Maiden Over - Happens to cricketers all the time, lucky chaps. Does not refer to having a wonderful effect on your female companion, but rather to bowling six balls without conceding a run.
Box - A protector worn by batsmen to protect their crown jewels.
Chinaman - Not really oriental. This is a leg break delivered by a left handed bowler.
Cow Corner - This is the cricketing term for the fielder at 'pull'. He's there for catches. In the early days of cricket it is reported that the fielder constantly looked down (to see what he was treading in) as often as he looked up to see the ball in mid air.
Duck - Suffered by a batsman dismissed for no runs.
Fine Leg - A fine leg, whether short or long, is a field position.
Full Toss - Describes a ball which does not hit the pitch before it reaches the batsman.
Hat Trick - Refers to the bowler having taken three wickets (dismissed three batsmen) with successive balls. Demonstrates uncommon skill and many years ago resulted in the bowler being awarded a hat.
How's That or Howzat, or How is He? - Not any inquiry by the bowler and/or fielder regarding the batsman's health, but a question asked of the umpire (usually aggressively) as to whether or not the batsman is out.
It Went Straight Through Him - Not really - the speed and/or angle of the ball off the pitch enabled the ball to go between the bat and the batsman's ribs.
Knock Up - Has other connotations but in cricket it means warming up in a practice before the game.
Leg break - Not an injury but merely a ball spun so that, upon hitting the pitch, moves from leg position to off to a right handed batsman by a right handed bowler.
Leg Slip - not sexy lingerie, but someone waiting for a tickle (see below).
A Long Hop - No athletics required, but refers to a ball pitched (i.e. hitting the pitch) so short that the batsman has ample time to judge where to hit the ball.
Over - The game hasn't ended. It is the umpire's call signalling that six balls have been bowled; (i.e. "The game's over when this over is over.") At the end of the over the bowler switches ends and bowls to the batsman at the other end of the pitch.
Overnight Batsman - Although cricket games can be long, the batsman does not have to bat until morning. If a wicket falls late in the day, near the close of play, the skipper sends in a player, capable of preventing the fall of another wicket. Thus the better batsmen are rested for next day's play.
Pitch - The pitch is the entire playing field.
Quickie - In no way related to common usage, but a term used to describe a very fast bowler.
Right Arm Round - Refers to a bowler who bowls from the right side of the wicket rather than the customary left side.
Round the Wicket - "He bowls round the wicket right arm round" Term refers to a bowler who doesn't bowl from the left side of the wicket.
Silly, Short, Long or Deep - "He's at silly mid off." Reflects the proximity to the pitch at the batsman's end. Of course, if the fielder is too silly (perilously close to the batsman) - he is silly. Cricket fielders do not protect their hands with gloves, any hard hit ball is likely to result in injury to hands or body.
Slip - "He's playing in the slip". Slips are field positions directly behind the wickets adjacent to the stumper, can be occupied by up to five players.
Spin Bowler - Does not rotate with the possibility of screwing himself into the ground, but imparts spin to the ball using fingers and/or wrist to produce description of the ball after it hits the pitch, hopefully before it reaches the batsman.
Spinner - "He throws a spinner." The slow ball thrown by a bowler.
Square Cut - Is produced when a long hop is hit by the batsman to (or past) the point position. It is not a cut against the grain.
Sticky Wicket - Field conditions created by close cropped, recently wet grass are called a sticky wicket. This field condition adds a deadly spin to the bowled ball.
Tickle - Not what you may think (although fielders have been described as "standing round the corner, legs apart, waiting for a tickle"). The fielder is anticipating a very fine touch of ball on bat "tickling" it to him for a catch. Tickle: "He tickled the ball and wa out." If the bowled ball slightly tips the bat the batsman is called out.
Wicket - Has various meanings: 1. Three vertical stumps or poles with two bails balanced on top. The wicket is protected by the batsman, while the bowler attempts to knocks the bails off. 2. The immediate playing area including the two batting creases and the mat between them.
Wide Ball - If a ball is delivered beyond the batsman's reach wide fo his normal stance, the umpire calls "wide", a run is added to the batting side's score and an extra ball is bowled.
Cricket Watchers Guide
How the Game is Played
Bowler vs. Striker
The Ball & Bowling
Ins & Outs of Scoring
Glossary of Cricket Terms
Cricket in America
North American Cricket Clubs
C.C. Morris Cricket Library
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