15 Unknown Cricket Rules That Cricket Fans Should Know

As a dedicated fan, you might be familiar with the basic rules of cricket, which has proved to be a crazy game conquered by numbers and rules.

As a dedicated fan, you might be familiar with the basic rules of cricket, which has proved to be a crazy game conquered by numbers and rules. Additionally, some weird rules remain unknown till now and make cricket completely crazy by witnessing many funny moments during the match.

Starting from the player’s unpredictable action to rare dismissals, these rules add depth and integrity to the sport, thereby boosting the engagement rate of fans globally.

By the time you travel throughout this article, you will find these 15 captivating cricket rules and regulations, that are often overlooked and remain unnoticed amidst the thrilling action of the game.

15 Unknown Cricket Rules That Cricket Fans Should Know

1. Cannot Hit the Ball Twice:

Sometimes, you might wonder what if the batter hit the ball twice to score runs? Will he be allowed to do such actions? Certainly NOT! It is because according to the “Law 34” of Cricket if a batter strikes the ball 2nd time intentionally with the bat shortly after it has touched the fielder or hit the bat, then such dismissal would be considered under the act of hit the ball twice.

At the same time, certain exceptions to this rule are offered to a batsman such as:

  • Striking or stopping the ball with the bat for a 2nd time to prevent hitting the wickets or control their dismissal.
  • Attempting to pass the ball to their fielder (permission to be taken before touching the ball with the bat or any part of a batsman’s body)

2. Batsman cannot be given out without an appeal:

Even though a batsman is out according to the laws of cricket, the umpires cannot declare the dismissal without the appeal of the fielding team.

3. Appeal Withdrawal:

Based on the Law 31.8 of Cricket, a fielding team’s captain can withdraw an appeal after acquiring permission from the umpire whose decision was earlier given to dismiss the batsman. Such rules maintain the fair play of the game. 

4. Fake Fielding:

If a fielder hasn’t grabbed the ball properly, but his actions give an opinion that he has collected the ball, such an action would be considered as “Fake Fielding” that eventually prevents the opponent team batters from scoring runs. In such circumstances, the fielding team are subject to face a penalty of 5 runs.

5. Kicking the ball Penalty:

If a fielder intentionally kicks the ball over the boundary ropes, then the fielding team gets penalized with 5 runs. One such incident occurred when India was playing the test match against South Africa and Sehwag intentionally kicked the ball over the ropes. As a result, South Africa the match umpires were awarded 5 runs to South Africa by considering this action a violation of cricket rules.

Since it was the final ball of the over; the South African set batter Hashim Amla wanted to take a single to keep the strike and avoid the last batsman (Morne Morkel) facing the next over. However, Virender Sehwag deliberately kicked the ball so that the boundary could be given as well as the Indian bowlers having a chance to dismiss the tail-ender Morne Morkel in the next over.

6. Timed Out:

A new batsman must be ready within two minutes to enter the field after a fall of a wicket or a player decides to retire out and failing to do so will result in the dismissal of “Timed Out”.

Recently, Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews became the first batter to face such kind of dismissal against Bangladesh in the ICC World Cup 2023.

7. Dead Ball:

Sometimes, an umpire declares a dead ball in cricket under these circumstances:

  • The batsman hits the ball in the air and gets interfered with by aerial objects like the spider cam
  • Miscounting by an umpire of valid balls or if an over continues beyond six balls without any extras involved. 
  • The bowler accidentally releases the ball before delivery.
  • Players involved in unfair play
  • The bowler bowls a ball to a batter despite not being ready.

8. Handling the Ball:

This is another weird rule in cricket where a batsman can be given out for handling the ball. In other words, a batter used his/ her hands to prevent the ball from hitting the wickets. Rather, the batsman can use their bat to stop the ball from reaching the stumps after defending it. One such instance in recent times, was the Bangladeshi batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who was dismissed for handling the ball in a test match against New Zealand.

9. No Ball to Overturn wide:

This is another rare instance in cricket when a bowler’s end umpire signals a no-ball over another umpire at square leg indicating a wide ball. In such cases, the no-ball decision overtakes the decision of wide ball.

Especially, such type of incidents happen when a bowler simultaneously bowls a wide ball and no ball (either by stepping out of the crease or delivering a ball above the batter’s waist height)

10. Penalty if the ball hits the helmet:

If the ball hits the helmet the bowling team will face a penalty of 5 runs which will be awarded to the batting side. According to the laws of cricket, a fielding side should not keep any equipment such as helmets on the cricket field. Particularly, wicketkeepers aren’t allowed to keep helmets on the field.

However, a wicketkeeper might choose to change between their cap and helmet in the transition of fast and spin bowling options. Also, getting the helmet from outside the field after every over will result in a waste of time.

11. If bails don’t fall it isn’t OUT!:

Sometimes a batsman might be lucky not to get out despite the ball hitting the stumps and the bails on top of the stumps not falling.

12. Dismissal for Wide Ball:

Though a wide ball is a form of extra delivery or extra run awarded to the batting side, a batsman’s dismissal is still valid on such balls under the following conditions:

  • Run Out
  • Stump Out
  • Hit Wicket
  • Obstructing the field

13. On-side Field Restrictions:

When a bowler is bowling, a maximum of only two fielders can be permitted on the leg side (on the side) behind the striker’s end. The umpire at the striker’s end will declare it as a no-ball if the fielding team violates the rule.

14. Change in Umpire’s position at Striker’s end:

Most of the time, the umpire stands at the striker’s end (known as the Leg Umpire) and they have an option to change their position by standing on the off side of the pitch if any circumstances affect the view. However, the leg umpires must need to inform the fielding team’s skipper, the batter at the striker end and the bowler end umpires. If not, the delivery would be considered dead.

15. Time Limit to Start a new over:

This is one of the new rules in limited-overs cricket where the bowling side has to start the new over within a time limit of 60 seconds from the completion of the previous over. In simpler terms, a new bowler must commence the new over as soon as possible after the previous ones have been bowled.

If the bowling team fails to follow the rule for the 3rd consecutive time; the match umpires will impose a 5-run penalty. The new rule by the ICC (International Cricket Council) aims to provide a short and crisp version of white ball cricket to the spectators.

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