Cricket Ground Measurement – If you didn’t grow up playing cricket or don’t have the positions of the cricket field etched in your memory for decades, we’ve got you covered.
Cricket is one of the most complex games out there in terms of rules and things like player roles. Including fielding, and where they are on the field.
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The fielding position combinations are limitless as long as you account for all the cricketers on the field. However, this guide to all field positions will let you know what’s going on (and don’t make a fool of yourself when your leader sends you to cow corner and you’re looking for a real cow. Don’t make it up).
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You don’t need to be an aspiring cricketer to understand cricket positions. Field locations will help you better appreciate what’s happening while watching cricket on TV, and if you’re a radio listener, having a clear picture of each location is practically essential.
Before we get into the specific names of the fielding positions, let’s consider simplifying the field a bit. To do this, thinking about distance from the bat really helps. The batsman is considered the center of the field, and all positions are relative.
Close the interior. When you watch cricket you will notice that most of the fielders are in the area around the batsman and the batsman. In Test cricket, you must have seen all the fielders trying hard to get a wicket within a few yards.
Close catch points are usually within about 10-15 yards. Closer positions on the field aren’t just about saving runs, they’re about catching catches.
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Inner ring. If you’ve watched miniatures of the game, there are actually field restrictions regarding the inner ring. Determines how many of these there can be. In these short formats the inside color is represented by a circle and is not very relevant to Test cricket. Players in the circle are usually smart players, quick, and alert to run-out opportunities while blocking singles.
Abroad The outfield is all the area between the inner ring (about 30 yards from the wicket) and the boundary rope. This is the largest area, but you won’t see many keepers there. Those in these positions should be able to block boundaries or make catches in depth.
These are really basic terms that most cricketers understand, but fielding position in cricket depends a lot on whether something is “side” or “offside” so we need to make sure we define these terms.
Oh, and to keep things simple (not) the term “on” is often used interchangeably with “legs,” so if you see someone pointing to the side of the legs, you’ll know what that means.
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The offside is the side of the field that the batsman faces when in his stance. Onside (or leg side) is the opposite side of the field.
So, if you were bowling on the leg side, you would be facing their back as the batsman was in a position to face the bowler.
Let’s start with the positions closest to the batsman. These are the most played cricket bowling positions in terms of catching, but this is not their only role.
The goalkeeper is important. If you’ve never watched cricket before, wicketkeepers are easy to spot, which is why they’re number one on the list.
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They are behind the wicket, usually closer to the spinners and further away for the fast bowlers. You’ll be able to tell because the wicketkeeper is wearing gloves, usually a helmet (always for fast bowlers).
In village cricket, they will stand close to the wicket as the ball doesn’t travel very far, but professionals can stand 20+ yards behind the wicket to ensure the ball doesn’t constantly pass them. Four
Preventing these extra runs may be one of the wicketkeeper’s jobs, but their primary role is to help wickets by catching the ball. In this position, you will need good eyesight as well as excellent agility, which is why this is a specialist position.
Wickets also play a big role in making judgment calls, but the average village cricketer doesn’t get it.
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When you start watching cricket, it won’t be long before you hear the term “in the slips”.
Slip fielders are offside. They correspond to where the ball will go if it goes off the bat. Slips can be divided into four types from first slip to fourth slip. You’ll also hear commentators talk about “5 and 6 slips”.
The slip fielders are towards the offside and away from the wicket keeper. They are in a staggered diagonal line so they don’t constantly jump at each other (and fail to catch). Like the wicketkeeper, the slip is positioned to take the catch before the ball hits the ground, and is based on the speed of the bowler.
You may not always slip. Different game situations require more slip or less slip. Spinners will not need many slips because of their quick reactions and athleticism.
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As a footnote, there is such a thing as a leg slip. These are effectively a mirror image of the leg-side, skid. Instead of four of them, you usually only have one leg.
Most batsmen are not regularly dismissed at leg slip, but it does happen. Behind square, on the leg side, you are only allowed a maximum of two fielders, so you don’t see a load of leg slip and the bowler nicking the ball hoping for a nick.
Can be a good tactic against leg-spinners, or a batsman who gets tired and starts hitting slow or poorly defended shots.
Gully is towards slip, further offside, and the slip is close to the fielder’s line. The street is steep in front of the slopes but at the same speed.
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Gully is a bearing position, and is used strategically in a number of locations. Some batsmen have a reputation for pushing the ball so hard that they get caught in the gully rather than the slips. It can also be abundant in slower pitches.
You are more likely to see Gully when a batsman is unwell, at the start of an innings or even when a brand new batsman is dismissed. It can be stressful.
Gully fielders have to be very athletic and able to catch balls that fly at them quickly, but that’s true of any infield position.
In the slip the leg alternates with the slip, in the street the leg alternates with the lane. These are ahead of the batsman on the leg side, near the leg slip (or where the leg slip occurs).
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Leg alley is another position that the skipper decides based on where he thinks the catch opportunity may come. A hard hit to the leg side or a push from a leg side delivery can cause the ball to end up at gully instead of heading towards the slips.
If you believe the legends, these positions got their name because of the stupidity of standing next to the batsman. Good luck if your captain puts you there.
Thin mid-off is usually on the offside, very close to the pitch and almost between the wickets. This is an extreme version of “mid-off” when approaching the keeper.
The stupid point is at about a 45 degree angle to the batsman and requires insane bravery.
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In some formats of the game and when playing spinners, the silage edge is very important. In a silly situation, the keeper will sniff for edges or bad hits, and the ball will fly in the air ready to catch it (you often have to dive to get this catch).
He needs a skilled fielder with the same hand coordination as the wicket keeper. For that, a box, a helmet and many safety equipments are also required. The keeper has to be smart enough to get out of the way in a silly situation or risk taking a hard hit from the batsman.
Trust us, it’s a stupid post without a name. Short leg is at the batsman’s leg but is a mirror image of the slip point.
In cricket, the short-leg fielding stance is used a lot by spinners, for similar reasons as the slow-down position. However, you can see it for fast bowlers as well.
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