Cricket rules and regulations simply explained

Cricket Rules and Regulations

Cricket is one of the most popular games in the world. As we know, every game has certain rules and regulations and these rules make the game beautiful. In this article, we will see the basic Cricket rules and regulations.

Cricket is mostly played on big grounds. But in countries like India, it is played in every gully or on terrace or anywhere possible.

The game is played on an international level under International Cricket Council. ICC organizes major tournaments like Cricket World cup, T20 world cup, Champions Trophy, etc. Recently, ICC has started Test Championship for the first time.

In this article, we will be talking about international cricket rules and regulations which are followed all over the world. The game is mainly played in three formats i.e One day, Test and T20. The rules for all these formats differ slightly.

Object of the game

The object of cricket is to score more runs than the opponent team. For the batting team, the object is to score as many runs as possible while the bowling side’s object is to all-out the batting team under minimum runs within certain overs. After all-out or end of overs, both teams switch their roles.

Now, the second batting team has to chase the target of runs put by the opponent team. While the bowling teams object is to all-out or restrict their opponents before the target. In the end, the team having more runs becomes the winner.

Ground and Playing Kit

The game of cricket is played on big circular grounds. The size may vary from ground to ground. The circumference of the ground is called the boundary and this boundary line is usually in the form of ropes.

The pitch is in the middle of the ground whose dimensions are according to ICC standards. Around the pitch, there is a 30-yard circle drawn. The field inside and outside the 30-yard circle is termed as infield and outfield respectively.

For playing the game, different types of cricket balls are available (leather, synthetic, tennis). The International matches are played with the white (ODI or t20) and red (test) leather balls. Recently, the pink leather ball is also introduced in international cricket.

While playing with a leather ball proper protection is a must. This includes a helmet, batting pads, thigh pads, elbow guard, abdominal guard, batting and wicket-keeping gloves. Also, a standard size English or Kashmir willow bat is required.

Other important equipment are the wickets. A wicket consists of three stumps and two bails. The stumps are made of wood and having an equal height of 28 inches. The bails are just placed over the stumps.

Basic cricket rules and regulations

The whole Squad consists of 15 players. But only 11 players play on the field and the other 4 players are called the reserve players. Thus each team consists of 11 players (batsmen, allrounders, a wicket-keeper and bowlers).

In case any players get injured, another player from the 4 reserve players replaces him. This player is called the 12th man. This 12th player is not allowed to bat or bowl. Thus also called as a substitute fielder.

There are two on-field umpires who give decisions according to cricket rules and regulations. Their duty is to give decisions regarding out or not out, checking no-ball, wide ball, etc. and notify the scorers.

Apart from the on-field umpires, there is also a third umpire sitting in a room who can use all the modern technology (ultra edge, hotspot, ball tracking, slow motion) available to give a perfect decision. When on-field umpires are not sure they refer towards the third umpire to give a decision.

Runs Scoring according to cricket rules and regulations

When a batsman hits the ball, he has to run towards the other end to complete one run. A single run is said to be scored if the batsman successfully manages to reach his bat across the popping crease before taking the bails off by the fielding side.

In a single shot, the batsmen can take many runs as much possible by running across the pitch if the ball doesn’t touch the boundary. Also, he can score runs in the form of boundaries i.e fours and sixes.

When the ball crosses the boundary rope directly that is without touching the ground then it is called ‘six’ runs. When the ball touches the ground first and then crosses the boundary line, then it is called ‘four’ runs. The runs taken by a batsman before the ball going across the boundary line will not be considered. He will get four or six runs for that boundary only.

Other ways which contribute to runs scoring are- wide ball, no ball, leg bye, and bye. These are the free runs for the batting side as these are not scored by the batsman. These are called ‘extras’ given by the bowling side.


Wide ball– When the ball is away from the reach of the batsman and stumps it is a wide ball. Also, the ball is said to be wide when it is outside the leg stump for a right-hand batsman and outside the off-stump for a left-hand batsman. Batting team gets one run per every wide ball. On a wide ball, a batsman can be out only by stumping, hit wicket, run out, or by obstructing the field.

No-ball – As per the rules, only two bouncers are allowed per over and the third bouncer will be given as no-ball. A full toss ball above the waist height is considered as a no-ball. Also when the bowler oversteps with his front foot or if his back foot cuts or does not land within the return crease then it is given as no-ball. A single run is given to the batting team for every no-ball. The runs scored by a batsman on no-ball are added to his individual score. For front foot no balls, a free hit is given in the next delivery. On no-ball and free hit batsman cannot be out by any method except run out, handled the ball, hit the ball twice, and obstructing the field.

Leg bye– The runs taken by batsman when the ball directly strikes him on pads or body are called leg byes. He will not get the run through leg bye if he doesn’t attempt the shot.

Bye– When the ball neither strikes the batsman nor the bat and keeper also left the ball, then the runs scored are the byes. It is neither a no-ball nor a wide ball.

Ways of a batsman getting out according to cricket rules and regulations

The object of the bowling side is to take the wickets and all-out or restrict the opponent team to a minimum total. There are many ways in which the batsman can be out.

1. Bowled

When the batsman misses the bowl and the bowl strikes the wickets putting at least one bails off the stumps then the batsman is said to be bowled. However, the batsman will not be given out bowled if that ball is no ball or if before striking the stumps the ball has been in contact with other players or umpire.

2. Catch Out

When the batsman strikes the ball with his bat or gloves and if any fielder catches the ball before it touches the ground then the batsman is said to be caught out. All the 11 fielders on the field can catch the ball.


A batsman is out or stumped if the wicket-keeper puts down the wicket before the batsman returns to the crease. Here the batsman has stepped out off the crease to play a shot and not attempted to take a run.

4. Leg Before Wicket (lbw)

A batsman is out if the ball strikes his pads first and the umpire feels the ball could have struck the stumps if the batsman was not there. The batsman will be not out if the ball is pitching outside leg or the ball strikes the batsman outside the line of the off-stump.

5. Run Out

A batsman is out when his body and bat are outside the popping crease while taking the run and the fielding side has managed to take the bails off with the ball in hand or by directly hitting the ball on the wickets. Fielders have to take out the stump if the bails are already fallen.

6.Hit Wicket

The batsman is out if after the release of the bowl the batsman himself puts down the wicket with his body or bat. The striker is also out hit wicket if he puts his wicket down by his bat or his body in setting off for a first run. 

7. Handled the ball

A batsman is out if he willingly touches his hand to the ball without the consent of the opposition. It seems that the batsman is protecting his wicket from the ball and that’s why he is given out.

8. Obstructing the field

When umpire founds that the batsman has obstructed the fielder from making him run out then the batsman is given out for obstructing the field. If the not striker obstructs the fielder from taking catch then also the striker will be given out.

9. Timed Out

The next incoming batsman should be on the crease within 3 minutes of the outgoing batsman being dismissed otherwise the incoming batsman is given out.

10. Hit the ball twice

The batsman is out if he hits the ball twice, other than for the sole purpose of protecting his wicket or with the consent of the opposition, he is out.

These are the basic cricket rules and regulations one must for playing the game. In all, there are three formats- Test, ODI, and T20. Test cricket rules differ slightly from ODI and T20 rules. There are many other advanced laws in cricket that will be covered in the next articles.

Also read: Rules of Test Cricket, Sessions, Follow-on, Overs

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