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The RSC/UKSC Cricket FAQ

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Archive-name: sports/cricket/cricket-faq
Posting-Frequency: every two weeks
Version: 3.8

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                   FOR THOSE WHO CAME IN LATE
                    (TM Lee Falk, 1911-1999)

                     NOTHING OFFICIAL ABOUT IT
                           compiled by
                         Version  v3.8
                          Feb 28th, 2002

This FAQ is intended to serve both the and communities. It may not have answers to 
everything you need - it is just a collection of *frequently* 
asked questions and their answers.  

I am proud of a lot of the collated answers in this faq.
But there are questions whose answers are inevitably incomplete
and will sadly  become more so as time goes on. These answers will remain to help people get searching on the right lines. 

Corrections and additions are especially welcome; to be sure they are not lost you can email them directly to

How to read?

   Read it as a proper HTML site at the "official" site.
   You can also download the faq as a single document from

Why this Plea?

   You know what this is about!

What's new?

   More additions to Scoring faqs.
   Duckworth-Lewis system!     


       I am new to cricket. Please explain it for me. 
       Where can I find the rules of the game? 
       Where do I buy tickets? 
       Is the A__ vs E___ test match live on the net? 
       How can I watch cricket in the USA? 
       What about playing cricket in the USA?
       Where can I buy merchandise?
       Any good cricket statistics software?

       How does the LBW law work? 
       Explaination of Point of Impact clause(s).
       You can't be out LBW offering a shot, can you?
       How many ways of getting out are there?
       What are the 10 "standard" ways of getting out?
       What about the 11th out?
       Any instances of batsmen getting "retired out"?
       Can you be stumped off a no-ball?

       What's an extra yard of pace?
       So how much is a yard of pace equal to in mph?
       How are fast bowlers classified? 
       On what basis are they classified?
       Which is faster? Medium-Fast or Fast-Medium?
       But, shouldn't it be the other way around? 
       Why should it be the other way around??!
       What is the average bowling speed of a fast bowler?
       Which reminds me, how to convert from km/h to miles/h 
       Is there a website where bowling speeds are provided? 

       What are the various crease marks?
       What's the legside and the offside?
       What are the basic field positions? 
       But there are many more positions than you have shown!
       What's the guard?
       What 's front-on and side-on batting? 
       What is shouldering arms ?
       What is a nightwatchman ?
       What exactly is a pinch-hitter?

       What is Over the wicket? 
       What is a in-cutter? What's a out-swinger?
       What is reverse swing ?
       Misuse of the term reverse swing
       What is a googly/wrong'un ?
       What is a topspinner ?
       What is a flipper ?
       Who invented the flipper? 
       What is a chinaman ?
       Why is it called so? 
       What is a left-armer's googly called? 
       What is a armball ?

       What is <some  cricketing term>?
       What was that "whatashot"?
       How did expressions like maiden, hattrick etc originate?

       Wasn't Cricket once a part of the Olympics? 
       200 runs lead neeeded to enfore follow-on. Right? 

       How can I keep score using software? 
       Using traditional methods?
       Would you summarize the notation used?
       Any advice for someone starting out?
       Where can I download sample sheets/learn more?
       How to become a registered scorer?
       Other sites of interest?  

       Any tips for buying my bat? 
       How do I "knock in" a bat? 
       I have a problem with water seeping into the bat. 
       The rubber grip on my handle keeps sliding up. 
       How do I put the grip on the bat? 
       How do I use the grip-applicator cone? 
       Is there a good online store to buy cricket equipment?

       Where I can find the humorous description of cricket?
       What does it means when a cricketer is awarded his cap? 
       What do the numbers on the players' caps mean?
       Is there an online resource where these are available??? 
       Who takes precedence if 2 players debut in the same side? 
       What is the origin of terms like hattrick etc?
       I don't understand this Duckworth/Lewis method. 
       And finally ...

Subject: I am new to cricket. Please explain it for me. This document is a faq-list - Not a primer. Your best options are any one of Jeff Tucker's, Ron Knight's, or Dave M___'s primers. (All written in response to this faq). These can be found from Alternatively Deb K Das's concise explaination Das' and Jeff's work are especially recommended for those coming in from a baseball background.
Subject: Where can I find the rules of the game? The rules?!! Remember they are the laws. Ordinary games have rules. Countries and cricket have laws. ;-)
Subject: Where do I buy tickets? Australia: Tickets are available online at: Further information can be found at: New Zealand: England: South Africa: Hint: Lots of queries can be answered by saying look it up at cricinfo ;-)
Subject: Is the A__ vs E___ test match live on the net? It is your duty to keep Andy's list as complete/accurate as possible. These sites will, in general broadcast home matches (for which they have the rights). But they try to acquire the rights for away matches too. Cricinfo occassionally get the internet broadcast rights for broadcasters withou a net presence. eg Sri Lanka, etc. If Wordtel is doing the TV production, chances are good they will broadcast on the net as well. Over to Andy: Australia England The bbc has just signed a 5 year agreement. India Century cyberworks has an agreement with doordarshan for 4 years to telecast home matches. Pakistan Pakistani state radio they switch between urdu and english. The station's server has limited capacity. So get in early! ODIs only. The direct link is Save the link directly into your realplayer and then continuing to try to get in. South Africa New Zealand Radio sport has refused to let anyone broadcast or transmit the matches over the web or own shortwave unless they pay a fee. Sri Lanka Nothing known yet. West Indies Gireesh Bhat: If this doesn't work, navigate from Like livesport, the url of the stream is only put up before the match starts. Zimbabwe has carried zimbabwean matches in zimbabwe and maybe they will continue to do so. Huge list of alternate WI sites available but not posted! Email corrections and additions either to me, andy or post on
Subject: How can I watch cricket in the USA? Contributors: Kurt and others. You need to get a dish to recieve cable. Cricket is only available on a PPV basis. Most ODIs are carried but test series are pretty iffy. The two major players are KBS and TV Asia. Both available on Dish network. KBS usually put up their upcoming schedule at TV Asia have a website:
Subject: What about playing cricket in the USA? Ron Knight: Chico Khan's site has links to most of the teams and leagues in the US. The above site is a must visit for anyone stranded in that 'God-forsaken cricketing desert'.
Subject: Where can I buy merchandise? eg Kiwi caps, ODI shirts, etc? Check out either cricinfo's or google's categorised links. send me them there links.
Subject: Any good cricket statistics software? Two shareware authors who seem to have a good track record. Grahame Giddings ( Mark Sinclair ( Someone with experience in this please write-up a evaluation of what's available, what's good etc. NEXT: FAQS About DISMISSALS
Subject: How does the LBW law work? Thanks to: Ron Knight and Ian T. Brickbats: Me! Umpires are taught to ask the following 4 questions in order: 1) P - Where did the ball Pitch? (if outside legstump means not out) 2) I - What did it Impact? (must not be bat or hand holding bat) 3) P - Where's the Point of Impact? (See explaination below) 4) S - Would it have hit the Stumps? The 4 questions to be asked are remembered by noting the following mnemonic - PIPS.
Subject: Explaination of Point of Impact clause(s). ----- | | | | | | | | |-----> leg-stump(for a right-hander) --|--|--|-- |__|__|__|__| | | -----|-----------|------- | | | | | | | | |A | B |C | | | | | | | | | Region A = Outside off stump B = In-line with the stumps C = Outside legstump If the point of impact is(refer to the above diagram): a)impact outside leg-stump(Region C) - the batsman is not out. b)impact outside off-stump (Region A) - only then see if an attempt at playing a shot was made or not. Not out if an attempt was made. c)impact in line with the stumps (Region B) - not a special case.
Subject: You can't be out LBW offering a shot, can you? David Shepherd: A most common error among cricketers today is to confuse the no-shot(played-at) clause. The no-shot clause ONLY applies to balls which impact OUTSIDE OFF stump. Otherwise the shot is irrelevant. Whether the ball pitches outside off-stump does not change anything. It's the point of impact that counts. And of course ball pitching or impacting outside leg-stump is not out
Subject: How many ways of getting out are there? Totally 11. There are 10 ways that a batsman can be given out by the umpires in the middle. But there is an additional way he can be out and bloat his average.
Subject: What are the 10 "standard" ways of getting out? The 10 ways to get out in the middle are: The 5 well-known ones: 1) Caught 2) Bowled 3) Leg Before Wicket 4) Stumped 5) Run Out And the 5 less-frequent ones. Generalized summaries only. 6) Hit Wicket: Striker breaks the wicket while batting 7) Handled The Ball: without consent of the opposite side. 8) Obstructing The Field: - Duh. 9) Hit The Ball Twice: unless he is protecting his wicket. 10) Timed Out: Next batsman due takes longer than two minutes to appear on the field.
Subject: What about the 11th out? Contributor(s): Andrew Dunford and others. Now the 11th out is pretty ambigious. It is not listed with the other outs but can be found in the law dealing with substitions (Law 2) In general, any batsman who refuses to bat when he is able to do so or is refused permission to bat by the opposing captain (he had left the field when he was able to bat on) is for the purpose of the records deemed to be "retired, out".
Subject: Any instances of batsmen getting "retired out"? Contributor(s): Andrew Dunford and others. You can see instances of this when a team's batsmen are destroying a sub-standard bowling attack and want to give others a turn and leave the field after they'd had a decent bat. On a related note, Abdul Aziz of Pakistan has the unfortunate distinction of being the only player to be recorded as 'retired dead'.
Subject: Can you be stumped off a no-ball? Contributor(s): Ron Knight, Mike Holmans and Dianne You can't be stumped off a no-ball, but can be off a wide. Off a no-ball, you can be run out, be out obstructing the field, handled the ball, and hit the ball twice. That is only dismissal modes where the batsman is taking a unfair advantage over the fielding side. Next: FAST BOWLING
Subject: What's an extra yard of pace? Yard is a measure of length. Pace is speed. So how does an "extra yard of pace" make sense? Contributor(s): Mike Holmans, Jackie Hewitt and others The popular explaination that if two bowlers bowl at the same batsman, the ball of the one a yard faster will arrive at the bat whilst the slower bowler's ball is still a yard away is an adequate but not quite completely kosher explaination. The extra yard travelled in the same reaction time is from the keeper's and not batsman's point of view. Mike Holmans: It refers to how far further back the keeper and slips have to move back in order to feel comfortable about taking the ball. If a bowler had gained a yard of pace, it meant that the keeper found he had to stand a bit further back. If he'd "gained two yards", the keeper was standing a lot further back.
Subject: So how much is a yard of pace equal to in mph? Contributor(s): Mike Holmans That's being excessively pedantic. Yard is length. mph is speed. What's there to convert? Further more reaction time (which you might try dividing by) differs from person to person.
Subject: How are fast bowlers classified? Contributor(s): John Hall and others In order of increasing speed, we have: Slow, Medium, Medium Fast, Fast Medium, Fast Most commentators nowadays use Medium, Fast-Medium and Fast - preferring to skip the confusing Medium-Fast classification altogether.
Subject: On what basis are they classified? John Hall: You're assuming it's decided by some objective method, rather than some cricket journalist or statistician simply going by their own fallible opinion of speed. Bowler W____ (classified as fast medium) bowls faster than Bowler G_____(classified as fast)! How can one only be a fast medium yet the other a fast bowler? See John's explaination above.
Subject: Which is faster? Medium-Fast or Fast-Medium? Fast-Medium But, shouldn't it be the other way around? Yes. Pretend what the commentators are actually saying is something like: (add a mental pause in between when you see the open bracket) X is Fast(Medium). Y is Medium(Fast). Therefore X is faster than Y. QED
Subject: Why should it be the other way around??! Contributor(s): Ken Wessen, Fabian and others. Normally, in a string of adjectives, the last one is considered the most fundamental characteristic, and the first one the least fundamental. Thus a fast-medium bowler *ought* to be fundamentally medium,while a medium-fast bowler ought to be fundamentally fast. Thus cricket terminology has chosen to go against the conventions of the english language.
Subject: What is the average bowling speed of a fast bowler? There is no "official" speed scale used for the classification. But ... Donald Rose: These are some rough guides. EXPRESS above 152 kph (91 mph) FAST 145 - 152 kph (87 - 91 mph) FAST MEDIUM 133 - 145 kph (80 - 87 mph) MEDIUM FAST 120 - 133 kph (72 - 87 mph) MEDIUM 90 - 120 kph (54 - 72 mph) SLOW below 90 kph (54 mph) Sridhar: not bad, but your conversion chart is a little off... From watching a bunch of recent tours on TV with the speedometer readings shown, this is my conclusion: Superfast - 145+kmh eg Shoaib, Brett Lee Fast - 135+ eg Donald, Wasim,Waqar Fast-Medium - 130+ eg Mcgrath, Pollock
Subject: Which reminds me, how to convert from km/h to miles/h and vice-versa? brangas: Easy. A mile is 8 furlongs, and a km is 5 furlongs. So to convert mph to kmph, just multiply mph by 8/5 and vice versa. Thus 100 mph = 100*8/5 or 160 kmph. 50 mph = 80 kmph 75 mph = 120 kmph.
Subject: Is there a website where bowling speeds are provided? John P Darcy: NEXT: FAQS About BATTING
Subject: What are the various crease marks? Contributor(s): Ron Knight, Jeff Tucker. | |<----- Popping crease --------| |------- | | | | | | | |<---- Bowling crease | | | | | | | | --------| |-------<--- Return crease | |
Subject: What's the legside and the offside? When a batsman takes his usual side-on stance, the side towards his legs is his strong side and is called the "on" side or leg side of the field. The other side is called the "off" side. For a Right Handed Batsman(RHB) ----- | | | stance of a right-hander | | | / offside<----| | | / | ||| |/ | || | --->legside --' --' or onside For a Left Handed Batsman(LHB) ------- | | | stance of a left-hander | | | / | | |---/-------->offside | | || | / legside<-------| | / or onside `-- `--
Subject: What are the basic field positions? Note that ALL the field positions are named relative to the *stance* of the batsman at the crease and *not* relative to the ground itself. (Stance determines which is legside and which offside) The field is sliced up as shown below relative to the stance (assuming a RHB here): Square / |/ * * * | * wider<--------. * \ | * \ * \ cover | * \ * \ p| 3rd* \ * off \ | gully man * | * \ | * | * ||-----\---|| * V *------------------|| \ ||wk---------------* finer * ||------/--|| * * / | * finer * on / mid- | leg * ^ * / wicket | * | * / | * | * / | * / / * * * | * / forward<---|--->backward wider<--' squ|are p= point This is our basic field setting. Slips not shown since you know all about them anyway.
Subject: But there are many more positions than you have shown! Each position shown above has associated with it adjectives to describe exactly where in this sliced up field a particular fielder is standing. Short = close bat-pad position. e.g. short mid-wicket. Silly = very close in. e.g. silly point, silly mid-off, etc Deep = further out. Near the boundary. e.g. deep fine leg Fine = nearer line joining stumps (see figure) Square = nearer 90 degrees to the pitch (see figure) Wide = further from line joining stumps'(see figure) Backward = behind batsman's popping crease (see figure) Forward = 'in front of batsman's popping crease (see figure) Long = Toward the boundary, e.g. long-on, long-off. Here's a slightly modified version of David Shepherd's diagram to show the most common field settings GLOSSARY .---------------------------------------------. / "off side" \ 1 1st slip | | 2 2nd slip | l- cv cp 3m | 3 3rd slip | ec p g | 4 4th slip | 4 | 5 leg slip | m- 3 | cv cover | 2 | p point | s 1 | g gully | B->> ||-------|| Wk | f forward - | U||-------|| | short leg | f 5 | s silly point | fine | dl deep fine/ | m+ | | square leg | | | 3m 3rd man | l+ mw dl | l+ long on | sl / | l- long off | U / | mw mid-wicket | square | sl square leg | "leg side" | m+ mid on | | m- mid off `\ field positions for RHB X /' cp cover-point `---------------------------------------------' ec extra-cover
Subject: What's the guard? Contributor(s): brangas. A new batsman to the crease makes (with the help of the umpire) a mark on the crease called his guard. His guard helps the batsman's judgement of which balls to play at and which to leave alone. middle-stump \ leg-stump(of right-hander) \ \ | \ \ | | \ \ | |----o---o---o----| | | ----------|-|-|------ 3 2 1 \ \ \ guard chosen (see table below) guard chosen covering benefits (anyone?) 1 leg - leg stump - ?? 2 legs - b/w the 2 - ?? 3 legs - middle stump - ?? Also known as: 1 leg = leg 2 legs = middle and leg 3 legs = middle something or other but What??
Subject: What 's front-on and side-on batting? What 's open and closed stance? Contributor(s): brangas. Cricket is a side-on game. You do not directly face the ball when you bat. Ideally, one bats with one's leading shoulder pointing to the wicket at the non- striker's end. A batsman (usually to counter short-pitched bowling) 'opens' his stance by standing at a slight angle such that his leading shoulder is pointing more towards mid-on. The stances differ in the feet positions relative to the crease as shown below. / / / \/ /<---- Open stance \/ (front-on) | | `------- `------- \ \ \ Closed stance (side-on stance) Other aliases front-on = square-on, two eyed/open stance side-on = closed,
Subject: What is shouldering arms ? The technique of lifting the bat out of the path of a ball that the batsman judges to be safely away from his wicket. One sign of a good opening bowler is the number of deliveries he makes a batsman play at
Subject: What is a nightwatchman ? In a first-class match, a tail-ender sent in when a wicket falls near the end of a day's play. The theory is that a batsman is most vulnerable at the start of his innings and early in the day, so this tactic is intended to protect a specialist batsman from one of these dangerous times.
Subject: What exactly is a pinch-hitter? Peter Holland: Someone [promoted up the order] to increase the rate of scoring. Often these players aren't expected to be there for too long, [just there to score some quick runs and relieve the pressure.] The term comes from Baseball. John Charnock: The batting side [...] can afford to lose a pinchhitter without putting them in too much trouble. As Micheal Holdings was probably the first to point out, a pinch-hitter he has a role to play in test matches too. The 30-60 rapid runs that one expects from him, can turn the course of a low-scoring, tension-ridden test match. NEXT: FAQS About BOWLING
Subject: What is Over the wicket? And what is Round the wicket? Over the wicket - Bowling arm closer to the stumps Round the wicket - Bowling arm away from the stumps Both terms apply equally to both left-arm and right-arm bowlers. How to remember which is which? Do you have a good mnemonic/analogy? Ron Knight: When the ball is delivered over the wicket the hand delivering the ball is much more above (over) the wicket than when delivering from the other side, when the hand delivering the ball is more round the side. I offer this not as a mnemonic but as my understanding of the actual reason for the terms.
Subject: What is a in-cutter? What's a out-swinger? A cutter is a ball that moves sharply (cuts) after pitching. The lateral movement is off the pitch. Whereas in swing bowling, the ball moves in the air before pitching. The defination of these terms is based strictly on the bowling action used (Strictly from the bowler's POV, just like the field-settings are strictly from a batsman point of view) For simplicity's sake lets number the stumps as shown: ----- | | | | | | | | | | | | 3 2 1 Let me know if you don't understand the table below: Fast Movement If movement if movemnet Bowler after pitching in the air Right-arm from 1 to 3 leg-cutter out-swinger Right-arm from 3 to 1 off-cutter in-swinger Left-arm from 3 to 1 leg-cutter out-swinger Left-arm from 1 to 3. off-cutter in-swinger Spin Movement Bowler after pitching Known as Right-arm from 1 to 3 leg-spin Right-arm from 3 to 1 off-spin Left-arm from 3 to 1 left-arm un-orthodox Left-arm from 1 to 3. left-arm orthodox
Subject: What is reverse swing ? When an old ball swings sharply, and in the opposite direction to that achieved by conventional swing, it is called reverse swing. Pioneered by Sarfraz Nawaz of Pakistan in the '70s, it was not until the early '90s that the rest of the world started to understand this phenomenon. Its leading exponents are often accused of ball-tampering
Subject: Misuse of the term reverse swing Contributors: bnaick, Drewy Reverse swing is when the ball swings towards the shine correct? I've noticed that commentators use the term reverse swing to describe any sort of movement in the air towards the end of an innings.. Why?? Apparently no bowler can swing the old ball conventionally any more (no explanation as to why this art has been lost almost overnight!) Just an observation..
Subject: What is a googly/wrong'un ? The famous, almost mystical delivery of a leg-spinner. It is a ball that spins the other way, into a RightHander, and tends to surprises him because the normal or stock ball of a leg-spinner is the one that spins away from or leaves a RightHander.
Subject: What is a topspinner ? The spin is in the direction of travel. Same as topspin in tennis. As a consequence, the ball bounces higher than normal and picks up speed after pitching
Subject: What is a flipper? Fast, low-bouncing and straight ball of a wrist-spinner. Underspin is imparted to the ball which makes it bounce lower than normal.
Subject: Who invented the flipper? It is well known that Bosanquet invented the googly around 1900, but does anyone know who first used the flipper? samarth harish shah: Clarrie Grimmett. In fact, he also "faked" his flipper, sometimes. He would bowl an ordinary flighted ball and snap the fingers of his _LEFT_ hand. The batsmen in those days, going purely by the sound, would play for the flipper and be beaten all ends up by the turn.
Subject: What is a chinaman ? Stock delivery of left-arm leg-spinner, spinning into a RHB. It is the leg-spin of a left-armer and not a left-armer's googly as many wrongly believe.
Subject: Why is it called so? Bob Dubery: After one Edgar Ellis Achong, a [left-arm leg-spinner] West Indian of Chinese extraction. He played test cricket between 1929 & 1935. Achong bowled a well-regarded England player who, as he walked away in disgust at being totally bamboozled by the debutante Achong said "I never thought I'd see the day I was bowled by a Chinaman".
Subject: What is a left-armer's googly called? Dave Liverman: Left Armer's googly has no special name.
Subject: What is a armball ? Straight ball of a finger-spinner. Remember that this is usually drifted in and the batsman gets beaten because he plays for the non-existent turn.
Subject: What is <some cricketing term>? Probably the best resource to look up such terms is "The Devil's Dictionary of Cricket"
Subject: What was that "whatashot"? Contributor(s): brangas. Tired (like me) of commentators that refer to many very common unorthodox shots with the generic "WhatAShot!"? Want to know what to call them? Then help with this compilation. a) The slog sweep or the harsh sweep. A sweep played in the air to square leg. Very common shot nowadays. eg. Wasim Akram, Steve Waugh, Jonty Rhodes. Veteran Indian cricketers honor Yashpal Sharma and call it the Badam shot. b) The swivel hook A hook or pull played to a short ball down legside. Same shot with the front leg raised is a special case, South Asians often refer to it as the Nataraj shot. For obvious reasons. ;-) eg. Brian Lara, Sanath Jayasuryia, Kapil Dev, Clive Lloyd. c) The inside-out drive or the cross-batted drive. The flat-batted shot played on the front foot, sending the ball to long-off or cover. I think we should borrow once again from baseball and call it a line drive. eg Sachin Tendulkar, Roger Twose,??? d) The short-arm pull played to a ball outside off-stump sending the ball through wide long-on eg Sachin, Kapil Dev NEXT: COMMON MYTHS
Subject: Wasn't Cricket once a part of the Olympics? Mike Holmans: [Not really.] In 1900, the Olympics were nothing like what we have today.There was a great big festival in Paris that year, of which originally the 2nd modern Olympics were a part, as well as some other sports tournaments held over a period of several months. The Olympic mob saw a great way of expanding their appeal by declaring that all the sports being played in Paris that year were part of the Olympics and awarding medals to the winners. So there were several events which are recorded as having taken place at the 1900 Olympics which have never recurred, the cricket match featuring a touring club side from Devon and some local ex-pat Englishmen opposition, as "England" and "France" respectively, being one of them.
Subject: 200 runs lead neeeded to enfore follow-on. Right? Not really. According to the laws of cricket,when a team is ahead on 1st innings basis, the captain can enforce follow-on if: 1) 5-day match: 200 runs lead established 2) 3/4 day match: 150 runs lead established 3) 2-day match: 100 runs lead established 4) 1-day match: 75 runs lead established Now if there is no play on the 1st day of a test match, the laws also specify that the match has become(in this case) a 4-day match. Therefore the follow-on lead required becomes 150 runs. Even Sir Garfield Sobers was once caught unaware and extremely upset when India enforced follow-on in similiar circumstances against his side at Kingston in 1971 He, of course, went on to make India pay for this effrontery. NEXT: SCORING FAQS [Also known as Help! I need to keep score for my son's team!]
Subject: How can I keep score using software? You would do worse than trying out:- EddSON Willow Scorebook ( The data it contains can be imported into both the cricket statistics software mentioned above. Ian T: I agree. Used the demo version for many years and as soon as he started accepting VISA on line, I was in!! Also Bill Irvine's s Other ones: More extended write-ups anyone?
Subject: Using traditional methods? Ron Knight: _Tom Smith's Cricket Umpiring and Scoring_ will tell you all you need to know. ISBN 0-297-64604-4 If mail-order from England is your best bet, check out Ian T: This is the ONLY book recognised by the ACU&S. As such, it is not only 'the bible' but the textbook on the subject. The ISBN number probably changes with each new edition - yearly ? Alan R Tuffery: The following little book [is also] useful. There is a webpage about I'll try to find the URL. Hibbs, Derek, (1994). Cricket Scoring, A Handbook for Scorers in Club Cricket. From the author, 1 Cleevelands Avenue, Cheltenham GL50 4PY (lbs 2.95 + 0.30 p&p in UK)
Subject: Would you summarize the notation used? Buy those guides! But! Some of the notation used include: [Written up by: Ian T] Wide = a cross Any runs are shown by placing a dot in the appropriate number of quadrants. e.g. a wide that evades all fielders and the batsmen run two would be entered as such * | * ---+--- | No ball = A circle If runs are taken off the bat then the number of runs is shown inside the circle. If runs are taken BUT not off the bat then the appropriate number of dots is included in the circle. If no runs are taken the symbol is obviously an empty circle. Wickets = a 'w' or some use an 'x' BUT should always be w as the x could 'tilt' and be mistaken for a wide. Runouts = often shown with an 'r' Byes = an upward facing, filled in, triangle Leg byes = a downward facing, filled in, triangle Runs are recorded with the number. Dot balls are just that recorded with a dot. Email me(Ganesh or even Ian) for a truetype Font that works with most windows software, especially WORD. Install it using the control panel/fonts thingy... It has almost all the standard cricket symbols. Also worth noting:- 1. An underline under the symbol indicates the batsmen have ended up at opposite ends to that expected. Usually as a result of 'one short' or crossing during a dismissal. 2. Some scorebooks have a space below the bowling summary to record the over number and the running score for the bowler. Keep this up to date and it's worth its weight in gold - a very quick check when looking for that elusive missed run when your sheet doesn't match your colleagues! If the scorebook isn't printed with that space then create it yourself by marking out a small area in the corner of the summary box. If you include the over number then the game can be completely 'replayed' with ease using the bowlers summary and extras sections of the scoresheet - done properly, one can also find out how many balls each batsmen faced.
Subject: Any advice for someone starting out? Ian T: Scorers are part of the 'third team' - along with the Umpires. As a team they must work together. Scorers should always sit together and compare score sheets periodically - once an over is good. The actual scoring is only part of the job. They must understand ALL the Umpires signals and know when to acknowledge those signals - remember, the Umpire will call and signal to the PLAYERS initially and only when the ball is dead will he turn and signal to the scorers. And they should wait for your acknowledgement before continuing. If in doubt about anything, make a note and ask the Umpires at the next interval. They *should* be coming to you and checking the score sheets agree as the responsibility for the correct score is THEIRS not yours. If there is an error it must be fixed NOW. There is no point continuing a game for another 3 or 4 sessions when the scores are wrong after the first session. The umpires decide how many balls have been bowled in an over - they *should* be checking with each other EVERY over - look for the little two finger salute they give each other when there are two good balls to go - ALL top grade umpires around the world *should* be doing it. If you think they have bowled only 5 then TOUGH!!! If you think that was a seven ball over then TOUGH!! Never shout out 'One to go' or 'That's over' ... However, if it appears that the miscounting is happening a lot you could mention it at the next interval - but beware! It is often the scorers missing a dot ball or missing a wide or no-ball signal that is the fault..
Subject: Where can I download sample sheets/learn more? The official site of the _The Association of Cricket Umpires And Scorers_ has sample score-sheets, info on becoming a registered scorer, answers to several umpiring and scoring queries and a lot, lot more. Note: Click on the "View site index" link and navigate from there.
Subject: How to become a registered scorer? Alan R Tuffery: The Association of Cricket Umpiring & Scoring has a correspondence course try Graham Bullock, Administration Manager at [Also try and navigate from the ACUS site mentioned above]
Subject: Other sites of interest? The official site of _The Association of Cricket Statisticians & Historians_ is another useful resource It is Ian T's firm belief that the site recommended by Terry Walsh next IS FULL OF MISTAKES!! It certainly does not reflect changes to symbols made in 1985? or ANY 2000 code changes. Terry Walsh: ACB & Qld Cricket scorer Judy Harris has produced a guide that I think will fit your criteria. It has everything you'll need (hopefully) including examples. NEXT: BAT AND ITS CARE
Subject: Any tips for buying my bat? Donald Rose: There are very few differences between bats other than labels and some grooves cut into them for marketing purposes. County make the best raw clefts (the chunks of wood the bats are carved from) because they steam press theirs to a harder state than the others. Having said all that, I recommend that you completely ignore the label. Here is what to do: 1. Go to a reputable cricket store. Kingsgrove is good and they have a mail order section and an internet ordering site. 2. Select a bat which is either lacquered or have one of the new plastic bat sleeve put over the front of the blade (about another $10 or so). 3. Get the lightest bat available in senior SH models. A large man can use a light bat as well as a small one but very few cricketers of any size shape or standard can effectively use a heavier bat. 4. Buy 3 additional grips (about $3-$5 ea.) and a grip applicator cone (about $7) and have someone at the shop or the local cricket club show you how to use it. 5. If you buy a lacquered bat or get the plastic sleeve your bat will not require much knocking in. However if the bat is not lacquered, you will either have to soak the toe in a saucer of linseed oil for an hour or so, or get some Estapol or Bat Lacquer and lacquer the toe (and only the toe).
Subject: How do I "knock in" a bat? The basic idea is to avoid splinters and bits breaking off the edges by gently tapping the bat with a mallet. Really need advice on knocking? Then read on. Otherwise skip the following excellent advise. Cameron Fraser: When you buy a bat, it is only lightly pressed at the factory and the fibres are still really soft - if you press your fingernail into the surface you'll see what I mean. 'Knocking in' is the process of compressing and binding these lose fibres together to allow the bat to withstand the constant impact from the ball. You're preparing the bat to be HIT.Your aim is to 'bash' the surface of the blade - not the back or the bottom of the bat (that can be disastrous!) You can use an OLD, GOOD QUALITY ball in your hand or put it in a sock or try different types of 'knocking in' mallets - my preference is for the solid wood version. Any good shop or mail order company does them for around a fiver - buy one, you'll need to make use of it many times. Start 'knocking in' by gently working on the edges and gradually knocking them into a rounded, compressed shape once you get started you'll soon see the change in texture. Then keep working on the edges and the area around the toe of the bat - not the bottom of the bat - and think of trying to use glancing strokes that resemble you edging a ball to gully, then 3rd slip, 2nd slip, etc. while all the time gradually increasing the strength of the impact.Don't forget to give the middle a good going over but the priority should be the outside inch or so of the bat round both edges and the toe. How long do you have to go through this mind numbingly boring routine? Slazenger recommend 6 hours - now that is a long, long time. If you try to do it in good 5 minute blocks it becomes more manageable. Essentially you don't want to think about using the bat until it's had at least 2 hours(24 x 5 minute sessions) but ideally if you can manage double that then all the better. If you have the time and space and tolerant neighbours then the process can be done in a week or so - most of us need a bit longer! But there's no point going to the other extreme - buying a bat one season and not using it until the next. Anyway, such self-denial would be way beyond the likes of me or most cricketers I know! So use the bat but be sensible. After the initial 2-4 hours 'knocking in,' try using it for hitting short catches and then in the nets against OLD, GOOD QUALITY balls and only against the spinners/ slow mediums first. A new or cheap ball can do a lot of damage to an under-prepared bat and digging out a fast yorker in the nets can spell doom and destruction for even the best prepared bat! So try and middle the ball and play the bat in - resist the wild slogging for once! Then do some more 'knocking in' and then some more and then some more and then some more... Remember, SOME bats need a LITTLE linseed oil - but no more than a couple of teaspoonfuls per season! However, ALL BATS NEED KNOCKING IN. Gunn & Moore now provide this service for around 10 pounds in their GM NOW range. For most people that's 10 lbs well spent. But don't forget you'll still need to keep 'knocking in' throughout the life of your bat, knocking out indentations, evening out dead spots in the bat, strengthening area around glued repairs etc. A cricket dealer I know recommends that the day you stop 'knocking in' is the day you throw the bat in the bin.
Subject: I have a problem with water seeping into the bat. Matthew van de Werken: Probably the most common place for the moisture to seep in is through the toe. A popular remedy for this is to cover the toe with "Shoo-Goo", which is a silicon-like substance that dries hard (like a tennis-shoe sole). It's designed for replacing holes in soles of shoes, hence the name, but it works really well on the toe of a bat. The only caveat I have for its use is that it makes the toe of the bat a bit grippy, so you can be running, sliding the bat, and it grips and stops, which is not desirable!
Subject: The rubber grip on my handle keeps sliding up. david lawton: Use a second grip. The other thing is to take the grip off and wind some tape onto the handle, overlapping it so that the ridges are going up. The only problem is that it might change the way the bat feels in your hand.
Subject: How do I put the grip on the bat? Didds: PROPER sports shops to put them on for a small charge using a sort of cone. You may be lucky similarly. Other-wise roll the rubber up into a doughnut and then FORCE the rubber over the end. Once you've actually got the rubber over the end of the handle you just unroll the rubber along the length of the handle and smooth it down. It works well, especially with a twisting motion with both hands using downward pressure towards the bottom of the handle. Peter Watkins: As it turned out, I actually got them on quite easily. A (girl) friend of my wife got a disposable plastic shopping bag, poked it through the grip, then used the handles on the bag to pull the grip on the bat. It went on reasonably easily. Then I rolled the grip from each end and cut out the shopping bag.
Subject: How do I use the grip-applicator cone? ranthony: Your grip applicator should look like an elongated cone about 12" - 15" long. Place the grip over the cone and progressively work it over the cone until it is rolled on itself like a donut. Place the large end of the cone on the end of the bat handle and roll the rolled up grip past where the cone touches the bat and now your grip is on the bat but stilled rolled up. Roll it down the bat handle without unrolling the donut until the donut shaped grip is near the blade junction and a bit is just spreading over the spread of the splice to the blade. Now unroll the grip progressively back to the top of the handle. At this point, your grip will be on the handle with the top end extended over the top of the handle (rather like a foreskin). Don't trim it yet. Holding the bat handle in both hands with the blade down, tamp the end of the bat blade into a surface like a carpet or firm grass so you distribute the grip evenly over the handle. Now, you can trim off the foreskin of rubber to the edge of the handle. If you don't get it right the first time, just roll the grip back down to the blade into a donut again, re-position and roll it back. You can do this over and over until you get it just right.
Subject: Is there a good online store to buy cricket equipment? If you want to browse/select yourself, check out either cricinfo's or google's categorised links. Need advice? Read on. Donald Rose: The largest retailer of cricket equipment of all kinds is the Kingsgrove Sports Centre. They specialise in cricket equipment from bats, protective equipment, gloves, balls to more esoteric things like slips fielding cradles, nets, cricket bags. If Kingsgrove can't provide it, it probably ain't available. They can ship anywhere in the world and they have an on-line e-market site at They ship a considerable amount of equipment to the USA. Ron Knight: If this newsgroup ever does get a FAQ this question must be on it. Check out Chico Khan's listing of equipment vendors at the USA Cricket Association's website Click the link marked "Equipment" on the left. Grahame Giddings: There are links to most major UK equipment suppliers' web sites on the Cricket Links page of my site I haven't got experience of the quality of any of these companies' mail order services but I have brought a lot of kit 'over the counter' from Vee-Kay Sports over the past 20-odd years and have been very satisfied. Ned lloyd: A variety of bats, balls, bags, books, magazines, pads, bags and almost anything you'd want to do with cricket. Almost all products can be delivered to your door. Check the prices out!!! Troubleshooter: The best idea is to go to a sports store, try out the equipment you want and then buy online. It gets delivered to your door, and it costs less. I generally take a risk and just buy the equipment anyway, so it's worth a go. John Hall: [highly recommended by regulars] ravi krishna: try I believe the best place to buy cricket equipment in USA is Devon Street, Chicago. DAN: is somewhere where i would fully recommend. there own brand of ton bats are very good Anyone else wants to share his experience with us? <Grin> NEXT: MISCELLANEOUS
Subject: Where I can find the humorous description of cricket? "Starts something like,'You have 2 teams. One out and one in ...'" Didds: This must be the thgird request for this in three months!! Jackie C: "You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been given out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!"
Subject: What does it means when a cricketer is awarded his cap? Ian Sowman: An International Cap is awarded on debut whereas a county cap may take years on the staff to earn. Steve Shadbolt: At county level it is a recognition that the player is good enough to be a regular 1st team player. Usually means a pay rise. It in effect means you have passed your apprenticeship. Didds: And the recipient actually gets a cloth county cap.
Subject: What do the numbers on the players' caps mean? Basically if he has number X on his cap, it means he is the Xth player to play for his country in that form of the game. Dianne van Dulken: [Steve Waugh] had the brilliant idea a few years back of getting it on their caps, so they are in touch with their place in history, etc, etc. Mike Holmans: I notice that both India and England have followed suit.
Subject: Is there an online resource where these are available??? Susan Dobi: BTW, you can find the full list of England test players at As for the Australians, the list's at
Subject: Who takes precedence if 2 players debut in the same side? Quoting from a ACB press release: "There has never been a hard and fast rule to cater for this situation, but to avoid any possible misunderstandings in future, from now on if more than one player makes their debuts in the same match, the allocation of cap numbers will be done alphabetically and not by batting order." This press release was released after a special excemtion was made for Micheal Slater to allow him to continue done after a spec
Subject: How did expressions like maiden, hattrick etc originate? This needs a loooooong answer but then it's a frequently asked question too. ;-) Answer on our website if someone volunteers.
Subject: I don't understand this Duckworth/Lewis method. Peter Foster: The various rain rules (including Duckworth/Lewis 2001 Update) are at That page also has a D/L FAQ In addition, there is a nifty Windows application at This is the "Rain Ruler", applying D/L. It also provides a full "pars" table for the side batting second.
Subject: And finally ... I must thank: Ron Knight - for being helpful to a fault. The faq wouldn't be the same without his inputs. Him the man! Ian T - for invaluable help with the Laws and scoring sections. brangas - for the extensive help and thorough review. Edward Reid - for his advice and helping me get over my teething troubles in faq-maintainance. Andy ( for the awesome broadcast list. David Liverman - Cricinfo volunteer. 'nuff said. ;-) The Devil's Dictionary of Cricket - Learned quite a bit from there. Visit them at John P Darcy, H S Tikka, Matthew Van de Werken and everyone else who took part in the draft discussion. The many among the multitude who contacted me - irregardless of their motives. ;-) And last but most importantly: Cameron Fraser, Donald Rose, ranthony, Jackie C, Kurt, D W Shepherd, Ian Diddams, Mike Holmans, Arawak Grahame Giddings, Ned Lloyd, Robert Pollard, John Hall, Mike Diddams, David Lawton, Andrew Dunford, Carol Jones, Ken Wessen, Richard Walding, John P Darcy, Ron Knight, Ian T, Jeff Tucker, H S Tikka, Matthew Van de Werken, brangas, Fabian, Gwilym Davies, Peter Watkins, Jackie Hewitt, Jane Phillips, Uday Rajan, Sridhar, RK, Dan, Troubleshooter, David Liverman, Peter Holland, John Charnock, Steve Shadbolt, Ian Sowman, Craig Motbey, Samarth Harish Shah, Bob Dubery, Andy, Bill Irvine, Alan R Tuffery, Terry Walsh, Grahame Menzies, Dianne van Dulken,Susan Dobi, ... and everyone else whose excellent posts form the heart of this faq. If you can improve upon any of the answers given then please take the time and trouble to do so. I depend upon YOU to add your name to this distinguished list! Or contribute again! Email me at P.S. Note change in email id. <!---EOF---> The RSC And UKSC Cricket FAQ Ignore sneaky adversting attached below ------------------------------------------------------------ PS: You should check out this great new site that I found. They've got free movies, music, email. It's really great! --------------------------------------------------------------------- Express yourself with a super cool email address from Hundreds of choices. It's free! ---------------------------------------------------------------------

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