Glossary of Cricket Terms


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Back Foot 1. n. the batsman's foot closest to his wicket, his dominant foot. cf. front foot.

Back Foot Defensive 1. n. a type of batsman's shot played on the back foot by holding the bat vertically in the path of the ball, without swinging the bat, so that the ball loses momentum and drops quickly to the pitch, designed to defend the batsman's wicket and pads from being hit by the ball.

Back Foot Shot 1. n. a shot played by the batsman with his weight mainly on his back foot.

Back Up 1. v.i. for the non-striker to leave his crease as the bowler bowls the ball to the striker and take a few steps down the pitch as a preparation to taking a run.
2. v.i. for a fielder to take a position behind a wicket relative to a team-mate who is fielding the ball and might throw it at the wicket, in order to stop the ball and prevent overthrows.

Backward 1. adj. on the fraction of the field behind of the batsman's popping crease, from the batsman's perspective; synonym for behind.
2. adj. further in the direction behind the batsman's popping crease than something else being compared to.

Backyard Cricket 1. n. an informal form of cricket played in suburban backyards, often with highly variant rules.

Bad Light 1. n. weather condition in which the natural light is dim and, in the umpires' opinions, too poor to continue playing without risking injury to the batsmen, and in which the umpires will offer the light to the batsmen.

Bail 1. n. one of the wooden crosspieces that sit atop adjacent pairs of stumps to form a wicket.

Ball 1. n. the cricket ball itself, made of cork wound with string, covered with leather.
2. n. the event of a bowler bowling the ball towards the batsman; synonym for delivery.

Ball Tampering 1. n. the act of illegally modifying the condition of the cricket ball, by scuffing and roughening the surface, picking at or lifting the seam, or applying a substance other than saliva or sweat to it.

Bat 1. n. the shaped wooden club used to hit the ball, made of willow with a cane handle.
2. v.i. (of an individual player) to take one's turn with a bat and attempt to score runs.
3. v.i. (of a side) to take its turn for all its batsmen to bat(2); to have its innings.

Bat-Pad 1. n. fielding position on the leg side, square of the striker's wicket and very close to the batsman, a static position designed to catch the ball from a misplaced block or other defensive shot; synonym for short leg.
2. n. a fielder fielding in the bat-pad position.

Batsman 1. n. a player of the batting side currently batting on the field.
2. n. the striking batsman; the striker.
3. n. a player selected for a cricket side mostly or solely for his batting ability.
4. n. any cricket player in the context of batting and scoring runs.

Batting Average 1. n. a statistic for batsmen equal to the number of runs scored divided by the number of times out; on average the number of runs a batsman scores before getting out.

Batting For The Average 1. v. (of a batsman) to bat conservatively, in order to preserve one's own wicket rather than to score runs, used pejoratively in the sense that the batsman is playing for the good of his own career statitics rather than the good of the team.

Batting Gloves 1. n. protective gloves worn by a batsman, to protect the ball from hitting the fingers and hands.

Batting Order 1. n. the sequence in which batsmen from a side go in to bat.

Beamer 1. n. a ball that does not bounce on the pitch and passes the batsman at or about head height.

Behind 1. adj. on the fraction of the field behind of the batsman's popping crease, from the batsman's perspective; synonym for backward.
2. adj. further in the direction behind the batsman's popping crease than somethig else.

Benefit Of The Doubt 1. n. the principle applied by umpires whenever they are unsure of a decision concerning a batsman possibly being out, in which the decision made must be to the benefit of the batsman and not the fielding side.

Best Bowling 1. n. a statistic representing the most valuable bowling figures in a given set - either over an individual's career, or a comparison between bowlers - being the bowling figures with the most number of wickets taken, with ties broken in favour of the fewest runs conceded.

Block 1. n. a type of batsman's shot played by holding the bat vertically in the path of the ball, without swinging the bat, so that the ball loses momentum and drops quickly to the pitch, designed to defend the batsman's wicket and pads from being hit by the ball; a front foot defensive.
2. v.i. to play a block shot.
3. v.t. to hit the ball with a block.
4. n. a synonym for guard.

Blockhole 1. n. a depression in the pitch caused by batsmen tapping their bats on the point where they have taken block.

Board 1. n. a national governing body for cricket within a nation.

Bodyline 1. n. a tactic employed by the fielding side in which fielders are placed near the batsman on the leg side and the bowlers bowl fast, short pitched balls aimed at the batsman, with the goal of making the batsman fend the ball away from his body and deflect the ball for a catch, first used by the English team touring Australia in 1932-33 and subsequently made illegal under the law governing fair play; synonym for leg theory but with greater connotations of foul play.

Boots 1. n. the sports shoes worn by cricket players.

Bosie 1. n. an archaic term for a googly.

Bottom Edge 1. n. the edge of a cricket bat on the bottom as the bat is held horizontally.
2. n. a deflection of the cricket ball off the bottom edge of the striker's bat, usually travelling straight into the ground near the striker, potentially into his wicket. cf. inside edge, outside edge, top edge
3. v.t. to hit the ball with the bottom edge of the bat.

Bottom Hand 1. n. a batsman's dominant hand, so called because it is further down the handle of the bat in a standard batting grip.

Bottom Order 1. n. the batsmen who normally bat in roughly positions 8-11 in the batting order; the tail.
2. adj. describing a batsman who normally bats in the bottom order.

Bounce 1. v.t. (of a bowler) to bowl a short pitched ball at a batsman so that the ball flies at or near the batsman's head. The bowler bounced the batsman to put him on the defensive.

Bouncer 1. n. a short pitched ball that bounces up towards the height of the batsman's head or above as it passes the batsman.

Boundary 1. n. the perimeter of a cricket field, marked by an obvious fence or marker.
2. n. a score of 4 runs by the ball reaching the boundary(1), or a score of 6 runs by the ball reaching the boundary(1) on the full.
3. n. a hit by the batsman which scores a boundary(2).

Bowl 1. v.i. to hurl (a cricket ball) towards the batsman using a legal cricket bowling action.
2. v.i. to engage in a period of bowling several balls or overs.
3. v.t. to bowl(1) a cricket ball.
4. v.t. to get a batsman out bowled.
5. n. a turn at bowling.

Bowl Out 1. v. for a side to take all the opponents wickets in an innings and thus end the innings, the wickets not necessarily being taken bowled. The side need to bowl out their opposition quickly.

Bowled 1. adj. describing the method of getting out in which the bowler bowls a ball and it hits and breaks the batsman's wicket.
2. v.t. (of a bowler) to have got a batsman out bowled.

Bowled Out 1. n. the state of a batsman having been out bowled.
2. n. the state of an entire side of having lost all its wickets and its innings ended, the wicket not necessarily falling by the method of being bowled. The side was bowled out for 200 runs. 3. v. for a side to have taken all the opponents wickets in an innings and thus ended the innings, the wickets not necessarily being taken bowled; past tense of bowl out. The side bowled out their opposition for 200 runs.

Bowler 1. n. a player of the fielding side currently bowling.
2. n. a player selected for a cricket side mostly or solely for his bowling ability.
3. n. any cricket player in the context of bowling and taking wickets.

Bowling Average 1. n. a statistic for bowlers equal to the number of runs conceded divided by the number of wickets taken; on average the number of runs a bowler concedes for each wicket he takes.

Bowling Crease 1. n. the white line marked on the pitch running through and parallel to each wicket, and ending at the return creases.

Bowling Figures 1. n. a group of statistics listed for a bowler in a single innings, in order: the number of overs bowled, the number of maidens bowled, the number of runs conceded, the number of wickets(2) taken.
2. n. collectively, the bowling figures for all the bowlers who bowled in an innings.

Box 1. n. a hard protector for the groin region, worn by a batsman inside the pants.

Break 1. v.t. to dislodge one or both bails (of a wicket). If both bails are already off, to break the wicket a fielder must remove a stump from the ground with the ball in contact with the stump.
2. n. sideways deviation in the trajectory of a ball as it bounces on the pitch. cf. off break, leg break.

Breeze 1. n. the wind blowing across a cricket field during play, no matter how strong.

Broken 1. adj. the state of a wicket in which one or both bails have fallen off the stumps.

Bump Ball 1. n. a ball that bounces on the pitch immediately after hitting the bat, then flies into the air, sometimes having the appearance of a ball hit in the air directly off the bat and which can cause spectators to assume the batsman can be caught out.

Bumper 1. n. a bouncer.

Bunny 1. n. colloquial term for a very poor batsman, usually selected for a team solely on bowling ability; synonym of rabbit. cf. ferret
2. n. colloquial term for a batsman, not necessarily a poor one, who tends to get out when facing a certain bowler. Jones was Smith's bunny.

Bye 1. n. an extra run scored by the batting side when the batsmen take runs after the ball passes the striker without hitting either his bat or body.


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