Vocabulary of Cricket Sport

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Cricket is a fascinating sport that has captured the attention of people worldwide. Whether you're a seasoned cricket fan or just want to improve your English speaking skills, learning the vocabulary is a must. This article will explore specialized vocabulary in-depth, illuminating the language of the cricket sport for you. 
Cricket Sport

Bowling Terms

  • Arm Ball: A delivery that looks like a normal off-break but goes straight instead of turning.  
  • Bouncer: A fast, short-pitched delivery aimed at the batter's head or upper body.  
  • Doosra: An off-spinner's delivery that spins away from the batter instead of turning into them.  
  • Googly: A leg-spinner's delivery that spins in the opposite direction to the normal leg-break.  
  • Inswinger: A delivery that moves towards the batter in the air or off the pitch.  
  • Leg Break: A delivery that spins from the leg side towards the off side for a right-handed batter.  
  • Maiden Over: An over in which the batter scores no runs.  
  • Off Break: A delivery that spins from the off side towards the leg side for a right-handed batter.  
  • Slower Ball: A delivery bowled slower to deceive the batter.  
  • Wicket: The area behind the batter where the stumps are located.  

Batting Terms

  • Century: When a batter scores 100 runs individually in an inning.  
  • Crease: The lines marked at both ends of the pitch where the batter stands.  
  • Drive: A shot played by the batter by hitting the ball along the ground with a straight bat.  
  • Edge: When the ball touches the edge of the bat while the batter attempts to play a shot.  
  • Extras: Runs scored that are not attributed to the batter, such as wides, no-balls, and byes.  
  • Flick: A shot played by the batter using their wrists to guide the ball toward a particular direction.  
  • Hook: A shot played by the batter, hitting the ball that is above the shoulder level towards the leg side.  
  • Six: When the batter hits the ball beyond the boundary without bouncing, scoring six runs.  
  • Stumped: When the wicketkeeper dismisses the batter by removing the bails while the batter is out of the crease.  
  • Sweep: A shot played by the batter on one knee, hitting the ball towards the leg side.  
  • Uppercut: A shot played by the batter, hitting the ball with an angled bat towards the third-man region.  
  • Yorker: A delivery aimed at the batter's toes or base of the stumps.

Fielding Terms

  • Catch: When a fielder successfully grabs the ball after the batter has hit it without bouncing.  
  • Deep Fielder: A fielder positioned near the boundary to stop the ball from crossing the boundary line.  
  • Gully: A fielding position close to the slips, on the offside, between the slips and the point.  
  • Overthrow: An additional run or runs scored by the batting team due to a fielding error.  
  • Slip: A fielding position behind the batter on the off side, close to the wicketkeeper.  
  • Square Leg: A fielding position on the leg side, approximately square to the batter.  
  • Silly Point: A fielding position close to the batter, on the offside, near the popping crease.  
  • Stump: One of the three vertical posts the batter must defend to avoid being dismissed.  
  • Throw: When a fielder returns the ball to the wicketkeeper or another fielder.  
  • Run Out: When the fielding team hits the stumps with the ball while the batter is attempting to complete a run.  
  • Wicketkeeper: The player who stands behind the stumps and is responsible for catching the ball and stumping the batter.


Scoring Terms

  • Bye: Runs awarded to the batting team when the ball passes the batter and the wicketkeeper.  
  • Declared: When the batting team captain decides to end their team's innings before all batters are dismissed.  
  • Dot Ball: A delivery from the bowler in which the batter fails to score any runs.  
  • Innings: The period during which a team bats until they are dismissed or declare their innings.  
  • Leg Bye: Runs awarded to the batting team when the ball hits the batter's body or equipment and deflects away.  
  • Not Out: When the umpire rules that the batter is not dismissed.  
  • Over: A set of six legal deliveries bowled by a bowler.  
  • Run: The basic unit of scoring in cricket achieved, when the batters complete a run between the wickets.  
  • Wide: A delivery that is too far away from the batter to be considered a fair delivery, resulting in an extra run for the batting team.  
  • Boundary: The edge of the playing field that results in scoring four runs if the ball crosses it without bouncing.  
  • Follow-On: When a team batting second is asked to bat again immediately after their first innings.  
  • Maiden: An over in which the batter scores no runs.  
  • No-Ball: A delivery that is deemed illegal due to the bowler overstepping the crease or for other technical reasons, resulting in an extra run for the batting team.
  • Run Rate: The average number of runs scored per over by the batting team.  
  • Scoreboard: The display board that shows the current score, number of wickets, and other relevant information.

Decision-Making Terms

  • Appeal: A request made by the fielding team to the umpire for a batter's dismissal.  
  • DRS (Decision Review System): A technology-based system that allows teams to challenge the umpire's decision.  
  • LBW (Leg Before Wicket): A dismissal in which the ball hits the batter's leg before hitting the bat, and the umpire deems it would have hit the stumps.  
  • Umpire: The officials responsible for making decisions, enforcing the laws, and ensuring fair play during a cricket match.  
  • Third Umpire: An additional umpire who reviews decisions using television replays and assists the on-field umpires in making accurate calls.  
  • Out: When a batter is dismissed and must leave the field.

Cricket Player's Equipment

  • Bat: The wooden implement used by the batter to hit the ball.  
  • Ball: The hard, leather-covered object used in the game.  
  • Stumps: Three vertical wooden posts that the batter must defend.  
  • Bails: The small wooden pieces that sit on top of the stumps.  
  • Pads: Protective gear worn by the batter to shield their legs.  
  • Gloves: Protective gloves worn by the batter to grip the bat and protect their hands.  
  • Helmet: A protective headgear worn by batsmen and fielders close to the batter.  
  • Guard: A protective cup worn by the batter to protect the groin area.  
  • Fielding Cap: A cap worn by fielders to shield their eyes from the sun.  
  • Arm Guard: A protective guard worn by the batter on their forearm.  
  • Thigh Guard: A protective guard worn by the batter on their thighs.  
  • Abdominal Guard: A protective guard worn by the batter on their abdomen.  
  • Spikes: Specialized shoes worn by players to provide better traction on the field.  
  • Protective Glasses: Eyewear worn by players to protect their eyes from the ball.  
  • Bag: A large bag players use to carry their equipment and personal items.

Popular Idioms Related to Cricket

Cricket is a captivating sport with its rich vocabulary and intricacies. By familiarizing yourself with this cricket slang, you'll communicate better in everyday situations.

  • Caught off guard: Surprised or unprepared for a situation.  
  • Hit for six: Overwhelmed or defeated by a powerful force or event.  
  • On a sticky wicket: In a difficult or precarious situation.  
  • Play a straight bat: Be honest and fair in your dealings.  
  • Out of left field: Unexpected or coming from an unexpected direction.  
  • Hit a sixer: To achieve great success or accomplish something remarkable.  
  • Call the shots: To be in control and make important decisions.

Tune in to a match, and let the language of cricket transport you into the world of this beloved sport.


From bowling and batting to fielding, scoring, and decision-making, now you have the vocabulary of cricket explained. Your experience of the game and ability to follow the action will benefit from your familiarity with these phrases. Whether you're a seasoned cricket fan or just getting started, this dictionary will get you up to speed on the vocabulary of the gentleman's game.

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MAIAFeb 15th, 2024
not bed 😎
PromovaOct 24th, 2023
A 'googly' is a type of delivery bowled by a leg-spin bowler that deceives the batsman. It appears to be spinning in one direction but actually spins in the opposite direction when it bounces. This makes it challenging for the batsman to predict the ball's path, and it's a valuable weapon for bowlers to take wickets.
Ty P.Oct 24th, 2023
i've heard the term 'googly' used in cricket. what does it mean, and how does it affect the game?