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10 Fascinating Cricket Rules That You Need to Know

Cricket is one of the most popular sports globally, surpassed in total viewership only by football. Obviously, things would be very different without India, but it’s still a popular discipline in many other countries worldwide. It certainly is hard to dismiss its charm, but sometimes newcomers to the sport may feel baffled by some of its rules. Since there are 42 Laws of Cricket and many subrules, we will look at some situations that may come up in T20 cricket and leave you confused. Compared to these, rules for Super Over may seem simple.

1. The batsman can’t hit the ball twice.

If you’ve ever wondered why the batsman skipped striking the ball for a second time even though he had the perfect opportunity, you may be surprised. A batsman is considered out after a second willful strike at the ball with the bat if none of the fielders have touched it.

A game of cricket wouldn’t be as fun if there weren’t some exceptions to this rule. A batsman can touch and return the ball to the fielder after asking for permission. Also, they are allowed to hit the ball for the second time if they are trying to protect the wickets from getting hit by the ball.

2. Hitting the Spidercam counts as a dead ball.

Indeed, such a thing can happen. When Glen Maxwell, the Australian batting all-rounder, managed to launch the ball directly at the camera during the match with India. The umpire declared a dead-ball as per protocol, prompting a do-over of the throw.

This rule also applies if the ball hits the stadium’s roof, which is probably easier to do.

3. If a tree is growing on your cricket ground, it’s considered a boundary.

The ICC rulebook states that any fixed obstacles are considered boundaries if both team captains agree. Furthermore, if the ball hits such an obstacle without bouncing, it counts as a boundary score.

The South African cricket stadium in Pietermaritzburg is one of the rare ones with a big tree growing inside the terrain grounds, where such a rule would even merit discussion.

4. Don’t ever kick the ball over the boundary.

If you are playing as a fielder and kick the ball that was going over the boundary rope anyway, five penalty runs will be awarded to the batting team. In case you were wondering, those five are going on top of the four runs that the batter would get for their team.

In a match between South Africa and India, such a situation occurred as Virender Sehwag kicked the ball, and the umpire called for five penalty runs.

5.  Cricket can be played without the bails.

Such an occurrence happened in a match between Afghanistan West Indies in June 2017. Due to heavy winds, captains and umpires agreed that the game could be played without bails, as they weren’t able to set them up.

6. Prepare for batting or get timed out.

Even diehard cricket fans may not be aware that if the next batter isn’t ready to bat within three minutes, according to Law 31, he may be timed out. Such situations hardly ever happen in professional and international events, but it may be a fun piece of trivia for the next game you’re watching in a pub with your friends.

7. Catch the ball with your hands first.

Interestingly, any balls that come into contact with players’ clothing are considered ground if they don’t land straight into their palms. This is true even if another fielder would catch the ball after it touched their teammate’s clothing.

8. There is a rule for cases when the ball becomes unrecoverable.

If the ball is lost and there’s no way of recovering it, the delivery is considered dead, and the ball is replaced with another one. This still goes in favor of the batting team since they get awarded penalty runs.

9. To get a wicket, you need to appeal to the umpire first.

It may seem strange to football fans, but some situations in cricket need to be appealed to the umpire to count. Under the definition of Law 31, batsmen can’t be ruled out by the umpire if the fielding side doesn’t make an appeal first.

10.         The umpire’s signal needs to be acknowledged by scorekeepers before the game can continue.

As the game progresses, the umpire usually gives different signals. For those sitting at home and watching the match, it may look strange who the signals are made for. They are meant for the scorekeepers that also need to acknowledge they understood the umpire’s call. This is usually done by waving a flag after seeing the signal.

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