Cricket is incredibly popular around the world, but for those new to its unique charms, some of the elements can be a little confusing: how can a game last for five days and still end in a stalemate being just one of them?

The enjoyment of sports like cricket is enhanced markedly when you actually know the rules, and in cricket specifically there’s plenty that viewers need to know – not least the various different ways in which a batter can be dismissed by the fielding team.

So, to mark your card, here are the various ways that a batter can lose their wicket in cricket.


One of the most common forms of dismissal in cricket is being caught out – that is, the batter hitting the ball in the air and it being intercepted by a fielder without hitting the floor or leaving the playing area.

This is easily the most common wicket in limited overs cricket, which is why bettors often wager on this to be the first mode of dismissal in their cricket betting – many sportsbooks offer this market for competitions like the Indian Premier League, Big Bash League, and the World T20, where the emphasis is taking risks and trying to score runs quickly.

You’ll have seen plenty of catches in baseball, no doubt, and cricket is no different.


Have you ever wondered what the three wooden poles are that the batter protects?

Those are the stumps, with the smaller pieces sitting on top called the ‘bails’. When a bowler delivers the ball and it hits the stumps then the batter is dismissed – as long as the bails are removed from their station on top of the stumps.


Okay, so this is the one that tends to confuse newcomers to cricket the most.

Batters wear leg protectors known as pads, which helps to minimize the pain when struck by a 90mph delivery!

But these pads also serve a purpose when determining the LBW rule. If the batter is hit on the pads without making contact with the ball with their bat, they are potentially in danger of being out leg before wicket – or LBW, for short.

The umpire will decide if the ball was going on to hit the stumps. If it was, the batter will be dismissed – there are caveats to this, such as where the ball ‘pitched’, i.e. bounced on the pitch, but as a general guide this is the LBW rule.

Run Out

To score runs in cricket, a batter can hit the ball to the boundary (four), over the boundary without first bouncing (six), or into the field, running from one end of the pitch to the other and tapping their bat down behind the crease.

However, if they are unable to reach the crease before the fielding team retrieves the ball and removes the bails, the batter is adjudged to be run out.


Similar to being run out, a batter can be stumped when the wicketkeeper removes the bails while they are stranded out of their crease.

A batter usually isn’t going for a run in this scenario: they may have advanced down the pitch to hit the ball and missed it, or simply lost their balance and given the wicketkeeper the chance to stump them.

Timed Out

It sounds crazy, but a batter can be dismissed without even facing a ball if they take too long – more than two minutes – to walk out into the middle.

This is rare, to say the least, but it does happen – even at the World Cup, where Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews was timed out against Bangladesh after the strap on his helmet broke.

Hit Wicket

If a batter somehow removes their own bails, they are out – ‘hit wicket’ is the name given to this phenomenon.

This happens when a batter is so deep in their crease that they hit the stumps with their bat, or perhaps step on them as they move backward.

Handled the Ball

A batter is not allowed to deliberately touch the ball with their gloved hand, which they might do if the ball looks like it’s going to hit their stumps.

If the ball hits the glove with no intent from the batter, it’s not a wicket – unless a fielder or the bowler catches the ball before it bounces on the ground.

Obstructing the Field

Imagine a batter has gone for a run but they are struggling to make it to the crease before they are run out.

They might try to obstruct a fielder from running them out by physically barging into them, or they may deliberately block the ball being thrown at their stumps with their legs or bat.

In either case, the umpire can dismiss them as having obstructed the field.

So there you have it: hopefully, you now know a little bit more about cricket and can enjoy watching the sport!

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