Backyard cricket laws: The ICC’s undisputed rules and regulations

Dennis Freedman Roar Guru

By Dennis Freedman, Dennis Freedman is a Roar Guru


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    Steve Smith soared while batsman fell all around him. (AFP PHOTO / Theo KARANIKOS)

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    The ICC have today released updates to the Laws of Backyard Cricket exclusively to The Roar.

    A redacted copy is produced below.

    Law 1 – Dismissal

    1a – First ball
    No player can be dismissed first ball.

    The purpose of this law is to ensure your Star Trek-loving cousin will at least feel compelled to field for a little bit after you get him out second ball.

    1b – Auto wickie
    The ‘auto wickie’ playing conditions vary from ground to ground. As a general rule, auto wickie will extend to a virtual third slip and may/may not include a leg slip.

    In situations where a wicketkeeper is present, the match referee may still allow for the auto wickie law to be in force.

    The auto wickie never drops a catch. The exception is Pakistan, where the auto wickie rarely holds a catch.

    1c – One hand, one bounce
    The Law is only enforceable when the fielder has his other hand occupied with a beverage contained in a glass vessel or sausage in bread/roll (sauce optional, but preferred).

    The one hand, one bounce Law ensures that batsmen will attempt to keep the ball along the ground, therefore not losing them in the neighbour’s gum tree or down a gutter in the street.

    1d – No LBW
    The bowler can never be trusted to form an impartial view on the bona fides of any LBW appeal.

    Therefore, an appeal for LBW is automatically declined the moment the appeal begins.

    Batsmen deliberately blocking the ball with their legs are deemed to be ‘shit blokes’, and may be punished by repeated bouncing (see Law 1e – six and out).

    1e – Six And out
    Selfishly hitting the ball over the fence shall lead to the following procedure being enacted:

    1) The batsman shall be awarded 6 runs; and
    2) The batsman will be deemed out; and
    3) The batsman must recover the ball.

    In the event that the ball is unrecoverable, the following procedure shall be enacted:

    1) A new ball shall be found; and
    2) Should a new ball be found, the batsman who lost the previous ball will no longer be allowed to bat; and
    3) Should no new balls be available, all players shall gather in front of the BBQ and remind the batsman what a terrible human being they are.

    1f – DRS
    Any child under the age of 16 may ask for a review from an adult once per innings. Tears are known to be an effective way to sway the review in your favour.

    A person of any age may ask for a review by the host if at a BBQ.

    Law not applicable in India

    1g – Magic wickets
    A player will be deemed run out if the fielding team throws down either wicket with the batsmen out of his ground.

    The fielding team shall be the arbiter of whether the batsman has made his ground.

    Law 2 – Bowling

    2a – Standard over
    The bowler will continue to bowl until either:

    1) The batsman asks how many balls left. The bowler is to reply “three” and finish out the over; or
    2) Another fielder asks how many balls left. The bowler is to reply “This is my last ball” and finish the over.

    2b – Legal delivery
    Those under 15 years of age may bowl underarm.

    The bowling crease shall be loosely marked, either by a crack in the driveway concrete or an imaginary mark on the grass.

    The length of the pitch will variable.

    Law 3 – Equipment

    3a – Esky
    The esky shall be placed at either end.

    The esky shall be filled with ice and beer.

    The esky shall act as the wicket.

    Any player spilling the esky will be deemed a ‘shit bloke’.

    3b – Balls
    Only tennis balls shall be allowed.

    Taped tennis balls may be used where the pitch is rated dead or you are playing at Damien Fleming’s house.

    3c. Dog
    Dogs are to be treated like a loose impediment in golf: any ball hitting the dog is ‘rub of the green’.

    Any ball caught by the dog is out.

    Any slobber on the ball is bad luck and must be taken care of by the bowler.

    3d – Bat
    Only bats with well-worn grips, a fake Allan Border signature and a Gray-Nicolls moniker may be used.

    Visiting players may bring their own equipment.

    Double scoops are prohibited.

    Law 4 – The spirit of backyard cricket

    4a – End of match
    The game shall be deemed over when:

    1) The salad and the sausages are ready; or
    2) All the balls have been lost; or
    3) Steve Smith is batting/Mitch Johnson is bowling on the TV; or
    4) Bad light stopped play.

    4b – Damage to the garden
    All flower damage shall be deemed to have occurred prior to the start of play.

    4e – WAGs
    WAGs shall be permitted to bat by either:

    1) Invitation; or
    2) They have fielded for at least 10 minutes; or
    3) They have brought food and/or beer to the players at some stage during the day; or
    4) They have been looking after the kids.

    WAGs shall bat at their own risk, noting that the bowler may be inebriated.

    The ICC has opened submissions for future iterations of the Backyard Cricket Laws. Those submissions are to be made in the comments section below.

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    The Crowd Says (26)

    • August 12th 2015 @ 8:40am
      Justin said | August 12th 2015 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      Law 1B sub clause 1. ‘Automatic Boonie’. An item shall be placed at bat pad on the leg side, not more than 1m in height (a broken chair will suffice) and be deemed out if struck by the ball on the full after being hit with the bat. The player shall be out regardless of how hard the ball is struck.

      • August 12th 2015 @ 8:42am
        Wade said | August 12th 2015 @ 8:42am | ! Report


      • Editor

        August 12th 2015 @ 8:46am
        Patrick Effeney said | August 12th 2015 @ 8:46am | ! Report

        I second this motion. I cannot believe it was omitted from the original redacted version, it is so crucial.

    • August 12th 2015 @ 8:53am
      Justin said | August 12th 2015 @ 8:53am | ! Report

      Law 1e Optional subclasue 1. Caught out off the roof. A player shall be deemed out if the ball is hit onto the roof and is subsequently caught by a fielder. The batsman shall not be awarded any runs. Whether a one handed catch is required to complete the dismissal is to be negotiated between teams prior to the start of play.

      • Editor

        August 12th 2015 @ 9:02am
        Patrick Effeney said | August 12th 2015 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        Once again, Justin with the fantastic rules.

      • August 12th 2015 @ 9:04am
        Wade said | August 12th 2015 @ 9:04am | ! Report

        Any “bounce” off an obstacle which is not “terrain” should be considered fair play and if caught is out. One hand bounce off terain still applies.

      • August 12th 2015 @ 11:15am
        Justin said | August 12th 2015 @ 11:15am | ! Report

        additional subclause to thi law with regards to trampolines placed on their side to protect windows. Ball is still considered ‘in play’ until it strikes the ground.

    • Columnist

      August 12th 2015 @ 10:08am
      Kris Swales said | August 12th 2015 @ 10:08am | ! Report

      Any ball hit into a nominated tree on the full goes into the scorecard as “caught Graeme Wood”.

      Also needs a Spirit Of Cricket addendum – Sledging is compulsory.

      • August 12th 2015 @ 11:22am
        Wade said | August 12th 2015 @ 11:22am | ! Report

        There’s a score card?

        • Columnist

          August 12th 2015 @ 12:29pm
          Kris Swales said | August 12th 2015 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

          The Swales clan take the annual Christmas Test pretty seriously.

    • August 12th 2015 @ 11:18am
      Justin said | August 12th 2015 @ 11:18am | ! Report

      4e. WAG Bowling

      A WAG shall be permitted to bowl if she asks.

      No questioning of a WAG’s bowling action is permitted (in the interests of marital bliss).
      Any male batsman who is out to a WAG shall be mercillessly sledged.

      • August 12th 2015 @ 12:51pm
        Andy said | August 12th 2015 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

        4e should include HABs as well!

    • August 12th 2015 @ 3:16pm
      Rich_daddy said | August 12th 2015 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

      Spirit of the Game

      Rule 4c – Hit and Run

      A hit and run rule may be adopted with the mutual agreement of both sides.

      It is recommended this rule is adopted when two batsman are at the crease

      If a player is repeatedly leaving balls or offering only defensive strokes, he/she will be subject to sledging such as “corpse with pads” or “Would you like me to bowl you a piano to see if you can play that?”. In such circumstances, the hit and run may be introduced mid-game at the discretion of the fielding side.

    • Roar Guru

      August 12th 2015 @ 6:16pm
      Jack Smith said | August 12th 2015 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

      These are all absolutely correct.

      Addition to 1e)

      Play shall be abandoned if ball is unrecoverable in the circumstance that the neighbour has threatened to call the police if they find one more ball in their yard. Participants must flee with all equipment into the safety of the house.

      This applies at all levels.

      Also, if the ball is hit onto the road and is recoverable, the batsmen shall be awarded a four to ensure they cannot run a ridiculous number of runs as a result of oncoming traffic.