Cricket Terms – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Cricket Terms ~ Posted

Cricket Terms and Abbreviations

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The rich language of the game of cricket

The abbreviations
The batting
The bowling
The club and ground
The dismissals
The equipment
The fielding positions
The game
The players and officials
The scoring

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The terms Description
The abbreviations (including a few other commonly used terms)
b bowled
batting in
c caught
C century (in Roman numerals)
c and b caught and bowled
CC cricket club
CC double century (in Roman numerals)
CCC County Cricket Club
D/L Duckworth/Lewis (method)
DRS Decision Review System
ECB England and Wales Cricket Board
eleven a side (of eleven players)
extra(s) bye(s), leg-bye(s), wide(s) or no-ball(s)
ICC International Cricket Council
IV four (in Roman numerals)
L half century (in Roman numerals)
lb leg bye(s)
lbw leg before wicket
leg on / leg side
M maiden (over)
MCC Marylebone Cricket Club – the tacitly accepted governing body of cricket until 1969, it continues to have primary responsibility for the game’s laws
nb no-ball(s)
n.o. not out
O duck
O over(s)
ODI one-day International – an official limited-over cricket match (typically 50 overs per team) between two accredited national teams
on leg / leg side
OO pair (of spectacles)
R run(s)
ro run out
st stumped
TMS Test Match Special
TON century
VI six (in Roman numerals)
W wicket
w wide(s)
XI a side of eleven players (in Roman numerals)
   
The batting top
air shot a stroke that fails to connect with the ball
batting average the number of runs scored by a batsman for every time he is out
big hitter a player who hits the ball a long way
block stop a ball with a forward defensive shot
blockhole the place where a batsman rests the end of his bat when batting
break one’s duck make one’s first run
carry one’s bat / carry the bat of an opening batsman, to remain not-out at the end of a completed innings
cover drive a drive past cover point
cut an attacking stroke to the off played with a horizontal bat
draw deflect the ball with the inside edge of the bat
drive hit strongly in front of the wicket
edge hit with the edge of the bat
gardening the prodding of the wicket by a batsman in order to remedy perceived unevenness
glance a leg glance
glide similar to a leg glance
go in begin batting
guard the position of a batsman’s bat relative to the wicket when standing ready to receive a delivery
half-cock a stroke made by playing neither forward nor back
hook an attacking stroke played with a horizontal bat sending the ball from shoulder height or above onto the leg side behind the wicket
inside edge a deflection from the inner extremity of the bat
keep one’s end up be content to keep one’s wicket standing without trying to score
late cut a cut made with a delayed action so as to send the ball to the off side behind the wicket
leg glance a deliberate stroke in which the ball is deflected to leg only slightly from its line of flight
lofted drive a drive where the ball is hit in the air to clear infield or midfield positions.
maiden (test) century a batsman’s first (test) century
meat the middle of the blade of the bat
middle hit the ball with the middle of the bat
nurdle score runs by gently pushing or deflecting the ball with the bat rather than by hitting it hard
off drive a drive made to the off side
on drive a drive made to the on side
on strike (of a batsman) facing the bowling
on the up (of a stroke) played as the ball rises from its bounce
outside edge a deflection from the outer extremity of the bat
play on strike the ball onto one’s own wicket
pull an attacking stroke played with a horizontal bat where the batsman hits the ball from waist height round onto the leg side
reverse sweep a stroke made by swinging the bat in a horizontal arc from leg to off, normally whilst kneeling.
run rate the rate at which runs are being scored per over, in an innings
skier / skyer a delivery hit high into the air
snick a slight deflection off the edge of the bat
square cut a cut hit square on the offside
stonewall hold up progress by batting extremely defensively
strike the position of facing the bowling; licence to receive the next delivery
strike rate the number of runs scored by a batsman per delivery actually faced by him
stroke a particular way of hitting the ball
sweep a stroke in which the batsman goes down on one knee to play the ball to the leg side with a horizontal bat
take guard (of a batsman) ask the umpire for guidance in marking a position or guard
take strike (of a batsman) prepare to face the bowling
tickle a slight touch of the ball with the bat
tonk hit the ball hard
walk leave the pitch when dismissed, especially without waiting for the umpire to adjudicate on an appeal
yahoo an exuberant attempt to hit the ball hard, often with disappointing results
   
The bowling top
ball a delivery of the ball
beamer a fast, head-high delivery
bodyline bowling intimidatory short-pitched fast bowling delivered at the batsman’s body, especially directed towards the legside – see also leg theory
bouncer a short-pitched fast delivery bowled so as to bounce and rise sharply off the ground high enough to hit a batsman’s head or shoulders
bowling average the number of runs scored off a bowler for every wicket he takes
break the deviation of the ball on striking the pitch
bumper a bouncer
chinaman a delivery bowled by a left-arm bowler that spins in the opposite direction to the bowler’s usual delivery
creeper a delivery that stays low after bouncing
daisy-cutter a delivery bowled along the ground or that keeps low on pitching
delivery the act of bowling the ball
fast bowling bowling in which the ball is delivered fast – also called pace bowling4
doosra a leg break bowled with an apparent off-break action by a right-arm bowler.
fizzer a very fast delivery
full pitch / full toss a delivery which does not or would not bounce before passing or hitting the batsman’s wicket
gazunder a low delivery
googly an off break bowled with an apparent leg-break action by a right-arm bowler to a right-handed batsman, or conversely for a left-arm bowler
hat trick the taking of three wickets with consecutive balls (so called because in the 17th century, a bowler who accomplished the feat was rewarded by an immediate bonus, collected by passing a hat among gathered spectators)
inswinger a delivery bowled so as to swerve from off to leg
jaffa a well-bowled delivery that is likely to take a wicket
leg break a delivery that breaks from leg towards off on pitching
leg-cutter a fast bowler’s delivery that moves from leg to off after pitching
leg spin spin imparted to the ball to cause a leg break
leg theory the policy of bowling short-pitched leg-side deliveries persistently at the batsman’s body with a large number of leg-side fielders close to the wicket
length a suitable distance for pitching the ball when bowling
long hop a short-pitched, high-bouncing, delivery that is easy to hit
maiden (over) a set of six deliveries from which no runs are scored off the bat
medium-paced bowling bowling in which the ball is delivered at a speed intermediate between spin and pace
no-ball a delivery bowled in such a way that it is disallowed by the rules, and which counts as one run (or possibly more) to the batting side
off break a delivery that breaks from off towards leg on pitching
off-cutter a fast bowler’s delivery that moves from off to leg after pitching
off spin spin imparted to the ball to cause an off break
outswinger a delivery bowled so as to swerve from leg to off
over a series of six deliveries after which play changes from one end to the other
over rate the rate at which overs are bowled
overpitch bowl the ball so that it bounces close enough to the batsman to be easily hit
pace bowling bowling in which the ball is delivered fast – also called fast bowling
pitch bowl the ball so as to strike the ground at a particular spot; bounce on the pitch
reverse swing a phenomenon that causes a ball that has become roughened on one side to swing in the opposite direction to a new ball
seam deviate after pitching on the seam
seam bowling fast or medium-paced bowling in which the seam of the ball is positioned so as to make it deviate after pitching
shoot (of a bowled ball) keep abnormally low after pitching
short (of a bowled ball) bouncing at some distance from the batsman
slow bowling bowling in which the ball is delivered slowly
spell a number of overs bowled consecutively by a bowler
spin impart spin, causing the ball to deviate after pitching
spin bowling slower bowling in which the ball is given a twisting motion by the bowler’s wrist or fingers, in order to make it deviate after striking the ground
swerve cause the ball to swerve in the air
swing cause the ball to swerve in the air
swing bowling bowling in which the ball swerves in the air
throw bowl a ball while bending illegally and straightening the arm during delivery
wicket maiden a set of six deliveries from which one or more wickets are credited to the bowler and no runs are scored off the bat
wide a delivery bowled in such a way that the ball it is judged by the umpire to be out of reach of the batsman, and which counts as one run (or possibly more) to the batting side
work spin given to a ball by a bowler to cause it to break on pitching
wrong ‘un a googly
yorker a delivery bowled so as to pitch on the popping crease and pass under the bat
   
The club and ground top
boundary a line marking the limit of a cricket field
bowling crease a line marked perpendicularly across the pitch at the level of the wicket, from astride which the bowler must bowl
carpet the surface of the ground
clubhouse the premises occupied by a cricket club
country old name for the outfield
crease a line that regulates the positions of batsman and bowler at the wicket; see also bowling crease, popping crease and return crease
cricket club an association of people who get together to play cricket, usually against other clubs
field the disposition of fielders
ground an area of land associated with the activity of playing the game; the space behind the popping crease with which the batsman must be in touch by bat or person if he is not to be stumped or run out
infield the part of the field near the wicket
leg / leg side / legside that half of the field on the side on which the batsman stands when waiting to receive – for fielding, usually used to describe positions level with or behind the batsman (same as on / on side / onside)
midfield loosely, that part of the field between the infield and the outfield
net / net practice a practice session within nets
nets a practice pitch surrounded by nets
off / off side / offside that half of the field on the opposite side to that on which the batsman stands when waiting to receive, separated from the leg side by an imaginary line drawn from wicket to wicket
on / on side / onside that half of the field on the side on which the batsman stands when waiting to receive – for fielding, usually used to describe positions in front of the batsman (same as leg / leg side / legside)
outfield the outer part of the field
pitch the ground between the wickets
plumb (of a cricket pitch) level, true
popping crease a line marked perpendicularly across the pitch four feet in front of the bowling crease, at which the batsman plays and behind which he must have a foot or bat in order not to be run out or stumped
powerplay a period in a limited-overs cricket match during which there are special restrictions on where fielders may be positioned
put down drop a catch
return crease a line marked at right angles to the bowling crease and popping crease on either side of the wicket, inside which the bowler must bowl the ball
scoreboard a board on which the score is exhibited
sightscreen a large (usu white) screen placed on the boundary behind the bowler, providing a backdrop against which the batsman can more easily see the approaching ball
square a rectangular area in the centre of the cricket ground, on which the wickets are prepared
Test Match Special a British radio programme broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (long wave), Five Live Sports Extra (digital) and the internet, providing ball-by-ball coverage of most Test cricket, One Day International, and Twenty20 matches and tournaments involving the England cricket team
wicket the strip of field between the two sets of stumps; the pitch, especially in respect of its condition; see also wicket under dismissals
   
The dismissals top
appeal a claim that a batsman has been dismissed. (umpires will not signal “out” unless an appeal is made)
bowled a dismissal from a delivery which hits the stumps, whether or not touched by the bat, and dislodges one or both bails
caught a dismissal from a delivery which is hit by the batsman and caught by a fielder before it touches the ground
caught and bowled a dismissal from a delivery which is hit by the batsman and caught by the bowler before it touches the ground
clean bowled dismissed by a delivery which hits the stumps without hitting the bat or pad
handled ball a dismissal from handling the ball
hit ball twice a dismissal from hitting the ball twice (unless the ball would otherwise have hit the wicket)
hit wicket a dismissal from striking the wicket with the bat or part of the body and dislodging the bails
leg before / leg before wicket a dismissal from the ball striking the batsman’s legs, or another part of his body, without having made contact with the bat, and would otherwise have hit the wicket
not out still in at the end of the innings without having been dismissed
obstructing the field a dismissal from deliberately hindering a fieldsman or interfering with the ball in order to avoid being out
plumb unquestionably in a leg-before-wicket position
run out a dismissal by a ball, thrown by a fielder, which hits the stumps while a batsman is out of his ground
stumped a dismissal where the wicketkeeper hits the stumps with the ball while the batsman is out of his ground
timed out a dismissal from failure to take up guard within a specified time of the dismissal of the previous batsman
wicket a dismissal
   
The equipment top
bail one of the crosspieces that lie on top of the stumps to form the wicket
ball a solid spherical object that is bowled towards the batsman, who tries to strike it with his bat
bat a flattish club for striking the ball
blade a wooden block that is generally flat on the striking face and with a ridge on the reverse (back) which concentrates wood in the middle where the ball is generally hit
box a light, usually padded, shield covering the genitals
cherry a new ball
handle the handle of a cricket bat, typically made of cane
helmet headwear worn by some batsmen and fielders to protect themselves from injury by the cricket ball
new ball at certain stages of the game the fielding side may request that the ball be replaced with a new one
peg a stump (slang)
quilt the inner part of a cricket ball
splice the part of the handle of a cricket bat that fits into the blade
spring one of the strips of rubber, steel or wood inserted in and running down the handle of a cricket bat
stump one of the three wooden sticks forming (with the bails) the wickets
timbers the stumps
whites white clothes worn for cricket
wicket(s) the upright arrangement of three stumps with two bails on top which the batsman defends against the bowling
wicketkeeping gloves protective gloves worn by a wicketkeeper, to cushion the hands when repeatedly catching the ball
willow a cricket bat; the wood from which a cricket bat is traditionally
   
The fielding positions
Simplified
Detailed
top
cover / cover point off side, between point and extra cover
deep in the outfield, not close to the batsman
extra cover off side, between cover point and mid-off
fine behind the wicket and close to the line of flight of the ball when it is bowled
fine leg on or near the leg side boundary, at a more acute angle to the batsman than long leg
fly slip off side, some distance behind the batsman
gully off side, between point and slips
leg slip leg side, slightly behind the batsman
long on or near the boundary – see long leg, long off and long on
long leg on or near the leg side boundary, behind the batsman
long off on or near the off side boundary, behind the bowler
long on on or near the on side boundary, behind the bowler
mid-off off side, behind the bowler
mid-on on side, behind the bowler
mid-wicket on side, about midway between mid-on and square leg
point off side, fairly near the batsman in line with the popping crease
short relatively near the batsman – see short leg
short leg leg side, very near and in line with the batsman
silly very near the batsman
silly mid-off off side, very near and in front of the batsman
silly mid-on on side, very near and in front of the batsman
silly-point off side, very near the batsman in line with the popping crease
slip(s) off side, slightly behind the batsman
square leg leg side in line with the popping crease
third man on or near the off side boundary, behind the slips
wicket immediately behind the batsman
   
The game top
appeal ask for the umpire’s decision esp as to whether a player is out
the Ashes a trophy in the form of a small urn competed for by the cricket teams of England and Australia (from a mock obituary of English cricket after the Australian victory in 1882, after which the trophy purporting to contain the ashes of English cricket was devised); a series of test matches for this trophy
bat hit with a bat; a turn at batting (as in to have a bat)
bat on continue to play
batting taking turns at hitting with the bat as distinguished from bowling or fielding
bowl deliver a ball to the batsman at the wicket; a turn at bowling (as in to have a bowl)
bowl (a side) out get an entire team out
bowling taking turns at delivering the ball as distinguished from batting
cap a cap awarded as a sign of membership of a particular sports team, especially a county or national team
catch hold the ball after the batsman has hit it and before it touches the ground
come in start an innings
county cricket cricket played in matches between clubs representing counties
Decision Review System a technology-based system used to review controversial decisions made by the on-field umpires in the case of a batsman being dismissed or not
declaration / declare end an innings voluntarily before ten wickets have fallen and put the other side in to bat – usually done to allow enough time to win a game
deep the outfield, not close to the wickets
dismiss end the innings of a batsman or a team
dismissal the end of a batsman’s innings
dolly a slow, easy catch
draw stumps end play by removing the wickets
Duckworth–Lewis (method) a method of determining the runs total needed to win a one-day cricket match that is affected by rain or other interruptions – named after the English statisticians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis who invented the method
draw in an unlimited-overs game of one OR two innings, a situation where neither side wins….the first team’s total is not surpassed, but the innings are not completed. (No draws are allowed in limited-over games).
field catch or stop the ball and return it to the principal playing area; stand in position for catching or stopping the ball
fielding playing in the field as distinguished from batting
follow on start a second innings immediately after the first, as the result of scoring a total that is lower than that of the opposing team by more than a predetermined amount
gaper an easy catch
how’s that / howzat the appeal of the fielding side to the umpire to give the batsman out
in being in the middle of an innings
innings an individual batsman’s or team’s turn at batting; the total number of runs scored by a team during its time batting
knock an innings, a spell at batting
limited over games games where the number of overs bowled by each side is restricted
match a game of cricket – see also test match
misfield field badly or ineffectively
not out (of a side or batsman) having begun an innings and not been dismissed.
overthrow a return of the ball to the wicket that is missed by the fielders there
out no longer batting; having had one’s innings ended by the fielding side:
partnership the number of runs added by a pair of batsmen before one of them is dismissed or the innings ends
rubber a series of games
skittle out dismiss (a batsman or team) for a low score, usually quickly
sledge seek to upset the batsman’s concentration by making offensive remarks
stand the partnership of any two batsmen at the wicket; the period of time of the partnership; the runs made during a partnership
stumps see draw stumps
test (match) an official two-innings per side match between two accredited national teams
throw dismiss a batsman by throwing the ball at, and hitting, the wicket
Twenty20 a fast-paced form of cricket in which each side can bat for a maximum of 20 overs
uncapped not having been awarded the cap given to regular members of a county side
wicket a batsman’s innings or stay at the wicket, or his joint stay there with another
win by x runs the number of runs by which the team batting second falls short of the mark set by the first team
win by x wickets the number of wickets that the team batting second has in hand when it passes the first team’s total score
   
The players and officials top
all rounder a player who can both bat and bowl
bat a batsman
batsman a player who bats
bowler a player who bowls
bowler’s end umpire the umpire who stands behind the stumps at the bowler’s end of the pitch
captain a player selected to lead the team
eleven a side (of eleven players)
fast bowler a bowler who bowls at a fast pace – also called a pace bowler
fielder a player who fields
groundsman a person whose job is to take care of a cricket ground
leg spinner a player who bowls leg breaks
night watchman in matches lasting two or more days, a relatively unskilled batsman who is sent in to bat towards the end of the day’s play in order to prevent a more skilled batsman from having to go in
off spinner a player who bowls off breaks
opener / opening batsman one of the first two batsmen sent in to start a team’s innings.
pace bowler / paceman a bowler who bowls at a fast pace – also called a fast bowler
pinch-hitter a player promoted in the batting order with a view to him scoring quickly
rabbit an inferior player, almost invariably a tail-ender, particularly when facing fast bowling (a rabbit in the headlights)
runner a player who runs between the wickets in place of an injured teammate who is able to bat but not run
scorer a person who records the score for the team and the individual batsmen and bowlers
seam bowler / seamer a bowler who makes the ball deviate by bouncing on its seam
side a group of eleven players
slip / slip fielder any of several fielders (eg first slip, second slip, etc) positioned on the off side in a row next to the wicketkeeper
spin bowler / spinner a bowler who imparts spin on the ball, causing it to deviate after pitching
square-leg umpire the umpire who stands at or near square leg
striker the batsman facing the bowling
tail the weaker batsmen at the end of a team’s batting order; the tail “wags” if these batsmen manage to score a significant amount of runs!
tail-ender one of the weaker batsmen at the end of a team’s batting order
team a side
twelfth man a player selected beyond the necessary eleven to play if required as a substitute fielder
umpire an impartial person chosen to supervise the game, enforce the rules, and decide disputes
wicketkeeper / keeper the fieldsman who stands immediately behind the batsman’s wicket and whose object is to stop balls missed by the batsman
   
The scoring top
blob a score of zero, a duck
boundary see four, six
bye(s) run(s) which are credited to the batsman’s team as a result of a ball that passes the batsman but is not hit or touched by him
century an individual score of 100 runs or more by a batsman
dot ball a ball from which no runs are scored (conventionally recorded on a scorecard with a dot)
double century an individual score of 200 runs or more by a batsman.
duck a dismissal for a score of zero (originally duck’s egg for zero (0), on a scoresheet)
extra(s) run(s) – bye(s), leg-bye(s), wide(s) or no-ball(s) – which are credited to the batsman’s team but not his individual score (no-balls are only counted as extras if not hit by the batsman)
four a ball that reaches the boundary after bouncing and scores four runs
golden duck a duck achieved on the first ball of a batsman’s innings
half century an individual score of 50 runs or more by a batsman
king pair out without scoring to the first ball in both innings of a two-innings match
leg bye(s) run(s) which are credited to the batsman’s team when the ball hits the batsman’s legs, and not his bat
nelson a score of 111, sometimes considered to be unlucky (supposedly from the belief that Lord Nelson had one eye, one arm and one leg)
no-ball(s) run(s) which are credited to the batsman’s team as a result of a delivery bowled in such a way that it is disallowed by the rules – if the batsman hits the ball, any additional runs scored are credited to him
pair (of spectacles) out without scoring in both innings of a two-innings match
run(s) the basic score where a batsman hits the ball and both he and his partner successfully reach the ends opposite to where they started
single a hit for one run
ton an individual score of 100 runs or more by a batsman
six a ball that reaches the boundary without bouncing and scores six runs
wide(s) run(s) which are credited to the batsman’s team as a result of a delivery bowled in such a way that the ball it is judged by the umpire to be out of reach of the batsman

Some terms, such as wicket, have different meanings depending on the context and may appear in two or more of the above categories.  Some of the lesser used fielding positions have been omitted.  If you notice any errors or significant omissions, please use the contact page to let me know.  BD


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Created 25 February 2014

Amended 11 July 2015