In cricket, the term wicket has several meanings. First, it is one of the two sets of three stumps and two bails at either end of the pitch.The wicket is guarded by a batsman who, with his bat (and sometimes with his pads, but see the laws on LBW, leg before wicket), attempts to prevent the ball from hitting the wicket and to score runs where possible.
Second, through metonymic usage, the dismissal of a batsman is known as the taking of a wicket,and third, the cricket pitch itself is sometimes referred to (incorrectly, according to the Laws of Cricket) as the wicket.
The origin of the word is from wicket gate, a small gate. Originally, cricket wickets had only two stumps and one bail and looked like a gate. The third (middle) stump was introduced in 1775, after Lumpy Stevens bowled three successive deliveries to John Small that went straight through the two stumps rather than hitting them.
The size and shape of the wicket has changed several times during the last 300 years; its dimensions and placing is now determined by Law 8 in the Laws of Cricket , thus:
There are also specified lengths for the barrel and spigots of the bail. There are different specifications for the wickets and bails for junior cricket. The umpires may dispense with the bails if conditions are unfit (e.g., if it is windy they might fall off by themselves).Further details on the specifications of the wickets are contained in Appendix D to the laws.
For a batsman to be dismissed by being bowled, run out, stumped or hit wicket, his wicket needs to be put down. What this means is defined by Law 29. A wicket is put down if a bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps, or a stump is struck out of the grounds by the ball, the striker's bat, the striker's person (or by any part of his clothing or equipment becoming detached from his person), a fielder (with his hand or arm, and provided that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used). A 2010 amendment to the Laws clarified the rare circumstance where a bat breaks during the course of a shot and the detached debris breaks the wicket; the wicket has been put down in this circumstance.The wicket is also put down if a fielder pulls a stump out of the ground in the same manner.
If one bail is off, removing the remaining bail or striking or pulling any of the three stumps out of the ground is sufficient to put the wicket down. A fielder may remake the wicket, if necessary, in order to put it down to have an opportunity of running out a batsman.
If however both bails are off, a fielder must remove one of the three stumps out of the ground with the ball, or pull it out of the ground with a hand or arm, provided that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used.
If the umpires have agreed to dispense with bails, because, for example, it is too windy for the bails to remain on the stumps, the decision as to whether the wicket has been put down is one for the umpire concerned to decide. After a decision to play without bails, the wicket has been put down if the umpire concerned is satisfied that the wicket has been struck by the ball, by the striker's bat, person, or items of his clothing or equipment separated from his person as described above, or by a fielder with the hand holding the ball or with the arm of the hand holding the ball.
The dismissal of a batsman is known as the taking of a wicket. The batsman is said to have lost his wicket, the batting side is said to have lost a wicket, the fielding side to have taken a wicket, and the bowler is also said to have taken his (i.e. the batsman's) wicket, if the dismissal is one of the types for which the bowler receives credit. This language is used even if the dismissal did not actually involve the stumps and bails in any way, for example, a catch. Though note that the other three of the five most common methods of dismissal (bowled, LBW, run out, and stumped) involve the stumps and bails being put down.
The word wicket has this meaning in the following contexts:
A team's score is described in terms of the total number of runs scored and the total number of wickets lost.
The number of wickets taken is a primary measure of an individual bowler's ability, and a key part of a bowling analysis.
The sequence of time over which two particular batsmen bat together, a partnership, is referred to as a specifically numbered wicket when discriminating it from other partnerships in the innings.
A team can win a match by a certain number of wickets. This means that they were batting last, and reached the winning target with a certain number of batsmen still not dismissed. For example, if the side scored the required number of runs to win with only three batsmen dismissed, they are said to have won by seven wickets (as a team's innings ends when ten batsmen are dismissed).
The word wicket is also sometimes used to refer to the cricket pitch itself.According to the Laws of Cricket, this usage is incorrect, but it is in common usage and commonly understood by cricket followers. The term sticky wicket refers to a situation in which the pitch has become damp, typically due to rain or high humidity. This makes the path of the ball more unpredictable thus making the job of defending the stumps that much more difficult. The full phrase is thought to have originally been "to bat on a sticky wicket." Such pitches were commonplace at all levels of the game (i.e. up to Test Match level) until the late 1950s.
The arches used in croquet and roque are sometimes referred to as wickets, especially in American English. These arches descend from the ancestral game of ground billiards (which may also be related to cricket), and were formerly called the hoop, arch or port. The port remained a prominent feature of indoor table billiards until well into the 18th century.
Bowling, in cricket, is the action of propelling the ball toward the wicket defended by a batter. A player skilled at bowling is called a bowler; a bowler who is also a competent batter is known as an all-rounder. Bowling the ball is distinguished from throwing the ball by a strictly specified biomechanical definition, which restricts the angle of extension of the elbow. A single act of bowling the ball towards the batsman is called a ball or a delivery. Bowlers bowl deliveries in sets of six, called an over. Once a bowler has bowled an over, a teammate will bowl an over from the other end of the pitch. The Laws of Cricket govern how a ball must be bowled. If a ball is bowled illegally, an umpire will rule it a no-ball. If a ball is bowled too wide of the striker for the batsman to be able to play at it with a proper cricket shot, the bowler's end umpire will rule it a wide.
Fielding in the sport of cricket is the action of fielders in collecting the ball after it is struck by the batsman, to limit the number of runs that the batsman scores and/or to get the batsman out by catching the ball in flight or by running the batsman out. There are a number of recognised fielding positions, and they can be categorised into the offside and leg side of the field.
In cricket, an umpire is a person who has the authority to make decisions about events on the cricket field, according to the Laws of Cricket. Besides making decisions about legality of delivery, appeals for wickets and general conduct of the game in a legal manner, the umpire also keeps a record of the deliveries and announces the completion of an over.
Backyard cricket, street cricket, beach cricket, gully cricket, corridor cricket, deef or garden cricket is an informal ad hoc variant of the game of cricket, played by people of all genders and all ages in gardens, back yards, on the street, in parks, carparks, beaches and any area not specifically intended for the purpose.
Leg before wicket (lbw) is one of the ways in which a batter can be dismissed in the sport of cricket. Following an appeal by the fielding side, the umpire may rule a batter out lbw if the ball would have struck the wicket, but was instead intercepted by any part of the batter's body. The umpire's decision will depend on a number of criteria, including where the ball pitched, whether the ball hit in line with the wickets, and whether the batter was attempting to hit the ball.
In the sport of cricket, a bail is one of the two smaller sticks placed on top of the three stumps to form a wicket. The bails are used to determine when the wicket is broken, which in turn is one of the critical factors in determining whether a batsman is out bowled, stumped, run out or hit wicket.
The Laws of Cricket is a code which specifies the rules of the game of cricket worldwide. The earliest known code was drafted in 1744 and, since 1788, it has been owned and maintained by its custodian, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. There are currently 42 Laws which outline all aspects of how the game is to be played. MCC has re-coded the Laws six times, the seventh and latest code being released in October 2017. The 2nd edition of the 2017 Code came into force on 1 April 2019. The first six codes prior to 2017 were all subject to interim revisions and so exist in more than one version.
In cricket, the stumps are the three vertical posts that support the bails and form the wicket. Stumping or being stumped is a method of dismissing a batsman.
This is a general glossary of the terminology used in the sport of cricket. Where words in a sentence are also defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics. Certain aspects of cricket terminology are explained in more detail in cricket statistics and the naming of fielding positions is explained at fielding (cricket).
In the sport of cricket, the crease is a certain area demarcated by white lines painted or chalked on the field of play, and pursuant to the rules of cricket they help determine legal play in different ways for the fielding and batting side. They define the area within which the batsmen and bowlers operate. The term crease may refer to any of the lines themselves, particularly the popping crease, or to the region that they demark. Law 7 of the Laws of Cricket governs the size and position of the crease markings, and defines the actual line as the back edge of the width of the marked line on the grass, i.e., the edge nearest to the wicket at that end.
In cricket, a dismissal occurs when a batsman's period of batting is brought to an end by the opposing team. It is also known as the batsman being out, the batting side losing a wicket, and the fielding side taking a wicket. The dismissed batsman must leave the field of play permanently for the rest of their team's innings, and is replaced by a teammate. A team's innings ends if 10 of the 11 team members are dismissed - as players bat in pairs, when only one person is undismissed it is not possible for the team to bat any longer. This is known as bowling out the batting team, who are said to be all out.
Cricket clothing and equipment is regulated by the laws of cricket. Cricket clothing, known as cricket whites, or flannels, is slightly loose fitting so as not to restrict players' movements. Use of protective equipment, such as cricket helmets, gloves and pads, is also regulated.
In cricket, a run is the unit of scoring. The team with the most runs wins in many versions of the game, and always draws at worst, except for some results decided by the DLS method. One run is scored when a batsman has hit the ball with the bat, or with a gloved hand holding the bat, and directed it away from the fielders so that both the striker and the non-striker are able to run the length of the pitch, crossing each other and arriving safely at the other end of the pitch, before the fielders can retrieve the ball and hit the wicket.
Obstructing the field is one of the nine methods of dismissing a batsman in the sport of cricket. It dictates that either batsman can be given out if he wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action. It is governed by Law 37 of the laws of cricket, and is a rare way for a batsman to be dismissed; in the history of cricket, there has been only one instance in Test matches, six occasions in One Day International (ODI) games, and only one instance in Twenty20 International matches. However, there have also been seven instances in Test cricket, and two in ODIs, where a batsman has been dismissed handled the ball, a mode of dismissal now folded into obstructing the field. In most cases an obstruction occurs when a batsman thinks that he is going to be run out and he blocks the ball with his bat or changes his course while running between wickets to block the ball. The obstruction has to be deliberate, so a batsman will not be out if the contact with the ball is inadvertent.
In cricket, the term bowled has several meanings. First, is the act of propelling the ball towards the wicket defended by a batsman.
Caught is a method of dismissing a batsman in cricket. A batsman is caught if the batsman hits the ball, from a legitimate delivery, with the bat, and the ball is caught by the bowler or a fielder before it hits the ground.
Run out is a method of dismissal in the sport of cricket governed by Law 38 of the Laws of cricket.
Hit wicket is a method of dismissal in the sport of cricket. This method of dismissal is governed by Law 35 of the Laws of Cricket. The striker is out "hit wicket" if, after the bowler has entered his delivery stride and while the ball is in play, his wicket is put down by his bat or his person. The striker may do this whilst preparing to receive or receiving a delivery or in setting off for his first run after playing the delivery. In simple language, if the striking batsman knocks the bails off the stumps or uproots the stumps, while attempting to hit the ball or take off for a run, he is out hit wicket.
Stumped is a method of dismissing a batsman in cricket. The action of stumping can only be performed by a wicket-keeper. A batsman is stumped if, from a legitimate delivery, the wicket-keeper puts down the wicket while the batsman is out of his ground and not attempting a run.
Crocker is a team sport played between two large teams. Its origins are in cricket and baseball. It also makes the use of a rugby ball, or a soccer ball which may explain its name. It is a casual sport not played formally, but often found on British summer camps.