Our Glossary of Cricket Terms

Cricket has a range of weird and wonderful terminology. 

Read the guides below and learn the difference between a “jaffa” and “yips”.


Cricket bats consists of a cane handle with a rubber grip sleave, and a flat-fronted willow-wood blade used by batters to whack the ball and get a six.


Cricket pads are protective equipment to protect the legs and other delicate areas from the impact of a hard cricket ball travelling at high speed.


Cricket bags are very common in cricket changing rooms, offering a convenient way to travel with all your cricket equipment.

zoom in cricket


Zoom in cricket It was always difficult to portray cricket to the remote viewer because of the distance between the middle, where the serious action takes place, and the boundary edge. That is why action shots of the early players tended to be staged, with the result that they appeared...

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cricket ball


What is Yips in cricket? The business of bowling a cricket ball is not a natural movement. The best bowlers make it look as if it is, but it is not. Just consider a process that involves running to a fixed point, jumping in the air and turning the body...

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photo of an xray


Why are x-rays important to the game of cricket? Professor Wilhem Konrad Roentgen’s name might never before have appeared in a book about cricket. However, it was in 1895 -shortly after A.E Stoddart’s England side had retained the Ashes in a match that had attracted the attention of Queen Victoria...

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wicket keeper catching the ball


What does a wicket keeper do in a cricket game? Nothing helps the balance of a cricket team more than the presence of a player who has mastered more than one discipline. The term “all-rounder” is habitually applied to someone who can bat and bowl, but over the years there...

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photo of traditional village cricket

Village cricket

What is village cricket? The cricket field itself was a mass of daisies and buttercups and dandelions, tall grasses and purple vetches and thistle-down, and great clumps of dark-red sorrel, except, of course, for the oblong patch in the centre – mown, rolled, watered – a smooth, shining emerald of...

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picture of a cricket game with umpire in the background


Who is a cricket umpire and what is umpiring They are the men who never win the toss. While most of the players in a five-day Test match will be hoping the coin comes down in their favour so they can sit with their feet up for the best part...

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picture of a cricket ball


Why throwing is so important in cricket Throwing has a definite place in cricket. As a means of returning the ball from a fielder to the stumps at either end, it can be an exciting addition to the array of high-class skills on view at any match. As a means...

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man scoring in cricket


How does scoring in cricket work? “If you’re not playing to win, don’t bother to keep the score.” Why is it difficult to read that sentence without hearing an Australian accent in the mind’s ear? It certainly reveals a ruthless streak. Nothing about the joys to be derived from the...

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man scoring a run during a cricket game


What is a run in cricket? Of all cricket’s intricate records, is any more prized than the individual one for runs scored in Test cricket? One man – Brian Lara – has the unique distinction of having broken it twice, after reaching an astonishing 400 not out against England in...

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cricketer who just got a quick in a cricket match


What are “quicks” in cricket? When Stephen Harmison tore through the West Indies batting on the fourth morning of the first Test at Sabina Park in March 2004, his performance added an extra frisson of excitement for England supporters. Quite apart from turning what had been an even contest into...

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photo of a cricket pavilion in the desert


Understanding about the importance of the cricket pavilion Irrefutably, they come in all shapes and sizes. Without exception, their interiors have been the backcloth for agony and ecstasy and everything between, individual and collective. Here, coach and captain will issue their briefings before play, or exhortations to do better after...

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after being called out in a cricket game


What is being called “out” in cricket The moment, habitually the most dramatic in cricket, arouses utterly contrasting emotions. For the batsman, it can be one of annihilating finality. Geoff Boycott used to say that whenever it happened to him, he felt sick inside, although history indicates that not all...

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picture of a cricket net


Learning about nets in cricket – uses, types and purpose Nets feature prominently in cricket terminology. Net run rate is increasingly used as a means of dividing teams who finish level on points in a tournament. Net profit, or loss, is a crucial component of the balance sheet when clubs...

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photo of a game of cricket where match fixing was happening

Match Fixing

What is match fixing in cricket? On the 19th June 1998, under blue skies in London NW8, Lord’s was the only place for a cricket lover to be. South Africa, on their second tour of England since re-admission to the ICC, were rebuilding their innings after early difficulties with Dominic...

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cricketer ruled as LBW


What is an LBW in cricket? It all appears so simple. The expression ‘leg before wicket’ suggests that if the leg gets in the way of the ball hitting the stumps, the batsman is out, yet it becomes more complex than that. That is why the LBW Law causes more...

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two men playing cricket


Understanding what and who is a knight in cricket No fewer than 16 test cricketers have achieved the honour of being knighted for their services to the game. Seven represented England, six played for the West Indies, while of the remaining three, one captained India, another, an Australian, was the...

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man bowling a "jaffa" during a cricket game


What is the term “Jaffa” in cricket If contestants on one of those television quiz shows had to determine the true definition of the word “jaffa” they could have problems. They could be offered: “Jaffa; a port city in the Middle East”: “jaffa; a sweet variety of orange”: or “jaffa;...

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man hitting cricket ball

International Cricket Council

The history of the ICC (International Cricket Council) The trouble with cricket is that it requires such a specialised surface on which to play. A football pitch can double up as a rugby pitch, athletes can perform virtually anywhere and baseball can be played wherever there is room to put...

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grass on cricket pitch


Learn about the grass and cricket Chess on grass. This expression refers not to a grandmaster found guilty of smoking illegal substances but is a means of conveying the complexities of cricket. It is the captain who is moving the pieces at his disposal, while the character of the turf...

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man wearing a cricket helmet


Understanding helmets and headgear used in cricket Imagine WG Grace batting in a helmet! It really doesn’t bear thinking about, and for many of the game’s traditionalists, it was scarcely more bearable when protective headgear did come into the game, nearly a century after WG played his first Test. “It’s...

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group of youths fielding in cricket


Understanding about fielding as a cricketer Whoever believes that cricket boils down to a simple contest between batsman and bowler has not completely grasped the game’s deeper subtleties. True, it is generally possible to attribute praise to a batsman for an exquisite cover drive, while blaming the bowler in some...

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photo of a batsman playing cricket


Extras in cricket, what are they all about? There was something particularly bruising, at Trent Bridge in 2001, about the delivery of a no ball sealing the outcome of the Ashes series against Australia. Andrew Caddick was the culprit, although in truth he merely applied a marginal tweak to Australia’s...

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photo of two men playing cricket


What are declarations in cricket? It is the possibility of being able to declare an innings closed that marks cricket out as a game of ultimate sophistication. Whereas most other sports have a set time limit or a requirement to reach a pre-determined score, cricket allows the captain a certain...

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photo of a cricket team captain playing


Cricket Captain – What is Involved in This Role? The job of a captain in most sports is not terribly demanding. In football, for example, he might have to toss the coin and be available to speak to the media after the match, and he will probably act as a...

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picture of a man hitting a cricket ball with a cricket bat

Bat & Ball

The cricket bat and cricket ball: The history and the background To search for the origins of these two indispensable implements, it is necessary to make a cursory foray back towards the birth of the game itself. Not that it is possible to arrive at a specific point, since the...

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Learn about the Ashes Test cricket series played between England and Australia. The Ashes are the oldest and – despite Australia’s world dominance in recent years – most venerated contest in cricket. The match now accepted as the first Test ever played was in Melbourne in 1877. Australia beat England...

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Cricket Glossary

Our Glossary of Cricket Terms Cricket has a range of weird and wonderful terminology.  Read the guides below and learn the difference between a “jaffa”

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