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Ways To Get Out In Cricket

When you think of it, there is possibly more ways to get out in cricket than any other sport. Baseball has caught, strike out, and run out (is it run out?), and I honestly can’t think of any other that requires a fielding side to dismiss a batting side, though I am not trying too hard, let me be frank. Can you tell me any other such code??

When it comes to playing cricket, there are nine ways to get a batter out. These are the four most common ways of getting out in cricket:


The batter hits the ball in the air and one of 11 fielders, including the bowler, catches the ball before it touches the ground. Many catches are straight forward, as easy as your dad lobbing you a tennis ball in the park, while others are spectacular, gravity defying feats of human thrill-seeking. Since John Dyson took ‘that’ catch at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 5, 1982, to dismiss West Indian Sylvester Clarke, there has been countless ‘classic catches’ competitions and highlights packages to keep audiences wide-eyed and flummoxed in disbelief for an age.

What do you think of this catch taken at a Nepotists CC match?




When the bowler delivers a ball that hits the stumps (wickets) and dislodges at least one bail. It used to be when the bail ‘falls’ rather than merely dislodges as it is these days. It is assumed that a 'dislodged' bail, will ultimatelly fall. I was initially against ‘flashing stumps’ introduced by Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) to show to everyone watching (at the ground or on TV) when the bails were dislodged, more so to help accurately adjuducate stumpings and run-outs. I saw these as an unnecessary gimmick, but matches now without flashing stumps seems inappropriate, putting the guesswork back into the knowing exactly when the bails have been removed. Hawkeye. Snicko. Hotspot. Ball tracking. They're all standard technologies introduced to the wider game, so flashing stumps should be too.

Leg Before Wicket (LBW)

If when the ball that is bowled hits the batter’s pad (leg) without first touching the bat, fielders can appeal for LBW, with the age-old question “Howzat?”; short for ‘How Is That Mr Umpire, Is He Out?’. The umpire adjudicates whether the ball would have hit the stumps had the ball not hit the leg. If he thinks it would, he gives the batter OUT. I won’t detail the finer intricacies of where the ball hit the leg or where it bounced first, both which effect the umpires' decision, as I will only confuse myself, not to mention those who I am trying to help understand how to play the game. I wouldn’t mind see the law changed and simplified to exactly as I said earlier, ‘if the umpire believes the ball would have hit the stumps had the pad not been in the way, then it is out'.

As a thought. With the 3rd umpire adjudicating front-foot no-balls, such is the clarity and swiftness of replays, I think the 3rd umpire should adjudicate if the batter edged the ball, external to DRS, if the standing umpire has given him out LBW. This is not the batter questioning the umpire's decision, it is the umpire making a clear cut and all too often impossible-to-see decision in real-time.

Before everyone cries, 'the umpire is blind', often the batter doesn't know if he hit it, let alone the umpire. In 2021, Dawid Malan walked off 'caught' whilst replays ultimately showed he missed the ball by inches. If he didn't know he didn't hit it, you can't blame an umpire for not seeing or hearing a feint edge of a ball travelling at 140kph, mixed with the movement of bat at pad.

As clear cut as technology makes this, let the 3rd umpire determine if the batter hit the ball, without a team using DRS. Just a thought.

Run Out

If either batter do not ‘make their ground’ before a fielder hits any stump and dislodges at least one bail with the ball, whether thrown or in hand, they will be ‘run out’. The line painted across the pitch, 1.22cm from the stumps is called the crease. Any part of the batter or bat (provided he is in contact with the bat) must be behind the crease, i.e. making his ground, before the bails are dislodged.

It comes to mind, I heard a commentator once say that he disagrees with a boundary being given if the fielder is touching the ball, whilst any part of his body is touching the boundary rope. He argues that the ball has not actually reached the boundary so it shouldn’t be four. To counter this, the batter only needs his bat behind the crease so by his theory the batter has not made his ground either and should therefore be OUT!

These are rarer ways to get out in cricket:


The wicket keeper dislodges the bails while the batter is out of his or her ground, whilst not attempting a run. If the batter does not hit the ball, and the ball goes through to the wicket-keeper the batter must remain behind the crease or in his ground until such time as the wicket-keeper throws the ball to another fielder. Until the keeper does this, the ball is still live and therefore a lazy batter can still be stumped if deciding to leave his ground to do some ‘gardening’ thinking all is safe! Though a rarer form of dismissal you can still a batter stumped once every few test matches.

Hit wicket

The batter dislodges the bails with any part of his body or bat in the process of playing a shot. Players have often dislodged the bail when finishing their shot follow-through only to be given not-out, because it was not in the process of playing the shot as adjudicated by the umpire. Best just not hit the stumps in any way with your body or bat!

I have never seen the following modes with my own eyes. Following a law change in 2010-ish, the first of these is more common than it ever was, and which I have only seen on TV during a ODI. 

Obstructing the field

Either batter deliberately gets in the way of the fielders' attempt to retrieve the ball or dismiss the batter. Obstructing the field now includes 'Handled Ball', which used to be a separate way to get out in cricket. Handled Ball is when a batter deliberately touches the ball with this hand without his hand being in contact with this bat. I last saw this during the 3rd Test, Australia vs India in Chennai in 2001, when the great Steve Waugh reacted to Matthew Hayden’s "Look out", pointing to the ball bouncing toward the stumps. Steve reacted by palming the ball away, and I fainted. Never thought I’d ever see the great man dismissed that way.

In his final Test series against India in 2003, he was out ‘hit wicket’ for the first time in his 166 test match career too, so it can happen to the best of them!. I grew up being told when running between wickets I had place myself between the stumps and direction of the ball being thrown to block the attempted run out. Harsh rule change, protecting your wicket whilst attempting a run is no more 'unfair' than a batter swatting the ball away before it hits his stumps... after the ball has already made contact with the bat or batter.

Saying this, I'm still amazed no appeal was made against Ben Stokes ‘obstructing the field’ when he clubbed the ball for 4 runs in the World Cup 2019 Final to save being run out. I am still filthy on that. How can one team get 10 wickets, and the other team only get 9 wickets, and not be judged winner with scores tied???



Timed Out

The batter takes more than 2 minutes to step onto the field of play following the previous batter’s dismissal. Today the stopwatch is more prevalent in T20’s but with the relaxation of timing laws in that format I doubt any umpire would rule a batter OUT for taking too long to take the field.


Hitting the ball twice

The batter hits the ball for a second time to score runs. The batter may hit the ball several times to prevent the ball from dislodging a bail, but he cannot score from this action. Who would even attempt a run???

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