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Cricket Fielding Positions

Cricket Fielding Positions

Cricket is a special sport that has become the favorites of millions in a fairly short period.

Why is it attract sports fans in this particular direction so strongly? First of all, the distinctive features of both the lineups and the rules of the game. Also, only in cricket, there are unique team positions that do not exist in other sports. Such originality and especially the richness of the gameplay does not leave indifferent fans to watch the unexpected twists and turns of sports cricket matches.

As a rule, cricket is played by two teams of 11 people, each of which gets a chance to hit and serve the ball. The goal is to destroy the opponent’s wicket with the ball bypassing the keeper of the wicket, which is, by the way, one of the key cricket positions.

The team that scored the most points (runs) in the battering process wins the match.

A team is not considered knocked out until it has one unbeaten batsman. After the serving team has knocked out all the opposing batsmen, the teams change positions.

So, the goal of the game is to score more points than the opponent. Points are awarded for the so-called «runs.» The number of runs directly depends on how far the batsman hit the ball served to him. The farther the ball flew, the more time the players of the serving team will spend to return it to the center of the field, while the batsman, moving from one «wicket» to another, gains those same «dashes».

The length of cricket matches is a special feature for team sports as sometimes a match can take up to 6 days! The nature of cricket is such that a match that lasts from two to five days (the so-called test match) can end in a draw. In five-day matches involving only national teams from different countries, each team is given two opportunities to serve and hit (two innings — two rounds of shots on the wicket).

Cricket is played on a large oval field, but the most important events take place in the center, on a specially prepared track called pitch or wicket. It is a rectangle 20 meters long and three meters wide.

At the opposite ends of the path are the gates themselves, consisting of stumps — 71 cm in height and 22 cm in total width — with a bail lying on them. The batsman’s job is to protect the wicket from the pitcher’s throws.

To carry out the function of fair refereeing, two referees (usually from among the former players) are appointed for each match, who are located at both ends of the center court. Their task is to control the strict observance of the rules of the game, and the authority of the referees during the match is absolute.

All 11 players of the team serving the ball are on the field. And the team that hits has only two batsmen on the field, moreover, only one of them takes part in the game itself, and the other plays an auxiliary role until his partner is knocked out.

The entire field is zoned and each territory is important during the game.

One of the key concepts in cricket is fielding.

For new spectators of this sport, such a concept may become incomprehensible. Fielding is essentially the act of field players collecting the ball after being hit by a batsman, in such a way as to limit the number of runs that the batsman scores, or pulling the batsman out by catching the ball in flight or launching the batsman.

In simpler terms, fielding is the captain’s task to place the team’s players on the playing field in such a way that each position would be correct from the point of view of the rules and lead to a winning result.

Very often watching a cricket match, spectators are confused about the positions placed on the field and do not fully understand the course of the game. Additional confusion is added by commentators who designate all positions too professionally and for ordinary viewers, these names may sometimes even seem ridiculous.

Each position in the cricket field has a very meaningful role and the dedicated fan will find it important to understand the nuances and differences in Cricket Fielding Positions. After reading this article, every cricket fan will understand the nuances and features of the game and each player’s role in it.

Cricket Fielding Positions Chart

A cricket field is a large oval lawn where professional teams play their matches. But there are other shapes as well, such as a circle, a long oval, or unusual shapes. There are no definite sizes, but the diameter of the field ranges from 137 to 150 meters.

The most important part of this field is its center.

Since fielding is the main point of all cricket games, every fan needs to understand its nuances. So, the first thing that matters is the distance between positions. There are three variations in fielding cricket positions in total:

1.The Close Catching.

This is the concept of players on the field who play next to a batsman and take this position to catch the ball. The standard distance between the catcher and the batsman is 15 yards, which is optimal for a comfortable play and that the players do not distract or injure each other.

  1. Inner ring.

This territory plays a double role for the players. In the 30-yard circle, which is this ring, the players must not let the ball go past. This step saves running time and helps to contain the impacts that hit this zone.

Fielding positions in this circle are of several types:

  • Gully;
  • Leg Gully;
  • Point;
  • Square Leg;
  • Cover;
  • Mid-wicket;
  • Mid-off;
  • Mid-on!

Playing in this territory requires tremendous concentration and quick reactions, as the batsmen, whose role is to hit the ball in the air, are very fast and sometimes even aggressive and the reaction time can be minimal.

  1. Outfield.

Players occupying a position in this part of the playing field must defend the boundary zone. The most significant flanks are Long-off and Long-on and their location is on the right and left sides of the central straight border and, accordingly, make up the periphery of the field.

These players are the most powerful because their task is not only to defend the borders but also to catch hits, if any, that occur in a given area of the field.

Equally important in the world of cricket are the concepts of angles and variations, which become key in the rules of the game.

For the batsman, the location on the field becomes narrowed down to two halves called off-side and on-side.

What is the difference between these two cricket positions?

  1. Off-side is the part of the playing field that is located on the right side of the batsman if he is right-handed, and on the left, if the player is left-handed.
  2. On-side is the opposite half of the playing field.

All Fielding Positions Names and Explanation in Cricket

Each cricket match is standard in terms of team composition and positions. Thus, each team in every game consists of eleven players on the field. Of course, the first is the wicket-keeper, who is obliged to hold the punches, and the bowler, who delivers them. In addition to the aforementioned members of each team, there are nine more cricket positions, each of which plays a critical role in all matches.

  • Wicket-Keeper

This is the player who is the only one in full protective gear in the form of knee shields and a helmet. His position at the end of the field in the wicket and the role of repelling the blows of opponents. This is one of the most important team members, as he must always control the course of the game and keep an eye on the approach of opponents to the point of winning. The fate of his team depends on the game of the keeper of the wicket and the slightest mistake can lead to the loss of the whole team.

The wicket is also moral support for the team and throughout the game must shout words of support for his team.

  • Slips

In the fielding positions next to the keeper of the wicket, there are also players whose role is called slips. This is essentially an attacker and an invader at the same time, which must defend against any approach of the bowler.

There can be from one to four slips in the game, and the distance between each should be up to 10 yards.

  • Third Man

In important matches, on the left side behind the wicket, spectators can see the player who is called the third man in the world of cricket. Throughout the match, this player’s position is 45 degrees from the wicket, thereby controlling the danger zone on the playing field. 

Since this position is designed for defense, not attack, in rehearsal matches teams prefer to ignore the third man position as they expect to attack opponents during the match rather than defend.

  • Gully

Since during any team game there is a moment of catching a game object, it is very important to have a position in the field, which will purposefully ensure catching from different distances.

So, the gully is in a close-catching position and is located on the left side of the wicket square. Once in this zone, the ball has a sharp drop in the chances of reaching the victory point, but the gully player must always be in full combat readiness since it is in this zone that the ball has the highest speed.

  • Point

If the viewer wants to watch not the team play, but the individual style of the strongest players, then he should pay attention to the position on the left side in the square of the wicket. These players have a critical responsibility for avoiding hard hits.

The zone in which such players are hosted is called Point. It is divided into two parts: the Backward point is located behind the square of the wicket, and the silly point, the game on which will not be a winning decision.

The hardest defense in this area is when the batsman makes a hard shot into the off-side.

  • Cover

The Cover is also an important area on the playing field. It is located from the extreme part of the point to Mid-Off.

The cover is the busiest offside territory throughout the match and of course, some of the strongest players should be here.

Why does cricket need a cover zone?

The purpose of this section is to stop the running and attack that comes from the batsman.

The cover zone is also divided into several positions:

  • extra cover;
  • in-depth extra cover.

The first variation is located between the player of this zone and the mid-off.

The in-depth version of the cover is on the border and is defensive in matches.

  • Mid Off

Also in cricket fielding, there is a place for the captain and it is called mid-off.

This is the ideal place for the captain to hit as close as possible to the bowler and be able to advise, correct and support throughout the game.

In general, the work of mid-off is planning and cohesion of the course of the game so that everything would be harmonious and without singles.

As for the positions in the Mid off, it is mainly located within 25-30 yards of the batsman. There is also the concept of silly mid-off, the position of which is designed to control the game of the batsman and prompts for quicker response.

  • Long Off

On the limit line, which is directly from the wicket, it is also a long-off field position. A more precise location is on the right side behind the wicket.

The player’s task in this part of the field is to be fully prepared and discouraged by the batsmen who try to enter this area.

  • Long On

An analogy to the Long off is the long-on position, only its location is on the last border of the field on the batsman’s side.

  • Mid-On

By analogy with the mid-off, there is also a mid-on position, but only its location is on the leg-side in the field.

  • Mid-Wicket

On the leg side, between square leg and mid-on is the Mid-wicket.

The main purpose of this fielding area is not to attack the batsmen, but to save their run.

  • Square Leg

A rather funny name for the fielding position sometimes confuses the audience, but such a position as Square Leg is indispensable for cricket. Its location is on the side of the square of the gate. The second referee is also in this radius.

  • Fine Leg

Every bowler wants to rest during the game, such a zone is also provided in the fielding and this is a fine leg.

This important area of ​​the field behind the batsman allows players to save time on the run.

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