In this glossary, terms are in the masculine form only for the purpose of shortening or simplifying the sentence. Female pronouns may be added in the appropriate sections.





    The appeal is when the fielding team ask the umpire to make a judgement on a decision (eg caught behind or LBW). The team must appeal for the umpire to give the batter out.

Arm Ball

    An arm ball is a delivery that is disguised by a finger spin bowler, and instead of spinning, it will swing in the direction of the follow through of the arm and moves away from the batter.


    The word batter describes the person standing in front of the stumps in a cricket match by holding a cricket bat, and who faces the ball that is delivered by the bowler.

Batting Average

    Batting Average refers to the average number of runs a batter scores

over an extended period of time, for example, over a season. If a batter scores 500 runs and is dismissed 10 times, the “Batting Average” is calculated by dividing 500 by 10 resulting in an average of 50.


    The blockhole is the part of the crease that is directly beneath the batter at the position of the batting stance. It is used to describe a delivery that almost yorks a batter by the ball going underneath the batter's eyesight and bat. It is often described as "a delivery right up in the blockhole".


    The word bowler describes the person who delivers the cricket ball down the pitch to the batter using the arm which is used without the elbow being bent.


    Chinaman bowling is a word for a bowler who bowls left handed and spins the ball with the wrist action like a leg spinner, spinning the ball from left to right.

Cover Drive

    A cover drive is when you hit the ball off the front or back foot and the ball goes towards the cover position which is between the mid off and point positions on the off side of the field.

Dibbly Dobbler

    This term is often used for a bowler who bowls very slowly, and with not much spin or pace on the ball.


    The word "Dorothy" came about from the first class cricket scene.  It is a slang term for "six". So if one is hit for a six or one has hit the ball for a six, someone may say to you, "geez that was a big Dorothy you hit today". Justin Langer says that it may have come out of "Dorothy Dix” -six

Dot Ball

    A dot ball means when a fair ball is delivered and the batter does not score from it. It is marked down in the score book as a dot ball, implying no runs are scored from that delivery.


    The word drifter means a ball bowled by either a spinner or swing bowler that moves either left to right, or right to left through the air.  Hence the saying, "the has ball moved or drifted either way".


    Term given to any shot that is played forward of the wicket with some degree of force. Can be played off the front or back foot, and is usually a shot used to score runs.


    If you are batting and get out with your score on zero(0), then you are out for a duck.


    A flipper is a ball bowled by a leg spin bowler. It is released from the front of the hand between the thumb and middle finger. It tends to come out of the hand a lot faster than the standard leg spinner, and when delivered well, the ball skids and stays lower than usual. A leg spinner uses this delivery looking for lbw and bowled dismissals. It is a difficult delivery to master, but with a lot of hard work it can be very destructive.

Follow On

    If a team batting second, and is chasing a first innings total of a match, do not reach the required number of runs, the fielding team has the option of enforcing "the follow on". This means that the fielding captain can ask the batting team to bat again, immediately after that team completed their innings. For example, the follow on rule can be applied in Test matches when a team is 200 runs short of a first innings total. Team A scored 400 in their first innings, while team B replied with 199. Team A's captain may enforce the follow on for team B meaning team B will immediately bat again. Follow on scores will be different for all levels of cricket.  

Front Foot

    The front foot can either refer to the front foot of a batter's stride to the ball, or the front foot of a bowler's delivery stride when bowling the ball.

Full Toss

    A full pitched delivery that reaches the batter on the full - that is, does not bounce before it reaches the batter.

Good Length

    A good length is a delivery that a batter usually plays off the front foot. The ideal length to bowl is just short of a good length, so that the batter cannot comfortably go forward and drive.


    A googly is another name for a wrong-un bowled by a leg spinner. This delivery looks like a leg spin delivery but in fact turns the other way. It is usually disguised in the delivery action. Also known as a "Bosey".

Hat Trick

    This is the term given when a bowler takes three consecutive wickets, with three consecutive deliveries. The deliveries need not necessarily be in the same over, or in the same innings for that matter.

Hitting on the Up

    This term refers to hitting the ball when the bat is on the upswing in the follow through of the shot. It is heard often, but rarely explained.


    The Hook Shot is played to a short ball bouncing above the chest or shoulder height. The Pull Shot is played to a short ball bouncing between the waist and chest. The Hook Shot is generally played in the air. It is a risky shot to play but you can be rewarded with easy runs if you can master it.

Index Finger

    Index finger is the first finger next to the thumb on a hand. The umpire will raise his index finger when giving a batter out.


    Term used to describe the movement of the ball through the air angling toward the batter. That is, the movement will carry the ball from the off side to the leg side.


    One method for dismissing the batter. If the ball strikes the batter on any part of their person, the umpire can give the batter out LBW, provided that in the umpire's opinion, the ball struck the batter in line with the stumps, the ball did not pitch outside leg stump, the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps. The batter can also be given out LBW if the ball strikes him outside the line of the stumps provided that no shot was played at the ball, the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps, the ball did not pitch outside leg stump.

Leg Bye

    A leg bye is when the batter misses the ball and it hits the pad, or body, and the batters decide to run. The umpire signals by touching his raised leg.

Leg Side

    The leg side is the side of the field that is the batter's leg side. The leg side changes for right and left handed batters. For a right handed batter, the leg side will be the right hand side of the field as the bowler looks at the batter. For a left handed batter, the leg side will be the left hand side of the field as the bowler looks at the batter. Also known as the "on-side".

Leg Spin

    Leg spin means the bowler makes the ball move from the right side to the left side of the wicket.

Leg Cutter

    The word leg cutter refers to a fast / medium pace bowler rolling their fingers down the left hand side of the ball. The ball will spin/rotate when it hits the ground from right to left. The delivery is called "the leg cutter" because it cuts off the wicket from the leg side to the off side.


    Refers to where a ball pitches on the wicket between the bowler and batter. "A good length" means that the batter can reach the ball by stepping forwards towards it. "A short length" means the bowler has landed the ball near the middle of the pitch.

Maiden Over

    An over in which no runs are scored from the bat, and no wides or no-balls delivered.

Night Watchman

    The "Night Watchman" is the batter selected to go to the crease after a dismissal near the end of the day’s play. This is done so a top order batter is not sacrificed or put under pressure. Generally a lower order batter is selected as the "Night Watchman".

No ball

    When an illegal ball is bowled, either by way of the bowler's arm action, or a bowler's front foot landing completely over the popping crease, the umpire will signal and call "No Ball". This will mean that the bowler must bowl another ball in the over, and the batting side receive an additional run to their score. A no ball in One Day Cricket will also be called if the ball passes the batter above shoulder height.

Off Drive

    A "driving" shot played to a ball that is pitched on or outside off stump. The driving shots are all similar in terms of the way they are played, but what separates them is that the ball should be hit in the same direction as the line of the ball. For example, a ball pitching on or outside off stump should be hit to the off side, therefore giving this shot the name, "Off Drive".

Off Spin

    This type of bowler spins the ball from the off stump towards the leg stump if they are right handed. The term sometimes used is "finger spinner".

On Drive

    A "driving" shot played to a ball that is pitched on or outside leg stump. The driving shots are all similar in terms of the way they are played, but what separates them is that the ball should be hit in the same direction as the line of the ball. For example, a ball pitching on or outside leg stump should be hit to the on side, therefore giving this shot the name, "On Drive".

One Short

    When a batter is running 2 or more and he does not ground his bat behind the popping crease, he has not completed the run and it is called one short by the umpire. The uncompleted run does not go onto the striker's score.


    Term used to describe the movement of the ball through the air. With this type of movement, the ball moves away from the batter as it travels down the wicket. That is, the ball will swing away from leg side to the off side.

Pace Bowling

    The term pace bowling means that a bowler is bowling at pace which means "fast", so if the bowler bowls good pace this will mean they are bowling fast.


    This term means when the ball is coming off the bat very nicely with a lot of power, we say the ball is "pinging off the bat".


    The word pitch means the cut or marked out surface in which a game of cricket is played. It can also mean where the cricket ball lands on the pitch.


    This terminology means the number of people playing the game of cricket, ie a team consists of 11 players or a side has 11 players. Teams also have a 12th man to replace an injured fielder.

Popping Crease

    The popping crease is the front line of the outlined box which is marked out at the end of the pitch. It is the line that the batter stands on, and in which the bowler must keep some part of the front foot behind that line when bowling.

Pull Shot

    The pull shot is a cross batted stroke played to a short pitched delivery. The batsman plays the pull shot through the leg side, preferably between mid-on and square-leg.


    The use of the word "rabbit" in cricket can mean that if a bowler constantly gets you out then you may be known as his or her rabbit. Also, a tailend batter is sometimes called a rabbit as he lacks ability with the bat.

Reverse Swing

    The phenomenon whereby the ball starts to swing in the opposite way to traditional swinging methods. Traditionally the ball will swing to whichever way the rough side is pointing. After many overs, both sides of the ball are "roughed" up. Once this happens, one side of the ball is soaked in sweat and polished up. This "shiny" side behaves the same way as the rough side with a new ball, and hence the term, "reverse swing", because the ball swings in reverse to the traditional manner.


    The word season is used to describe the time of year that cricket is played. In Australia cricket is generally played from the end of September to the end of March. This is our summer.

Slight touch of ball with bat...

    This terminology normally means that the ball has hit the inside edge of the bat and it has been such a small touch of the ball onto the bat that it is referred to as being a slight touch only.

Soft hands

    The action of "giving" with the ball as you catch it. It means allowing room for your hands to move with the momentum of the ball, rather than just having the ball hit a hard resistant surface, and then bounce out. By having soft hands, you provide a cushioning effect to accept the ball.


    Spin, is when the ball is flicked with a side ways movement by the bowler's fingers to make the ball move off the pitch from left to right or vice versa.


    The splice of the bat is the term used for the gap that is cut into the top of the bat for the handle to be inserted and glued.

Square Cut

    The square cut is a cut shot generally played in front of point. The cut shot is played off the back foot when the ball is pitched outside the off stump. Like the pull shot the square cut is played fiercely and is best executed when the batter has moved themselves into good position by looking to get his eyes behind the ball first.

Sticky Wicket

    When a wicket is wet or damp it is generally described as a "Sticky Wicket". Wickets like this can be very difficult to bat on because the ball can leap off a good length or run along the ground.

Stone Walling

    "Stone Walling" is a term used to describe a batter who is being negative trying to defend and survive instead of being positive and scoring runs.

Strike Rate

    The strike rate of a batter is calculated with two pieces of information. The first piece of information required is the number of balls faced in their innings. The second piece of information required is the number of runs scored. The number of runs scored is divided by the number of balls faced and then multiplied by 100 to give a percentage, or a figure per 100 balls. The strike rate is an indicator of how many runs the batter scores for every 100 balls they face.


    The word "swing" means when the ball moves in the air whilst in flight towards the batsman.

Top Spinner

    An off spinner or leg spinner spins the ball either left to right or vice versa, the top spinner is when the ball is over spinning forward and spins straight on , also gaining bounce.


    The word tweaker is used to describe a spin bowler. The expression used is that "the bowler gives the ball a good tweak".

V - and "...bowling in the V"

    The V involves two imaginary lines drawn from the batsman to the mid off and mid on positions. If you play the ball inside this imaginary V shape early on in your innings you will have less chance of being bowled.


    The three stumps standing upright at each end of the cricket pitch are referred to as the wickets, or a wicket that the batsman attempts to protect from being hit by the ball. It can also refer to a cricket pitch. "We are playing on a good wicket".


    A wide is determined by the umpire when the ball is pitched wide of the off-stump or leg-stump so the batsman cannot reach it in his normal batting stance.


    The yorker is a bowling term used for a ball of full pitch. The ball is generally delivered by a seam bowler after a succession of short pitched balls forcing the batsman on to the back foot. The yorker should be bowled

at the stumps pitching on the crease line or at the base of the stumps.




Blade - another term for bat. 

Effort Ball - a bowler delivering a ball with greater exertion.

That was a jaffer of a ball - a very good or unplayable delivery.

The ball jagged back from outside the off stump to trap him LBW - The ball came back from outside the off stump to trap him LBW

Score at a decent clip - scoring runs quickly.

Smoke the ball through the covers - hit the ball with great power.

Leg Spin Bowling - right arm leg spinner or left arm finger spinner. These two bowlers will turn the ball from the right side of the pitch to the left(from the bowler's perspective).

Off Spin Bowling - right arm finger spinner or left arm wrist spinner who is sometimes referred to as a “Chinaman". These two bowlers will turn the ball from the left side of the pitch to the right(from the bowler's perspective).


Glossary thanks to