Measurements of Pitch, Stumps and Creases

Posted on Dec 21 2006 - 4:08pm by MR Baig

Hello friends, welcome to the Cricket Coaching Section of CricketFundas.com. I am M.R.Baig, Senior Cricket Coach of the M.L.Jaisimha Cricket Academy, Hyderabad, India. In this episode, I would be talking about the measurements of the Pitch, Stumps and Creases. Most of you might be knowing all these, but this episode is primarily for the people who do not have the opportunity of knowing about these things, in particular for people who want to learn cricket in the non-cricket playing countries. Feel free to drop in your queries, feedback about the lessons, I will try my best to answer all of these. Email your queries to our editor at bvswagath@yahoo.com .

Stumps or Wickets : There are two set of stumps/wickets placed on a cricket ground. Each set consists of three wickets – off stump, middle stump and leg stump. On top of these three wickets, usually two bails are placed in the grooves of the wickets depending on their availability. The stumps and bails are made from willow. The height a stump according to the official regulations is 28 inches or 71.12 cms. The distance between the starting point of the off stump to the ending point of the leg stump should be 9 inches or 22.86 cms.

Three stumps of standard sizes along with bails

The Pitch : This is the area where much of the action takes place in a cricket match. This is the centre of action where there is a contest between the bat and the ball, or in other words, the batsman gets to face the bowler in this region of the cricket ground. The Pitch is a rectangular area of 22 yards or 66 feet length and 10 feet in width. Test and ODI Cricket along with First Class Matches are played on Turf wickets. Other levels of Cricket are played not only on turf but also on matting, astro turf, cement and other artificial surfaces. There have been instances of Test Matches played on matting wickets but that was only long way before. The Pitch can also be defined as the distance between one set of stumps at one end to the stumps at the other end.

Creases : Four white lines are drawn at the each end of the pitch. They include one popping crease or the batting crease, one bowling crease and two return creases.

Seen are three creases – Bowling crease, then batting crease in front of it and then in the sides, the return creases.

Bowling Crease : A bowling crease is 8 feet 8 inches wide which is equally divided along each side of the middle stump. The bowling crease stretches to the return crease. No fielders are allowed to encroach this area when a ball is being bowled to the batsman. In previous times, if a bowler’s back foot had crossed this crease, then a no-ball was declared for overstepping. In modern cricket, no-ball for overstepping is declared when the bowler doesn’t have any part of his foot behind the popping crease.

Batting Crease or Popping Crease : This crease is drawn parallel to the bowling crease at a distance of 4 feet or 121.92 cms. A run is completed each time the two batsmen cross this crease at their opposite ends. As mentioned above for a Bowling Crease, if a bowler oversteps this crease in his delivery stride then the delivery is declared as a no-ball. This crease comes into picture during the ruling of run outs and stump outs. A batsman has a choice of standing outside the batting crease. He can be stumped out by the wicket keeper if he is out of this crease or on it after playing a delivery as long as the ball is in play.

Batting Crease or Popping Crease – the parallel lines drawn infront of the Stumps at both the ends

Return Crease : The return creases end the bowling crease at right angles on either side of the middle stump at a distance of 4 feet 4 inches. A no-ball can be declared if the bowler’s back foot is touching or outside the return crease.

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