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In
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bail ...
, the term wicket has several meanings: * It is one of the two sets of three
stumps In cricket, the stumps are the three vertical posts that support the bails and form the wicket In cricket, the term wicket has several meanings: * It is one of the two sets of three stumps and two bails at either end of the Cricket pitch, ...
and two bails at either end of the
pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves ...

pitch
. The fielding team's players can hit the wicket with the ball in a number of ways to get a batsman out. ** The wicket is guarded by a
batsman In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cric ...
who, with his
bat Bats are mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in Female#Mammalian femal ...

bat
(and sometimes with his
pads Pads (also called leg guards) are protective equipment used by batters in the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which i ...
, but see the laws on LBW, leg before wicket), attempts to prevent the
ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical, but can sometimes be ovoid An oval (from Latin ''ovum'', "egg") is a closed curve in a plane which resembles the outline of an egg. The term is not very specific, but in some areas ( projective ...
from hitting the wicket (if it does, he is
bowled out This is a general glossary __NOTOC__ A glossary (from grc, γλῶσσα / language, speech, wording) also known as a vocabulary or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for tho ...
) and to score runs where possible. * Through
metonymic Metonymy () is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept. Etymology The words ''metonymy'' and ''metonym'' come from the Greek language, Greek , , "a chan ...
usage, the dismissal of a batsman is known as the ''taking of a wicket'', * The
cricket pitch In the game of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising t ...

cricket pitch
itself is sometimes referred to as ''the wicket''.


History

The origin of the word is from
wicket gate (Avignon Avignon (, ; ; oc, Avinhon, label=Provençal dialect, Provençal or , ; la, Avenio) is the Prefectures in France, prefecture of the Vaucluse Departments of France, department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Regions of France, re ...
, a small gate. Originally, cricket wickets had only two stumps and one bail and looked like a gate, much like the wicket used in the North American game of
wicket In cricket, the term wicket has several meanings: * It is one of the two sets of three stumps and two bails at either end of the Cricket pitch, pitch. The Fielding (cricket), fielding team's players can hit the wicket with the ball in a numb ...
. The third (middle) stump was introduced in 1775, after
Lumpy Stevens Edward "Lumpy" Stevens (1735 – 7 September 1819) was an English professional cricketer who played first-class cricket from around 1756 to 1789. He was an outstanding bowler (cricket), bowler who is generally regarded as the first great bo ...
bowled three successive deliveries to John Small that went straight through the two stumps rather than hitting them.


Stumps and bails

260px, Each wicket consists of three stumps, upright wooden poles that are hammered into the ground, topped with two wooden crosspieces, known as the bails. The size and shape of the wicket has changed several times during the last 300 years; its dimensions and placing is now determined by Law 8 in the ''
Laws of Cricket The ''Laws of Cricket'' is a code which specifies the rules of the game of cricket worldwide. The earliest known code was drafted in 1744 and, since 1788, it has been owned and maintained by its custodian, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in Londo ...
'', thus: * Law 8: The wickets. The wicket consists of three wooden stumps that are tall. The stumps are placed along the batting crease with equal distances between each stump. They are positioned so they are wide. Two wooden bails are placed in shallow grooves on top of the stumps. The bails must not project more than above the stumps, and must, for cricket, be long. There are also specified lengths for the barrel and spigots of the bail. There are different specifications for the wickets and bails for junior cricket. The umpires may dispense with the bails if conditions are unfit (e.g., if it is windy they might fall off by themselves). Further details on the specifications of the wickets are contained in Appendix D to the laws.


Putting down a wicket

The wicket can be thought of as the target of the fielding team, as the bowler and fielders alike can dismiss the batter by hitting the wicket with the ball, and in particular, can prevent run-scoring (off a ball that has not reached the boundary) by managing or threatening to
run out Run out is a method of dismissal in cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end ...
batters. For a batsman to be dismissed by being
bowled In cricket, the term bowled has several meanings. First, is the act of throwing, propelling the cricket ball, ball towards the wicket defended by a batsman. Second, it is a method of Dismissal (cricket), dismissing a batsman, by Wicket#Putting down ...
,
run out Run out is a method of dismissal in cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end ...
,
stumped Stumped is a method of dismissing a batsman in cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicke ...
or
hit wicket Hit wicket is a method of Dismissal (cricket), dismissal in the sport of cricket. This method of dismissal is governed by Law 35 of the Laws of Cricket. The striker is out "hit wicket" if, after the bowler has entered his delivery stride and while ...
, his wicket needs to be put down, potentially when neither batsman is in the
ground Ground may refer to: * Soil, a mixture of clay, sand and organic matter present on the surface of the Earth * Ground (electricity), the reference point in an electrical circuit from which voltages are measured ** Earthing system, part of an elect ...
of the wicket. This generally occurs when a fielder throws the ball at the wicket, or hits it with ball in hand. What this means is defined by Law 29. A wicket is put down if: * A
bail Bail is a set of pre-trial restrictions that are imposed on a suspect to ensure that they will not hamper the judicial process. Bail is the conditional release of a defendant A defendant is a person A person (plural people or persons) is ...
is completely removed from the top of the stumps * A stump is struck out of the grounds by the ball, the striker's bat, the striker's person (or by any part of his clothing or equipment becoming detached from his person), a fielder (with his hand or arm, and provided that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used). * A 2010 amendment to the Laws clarified the rare circumstance where a bat breaks during the course of a shot and the detached debris breaks the wicket; the wicket has been put down in this circumstance. The wicket is also put down if a fielder pulls a stump out of the ground in the same manner. Special situations: *If one bail is off, removing the remaining bail or striking or pulling any stump out of the ground is sufficient to put the wicket down. A fielder may remake the wicket, if necessary, to put it down to have an opportunity of running out a batsman. *If both bails are off, a fielder must strike or pull any stump out of the ground with the ball, or pull it out of the ground with a hand or arm, provided that the ball is held in the hand(s) so used, or in the hand of the arm so used. If the
umpires An Umpire is an official in many competitions. The term derives from the Old French Old French (, , ; French language, Modern French: ) was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. Rather than a unified ...
have agreed to dispense with bails, because, for example, it is too windy for the bails to remain on the stumps, the decision as to whether the wicket has been put down is one for the umpire concerned to decide. After a decision to play without bails, the wicket has been put down if the umpire concerned is satisfied that the wicket has been struck by the ball, by the striker's
bat Bats are mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in Female#Mammalian femal ...
, person, or items of his clothing or equipment separated from his person as described above, or by a fielder with the hand holding the ball or with the arm of the hand holding the ball.


Modern innovations

As per the ICC Playing Conditions, when using the LED wickets, "the moment at which the wicket has been put down ..shall be deemed to be the first frame in which the LED lights are illuminated and subsequent frames show the bail permanently removed from the top of the stumps." The manufacturer is reviewing the LED wicket's performance after a number of international cricketers criticized the Zing bails during the
2019 Cricket World Cup The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup was the 12th Cricket World Cup The Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Men's Cricket World Cup) is the international championship of One Day International A One Day International (ODI) is a form of ...
.


Dismissal of a batsman

The dismissal of a batsman is known as the ''taking of a wicket''. The batsman is said to have ''lost his wicket'', the batting side is said to have ''lost a wicket'', the fielding side to have ''taken a wicket'', and the bowler is also said to have ''taken his'' (i.e. the batsman's) ''wicket'', if the dismissal is one of the types for which the bowler receives credit. This language is used even if the dismissal did not actually involve the stumps and bails in any way, for example, a catch. Though note that the other four of the five most common methods of dismissal (bowled, LBW, run out, and stumped) involve the stumps and bails being put down (in the case of LBW, theoretically). The word ''wicket'' has this meaning in the following contexts:


Scoring

A team's Scoring (cricket), score is described in terms of the total number of run (cricket), runs scored and the total number of wickets lost.


Bowling analyses

The number of wickets taken is a primary measure of an individual bowler's ability, and a key part of a bowling analysis.


Batting partnerships

The sequence of time over which two particular batsmen bat together, a partnership (cricket), partnership, is referred to as a specifically numbered wicket when discriminating it from other partnerships in the innings. This can be thought of as saying "this was the number of runs scored while this team had lost [''n''-1] wickets and had yet to lose their ''n''th wicket." *The first wicket partnership is from the start of the innings until the team loses its first wicket, i.e. one of the first two batsmen is dismissed. * The second wicket partnership is from when the third batsman starts batting until the team loses its second wicket, i.e. the time from when they have lost one wicket until the time they have lost a second wicket, which happens when a second batsman is dismissed. * etc... * The tenth wicket or last wicket partnership is from when the eleventh (last) batsman starts batting until the team loses its tenth (last) wicket, i.e. a tenth (last) batsman is dismissed.


Winning by number of wickets

A team can win a match by a certain number of wickets. This means that they were batting last, and reached the winning target with a certain number of batsmen still not dismissed. For example, if the side scored the required number of runs to win with only three batsmen dismissed, they are said to have won by seven wickets (as a team's innings ends when ten batsmen are dismissed).


The pitch

The word ''wicket'' is also sometimes used to refer to the
cricket pitch In the game of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising t ...

cricket pitch
itself. According to the ''Laws of Cricket'', this usage is incorrect, but it is in common usage and commonly understood by cricket followers. The term ''sticky wicket'' refers to a situation in which the pitch has become damp, typically due to rain or high humidity. This makes the path of the ball more unpredictable thus making the job of defending the stumps that much more difficult. The full phrase is thought to have originally been "to bat on a sticky wicket." Such pitches were commonplace at all levels of the game (i.e. up to Test match level) until the late 1950s.


In other sports

The arches used in croquet and roque are sometimes referred to as ''wickets'', especially in American English. These arches descend from the ancestral game of ground billiards (which may also be related to cricket), and were formerly called the ''hoop'', ''arch'' or ''port''. The port remained a prominent feature of indoor table Cue sport, billiards until well into the 18th century. In baseball, the strike zone is similar to the wicket, in that a batter who fails to hit a ball that is going towards the strike zone is at risk of being out.


See also

*Cricket terminology


References

{{Cricket statistics Cricket terminology Cricket equipment Cricket laws and regulations