Etiquette - The do's and don'ts of cricket

Cricket has always been seen as the gentleman's game - and that means there are certain traditions of the game which must be respected. The Academy takes you through the etiquette. Walk when you're out Sadly this is a tradition that has gone out of the game at the highest level. But there'll be times when you know you've got an edge through to the wicketkeeper that the umpire's missed. But whether you own up and walk is your decision.

Umpire's decision is final

Once a decision has been made, there's no turning back. So that means no arguing with the umpire, even though you're adamant the batsman's out.

Never argue with the umpire

You'll soon find some decisions go your way and others against - it's what makes the game so interesting.

Applaud the new batsman

No matter whether you're playing for your school or your country, it's good to clap the new batsman making their way to the wicket.

Changing the condition of the ball

Polishing, drying or removing mud from the ball is fine - using any sort of artificial substance is not. If any player is caught tampering with the seam or surface of the ball, they're in big trouble with the umpires.

Distracting the batsman

As a fielder you can't distract or obstruct a batsman on purpose. If this happens a dead ball will be called by the umpire and five penalty runs will be added to the batting side's total.

Dangerous bowling

If a bowler keeps bowling short-pitched or high full-pitched balls which could injure the batsman, then these deliveries will be called a no-ball by the umpire. They'll also be warned for dangerous bowling by the umpire. If the bowler still keeps bowling dangerously, then they'll receive a final warning. If the tactics are still not changed then the umpire can order the captain of the fielding side to take the bowler off. The bowler will then not be able to bowl again for the rest of the innings.

Time wasting

If any player tries to waste time the umpire should give a first and final warning to the whole team. If they do it again during the innings then the opposition will be awarded five runs.

Damaging the pitch

All players are responsible for making sure the pitch is not damaged during play. Bowlers must stay off "the protected area" of the pitch. If a fielder damages the pitch then a caution will be issued to the fielding captain. Any repeat action from any fielder during the innings and the umpire will add five runs to the batting side's total. A batsman who damages the pitch will be cautioned by the umpire. If they do it a second time in the same innings, they'll get a final warning and any runs scored from that delivery, other than no balls or wides, will be disallowed. Any more damage from the batting team and the umpire will disallow the runs scored off that ball and award five penalty runs to the fielding side.

Stealing a run

Batsmen are not allowed to try and steal a run during the bowler's run-up, unless the bowler has made an effort to run-out either batsman. Any attempt made to steal a run will see five penalty runs awarded to the fielding side.

The size of the field on which the game is played varies from ground to ground but the pitch is always a rectangular area of 22 yards (20.12m) in length and 10ft (3.05m) in width. The popping (batting) crease is marked 1.22m in front of the stumps at either end, with the stumps set along the bowling crease. The return creases are marked at right angles to the popping and bowling creases and are measured 1.32m either side of the middle stumps. The two sets of wickets at opposite ends of the pitch stand 71.1cm high and three stumps measure 22.86 cm wide in total. Made out of willow the stumps have two bails on top and the wicket is only broken if at least one bail is removed. If the ball hits the wicket but without knocking a bail off, then the batsman is not out.

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