Definitions

rib-tickler

List of cricket terms

Cricket is a team sport played between two teams of eleven. It is known for its rich terminology. Some terms are often thought to be arcane and humorous by those not familiar with the game.

This is a general glossary of the terminology used in the sport of cricket. Where words in a sentence are also defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics. Certain aspects of cricket terminology are explained in more detail in cricket statistics and the naming of fielding positions is explained at fielding (cricket).

A

; Agricultural shot : this is a swing across the line of the ball (resembling a scything motion) played without much technique. Often one that results in a chunk of the pitch being dug up by the bat. A type of a slog.
; All out : when an innings is ended due to ten of the eleven batsmen on the batting side being either dismissed or unable to bat because of injury or illness.
; All-rounder : a player adept at both batting and bowling.
; Anchor : a top-order batsman capable of batting for a long duration throughout the innings. Usually batsman playing at numbers 3 or 4 play such a role, especially if there is a batting collapse. An anchor plays defensively, and is often the top scorer in the innings.
; Appeal : the act of a bowler or fielder shouting at the umpire to ask if his last ball took the batsman's wicket. Usually phrased in the form of howzat (how-is-that?). Common variations include 'Howzee?' (how is he?), or simply turning to the umpire and shouting.
; Approach : The motion of the bowler prior to bowling the ball. It is also known as the run-up. Also the ground a bowler runs on during his run up. Eg: "Play was delayed because the bowler's approaches were slippery."
; Arm ball : a deceptive delivery bowled by an off spin bowler that is not spun, so, unlike the off break, it travels straight on (with the bowler's arm). A particularly good bowler's arm ball might also swing away from the batsman in the air (or in to him when delivered by a left-armer).
; Around the wicket or round the wicket: a right-handed bowler passing to the right of the stumps during his bowling action, and vice-versa for left-handed bowlers.
; Ashes, the : the perpetual prize in England v Australia Test match series. The small wooden urn contains ashes collected after burning the bails used when Australia first beat England in England, at The Oval in 1882 (the first Test match between the two nations was in Melbourne in 1877).
; Asking rate : the rate at which the team batting needs to score to catch the opponents score in a limited overs game.
; Attacking shot : A shot of aggression or strength designed to score runs.
; Average : A bowler's bowling average is defined as the total number of runs conceded by the bowler (including wides and no-balls) divided by the number of wickets taken by the bowler. A batsman's batting average is defined as the total number of runs scored by the batsman divided by the number of times he has been dismissed.
; Away Swing : see out swing

B

; Back foot : in a batsman's stance the back foot is the foot that is nearer to the stumps. A bowler's front foot is the last foot to contact the ground before the ball is released. The other foot is the back foot. Unless the bowler is bowling off the wrong foot the bowling foot is the back foot.
; Back foot contact : is the position of the bowler at the moment when his back foot lands on the ground just prior to delivering the ball.
; Back foot shot : a shot played with the batsman's weight on his back foot (i.e. the foot furthest from the bowler).
; Back spin : (also under-spin) a delivery which has a rotation backwards so that after pitching it immediately slows down, or bounces lower and skids on to the batsman.
; Backing up :
# after a fielder chases the ball, another fielder placed at a further distance also moves into position so that if the fielder mis-fields the ball, the damage done is minimal. Also done to support a fielder receiving a throw from the outfield in case the throw is errant or not caught.
# the non-striking batsman leaving his crease during the delivery in order to shorten the distance to complete one run. A batsman "backing up" too far runs the risk of being run out.
; Backlift : the lifting of the bat in preparation to hit the ball.
; Bail : one of the two small pieces of wood that lie on top of the stumps to form the wicket.
; Ball : the round object which the batsman attempts to strike with the bat. Also a delivery.; Bang (It) In : to bowl a delivery on a shorter length with additional speed and force.
; Bat : the wooden implement with which the batsman attempts to strike the ball.
; Bat-pad : a fielder who is in position close to the batsman to catch the ball if it hits the bat, then the pad, and rises to a catchable height. Also a defense against being given out lbw, that the ball may have hit the bat first, however indiscernible.
; Batsman : (also, particularly in women's cricket, bat or batter) a player on the batting side, or a player whose speciality is batting.
; Batting : the act and skill of defending one's wicket and scoring runs.
; Batting average : the average number of runs scored per innings by a batsman, calculated by dividing the batsman's total runs scored during those innings in question by the number of times the batsman was out. Compare innings average.
; Batting end : the end of the pitch at which the striker stands.
; Batting order : the order in which the batsmen bat, from the openers, through the top order and middle order to the lower order.
; BBI or Best : an abbreviation for the best bowling figures in an innings throughout the entire career of the bowler. It is defined as, firstly, the greatest number of wickets taken, and secondly the fewest runs conceded for that number of wickets. (Thus, a performance of 7 for 102 is considered better than one of 6 for 19.)
; Beach cricket : an informal form of the game, obviously cricket played on beaches, particularly in Australia and cricket-playing Caribbean countries.
; Beamer : a delivery that reaches the batsman at around head height without bouncing. Due to the risk of injury to the batsman, a beamer is an illegal delivery, punishable by a no ball being called.
;Beat the bat : when a batsman narrowly avoids touching the ball with the edge of his bat, through good fortune rather than skill. Considered a moral victory for the bowler. The batsman is said to have been beaten. In some cases, this may be expanded to \"beaten all ends up\".
;Beehive : a diagram showing where a number of balls, usually from a particular bowler, have passed the batsman. Compare pitch map.
;Bend the back : of a pace bowler, to put in extra effort to extract extra speed or bounce.
;Belter : a belter of a pitch is a pitch offering advantage to the batsman.
;Bite : the turn a spin bowler is able to produce on a pitch.
; Block :
# A defensive shot;
# To play a defensive shot.
; Block hole : the area between where the batsman rests his bat to receive a delivery and his toes. It is the target area for a yorker.
; Bodyline : a tactic (now suppressed by law changes restricting fielders on the leg side) involving bowling directly at the batsman's body, particularly with close fielders packed on the leg side. The term "Bodyline" is usually used to describe the contentious 1932-33 Ashes Tour. The tactic is often called "fast leg theory" in other contexts.
; Bosie or Bosey : See Googly
; Bottom hand : The hand of the batsman that is closest to the blade of the bat. Shots played with the bottom hand often are hit in the air and described as having a lot of bottom hand.
; Bouncer : a fast short pitched delivery that rises up near the batsman's head.
; Boundary :
# the perimeter of the ground;
# four runs. Also used to mention a four and a six collectively;
# the rope that demarcates the perimeter of the ground.
; Bowled : a mode of a batsman's dismissal. Occurs when a delivery hits the stumps and removes the bails.
; Bowled out : of the batting side, to have lost ten out of its eleven batsmen (thus having no more legal batting partnerships). (It has nothing to do with the particular dismissal bowled.)

; Bowler : the player on the fielding side who bowls to the batsman.
; Bowling : the act of delivering the cricket ball to the batsman.
; Bowling action : the set of movements that result in the bowler releasing the ball in the general direction of the wicket.
; Bowl-out : a method of determining the result in a limited overs match that has been tied. Five players from each team bowl at a single stump, and the team with the most hits wins. If the number of hits is equal after both team's turns, further sudden death turns are taken. The concept is analogous to the penalty shootout used in other sports.
; Bowling analysis : (also called bowling figures) a shorthand statistical notation summarising a bowler's performance.
; Bowling average : the average number of runs scored off a bowler for each wicket he has taken. i.e. total runs conceded divided by number of wickets taken.
; Bowling end : the end of the pitch from where the bowler bowls.
; Bowling foot : the foot on the same side of the body that a bowler holds the ball. For a right handed bowler the bowling foot is the right foot.

; Box : a protective item shaped like a half-shell and worn down the front of a player's (particularly a batsman's) trousers to protect his or her genitalia from the hard cricket ball. Also known as an 'abdominal protector', 'Hector protector', 'protector' or 'cup'.; Brace : two wickets taken off two consecutive deliveries.
; Break : a suffix used to describe the ball changing direction after pitching caused by the bowler'sspin or cut. For example, a leg spinner will deliver leg breaks (moving from leg to off).
; Breaking the wicket : the act of dislodging the bails from the stumps.
; Buffet bowling : bowling of a very poor quality, such that the batsmen is able to \"come and help himself\" to runs, also Cafeteria Bowling.
; Bump ball : a delivery that bounces very close to the batsman's foot, after he has played a shot, such that it appears to have come directly from the bat without ground contact. The result is often a crowd catch.
; Bumper : old-fashioned name for a bouncer.
; Bunny : see rabbit.
; Bunsen : A pitch on which spin bowlers can turn the ball prodigiously. From the rhyming slang: 'Bunsen Burner' meaning 'Turner'.
; Bye : extras scored in the same way as normal runs when both the batsman and the wicket-keeper miss a legal delivery.

C

; Cameo : An innings, usually by a middle order or lower order batsman who scores very quickly e.g. \"He played a little cameo of an innings\".
; Cap : awarded by countries for each appearance at Test level. At county level, just one is given and is awarded not on a player's first appearance, but at a later stage when it is felt he has \"proved himself\" as a member of the team; some players never receive one. Worcestershire have now abolished this system and award \"colours\" to each player on his debut.
; Captain's Innings/Captain's Knock : a high-scoring individual innings by the captain of the batting team considered to have changed the course of a match.
; Carry : if a hit ball is caught by a fielder on the fly, it is said to have carried. If it bounces just short of the fielder, it is said not to have carried.
; Carry the bat : an opener who is not out at the end of a completed innings is said to have carried his bat.
; Castled : out bowled often by a full length ball or a Yorker.
; Catch : to dismiss a batsman by a fielder catching the ball after the batsman has hit it with his bat but before it hits the ground.
; Charge: when the batsman uses his feet and comes out of his batting crease towards the bowler, trying to hit the ball. Also known as giving the bowler the charge.
; Century : an individual score of at least 100 runs, a significant landmark for a batsman. Sometimes used ironically to describe a bowler conceding over 100 runs in an innings.
; Cherry: The (red) cricket ball, particularly the new ball.
; Chest on (also front on) :
# A chest on bowler has chest and hips aligned towards the batsman at the instant of back foot contact.
# A batsman is said to be chest on if his hips and shoulders face the bowler.
; Chin music : The use of a series of bouncers from pace bowlers to intimidate a batsman. Historically, it has been used as a tactic particularly against sub-continental teams because of their inexperience of bouncers. Term taken from baseball.
; Chinaman : a left-handed bowler bowling wrist spin (left arm unorthodox). For a right-handed batsman, the ball will move from the off side to the leg side (left to right on the TV screen). Named after Ellis "Puss" Achong, a West Indian left-arm wrist-spin bowler of Chinese descent.
; Chinese cut (also French cut, Harrow Drive, Staffordshire cut or Surrey cut) : an inside edge which misses hitting the stumps by a few centimeters.
; Chuck : to throw the ball instead of bowling it (i.e. by straightening the elbow during the delivery); also chucker: a bowler who chucks; and chucking: such an illegal bowling action. All are considered offensive terms as they imply cheating.
; (The) Circle : a painted circle (or ellipse), centred in the middle of the pitch, of radius 30 yard (27 m) marked on the field. The circle separates the infield from the outfield, used in policing the fielding regulations in certain one-day versions of the game. The exact nature of the restrictions vary depending on the type of game: see limited overs cricket, Twenty20 and powerplay (cricket).
; Clean bowled : bowled, without the ball first hitting the bat or pad.
; Close infield : the area enclosed by a painted dotted circle of 15 yard (13.7 m) radius measured from the wicket on each end of the pitch. Used only in ODI matches.
;Coil : alternative term for back foot contact.
;Collapse : the loss of several wickets in a short space of time.
; Corridor of uncertainty : a good line. The corridor of uncertainty is a notional narrow area on and just outside a batsman's off stump. If a delivery is in the corridor, it is difficult for a batsman to decide whether to leave the ball, play defensively or play an attacking shot. The term was popularised by former England batsman, now commentator, Geoffrey Boycott.
; County cricket : the highest level of domestic cricket in England and Wales.
; Covers :
# A fielding position between point and mid-off.
# The equipment used to protect the pitch from rain.
; Cow corner : the area of the field (roughly) between deep mid-wicket and wide long-on. So called because few 'legitimate' shots are aimed to this part of the field, so fielders are rarely placed there - leading to the concept that cows could happily graze in that area.
; Cow shot : a hard shot, usually in the air, across the line of a full-pitched ball, aiming to hit the ball over the boundary at cow corner, with very little regard to proper technique. Very powerful and a good way of hitting boundary sixes, but must be timed perfectly to avoid being bowled, or either skying the ball or getting a leading edge and so being caught. A type of slog.
; Crease : one of several lines on the pitch near the stumps (the "popping crease", the "return crease" and the "bowling crease") most often referring to the popping crease.

; Cricket ball : a hard, solid ball of cork, wound string and polished leather, with a wide raised equatorial seam.
; Cricketer : a person who plays cricket.
; Cross-bat shot : a shot played with the bat parallel with the ground, such as a cut or a pull. Also known as a horizontal-bat shot.
; Crowd catch : a fielder's stop which leads to a roar from the crowd because at first impression it is a dismissal, but which turns out to be not out (because of a no ball or a bump ball).
; Cut : a shot played square on the off side to a short-pitched delivery wide of off stump. So called because the batsman makes a "cutting" motion as he plays the shot.
; Cutter : a break delivery bowled by a fast or medium-pace bowler with similar action to a spin bowler, but at a faster pace. It is usually used in an effort to surprise the batsman, although some medium-pace bowlers use the cutter as their stock (main) delivery.

D

; Daisy cutter : When a ball rolls along the pitch or bounches more than 2 times
; Dead ball :
# the state of play in between deliveries, in which batsmen may not score runs or be given out.
# called when the ball becomes lodged in the batsman's clothing or equipment.
# called when the ball is (or is about to be) bowled when the batsman is not yet ready.
# called when a bowler aborts his run up without making a delivery.
# called when the batsmen attempt to run leg-byes after the ball has struck the batsman's body, but is deemed to have not offered a shot.
;Dead bat : the bat when held with a light grip such that it gives when the ball strikes it, and the ball loses momentum and falls to the ground.
; Death overs : the final 10 overs in a one-day match, in which most bowlers are, usually, hit for lots of runs. Also known as Slog Overs. Bowlers who bowl during the death overs are said to "bowl at the death"
; Declaration : the act of a captain voluntarily bringing his side's innings to a close, in the belief that their score is now great enough to prevent defeat. Occurs almost exclusively in timed forms of cricket where a draw is a possible result (such as first class cricket), in order that the side declaring have enough time to bowl the opposition out and therefore win.
; Delivery : the act of bowling the ball.
;Devil's number (also Dreaded number): a score of 87, regarded as unlucky in Australian cricket. According to Australian superstition, batsmen have a tendency to be dismissed for 87. The superstition is thought to originate from the fact that 87 is 13 runs short of a century. The English equivalent is Nelson.
; Diamond duck : a dismissal (for zero) off the first ball of a team's innings (a dismissal off merely the batman's first ball is a golden duck). Also, less commonly, a dismissal for nought (zero), without having faced a ball (usually by being run out). The latter is sometimes referred to as a glass duck. In New Zealand the term for a diamond duck is a "royal golden duck".
;Dibbly Dobbly :
# a bowler of limited skill.
# a delivery that is easy to hit.
; Dink : a gentle shot.
; Dipper : a delivery bowled which curves into or away from the batsman before pitching.
; Dismiss : to get one of the batsmen out so that he must cease batting.
; Dolly : a very easy catch.
; Donkey Drop : A ball with a very high trajectory prior to bouncing.
; Doosra : a relatively new off spin delivery developed by Saqlain Mushtaq; the finger spin equivalent of the googly, in that it turns the "wrong way". From the Hindi or Urdu for second or other. Muttiah Muralitharan is an expert bowler of doosra.
; Dot ball : a delivery bowled without any runs scored off it, so called because it is recorded in the score book with a single dot.
; Double : normally the scoring of a 1000 runs and the taking of 100 wickets in the same season.
; Double Hat-trick : bowler taking a wicket off each of four consecutive deliveries that he bowls. Achieved once in international cricket by Lasith Malinga at the 2007 World Cup. Former Hampshire player Kevin James is the only player in first class cricket's history to take a double hat-trick and score a century in the same match, achieved against India at Southampton in 1996.
; Down the Pitch (also Down the Wicket): describing the motion of a batsman towards the bowler prior to or during the delivery, made in the hope of turning a good length ball into a half-volley.
;Draw:
# a result in timed matches where the team batting last are not all out, but fail to exceed their opponent's total. Not to be confused with a tie, in which the side batting last is all out or run out of overs with the scores level.
# an antiquated stroke that has fallen into disuse, it was originally a deliberate shot that resembled the Chinese cut - the ball being played between one's own legs.
; Drift : the slight lateral curved-path movement that a spinner extracts while the ball is in flight. Considered very good bowling.
; Drinks : a short break in play, generally taken in the middle of a session, when refreshments are brought out to the players and umpires by the twelfth men of each side. Drinks breaks do not always take place, but they are usual in test matches, particularly in hot countries.
; Drinks Waiter : a jocular term for the twelfth man, referring to his job of bringing out drinks.
; Drive : a powerful shot generally hit along the ground or sometimes in the air in a direction between cover point on the off side and mid-wicket on the leg side, or in an arc between roughly thirty degrees each side of the direction along the pitch.
; Drop :
# the accidental "dropping" of a ball that was initially caught by a fielder, thus denying the dismissal of the batsman; when such an event occurs, the batsman is said to have been "dropped".
# the number of dismissals which occur in a team's innings before a given batsman goes in to bat; a batsman batting at 'first drop' is batting at number three in the batting order, going in after one wicket has fallen.
; Drop-in pitch : a temporary pitch that is cultivated off-site from the field which also allows other sports to share the use of the field with less chance of injury to the players.
; Duck : a batsman's score of nought (zero), as in "he was out for a duck" or "she hasn't got off her duck yet". Originally called a "duck's egg" because of the "0" shape in the scorebook.
; Duck under delivery : a short pitched delivery that appears to be a bouncer, making the striker duck to avoid from being hit; but instead of bouncing high, it has a low bounce which causes the batsman to be dismissed LBW, or occasionally bowled.
; Duckworth-Lewis method : a mathematically based rule that derives a target score for the side batting second in a rain-affected one-day match.

E

; Economy rate : the average number of runs scored per over in the bowler's spell. An economical bowler is one who gives away few runs per over in the context of the game.
; Edge (or snick or nick) : a slight deviation of the ball off the edge of the bat. Top, bottom, inside and outside edges denote the four edges of the bat. The notional four edges are due to the bat being either vertical (inside/outside edge), or horizontal (top/bottom edge). See also leading edge.
; Eleven : another name for one cricket team, which is made of eleven players.
; End : An area of the ground directly behind one of the stumps, used to designate what end a bowler is bowling from (i.e. the Pavilion End).
; Expensive : a bowler who concedes a large number of runs from his over(s), has a high economy rate.
; Extra (also sundry) : a run not attributed to any batsman; there are five types: byes, leg byes, penalties, wides and no-balls. The first three types are called 'fielding' extras (i.e. the fielders are determined to be at fault for their being conceded) and the last two are called 'bowling' extras (the bowler being considered to be at fault for their being conceded) which are included in the runs conceded by the bowler. Should a bowler concede fielding extras when s/he bowls an over but no other runs they are still counted as having bowled a maiden.

F

; Fall of wicket ("FoW") : the batting team's score at which a batsman gets out.
; Farm the strike (also shepherd the strike or farm the bowling) : of a batsman, contrive to receive the majority of the balls bowled.
; Fast bowling (also pace bowling) : a style of bowling in which the ball is delivered at high speeds, typically over 90 mph (145 km/h). Fast bowlers also use swing.
; Fast leg theory : A variant of leg theory in which balls are bowled at high speed, aimed at the batsman's body. See Bodyline.
; Feather : a faint edge.
; Featherbed : A wicket which is considered to be good for batting on, offering little, if any, help for a bowler.
; -fer : a suffix to any number, meaning the number of wickets taken by a team or bowler. (See also fifer/five-fer)
; Ferret : an exceptionally poor batsman, even more so than a rabbit. Named because the ferret goes in after the rabbits. Sometimes referred to as a weasel for the same reason. See also walking wicket.
; Fielder (also, but more rarely, fieldsman) : a player on the fielding side who is neither the bowler nor the wicket-keeper, in particular one who has just fielded the ball.
; Fifer (also five-fer, five wicket haul, or shortened to 5WI or FWI) : five or more wickets taken by a bowler in an innings, considered a very good performance. Abbreviated from the usual form of writing bowling statistics, e.g. a bowler who takes 5 wickets and concedes 117 runs is said to have figures of "5 for 117". Sometimes called a "Michelle", after actress Michelle Pfeiffer.
; Fill-up game : when a match finished early a further game was sometimes started to fill in the available time and to entertain the paying spectators.
; Fine : of a position on the field, close to the line of the pitch (wicket-to-wicket); the opposite of square.
; Fishing : being tempted into throwing the bat at a wider delivery outside off-stump and missing, reaching for a wide delivery and missing. .
; First-class cricket : the senior form of the game; usually county, state or international. First-class matches consist of two innings per side and are usually played over three or more days.
; Flash : to wield the bat aggressively, often hitting good line and length deliveries indiscriminately. Often applied in a caribbean context, as in 'a flashing blade'.
; Flat throw : a ball thrown by the fielder which is almost parallel to the ground. Considered to be a hallmark of good fielding if the throw is also accurate because flat throws travel at a fast pace.
; Flat-track bully : a batsman high in the batting order who is very good only when the pitch is not giving the bowlers much help.
; Flick: a gentle movement of the wrist to move the bat, often associated with shots on the leg side.
; Flight : a delivery which is thrown up at a more arched trajectory by a spinner. Considered to be good bowling. Also loop.
; Flipper : a leg spin delivery with under-spin, so it bounces lower than normal, invented by Clarrie Grimmett.
; Floater : a delivery bowled by a spinner that travels in a highly arched path appearing to 'float' in the air.
; Fly slip : a position deeper than the conventional slips, between the slips and third man.
; Follow on : the team batting second continuing for their second innings, having fallen short of the "follow on target". The definition of this target has changed over time, but is currently 200 runs behind the first teams score in a 5 day game, 150 runs in a 3 or 4 day game, 100 runs in a 2 day event and 75 in a single day.
; Follow through : a bowler's body actions after the release of the ball to stabilise their body.
; Footwork : the necessary (foot) steps that a batsman has to take so as to be at a comfortable distance from where the ball has pitched, just right to hit the ball anywhere he desires, negating any spin or swing that a bowler attempts to extract after bouncing.; Forward defence : a commonly-employed defensive shot.
; Four : a shot that reaches the boundary after bouncing, so called because it scores four runs to the batting side.
; Free hit : a penalty given in some forms of cricket when a bowler bowls a no-ball. The bowler must bowl another delivery, and the batsman cannot be out off that delivery (except by being run out). During the free hit, the fielders may not change positions.
; French cricket : an informal form of the game. The term "playing French Cricket" can be used by commentators to indicate that a batsman has not moved his feet and looks ungainly because of this.
; French Cut (also Chinese Cut or Surrey cut or Harrow drive) : an inside edge which misses hitting the stumps by a few centimetres.
; Frog in a blender : A very unorthodox bowling action by a spin bowler. Particularly that of Paul Adams.
; Front foot : in a batsman's stance the front foot is the foot that is nearer to the bowler. A bowler's front foot is the last foot to contact the ground before the ball is released.
; Front foot contact : is the position of the bowler at the moment when his front foot lands on the ground just prior to delivering the ball.
; Front-foot shot : a shot played with the batsman's weight on his front foot (i.e. the foot nearest the bowler).
; Full length : a delivery that pitches closer to the batsman than a ball pitching on a good length, but further away than a half-volley.
; Full Monty : to hit a six of every delivery in an over. Also, to give it the full monty.
; Full toss (also full bunger): a delivery that reaches the batsman on the full, i.e. without bouncing. Usually considered a bad delivery to bowl as the batsman has a lot of time to see the ball and play an attacking shot. Also, it does not have a chance to change direction off the ground, making it the ultimate crime for a spin or seam bowler.

G

; Gardening : a batsman prodding at the pitch with his bat between deliveries, either to flatten a bump in the pitch, to soothe his own frazzled nerves or simply to waste time or upset the rhythm of the bowler. Considered facetious as there is not really a point to it.
; Gallon : one hundred runs, either conceded by the bowler, or scored by the batsman. So called as it harks back to the days when a gallon of petrol cost 100 pence in the UK.
; Gazunder : a delivery that fails to bounce to the expected height after bouncing, thus beating the batsman and "goes under" the bat. Often results in batsmen being out bowled.
; Getting your eye in : when the batsman takes his time to assess the condition of the pitch, ball or weather etc before starting to attempt more risky strokes.
; Glance : the shot played very fine behind the batsman on the leg side. A glance is typically played on a short-pitched ball. See also flick.
; Glove : part of a batsman's kit worn to protect the hands from accidental injury. When a hand is in contact with the bat it is considered part of the bat and so a player can be given out caught to a ball that came off the glove hence "gloved a catch."
; Glovemanship (also Gauntlet work) : the art of wicketkeeping. eg 'A marvellous display of glovemanship from the wicketkeeper.'
; Golden duck : a dismissal for nought (zero), from the first ball faced in a batsman's innings.
; Golden pair (also King pair) : a dismissal for nought (zero) runs off the first ball faced in each of a batsman's two innings of a two-innings match (see this list of Pairs in test and first class cricket).
; Good length : the ideal place for a stock delivery to pitch in its trajectory from the bowler to the batsman. It makes the batsman uncertain whether to play a front-foot or back-foot shot. A good length differs from bowler to bowler, based on the type and speed of the bowler.
; Googly : a deceptive spinning delivery by a leg spin bowler, also known (particularly in Australia) as the wrong 'un. For a right-hander bowler and a right-handed batsman, a googly will turn from the off side to the leg side. Developed by Bosanquet around 1900, and formerly called a bosie or bosey.
; Gouging : causing intentional damage to the pitch or ball.
; Grafting : batting defensively with strong emphasis on not getting out, often under difficult conditions.
; Green Top : a pitch with an unusually high amount of visible grass, that might be expected to assist the bowlers.
; Grip : the rubber casings used on the handle of the bat. The term is also used to describe how the bowler holds the ball and how the batsman holds the bat.
; Groundsman (or curator) : a person responsible for maintaining the cricket field and preparing the pitch.
; Grubber : a delivery that barely bounces.
; (Taking) Guard : the batsman aligning his bat according with a stump (or between stumps) chosen behind him. Typically, the batter marks the position of the bat on the pitch. The marking(s) give the batter an idea as to where s/he is standing in relation to the stumps. See also LBW.
; Gully : a close fielder near the slip fielders, at an angle to a line between the two sets of stumps of about 100 to 140 degrees.

H

; Half Century : an individual score of over 50 runs, reasonably significant landmark for a batsman and more so for the lower order and the tail-enders.
; Half-tracker : another term for a long hop. So called because the ball roughly bounces halfway down the pitch.
; Half-volley : a delivery that bounces just short of the block hole. Usually easy to drive or glance away.
; Hat-trick : a bowler taking a wicket off each of three consecutive deliveries that he bowls (whether in the same over or split up in two consecutive overs, or two overs in two different spells.).
; Hat-trick ball : a delivery bowled after taking two wickets with the previous two deliveries. The captain will usually set a very attacking field for a hat-trick ball, to maximise the chances of the bowler taking a hat-trick.
; Hawk-Eye : a computer-generated graphic showing the probable trajectory of the ball if it were not hindered by the batsman. Used by commentators to estimate whether an lbw decision was correctly made by an umpire, as well as to assess bowlers' deliveries.
; Hit wicket : a batsman getting out by dislodging the bails of the wicket behind him either with his bat or body as he tries to play the ball or set off for a run.
; Hoik : an unrefined shot played to the leg side usually across the line of the ball.
; Hoodoo : A bowler is said to 'have the hoodoo' on a batsman when they have got them out many times in their career. (See rabbit II.)
; Hook : a shot, similar to a pull, but played so that the ball is struck when it is above the batsman's shoulder.
; Hot Spot : a technology used in television coverage used to evaluate snicks and bat-pad catches. The batsman is filmed with an infrared camera, and friction caused by the strike of the ball shows up as a white "hot spot" on the picture.
; "How's that?" (or "Howzat?") : the cry of a fielding team when appealing, notable because an umpire is not obliged to give the batsman 'out' unless the question is asked.
; Hutch : the pavilion or dressing room, especially one that is home to a large number of rabbits.

I

; In : of a batsman, presently batting.
; Incoming batsman : the batsman next to come in in the listed batting order. The incoming batsman defined thus is the one who is out when a "Timed Out" occurs.
; In-dipper : a delivery that curves into the batsman before pitching.
; In-swing or in-swinger: a delivery that curves into the batsman in the air from off to leg.
; In-Cutter : a delivery that moves into the batsman after hitting the surface.
; Infield : the region of the field that lies inside the 30 yard circle (27 m) or, in the days before defined circles, the area of the field close to the wicket bounded by an imaginary line through square leg, mid on, mid off and cover point. .
; Innings : one player's or one team's turn to bat (or bowl). Unlike in baseball, and perhaps somewhat confusingly, in cricket the term "innings" is both singular and plural.

J

; Jaffa (also corker): an exceptionally well bowled, practically unplayable delivery, usually but not always from a fast bowler.

K

; Keeper (or 'Keeper) : short form of Wicket-keeper.
; King pair (also Golden pair) : a batsman who gets out for zero runs off the first ball he faces in both innings of a two-innings match (see this list of Pairs in test and first class cricket).
; Knock : a batsman's innings. A batsman who makes a high score in an innings can be said to have had a "good knock".
; Kolpak : an overseas players who plays in English domestic cricket under the Kolpak ruling.
; Kwik cricket : an informal form of the game, specifically designed to introduce children to the sport.

L

; Lappa : The Indian version of the hoick. Comes from the English 'lap', and old term for a stroke somewhere between a pull and a sweep.
; Leading edge : the ball hitting the front edge of the bat as opposed to its face, when playing a cross-bat shot such as a pull. Often results in an easy catch for the bowler or a skier for someone else.
; Leave (noun) : the action of the batsman not attempting to play at the ball. He may do this by holding the bat above his body. However, there is a clause in the LBW rules making him more susceptible to getting out this way. He may also not claim any leg byes, because if he does, the Umpire will call Dead Ball and runs will not be allowed
; Leg before wicket (LBW) : a way of dismissing the batsman. In brief, the batsman is out if, in the opinion of the umpire, the ball hits any part of the batsman's body (usually the leg) before hitting the bat and would have gone on to hit the stumps.
; Leg break : a leg spin delivery which, for a right-hander bowler and a right-handed batsman, will turn from the leg side to the off side (usually away from the batsman).
; Leg bye : extras taken after a delivery hits any part of the body of the batsman other than the bat or the gloved hand that holds the bat. If the batsman makes no attempt to play the ball with the bat, leg byes may not be scored.
; Leg cutter : a break delivery bowled by a fast or medium-pace bowler with similar action to a spin bowler, but at a faster pace. The ball breaks from the leg side to the off side of the batsman.
;Leg glance : a delicate shot played at a ball aimed slightly on the leg side, using the bat to flick the ball as it passes the batsman, deflecting towards the square leg or fine leg area.
; Leg side : the half of the field to the rear of the batsman as he takes strike (also known as the on side).
; Leg slip : a fielding position equivalent to a slip, but on the leg side.
; Leg spin : a form of bowling in which the bowler imparts spin on the ball by turning the wrist as the ball is delivered, and for that reason also known as "wrist spin". The stock delivery for a leg spinner is a leg break; other leg spin deliveries include the googly, the top spinner, and the flipper. The term leg spinner is usually reserved for right handed bowlers who bowl in this manner. Left handers who bowl with wrist spin are known as unorthodox spinners. This is also known as the Chinaman.
; Leg theory : a style of bowling attack where balls are aimed towards the leg side, utilizing several close-in, leg side fielders. The aim of leg theory is to cramp the batsman so that he has little room to play a shot and will hopefully make a mistake, allowing the close fielders to prevent runs from being scored or to catch him out. Leg theory is considered boring play by spectators and commentators since it forces batsmen to play conservatively, resulting in few runs being scored. See also fast leg theory and Bodyline.

; Length : the place along the pitch where a delivery bounces (see short pitched, good length, half-volley, full toss).
; Light : short for "bad light." Umpires offer the batsmen the option to cease play if conditions become too dark to be safe for batting.
; Limited overs match : a one-innings match where each side may only face a set number of overs. Another name for one-day cricket.
; Line (also see Line and length) : the deviation of the point along the pitch where a delivery bounces from the line from wicket-to-wicket (to the leg side or the off side).
; Line and length bowling : bowling so that a delivery pitches on a good length and just outside off stump. This forces the batsman to play a shot as the ball may hit the stumps.
; List A cricket : the limited-overs equivalent of first-class cricket.
; Long hop : a delivery that is much too short to be a good length delivery, but without the sharp lift of a bouncer. Usually considered a bad delivery to bowl as the batsman has a lot of time to see the ball and play an attacking shot.
; Loop : the curved path of the ball bowled by a spinner.
; Loosener : a poor delivery bowled at the start of a bowler's spell.
; Lower order : the batsmen who bat at between roughly number 7 and 10 or 11 in the batting order and who are not very good at batting, being either specialist bowlers or wicket-keepers with limited batting ability.
; Luncheon : the first of the two intervals taken during a full day's play, which usually occurs at lunchtime at about 12:30 p.m. (local time).

M

; Maiden over : an over in which no runs are scored off the bat, and no wides or no balls are bowled.
; Maker's Name : The full face of the bat, where the manufacturer's logo is normally located. Used particularly when referring to a batsman's technique when playing a straight drive, e.g. "Strauss played a beautiful on-drive for four, giving it plenty of maker's name...".
; Manhattan : also called the Skyline. A bar graph showing the runs scored off each over in a one day game. The graph will also usually show in which overs wickets fell. So called because the bars supposedly resemble the skyscrapers that dominate the skyline of Manhattan.
; Mankad : the running out of a non-striking batsman who leaves his crease before the bowler has released the ball. It is named after Vinoo Mankad, an Indian bowler, who controversially used this method in a Test match. This is relatively common in indoor cricket and is noted separately from run outs, though almost unheard of in first-class cricket.
; Man of the match : In cricket, the Man of the Match award may be given to the highest scoring batsman, leading wicket taker or best overall performance.
;Marillier shot : a shot played with the bat held parallel to the pitch in front of the batsman, with the toe of the bat pointing towards the bowler. The batsman attempts to flick the ball over the wicket-keeper's head. The most famous exponent of the shot is former Zimbabwean international Douglas Marillier.
; Marylebone Cricket Club ("MCC") : the custodian of the laws of cricket.
; Match fixing : bribing players of one of the teams to deliberately play poorly, with the intention of cashing in on bets on the result of the game.
; Match referee : an official whose role is to ensure that the spirit of the game is upheld. He has the power to fine players and/or teams for unethical play.
; Meat of the bat : the thickest part of the bat, from which the most energy is imparted to the ball.
; Medium-pace : a bowler who bowls slower than a pace bowler, but faster than a spin bowler. Speed is important to the medium-pacer, but they try and defeat the batsman with the movement of the ball, rather than the pace at which it is bowled. Medium-pacers either bowl cutters or rely on the ball to swing in the air. They usually bowl at about 55-70 mph (90-110 km/h).
; Michelle : five wickets taken by a bowler in an innings, named after actress Michelle Pfeiffer (a "five-for").
; Middle of the bat : the area of the face of the bat that imparts maximum power to a shot if that part of the bat hits the ball. Also known as the "meat" of the bat. Effectively the same as the sweet spot; however, a shot that has been "middled" usually means one that is hit with great power as well as timing.
; Middle order : the batsmen who bat at between roughly number 5 and 8 in the batting order. Can include some all-rounders, a wicket-keeper who can bat a bit but not enough to be considered a wicket-keeper/batsman, and specialist bowlers with some skill at batting.
; Military medium : medium-pace bowling that lacks the speed to trouble the batsman. Often has derogatory overtones, suggesting the bowling is boring, innocuous, or lacking in variety.
; Mis-field : a fielder failing to collect the ball cleanly, often fumbling the ball or dropping a catch.
; Mullygrubber : a ball that doesn't bounce after pitching. This term was coined by legendary player and commentator Richie Benaud.

N

; Negative bowling : a persistent line of bowling down the leg-side of a batsman to stymie the batsman from scoring (particularly in Test matches).
; Nelson : a score of 111, either of a team or an individual batsman, regarded by some as unlucky. To prevent bad luck, some people stand on one leg. Scores of 222 and 333 are called Double and Triple Nelson respectively.
; Nervous nineties : the period of batsman's innings when his or her score is between 90 and 99. During this phase many players bat extremely cautiously in order to avoid being out before they obtain a century.

; Nets : a pitch surrounded on three sides by netting, used by for practice by batsman and bowler.
; Net run rate (NRR) : the run rate scored by the winning team subtracted by run rate scored by losing team. The winning team gets positive value, losing team the negative value. In a series, the mean of the NRR for all matches played by the team is taken. Alternatively, for a series, a team's NRR can be calculated as (total runs scored) / (total overs received) - (total runs conceded) / (total overs bowled)
; Nick
# An edge
# Recent consistent form, either good or bad, especially while batting. A batsman who has recently scored a lot of runs is in "good nick", a batsman after a run of low scores is in "bad nick".
; Nightwatchman : (in a first-class game) a lower order batsman sent in when the light is dimming to play out the remaining overs of the day in order to protect more valuable batsmen for the next days play.
; No ball : an illegal delivery, usually because of the bowler overstepping the popping crease, scoring an extra for the batting side. Full tosses that pass above the waist of the batsman are also deemed no balls. See beamer.
; Non-striker : the batsman standing at the bowling end.
; Not out :
# a batsman who is in and has been not yet been dismissed, particularly when play has ceased.
# the call of the umpire when turning down an appeal for a wicket.
; Nurdle : to score runs by gently nudging the ball into vacant areas of the field. Also called milking around eg: "He milked the bowler around".

O

; Odds match : a match in which one side has more players than the other. Generally the extra players were allowed to field as well as bat and so the bowling side had more than 11 fielders.
; One Day International (ODI) : a match between two national sides limited to 50 overs per innings, played over at most one day.
; Off break : an off spin delivery which, for a right-handed bowler and a right-handed batsman, will turn from the off side to the leg side (usually into the batsman).
; Off cutter : an off break delivery bowled by a fast or medium-pace bowler which moves into the batsmanafter hitting the surface. (The ball breaks from the off-side to the leg side of the batsman.)(see In-Cutter)
; Off side : the half of the pitch in front of the batsman's body as he takes strike. For the right handed batsman this is the right half of the pitch, looking up the wicket towards the bowler, and the left half for the left handed batsman.
; Off spin : a form of bowling in which the bowler imparts spin on the ball with the fingers as the ball is delivered, and for that reason also known as "finger spin". The usual stock delivery for an off spinner is an off break, but other off spin deliveries includes the arm ball and the doosra. The term off spinner is usually reserved for right handed bowlers who bowl in this manner. Left handers are described as orthodox or unorthodox.
; On side : the half of the pitch behind the batsman's body as he takes strike i.e. the left half for a right-handed batsman and the right for a left-hander (also known as the leg side).
; On a length : describing a delivery bowled on a good length.
; On strike : the batsman currently facing the bowling attack is said to be on strike.
; On the up : describes a batsman playing a shot, usually a drive, to a ball that is quite short and has already risen to knee height or more as the shot is played.
; One-day cricket : an abbreviated form of the game, with just one innings per team, usually with a limited number of overs and played over one day.
; One down : a batsman who bats at #3, a crucial position in the team's batting innings.
; One short : the term used when a batsman fails to make contact with the ground beyond the popping crease, and turns back for an additional run.
; Opener :
# a batsman skilled at batting at the beginning of an innings, when the ball is new.
# one of the bowlers who open the innings, usually the fastest bowlers in the side.
; Orthodox :
# shots played in the accepted "textbook" manner, and batsmen who play in this manner.
# a left arm spin bowler who spins the ball with his fingers. This imparts spin in the same direction as a right-handed leg spin bowler. See: Left-arm orthodox spin.
; Out :
# the state of a batsman who has been dismissed.
# the word sometimes spoken while raising the index finger by the umpire when answering an appeal for a wicket in the affirmative.
; Out dipper : a dipper that curves away from the batsman before pitching.
; Out swing : a delivery that curves away from the batsman.
; Outfield : the part of the field lying outside the 30 yard (27 m) circle measured from the centre of the pitch or, less formally, the part of the pitch furthest from the wickets.
; Over : the delivery of six consecutive balls by one bowler.
; Over rate : the number of overs bowled per hour.
; Over the wicket : a right-handed bowler bowling to the left of the stumps, and vice-versa for a left-handed bowler.
; Overarm : the action of bowling with the arm swinging from behind the body over the head, releasing the ball on the down swing without bending the elbow. This type of bowling is the only type allowed in all official cricket matches. Compare with underarm.
; Overpitched delivery : a delivery that is full pitched but not a yorker, bouncing just in front of the batsman. Considered a poor delivery, as it easy for the batsman to get the middle of the bat to the ball. An overpitched ball is often a half-volley.
; Overthrows also buzzers : the scoring of extra runs due to an errant throw from a fielder. Occasionally used erroneously for any runs scored after a fielder misfields the ball. Also the throw itself.

P

; Pace bowling (also fast bowling) : a style of bowling in which the ball is delivered at high speeds, typically over 90 mph (145 km/h). Pace bowlers also use swing.
; Pads : protective equipment for batsmen and wicket-keepers, covering the legs.
; Pad away or pad-play: use the pads hit the ball away from the wicket, only possible when there is no danger of LBW (for example, if the ball pitched on the leg side). Using the pad instead of the bat removes the danger of being caught by close fielders.
; Paddle sweep: A very fine sweep, almost just a tickle of the delivery pitched on or outside leg stump.
; Paddle scoop: A shot where the batsman scoops the ball over his/her shoulder in order to find a boundary either behind the wicketkeeper or in the fine leg region.; Pair : a "pair of spectacles" (0-0) or a "pair of ducks". A batsman's score of nought (zero) runs in both innings of a two-innings match (see this list of Pairs in test and first class cricket).
; Partnership : the number of runs scored between a pair of batsmen before one of them gets dismissed. This also includes the deliveries faced and time taken.
;Part Time : a bowler who doesn't always bowl but is adequate enough to bowl seldom and is often successful because of variation in performance and their surprising attributes.
;Perfume ball: a bouncer on or just outside off-stump that passes within inches of the batsman's face. So called because the ball is supposedly close enough to the batsman's face that he can smell it.
; Peach : a delivery bowled by a fast bowler described as unplayable, usually a really good delivery that a batsman gets out to.
; Perfect over, The : For a bowler, it would be a Maiden over by scoring all 6 wickets within an over. For a batsman, it would be scoring 36 runs (or more by extras) by scoring all sixes off a single bowler in a single over.
; Picket fences : an over in which one run is scored off each delivery. It looks like picket fences 111111, hence the name.
; Pie Chucker (or Pie Thrower) : A poor bowler, usually of slow to medium pace whose deliveries are flighted so much as to appear similar to a pie in the air. Considered easy to score off by batsmen - see Buffet Bowling.
; Pinch-hitter : a lower order batsman promoted up the batting order to increase the run rate. The term, if not the precise sense, is borrowed from baseball.
; Pitch :
# the rectangular surface in the centre of the field where most of the action takes place, usually made of earth or clay. It is 22 yards in length.
# of the ball, to bounce before reaching the batsman after delivery.
# the spot where the ball pitches (sense 2).
; Pitch (It) Up : to bowl a delivery on a fuller length.
;Pitch map : a diagram showing where a number of balls, usually from a particular bowler, have pitched. Compare beehive.
; Placement : the term used to denote the ball hit, such that it bisects or trisects the fielders placed on the field. The ball usually ends up being a four.
; Playing on : for the batsman to hit the ball with his bat but only succeed in diverting it onto the stumps. The batsman is thus out bowled. Also known as "dragging on" or "chopping on"
; Plumb : of a dismissal by LBW: indisputable, obvious. Of a wicket, giving true bounce.
; Point : A fielding position square of the batsman's off side.
; Point of release : the position of the bowler at the moment when the ball is released.
; Pongo : a term (used primarily by UK county players) to describe a very high volume of run-making, or batting assault.
; Popper : a ball that rises sharply from the pitch when bowled ('pops up').
; Powerplay Fives : the two blocks of five overs in an ODI which the fielding captain must designate as being subject by fielding restrictions. This originally applied for a series of three ODIs between England and Australia starting on 7 July 2005 and for a 10-month trial period beginning on 31 July 2005. It then become a permanent rule change.
; Pro20 : South African form of twenty20
; Pro40 : The new name for the Totesport League - a limited overs competition played in England towards the late summer. Games are arranged in group stages with later knockout stages for the qualifiers. So named as there are 40 overs per side.
; Pull : a shot played to the leg side to a short-pitched delivery, between mid-wicket and backward square-leg.

Q

; Quota : the total number of overs (maximum 10) allotted to a bowler in an ODI match. Typically total overs in the innings divided by 5, rounded to next highest integer.

;Quack-Trick : three consecutive ducks

R

; Rabbit : I. a particularly bad batsman, usually a specialist bowler. A "rabbit" often seems unsure of how he should even hold his bat, as typified by Phil Tufnell, Allan Donald, Courtney Walsh and Glenn McGrath. See also ferret.
II. The term is also used for a higher order batsman who is out frequently to the same bowler, although then most often in the form bunny; for example, Mike Atherton is sometimes described by commentators as "Glenn McGrath's bunny".
; Rain rule : any of various methods of determining which team wins a rain-shortened one-day match. The current preferred method is the Duckworth-Lewis method.
; Red cherry : a nickname for the red cricket ball. See cherry.
; Rest day : a non-playing day in the middle of a multiple day game.
; Retire : for a batsman to voluntarily leave the field during his innings, usually because of injury. A player who retires through injury ("retired hurt") may return in the same innings at the fall of a wicket, and continue where he left off. A player who is uninjured ("retired out") may return only with the opposing captain's consent.
; Reverse : a slower ball released from the back of the hand.
; Reverse Sweep : a right handed batsman sweeping the ball like a left handed batsman and vice-versa.
; Reverse swing : the art of swinging the ball contrary to how a conventionally swung ball moves in the air; i.e. movement away from the rough side. Many theories as to how this may occur. Usually happens with an older ball than conventional swing, but not always, atmospheric conditions and bowler skill also being important factors. It has been espoused that once the 'rough' side becomes extremely rough a similar effect to that of a dimpled golf ball may cause it to move more quickly through the air than the 'shiny' side of the ball.
; Rib Tickler : A ball bowled short of a length that bounces up higher than expected and strikes the batsman in the midriff (usually the side) and hits several ribs. Not a nice ball to play.
; Rogers : The 2nd XI of a club or county. From the Warwickshire and New Zealand player Roger Twose.
; Roller : an implement used to flatten the pitch before play.
; Rough : a worn-down section of the pitch, often due to bowlers' footmarks, from which spinners are able to obtain more turn.
; Roundarm bowling : the type of bowling action in which the bowler's outstretched hand is perpendicular to his body when he releases the ball. Round arm bowling is legal in cricket.
; Ruby Duck : A duck when dismissed without facing a ball. e.g. run out without facing or stumped off a wide on the first ball faced.
; Run out : dismissal by a member of the fielding side breaking the wicket while the batsman is outside his/her crease in the process of making a run.
; Run rate : the average number of runs scored per over.
; Run up : see approach.
; Runner : a player of the batting side assisting an injured batsman in running between the wickets. The runner must wear and carry the same equipment and both the injured batsman and the runner can be run out, the injured batsman having to stay in his ground.

S

; Sawn off : A batsman who has been wrongly or unluckily given out by an umpire.
; Scorer : Someone who scores the progress of the game. Runs, wickets, extras etc
; Seam : the stitching on the ball.
; Seam bowling : a bowling style which uses the uneven conditions of the ball -- specifically the raised seam -- to make it deviate upon bouncing off the pitch. Contrast with swing bowling.
; Selector : a person who is delegated with the task of choosing players for a cricket team. Typically the term is used in the context of player selection for national, provincial and other representative teams at the professional levels of the game, where a "panel of selectors" acts under the authority of the relevant national or provincial cricket administrative body.
; Session : A period of play, from start to lunch, lunch to tea and tea until stumps.
; Shepherd the strike (also farm the strike) : of a batsman, contrive to receive the majority of the balls bowled, often to protect a weaker batting partner.
; Shooter : a delivery that skids after pitching (i.e. doesn't bounce as high as would be expected), usually at a quicker pace, resulting in a batsman unable to hit the ball cleanly.
; Short-pitched : a delivery that bounces relatively close to the bowler. The intent is to make the ball bounce well above waist height (a bouncer). A slow or low-bouncing short-pitched ball is known as a long hop.
; Shot : the act of the batsman hitting the ball with his bat.
; Side on :
# A side on bowler has back foot, chest and hips aligned towards the batsman at the instant of back foot contact.
# A batsman is side on if his hips and shoulders are facing at ninety degrees to the bowler.
; Sight-screen : a large board placed behind the bowler, beyond the boundary, used to provide contrast to the ball, thereby aiding the striker in seeing the ball when it is delivered.
; Silly : a modifier to the names of some fielding positions to denote that they are unusually close to the batsman, most often silly mid-off, silly mid-on, silly midwicket and silly point.
; Single : a run scored by the batsmen physically running once only between the wickets.
; Six (or Sixer) : a shot which passes over the boundary without having bounced, so called because it scores six runs to the batting side.
; Sitter : an easy catch (or occasionally a stumping) that should generally be taken.
; Skier : (pronounced Sky-er) A mis-timed shot hit almost straight up in the air, to the sky. Usually results in the batsman being caught out. Occasionally however the fielder positions himself perfectly to take the catch but misses it or drops it. Such an error is considered very embarrassing for the fielder.
; Skipper : used synonymously with Captain
; Slash : a cut, but played aggressively or possibly recklessly - a cut (qv) being a shot played square on the off side to a short-pitched delivery wide of off stump. So called because the batsman makes a "cutting" motion as he plays the shot.
; Sledging : verbal abuse in simple terms, or a psychological tactic in more complex terms. Used by cricketers both on and off the field to gain advantage of the opposition by frustrating them and breaking the concentration of the opposition. Considered in some cricketing countries to be against the spirit of the game, although occasional sledging remains common.
; Slice : a kind of cut shot played with the bat making an obtuse angle with the batsman.
; Slider : a wrist spinner's delivery where backspin is put on the ball.
; Slip : a close fielder behind the batsman, next to the wicket-keeper on the off-side. There can be as many as four slips for a faster bowler. Also ("in the slips", "at first slip") the positions occupied by such fielders.
; Slipper : a player who specialises in fielding in the slips e.g. "Gubby rates our cricketing Prime Minister as having been a distinctly good slipper, as well as a useful away swing bowler and a determined bat."
; Slog : a powerful shot, usually hit in the air in an attempt to score a six, often without too much concern for proper technique.
; Slog overs : the final 10 overs (particularly the last five) in an ODI match during which batsmen play aggressively scoring at a very high rate.
; Slog sweep : a sweep shot hit hard and in the air, over the same boundary as for a hook. Used exclusively against spin bowlers. A type of slog.
; Slogger : a batsman who hits a lot of slogs.
; Slower ball: a medium-pace delivery bowled by a fast bowler. Designed to deceive the batsman into playing the ball too early and skying it to a fielder. Has several variations.
; Snick (also edge) : a slight deviation of the ball off the edge of the bat. Top, bottom, inside and outside edges denote the four edges of the bat.
; Snick-o-Meter : a device used to measure the distinct sound generated when a batsman snicks the ball. The distinct sound is shown as a high spike (like one generated by a seismograph during an earthquake) on the Snick-o-Meter. Sometimes called snicko.
; Spell :
# the number of continuous overs a bowler bowls before being relieved.
# the total number of overs that a bowler bowls in an innings.
; Spider Graph : similar to a Wagon Wheel, where different coloured lines are drawn to where a batsman has hit the ball during his innings. This accumulates into a spider looking graph. Each amount of runs, 1's, 2's etc. are represented with a separate colour. This can show which stroke(s) each batsman is dominant at eg. Matthew Hayden would have a strong down the ground graph with many 4's straight of the wicket.
; Spin bowling : a style of bowling in which a spin bowler ("spinner") attempts to deceive the batsman by imparting spin on the ball using either their fingers or their wrist. Spin bowling is most effective when the ball is travelling relatively slowly, and so most spinners bowl at a pace between 40 and 55mph.
; Splice: the joint between the handle and the blade of a bat; the weakest part of the bat. If the ball hits the splice it is likely to dolly up for an easy catch.
; Square:
# of a position on the field, perpendicular to the line of the pitch; the opposite of fine.
# the area in the middle of the ground where the pitches are prepared.
; Square-cut : A Cut shot, played square, i.e. perpendicular to the bowler's delivery.
; Stance (also batting stance) : the posture of a batsman holding his bat when facing a delivery.
; Standing up : position adopted by a Wicket-keeper, close to the stumps, when a slow (or, occasionally, medium pace) bowler is operating.
; Start : a batsman is said to have a start when he successfully avoids being dismissed for very few runs; in Australia, this is generally understood to mean a score of twenty runs.
; Steaming in : a bowler taking a fast run-up to bowl is said to be steaming in.
; Sticky dog : a drying wicket that is exceedingly difficult to bat on. Uncommon if not non-existent in recent years due to the routine covering of pitches.
; Sticky wicket : a difficult wet pitch.
;Stock bowler : a bowler whose role is to restrict scoring rather than to take wickets. Usually called upon to bowl large amounts of overs at a miserly run rate while strike bowlers rest between spells or attempt to take wickets from the other end.
;Stock delivery (also stock ball) : a bowler's standard delivery; the delivery a bowler bowls most frequently. Bowlers usually have one stock delivery and one or more variation deliveries.
;Stodger : a batsmen who makes it their job to defend and to score at a mediocre rate. This style is prone to derogatory comments but also compliments on resilience and technique.
;Straight bat : the bat when held vertically, or when swung through a vertical arc
;Straight up-and-down : pejorative term used to describe a fast or medium paced bowler who cannot swing or seam the ball.
;Strangle : form of dismissal whereby a batsman, in trying to play a glance very fine to a leg-side ball, get's an inside edge which is caught by the wicket-keeper.
;Street: a pitch which is easy for batsmen and difficult for bowlers.
;Strike : the position as batsman, as opposed to non striker. Often, 'Keep [the] strike', to arrange runs on the last ball of an over so as to face the first ball of the next. 'Shepherd the Strike': to keep doing this to protect a less skillful batsman.
;Strike bowler : an attacking bowler whose role is to take wickets rather than to restrict scoring. Usually a fast bowler or attacking spinner who bowls in short spells to attacking field settings.
; Strike rate :
# (batting) a percentage equal to the number of runs scored by a batsman divided by the number of balls faced.
# (bowling) the average number of deliveries bowled before a bowler takes a wicket.
; Striker : the batsman who faces the deliveries bowled.
; Stroke : an attempt by the batsman to play at a delivery.
; Stump :
# one of the three vertical posts making up the wicket ("off stump", "middle stump" and "leg stump");
# a way of dismissing a batsman; or
# ("stumps") the end of a day's play.
; Sundry (also extra) : a run not attributed to any batsman, such as a bye, wide or no-ball.
;Supersub : Under experimental One-Day International rules introduced in July 2005, the twelfth man became a substitute, able to come on and replace any player, with the substitute able to take over the substituted player's batting and bowling duties. A twelfth man used as a substitute in this way was known as the supersub. The first supersub was Vikram Solanki, who replaced Simon Jones at Headingley on 7 July 2005. However, as Solanki replaced Jones after England had bowled, and England only lost one wicket in chasing down Australia's target, Solanki did not get to play any part in the game. The ICC cancelled the experiment in February 2006.
; Surrey Cut (also Chinese Cut or French cut or Harrow Drive) : an inside edge, often from a drive which narrowly misses hitting the stumps. The ball often runs down to fine leg.
; Sweep : a shot played to a good length slow delivery. The batsman gets down on one knee and "sweeps" the ball to the leg side.
; Sweet spot : the small area on the face of the bat that gives maximum power for minimum effort when the ball is hit with it. Also known as the "middle" or "meat" of the bat. A shot that is struck with the sweet spot is referred to as being "well timed" (see timing).
; Sweep : a shot general played to spinners, where the bat is played horizontally and low to the ground in an effort to sweep the ball around the back of the legs.
;Swing : a bowling style usually employed by fast and medium-pace bowlers. The fielding side will polish the ball on one side of the seam only; as the innings continues, the ball will become worn on one side, but shiny on the other. When the ball is bowled with the seam upright, the air will travel faster over the shiny side than the worn side. This makes the ball swing (curve) in the air. Conventional swing would mean that the ball curves in the air away from the shiny side. (see reverse swing).
; Switch hit : a shot played by a batsman who reverses both his stance and his grip during the bowler's run up, so that a right-handed batsman would play the shot as an orthodox left-hander. The shot was popularised by England batsman Kevin Pietersen, prompting some discussion about its impact on the rules, eg for lbw decisions in which it is necessary to distinguish between off and leg stumps.

T

; Tail : Also called the lower order refers to the last batsmen in a teams innings that are usually made up of specialist bowlers and usually contains one rabbit or more. A long tail means that a team contains many specialist bowlers while shorter tails means there are more batsmen/all-rounders in the team. If the tail performs well it is said that the tail wagged.
; Tail-ender : a batsman who bats towards the end of the batting order, usually a specialist bowler or wicket-keeper with relatively poor batting skills. The last of the tail-enders are colloquially known as "rabbits".
; Tea : the second of the two intervals during a full day's play is known as the tea interval, due to its timing at about tea-time. In matches lasting only an afternoon, the tea interval is usually taken between innings.
; Tea towel explanation : a popular comic explanation of the laws of cricket.
; Teesra : A variation delivery for an off spin bowler, Saqlain Mushtaq has been credited with creating it. Teesra comes from the Urdu meaning the third one.
;#A doosra with extra bounce.
;#A ball the drifts in from wide of off stump and turns away from the right hander sharply with extra bounce.
;The actual definition of this ball has yet to have been definitively announced.
; Test match : a cricket match with play spread over five days with unlimited overs played between two senior international teams. Considered the highest level of the game.
; Textbook Shot : A shot played by the batsmen with perfect technique, also known as a cricket shot
; Third umpire : an off-field umpire, equipped with a television monitor, whose assistance the two on-field umpires can seek when in doubt.
; Through the gate : "bowled through the gate": dismissed with a ball that passes between the bat and the pads before hitting the wicket.
; Throwing: of a bowler, an illegal bowling action in which the arm is straightened during the delivery.
; Tice: An old name for a yorker.
; Tickle: An edge to the wicket-keeper or slips. Alternatively a delicate shot usually played to third man or fine leg.
; Tie : the (very rare) result in which the two teams' scores are equal and the team batting last is all out (or, in a limited overs match, the allotted overs have been played) . Not to be confused with a draw, in which the scores are not equal.
; Timed match : a match whose duration is based on a set amount of time rather than a set number of overs. Timed matches usually have a draw as a potential result, in addition to the win/loss or tie that can be achieved in limited overs cricket. First-class cricket consists of timed matches.
; Timing : the art of striking the ball so that it hits the bat's sweet spot. A "well-timed" shot imparts great speed to the ball but appears effortless.
; Ton (also century) : 100 runs scored by a single batsman in an innings.
; Top order : the batsmen batting at number 3 and 4 (and sometimes at 5 as well) in the batting order.
; Top spin : forward rotation on the ball, causing it to increase speed immediately after pitching.
; Track : another term for the pitch.
; Trundler : a reliable, steady medium-pace bowler who is not especially good, but is not especially bad either.
; Twelfth man : Traditionally, the first substitute player who fields when a member of the fielding side is injured. In Test matches, twelve players are named to a team prior to the match, with the final reduction to eleven occurring immediately prior to play commencing on the first day. This gives the captain some flexibility in team selection, dependent on the conditions (e.g. a spin bowler may be named to the team, but omitted if the captain feels that the pitch is not suitable for spin bowling).
; Twenty20 : a new, fast paced, form of cricket limited to twenty overs per innings, plus some other rules changes, specifically designed to broaden the appeal of the game.

U

; Umpire : one of the two (or three) enforcers of the rules and adjudicators of play.
; Underarm : the action of bowling with the arm swinging from behind the body in a downswing arc and then releasing the ball on the up swing without bending the elbow. This type of bowling is now illegal in formal cricket, but commonly played in informal types of cricket. Compare with overarm.
; Under-spin (also back-spin) : backward rotation on the ball, causing it to decrease speed immediately after pitching.
; Unorthodox :
# a shot played not in the accepted "textbook" manner, often with a degree of improvisation.
# a left arm spin bowler who spins the ball with his wrist. This imparts spin in the same direction as a right-handed off spin bowler. See: Left-arm unorthodox spin.
; Unplayable delivery : a ball that is impossible for the batsman to deal with; used to imply that the batsman was out more through the skill of the bowler than through his own error.

V

; Varnish, another coat of :
If a bowler narrowly misses the stumps or bails, it may be suggested that the batsman "would've been out if there was another coat of varnish on the blimmin' stumps!" Meaning that if the stumps were even slightly thicker that the ball would've hit them.
; Vee :
# an unmarked, loosely defined V-shaped area on the ground at which the batsman stands at the apex. The two sides of the "V" go through the mid-off and mid-on regions. Most shots played into this region are straight-batted shots, which don't involve the risks associated with playing across the line.
# the V-shaped joint between the lower end of the handle and the blade of the bat (see also splice).
; Village or Village cricket:
the kind of level of cricket played by the majority of the cricket-watching public. Traditionally applied pejoratively when the standard of play (particularly from professionals) is very low. e.g. "That shot/dropped catch/bowling was village'

W

; Wag: when tail-enders score more runs than they are expected to (the tail wagged).
; Wagon wheel : a pie chart modelled on the cricket ground, depicting a batsman's favourite scoring areas.
; Waft : A loose non-comittal shot, usually played to a ball pitched short of length and well wide of the off stump. He wafted at that and snicked it to the 'keeper
; Walk : of a batsman, to walk off the pitch, knowing or believing that he is out, rather than waiting for an umpire to give him out (forfeiting the chance that the umpire may give the benefit of the doubt regarding a dismissal if he is not certain that the batsman is out). Generally considered to be sporting behaviour though increasingly rare in international cricket.
; Walking wicket : a very poor batsman, particularly tail-end batsmen, who are usually specialist bowlers. Statistically, any batsman averaging under 5.

; Wicket :
# a set of stumps and bails;
# the pitch; or
# the dismissal of a batsman.
; Wicket-keeper : the player on the fielding side who stands immediately behind the batting end wicket. A specialist position, used throughout the game.
; Wicket-keeper/batsman : a wicket-keeper who is also a very good batsman, capable of opening the batting or at least making good scores in the top order.
; Wicket maiden : a maiden over in which the bowler also dismisses a batsman. A double wicket maiden if two wickets are taken, and so on.
; Wicket-to-wicket : an imaginary line connecting the two wickets, also a style of straight, un-varied bowling.
; Wide : a delivery that passes illegally wide of the wicket, scoring an extra for the batting side. A wide does not count as one of the six valid deliveries that must be made in each over - an extra ball must be bowled for each wide.
; Windy Wush (or Windy Woof) : when a batsman, usually a tail-ender, swings greatly and misses the ball completely.
; Wood : a bowler who consistently dismisses a certain batsman is said to "have the wood" over that player.
; Worm : a plot of the cumulative runs scored by a team (the y-axis) against the over number (x-axis).
; Wrong foot : when the bowling foot is the front foot the delivery is said to be bowled off the wrong foot. Such a bowler is said to bowl off the wrong foot.
; Wrong footed : when the batsman is initially moving either back or forward to a delivery and then has to suddenly change which foot he uses (back or front), he is said to have been wrong-footed. Usually applies to spin bowling.
; Wrong 'un : another name for a googly; most common in Australia.

X

; Xavier Tras : as Extras are not credited to a batsman, and cricket has a long tradition of providing full lists of scorer names and initials, the Extras total is sometimes personified as 'X. Tras' or 'Xavier Tras'. This can mean that 'Xavier Tras' can be the highest 'scorer' in an innings.

Y

; (The) Yips : The Yips are occasionally experienced by bowlers suffering from a loss of confidence. A psychological condition whereby the bowler is unable to sufficiently relax when delivering the ball - often holding the ball too long before release, losing flight, turn and accuracy in the process. Bowlers have been known to suffer from The Yips for as little as a few overs, up to the course of an entire season or more.
; Yorker : a (usually fast) delivery that is pitched very close to the batsman. The intent is for it to bounce exactly underneath his bat or on his toes, in the block hole. A perfectly-pitched fast yorker is almost impossible to keep out; a bad yorker can turn into a half-volley (too short) or a full toss (too full).

Z

; Zooter : a variation of the flipper bowled by a leg-break bowler. Typically 'Zoots' along the ground without much bounce. This ball is often thought to be a bit of a myth made up by Shane Warne to create confusion amongst opposition sides.

Notes

References

Printed sources:

  • Eastaway, R. What is a Googly
  • Booth, Lawrence Arm-ball to Zooter. A sideways look at the language of cricket, pub. 2006, Penguin. ISBN 0-140-51581-X

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