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

Steve Smith (AFP PHOTO / Theo KARANIKOS)
Roar Guru
11th August, 2015
17256 Reads

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.