Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In the sport of cricket the word wicket has several distinct meanings:
Meanings of wicket
Set of stumps
Primarily, the wicket is one of the two sets of 3 stumps and 2 bails at either end of the pitch. The wicket is guarded by a batsman who, with his bat, attempts to prevent the ball from hitting the wicket. A diagram demonstrating the measurements of a wicket can be found in Appendix A of the Laws of cricket .
The origin of the word is from the standard definition of wicket as a small gate. Historically, cricket wickets had only two stumps and one bail and looked like a gate.
Dismissing a batsman
A wicket is the event of a batsman getting out. The batsman is said to have lost his wicket. If dismissed by a bowler, the bowler is said to have taken his wicket. The number of wickets taken is the primary measure of a bowler's ability.
For a batsman to be dismissed by being bowled, run out, stumped or hit wicket his wicket needs to be put down. What this means is defined by Law 28 of the Laws of cricket. The wicket is put down if a bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps, or a stump is struck out of the ground 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 providing that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used. The wicket is also put down if a fielder pulls a stump out of the ground in the same manner.
If one bail is off, removing the remaining bail or striking or pulling any of the three stumps out of the ground is sufficient to put the wicket down. A fielder may remake the wicket, if necessary, in order to put it down to have an opportunity of running out a batsman.
If the umpires 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, 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.
The sequence of time over which two particular batsmen bat together, a partnership, is referred to as a specifically numbered wicket when discriminating it from other partnerships in the innings.
- The first wicket partnership is from the start of the innings until the first batsman gets out.
- The second wicket partnership is from when the first batsman gets out until the second batsman gets out.
- The tenth wicket or last wicket partnership is from when the ninth batsman gets out until the tenth batsman gets out.
The word wicket is also sometimes used to refer to the 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 comes from a situation in which rain has dampened the pitch. This makes the path of the ball more unpredictable thus making the job of defending the stumps that much more difficult.
One end of the pitch
A wicket can also refer to the general area around the stumps, particularly the safe area behind the batsman's crease. This is seen in usage such as The batsmen ran between the wickets, which does not necessarily imply they were close to the actual stumps at the beginning or end of the run.
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