What Does Bowl Out Mean in Cricket Sport?

Check this post to find out how bowling out works in cricket sport. Read this for full info.

Cricket is a popular sport with its unique rules and styles. The topic of bowl out arises with so much confusion among many people. Many of them need help understanding the process of bowl out and its significance in cricket. If you are interested, read this entire article as here we will discuss the matter of bowl out, its introduction, and how it had been abolished.

The concept of bowl out:

Only some people who are new cricket fans know about what bowl out is. If you do not know, do not worry because we will explain it in this article. When two cricket teams ended up scoring the same runs, bowl out was used to specify the winner. While some may think it to be something which used to be practised currently, its use goes back 3 decades in time when it was first used in England. It was used very few times in international cricket.

A bowl out was used as a tiebreaker in various forms of limited-overs cricket to decide a game that would otherwise end in a tie. 5 bowlers from each side deliver one or two deliveries each at an unguarded wicket. If each team can hit the same number of wickets after the first five bowlers per side, the bowling continues and is decided by sudden death. Every bowler can bowl once or twice. Whichever team ends up hitting the wickets more times in a set of balls is decided as the winner of the match. Only the bowlers decide the result of the game. It is one of the reasons why it was removed from cricket altogether.

The introduction of bowl out method:

The International Cricket Council introduced the bowl out in the semi-finals and final of the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy. In one of those matches, West Indies and New Zealand both scored 126 runs and as per the then guidelines of the ICC, a bowl-out was conducted. New Zealand went on to win the bowl out and, eventually, the match. After this, the bowl out method was used in an ICC World Cup T-20 match between India and Pakistan in 2007.

In a T-20 domestic cricket match between Warwickshire and Surrey, bowl-out had to be used since both scored the same number of runs. Surrey defeated their rivals since their bowlers hit the wickets more times.

Replacement of bowl out method:

Once upon a time, bowl out was the decided method in the sudden death stages. But now, the rule is no longer used in cricket. It has been replaced with super over. After a match is tied in a super over. Both teams are given an over each to score a maximum number of runs. Even if the batting team loses a wicket during those six balls. They will be given another new wicket to lead the score line. Any bowler can deliver six balls in the super overs, whether spin or pace.

There is also no ball and wide balls, and the other rules are applicable as usual. Instead of the bowl out, the fans have also well-received the new super over method. Today, it is a standard practice in domestic or international cricket levels whenever a match gets tied. Tournaments like the Indian Premier League also use it to decide the winner when a game gets tied.

The reason behind replacement:

The issue with a bowl out was that batters or other team players were not able to contribute to their team or the result of the match.

It was against the spirit of cricket. Especially while many may refer to the game as a batter’s sport, it is, in fact, a team sport where the batters, bowlers, and fielders are meant to be involved in the contribution. And you should also remember that bowl out system was used to decide the ultimate result of a cricket match. Since it was not feasible, it was replaced with better alternatives like super over. Where batters have a chance to score as many runs as possible, bowlers can contribute by picking wickets, and fielders can save runs or help in taking wickets.


However, the bowl out is no longer used as batting does not affect the result of the otherwise tied game. Instead, the super-over method has a better impact on the game. The spectators get more excited with the super-over method, and the players get a second chance to contribute to their teams.

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