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The Rules


  1. Runs may be scored as follows:
  1. When both batsmen cross between the batting crease and the non-striker's crease, and touch the ground behind either crease with their bat or body (refered to as "making their ground"). One run is scored (refered to here and elsewhere as a "physical" run). Bonus runs are only scored if the batsmen successfully make a physical run as described - in other words, if one of the batsmen gets out while trying to score the "physical" run, no bonus runs are added. Note: the rules also state that unless the batsmen run and complete a physical run, no bonus runs will be added, with the exception of a ball struck directly to the back net. However, many local-centre domestic competitions do not enforce this rule.
  2. When a batter hits the ball with the bat or the hand(s) holding the bat, into the perimeter netting. This includes balls which, once hit, are unintentionally deflected by the batsmen's protective equipment, by fielders, and unintentionally deflected from the non-striker's person or equipment. The following bonus runs will apply: 

Refer to my diagram of the scoring zones for further description.
The scoring zone that the ball strikes first will count, with the exception of a ball striking Zone B or C and rebounding onto Zone D.
The top net is neutral (it scores no runs). A ball hit via the top net onto the Zone D net on the full still scores 6 bonus runs.

  1. When a fielder causes an overthrow, physical runs will be scored when the batters cross between the batting crease and the non-striker's crease and make good their ground. An "overthrow" is a term from outdoor cricket. It is when the batsmen take an 'extra' physical run as a result of the deliberate effort of a fielder throwing, flicking, slapping or kicking the ball in an attempt to strike the wicket and cause a run out, as against taking a run as a result of hitting the ball. The fact it has a name (an "overthrow") gives it no special significance - it's just another run.
  2. The batting team will be credited with 2 runs when the umpire calls a delivery "No Ball", "Wide" or "Legside". If the batsman plays a "No Ball" into a scoring zone, the zone score and the physical runs made will be added to the 2 runs given for the No Ball etc. Any physical runs made off a "Wide" or "Legside" will be added to the 2 runs given for the Wide or Leg-side.
    1. If in the opinion of the umpire, a fielder, while attempting to run out a batsman, does not have "reasonable control" of the ball and it hits a scoring zone, the relevant bonus runs for that scoring zone will apply.
    2. "Reasonable control" is defined by the AICF as the deliberate attempt by a fielder which causes the ball to noticeably change from its original path to the direction of the intended target wickets, in an attempt to run a batsman out. Flicking, slapping and kicking the ball fall within this definition. However, the term "noticeably change from its original path to the direction of the intended target" seriously undermines, in my opinion, the spirit of such a rule. Noticeably ... from noticable ... this definition means if you can see any degree of variation from the original path of the ball to the direction of the target wicket, the fielder had "reasonable control".
      Example: after striking a fielder's leg, the ball runs along the ground, parallel to the net. A fielder swings a hand at the ball as it passes him, but he can only get a couple of finger-tips to it. However, that small contact is just enough to cause the ball to travel a couple of degrees away from parallel to the net. Technically, that constitutes "reasonable control" by the definition above, but it aint.
      In terms of having a definition that is going to be easily and consistently interpreted by all umpires, the current rule is fine. It's just that the definition often doesn't match the reality.
      Do I have an alternative? No. Well, not one that is particularly easy to define. Do you the reader have an alternative? Or just an opinion? Drop us a line and let us know.
    3. Any net zones struck as a result of a "reasonably controlled" attempt will not result in bonus runs being scored. If the umpire is uncertain that the ball was reasonably controlled, the bonus net score will count - and you are treading on thin ice. Because of the nature of this rule and definition, many umpires will define "reasonable control" as "any contact by the fielder". Then along comes an umpire trying to interpret the rules accurately ..... you can imagine players' reactions.
    4. A ball deflected by a fielder into a scoring zone after the ball has been hit by the striker's bat or the hand(s) holding the bat, will score the relevant zone score. [See Rule 11A(iii) above].
  1. Balls deflected into scoring zones off the batsman's person (eg. leg), and where no contact has been made with the bat or the hand(s) holding the bat, will not score bonus runs - physical runs will of course still be scored.
  2. If a batsman is given "Out", the batting team will lose 5 runs. All previous runs scored off that delivery will not count.
  3. Where a ball strikes an element marking the transition from one scoring zone to anothers (tape, corner conduit or cable etc), the higher zone score will count. This could be taken to mean a ball landing directly at the junction of the floor and the back net should score 6. Most umpires would agree that this should be scored 4, and the answer to any queries would be that the rules only deal with the transition from one scoring zone to another, not from the ground (which is not a scoring zone) to the net. It is a general principle in cricket that if a ball hits the ground at the same time as it hits the hand that caught it, the catch is not allowed. The AICF rules state that a ball hitting the bottom supporting cable is not out, reinforcing this principle. I think the 'ground-net' situation should be considered similarly re: the scoring or otherwise of a 6.
  4. In case of scoreboard error, the captain of the fielding team or the batsmen at the wicket must appeal about the score before the commencement of a new over, or before the players leave the court in the case of the last over of an innings. Failing that, the scoreboard will then be deemed correct.


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