Batting Tips

What is Wide Ball In Cricket?



Let’s take a quick journey into the world of cricket. This intriguing sport has a compelling characteristic known as a “wide ball,” that adds an unforgettable dimension to this game of bat and ball.

In Short Answer, if the bowler delivers the ball and it goes beyond the lines marked on either side of the pitch, known as the “wide lines,” then it is considered a wide ball.

Explanation of what a wide ball is and its significance in cricket

A ‘wide ball’ in cricket is an illegal delivery from the bowler to the batsman. In essence, it’s a ball that’s too wide off the wickets for the batsman to make a legitimate play. Whether you’re a seasoned cricket fan or new to the sport, understanding the concept of the ‘wide ball’ can expand your appreciation for this strategic game.

This one-of-a-kind cricket judgement is more than simply an offence. It has far-reaching consequences for the game’s flow and strategies. Each wide ball costs the fielding side one run, which is added to the batting team’s overall score, potentially changing the match’s balance. But wait, there’s more: the bowler gets another chance to deliver a real ball. This basic rule may change the game, giving a side an edge or disadvantage based on their plan or error.

Many variables influence the decision, including the style of cricket being played – test matches are subject to stricter rules than ODIs and Twenty20 matches. Bowlers are under even more pressure to avoid wide balls in shorter forms like Twenty20, when every single run counts.

Determining whether a ball is wide or not is up to the umpire, who bases his judgement on cricket regulations and standards. A wide ball is defined as anything that is too high or too far away from the batsman on either side.

A wide ball in cricket acts as a red signal for players, but it adds another dimension of excitement and unpredictability to this absorbing sport for viewers.

Definition and Rules of Wide Ball

If you’re a cricket enthusiast or simply curious about the sport, you might have come across the term “wide ball.” In cricket, a wide ball is essentially a delivery that is deemed too wide of the batsman to be played.

Explanation of the official definition and rules regarding wide balls in cricket

A wide ball is referred to in cricket in terms of both its line and height. According to the official definition, a wide ball is one that the umpire determines was delivered by the bowler without a valid attempt to hit the batter’s wicket and is also beyond the reach of the batsman executing a conventional stroke.

The ball is termed wide if it crosses outside an imaginary line called the “return crease” on the offside (right side for a right-handed hitter) without bouncing. It can also be termed if the ball is thrown over the batsman’s shoulder height but not within their grasp.

When the umpire calls a wide ball, it results in an additional run being added to the batting team’s tally. Furthermore, it counts as an extra delivery for the bowler, requiring them to toss one additional ball in their over.

It’s worth noting that too many wides might result in fines for bowlers. If a bowler bowls more than two wides in an over, the batting side may be given an extra run. This penalty changes according on the structure of the game.

Understanding wide balls is important for players, viewers, and supporters alike since they offer strategy and excitement to the game.

Judging a Wide Law – 22


Law Description
22.1.1 Umpire declares a Wide if the ball passes wide of the striker and would have passed wide of a normal batting position.
22.1.2 Ball considered Wide unless reachable for the striker to hit with a normal cricket stroke.
22.2 Umpire signals and declares a Wide once the ball passes the striker’s wicket.
22.3 22.3.1: Wide call revoked if ball contacts striker’s bat/person before fielder.
22.3.2: Wide call revoked if delivery is called No ball.
22.4 22.4.1: Delivery not Wide if striker moves and causes the ball to be within reach.
22.4.2: Delivery not Wide if ball touches striker’s bat/person as it passes the striker.
22.5 Ball remains live (not dead) after the call of Wide ball.
22.6 One run penalty instantly awarded on the call of Wide ball; stands even if batter is dismissed.
22.7 Runs scored from Wide, boundary allowance, and penalty are counted as Wide runs; debited against the bowler.
22.8 Wide does not count as one of the over.
22.9 Batsmen not out under most Laws except Hit wicket, Obstructing the field, Run out, or Stumped.


Wide balls are covered by Law 22 of the Laws of Cricket.

22.1.1 If the bowler bowls a ball, not being a No ball, the umpire shall adjudge it a Wide if, according to the definition in 22.1.2, the ball passes wide of where the striker is standing or has stood at any point after the ball came into play for that delivery, and which also would have passed wide of the striker standing in a normal batting position.

22.1.2 The ball will be considered as passing wide of the striker unless it is sufficiently within reach for him/her to be able to hit it with the bat by means of a normal cricket stroke.

22.2 Call and signal of Wide ball

As soon as the ball passes the striker’s wicket, if the umpire deems a delivery to be Wide, he/she must declare and signify Wide ball. It shall, however, be deemed a Wide from the moment the bowler began his/her delivery stride, despite the fact that it cannot be termed a Wide until the ball passes the striker’s wicket.

22.3 Revoking a call of Wide ball

22.3.1If there is any contact between the ball and the striker’s bat or person before the ball makes contact with a fielder, the umpire must rescind the call of Wide ball.

22.3.2 The umpire shall revoke the call of Wide ball if a delivery is called a No ball.  See Law 21.13 (No ball to over-ride Wide).

22.4 Delivery not a Wide

22.4.1 The umpire shall not adjudge a delivery as being a Wide, if the striker, by moving,

either  causes the ball to pass wide of him/her, as defined in 22.1.2

or        brings the ball sufficiently within reach to be able to hit it by means of a normal cricket stroke.

22.4.2 The umpire shall not adjudge a delivery as being a Wide if the ball touches the striker’s bat or person, but only as the ball passes the striker.

22.5 Ball not dead

The ball does not become dead on the call of Wide ball.

22.6 Penalty for a Wide

A penalty of one run shall be awarded instantly on the call of Wide ball.  Unless the call is revoked, see 22.3, this penalty shall stand even if a batter is dismissed, and shall be in addition to any other runs scored, any boundary allowance and any other runs awarded for penalties.

22.7 Runs resulting from a Wide – how scored

All runs completed by the batters or a boundary allowance, together with the penalty for the Wide, shall be scored as Wide balls.  Apart from any award of 5 Penalty runs, all runs resulting from a Wide shall be debited against the bowler.

22.8 Wide not to count

A Wide shall not count as one of the over.  See Law 17.3 (Validity of balls).

22.9 Out from a Wide

When Wide ball has been called, neither batter shall be out under any of the Laws except 35 (Hit wicket), 37 (Obstructing the field), 38 (Run out) or 39 (Stumped).

© Marylebone Cricket Club 2017 

How to Judge a Wide Ball in Cricket?

The laws mentioned earlier may become complicated for some individuals. However, a simpler approach to comprehending how to determine a Wide Ball is as follows –

How to Judge a White Ball

Image Source – The Cricket Digest

To begin with, a wide ball is determined based on the location of the batsman rather than the wickets’ location.

If the batsman is in a regular guard position, a simpler way to determine a wide ball is when the ball crosses the line designated for wide balls (refer to the image displayed above).

A regular guard position is when a batsman remains stationary on either side of the wicket while the bowler delivers the ball, adopting a middle or middle-leg stump guard, as shown in the image below.

The images depicted above showcase the typical stance of a batsman in a regular guard position.

Nevertheless, if the batsman changes his position on the crease while the ball is being bowled, the umpire has the discretion to make a decision based on the batsman’s movement.

Different Types of Wide Balls

When it comes to cricket, there are few things more frustrating for a bowler than bowling a wide ball. But what exactly is a wide ball? Let’s dive into the details.

Explanation of various types of wide balls, such as leg-side wides and off-side wides

In cricket, a wide ball is a delivery that is bowled outside the batsman’s reach on the off-side or the leg-side. It is considered a foul and results in the batting team being awarded an extra run. Wide balls are called by the umpire, who judges if the delivery falls within the acceptable range or not.

There are two main types of wide balls:

  1. Leg-side wides: A leg-side wide occurs when the ball is bowled on or outside the leg side of the batsman and passes behind the wicket without any contact with the bat or the batsman’s body. This means that the ball is too far from the batsman for them to play a shot.
  2. Off-side wides: An off-side wide occurs when the ball is bowled on or outside the off side of the batsman and passes behind the wicket without any contact with the bat or the batsman’s body. Just like leg-side wides, off-side wides are also called when the ball is too far from the batsman for them to play a shot.

Wide balls can occur due to various factors such as poor control by the bowler, deliberate attempts to prevent scoring by bowling out of reach, or even due to weather conditions affecting the ball’s trajectory.

It’s important for bowlers to have good control over their deliveries to avoid bowling wide balls and giving away unnecessary runs to the batting team. Umpires play a crucial role in ensuring fair play by closely monitoring and calling wide balls when necessary.

Umpire’s Decision on Wide Balls

Wide Ball In Cricket

Insight into how umpires determine whether a delivery is a wide ball or not

Being an umpire in cricket is a difficult job. Along with making multiple selections throughout the game, assessing whether a delivery is a wide ball or not is one of the most difficult calls. Let’s look at the complexities of this decision-making process.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has established particular criteria for umpires to follow when it comes to wide balls in order to ensure uniformity and fairness. Umpires examine the following factors:

  1. Width outside the batsman’s reach: The umpire takes into account how far the delivery passes from the batsman’s reach. If it is deemed too far away, it is considered a wide ball.
  2. The line: Umpires also keep a close eye on the crease line and the position of the batsman. If the bowler’s delivery crosses an imaginary line drawn outside the off stump or leg stump, it may be called as a wide.
  3. It is important to remember that umpiring decisions can be subjective, which can lead to disagreements among players and fans. However, umpires strive to make fair and unbiased judgments based on the guidelines provided by the ICC.

Understanding how umpires determine wide balls adds to the excitement and complexity of the game. So, the next time you watch a cricket match, pay attention to these close calls and appreciate the challenging task that umpires undertake.

Consequences of Wide Balls

Explanation of the consequences for the batting and bowling team when a wide ball is called

When it comes to cricket, there are certain rules and regulations that both the batting and bowling team must adhere to. One such rule is the concept of a “wide ball.”

In cricket, a wide ball is when the bowler delivers a delivery that is too far away from the batsman for them to be able to play a shot at it. The umpire then calls it as a wide ball and adds one run to the batting team’s total, without any runs being scored off the bat. In addition to the extra run, the delivery is also taken into account for statistical purposes.

For the batting team, the consequence of a wide ball is that it gives them an additional run. This can be advantageous for the batting team as it helps them increase their score without even having to make an effort to score off the delivery.

On the other hand, a wide ball can be bad for the bowling team as well. First, they get a penalty of an extra run added to the score of the team that is hitting. Second, a wide ball causes the delivery to be re-bowled, which gives the batter a chance to face another delivery and possibly score more runs.

It’s important to know that there are rules about what a “wide ball” is and what it means. These rules might be a little different for different types of cricket or events. But the basic idea is still the same: a wide ball is a throw that is too far away for the batter to reach.

Knowing what happens when a cricket ball goes wide can help both teams plan and use these scenarios to their advantage during games.

Strategies for Bowling Wide Balls

If you’re a cricket enthusiast, you might have come across the term “wide ball” during a match. But what exactly is a wide ball in cricket, and how can bowlers avoid bowling them?

Discussion on different strategies employed by bowlers to avoid bowling wide balls

1. Line and Length: One of the most effective strategies for bowlers to prevent bowling wide balls is by focusing on their line and length. By consistently pitching the ball within the off-stump and leg-stump guidelines, bowlers can reduce the chances of their deliveries being deemed as wide.

2. Adjusting the Run-up: Another technique is adjusting the run-up to ensure better control over where the ball lands. Bowlers often fine-tune their approach and strides to align with their line of delivery, helping them maintain accuracy and minimize the risk of wides.

3. Variety of Deliveries: Bowlers who incorporate a variety of deliveries into their repertoire can have an advantage in avoiding wide balls. By confusing the batsman with changes in pace, spin, or swing, they can manipulate their line effectively, reducing wides.

4. Pre-match Preparation: Rope drills are commonly used by bowlers during warm-up sessions to refine their skills and maintain discipline with their line and length. These drills help them develop muscle memory and consistency in executing their deliveries accurately.

5. Reflection and Analysis: After each match or practice session, bowlers should analyze their performance to identify any patterns or areas where they consistently bowl wides. By reflecting on these instances, they can make necessary adjustments to improve their accuracy and reduce wides.

Understanding what constitutes a wide ball and implementing these strategies can help bowlers enhance their control over deliveries and minimize wides, contributing to a more disciplined performance on the cricket field.

Strategies for Batsmen against Wide Balls

Cricket is thought to be one of the most interesting and unpredictable games. It has its own rules, which can be hard to understand at first. The idea of a “wide ball” is one of these rules. So, in cricket, what is a wide ball? Let’s jump in and see.

In cricket, an official calls a wide ball when the ball is hit on the off-side and is out of reach of the batsman. The judge decides whether or not a ball is wide based on a number of factors, such as the position of the batter, his stance, and the direction and length of the ball.

Now that we know what a wide ball is, let’s talk about how batters can take advantage of it and score runs.

Tips and techniques for batsmen to capitalize on wide balls and score runs

  1. Footwork: A crucial aspect of batting against wide balls is footwork. By moving swiftly towards the line of the ball, you can get into a better position to play an effective shot.
  2. Timing: Timing is everything in cricket. When facing a wide ball, try to time your shot perfectly, ensuring it goes where you want it to go and adds valuable runs to your team’s scoreboard.
  3. Shot selection: Choosing the right shot against a wide ball can make all the difference. Opt for shots like drives, cuts, or square drives that allow you to take advantage of open spaces on either side of the wicket.
  4. Patience: Sometimes, it’s best to simply let a wide ball go by and await a better opportunity. Being patient and selective with your shots can increase your chances of scoring big.

Remember that it takes time and practice to learn how to hit against wide balls. By using these tactics, you can improve your performance and make a big difference in the success of your team.

Common Misconceptions about Wide Balls

If you like cricket or are just starting to learn about it, you may have heard the word “wide ball.” But what is a wide ball, and why is it so important to the game? Let’s clear up some common misunderstandings and learn more about this part of cricket.

Addressing common misconceptions or myths surrounding wide balls in cricket

Myth #1: A Wide Ball is completely outside the crease lines

Contrary to popular belief, a wide ball is not solely determined by its location outside the crease lines. The umpire judges it based on whether the delivery was within reach of the batsman. If the ball is deemed too far away for the batsman to play a shot, it will be called a wide.

Myth #2: Only fast bowlers can bowl wide balls

This is another misconception. Wide balls can be bowled by any type of bowler, be it fast, medium, or spin. It all comes down to the delivery being considered too wide for the batsman to play.

Myth #3: Wide balls don’t count as runs for the batting team

In reality, any runs scored off a wide ball are added to the batting team’s total. Additionally, an extra run is awarded to their scorecard without needing to hit the ball.

Myth #4: Umpires have different interpretations of wide balls

Even though it may seem like judges have different ideas about what a wide ball is, cricket’s governing bodies have set clear rules. These rules make sure that every game is played the same way and that all teams have the same chances of winning.

In cricket, it’s important for both players and fans to understand what wide balls are. It has a big effect on how games turn out and is an important part of the game’s strategy. By getting rid of these common myths, you’ll be better able to understand and enjoy the complexities of cricket.

What is a Wide Ball in Cricket?

If you’re new to the game of cricket or just curious about some of the technical terms, you may be wondering what exactly a wide ball is. Well, fret not, because we’re here to explain it to you!

A wide ball in cricket refers to a delivery that is bowled and the umpire judges it to be too wide for the batsman to play or reach. This means that the ball doesn’t fall within the parameters defined by the rules of cricket.

In simpler terms, if the bowler delivers the ball and it goes beyond the lines marked on either side of the pitch, known as the “wide lines,” then it is considered a wide ball. The delivery is then signaled by the umpire by extending both arms out horizontally.

The main reason behind having this rule is to ensure fairness and balance between batsmen and bowlers. By penalizing bowlers for delivering wide balls, it prevents them from gaining an undue advantage by intentionally bowling balls that are difficult for the batsman to reach.

In addition to awarding one run to the batting team, a wide ball also counts as an extra delivery in the over. This means that the bowler has to bowl an extra ball because of their wide delivery.

Summary of the key points discussed and the importance of wide balls in cricket matches

To summarize, a wide ball in cricket is when the bowler delivers a ball that falls outside the designated playing area. It is penalized by awarding one run to the batting team and counting as an extra delivery for the bowler. The rule ensures fairness and prevents bowlers from gaining unfair advantages.

Can A Batsman Hit A Wide Ball In Cricket?

No, a batsman cannot hit a wide ball in cricket. The umpire calls a wide ball when the ball is thrown too wide of the batsman for him to perform a shot using a conventional cricket stroke. The fundamental goal of a wide ball regulation is to ensure fair competition between the batter and the bowler, and to prevent the bowler from getting an unfair advantage by bowling overly wide deliveries.

The runs scored by the batter from such delivery (including any runs arising from overthrows or boundary allowances) are credited to the team total in the event of a wide ball, but the ball is not regarded a legitimate delivery. This implies that a wide ball cannot be used to remove the batter, and the ball does not count as one of the six deliveries in the over. The batsman cannot also strike a wide ball since it is beyond their reach for a genuine shot.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about wide balls in cricket

  1. Why are wide balls penalized?
    Wide balls are penalized to ensure a fair balance between batsmen and bowlers. Delivering wide balls intentionally would give bowlers an unfair advantage.
  2. Does the batsman get any runs for a wide ball?
    Yes, the batting team is awarded one run for a wide ball.
  3. Does a wide ball count as a legal delivery?No, a wide ball does not count as a legal delivery. It is considered an extra ball.
  4. Is a wide ball counted towards the bowler’s total number of overs?Yes, a wide ball is counted as an extra delivery in the bowler’s over.

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