In cricket, what is an over?

In cricket, what is an over?

In modern cricket, an over consists of six genuine deliveries. At the completion of the six-ball series, ‘over’ is called, and a fresh bowler begins a new over from the other end.

Illegal deliveries, such as no balls or wides, shall not be counted as one of those six balls. Only after six legal deliveries have been sent down will the over be called off.

The Path of an Over

This is how an Over develops during a cricket game.

The umpire, batsmen, bowlers, and fielders take their places.

When the bowler begins their run up, the over is deemed to have begun.

Then six balls are delivered.

When the sixth ball of the over is deemed ‘dead,’ the umpire must proclaim ‘Over.’

The following over will begin at the opposite end.

There will be no genuine deliveries if there are wides or no balls in the over. Only legal deliveries will count toward those six balls, and if a wide or no ball is ruled, the bowler must put the ball down again.

As a result, there is room for seven balls, eight balls, nine balls, or more; but, because only valid deliveries count, each over is deemed to consist of six balls.

Law 17 of the cricket rule book covers all characteristics of an Over. Various subsections in this section describe the number of balls, how an over is structured, and what the umpires and scorers must do in the event of unlawful deliveries.

The rule book and the MCC official website go on to clarify what happens if an umpire miscounts and when a ball is ruled ‘dead’ under this section.

My essay here explains all you need to know about overs in a nutshell, whereas Law 17 lists every single judgement in full.

Number of Overs in Various Formats

The game is played in three main versions across the world:

There are no limitations on the number of overs that may be bowled in First Class Cricket, which also includes Test Matches.

These are timed games, with first class fixtures often lasting four days and most test matches lasting five.

The bowling team must provide a minimum amount of overs throughout each day’s play, but there is no upper restriction.

The two innings in One Day Cricket are limited to a maximum of 50 Overs each. This applies to all One Day Internationals and 50-Over domestic events.

In T20 cricket, each team is given a maximum of 20 overs. This applies to both international and domestic T20 games. It’s also worth noting the limits on the maximum amount of overs a bowler may bowl.

There are no such limitations in test and first-class cricket, but there are in ODI and T20 games. These will typically account for 20% of the entire allotment.

As a result, in a 50-over match, bowlers can only bowl a maximum of 10 Overs. That restriction is decreased to five overs per bowler in T20 cricket.

T10 cricket is played in various regions of the world, and England currently has a 100-ball competition called as the Hundred.

Because such formats have yet to be played on a worldwide scale, the emphasis is squarely on the three existing forms.

Number of Deliveries in a Year in the Past

The regulations of cricket today dictate that overs must contain six legal deliveries, however this was not always the case.

Countries have utilised their own regulations throughout the game’s history, and different amounts of deliveries were formerly used to constitute an over.

Matches in England were mostly four-ball overs during the most of the 1800s. Five was added in 1889, six in 1900, and eight in 1939. In 1945, English cricket returned to six-ball overs.

I recall eight ball overs being utilised in Australia for a while. The first Ashes series I saw was England’s 1974/75 trip, and eight ball overs were used at the time.

In reality, the eight ball overs were used extensively in Australia during the 1970s.

Shorter overs were used in nations like as India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka when draining circumstances put their toll on the bowlers.

As cricket’s popularity grew over the world, the lack of consistency created a perplexing situation.

It was also challenging for some of the bowlers, who were used to bowling six-ball overs and found themselves in Australia, where extra endurance was required to throw those extra two balls.

When did cricket go to six-ball overs?

Finally, the rules were amended in time for the 1978/79 season. The International Cricket Council (ICC) mandated that six ball overs be used in all levels of professional cricket.

With some nations requiring four deliveries per over and others requiring eight, six appears to be a decent compromise.

Terms That Are Related

Six ball overs appear to be here to stay, and the scenario is unlikely to alter in the future. Other terminologies pertaining to overs have emerged over the history of cricket, and understanding them is beneficial.

Over the top

A Super Over is a new addition to the game that is used to determine the victor of a limited overs match.

When the game finishes in a tie, the Super Over comes into action in games where it is used.Overcoming the Maiden

A Maiden Over happens when a bowler bowls six deliveries with no runs scored. Batting extras such as byes or leg byes are not deducted from the bowler’s total, but no balls or wides are tallied.Over, Wicket Maiden

A Wicket Maiden occurs when no runs are scored and a wicket is taken that is awarded to the bowler.

A Double Wicket Maiden is two wickets in an Over, a Triple Wicket Maiden is three, and so on.

Over is ideal.

With each genuine delivery, a bowler would take six wickets in a flawless over. It has yet to occur in any level of professional cricket, however there have been a few instances where players have taken four wickets in four deliveries.

Death Has Passed

As the name implies, a death over is bowled at the close of an innings. It refers to limited overs cricket, and you’ll hear it used by pundits in both T20 and ODIs.

There is no set time when the death overs begin: When there are 10 overs remaining to bowl in a one-day, 50-overs a side contest, the word is commonly employed. In a T20 match, the death overs may begin as early as the 16th over.

The term’s popularity has given rise to the phrase ‘Death Over Bowlers’ or Death Bowlers. At this time in the game, batters are eager to score quick runs to help their team’s total.

Bowlers will then employ all of their talents, such as yorkers and other variants, to try to stop the run flow.

Overs in Powerplay

In limited overs cricket, the Powerplay refers to a period of play during which fielding limitations apply. These overs are often used at the opening of an inning, although there are times when they are used later in the game.

For example, at the start of a T20 match, the first six overs are designated the Powerplay, and the fielding side is only permitted to have two fielders outside the 30 yard circle. These constraints are loosened at the end of the sequence.

Any over bowled during the first phase of the game counts toward the Powerplay Overs.

The previous 20 overs

When the last hour of play in a first-class game arrives, teams enter a match-ending phase. During this phase, the fielding side must bowl at least 20 overs in order to get a result.

They can bowl more than 20 overs in the last hour if there is time.

If the two captains agree at any point that a result is doubtful, they can shake hands, finish this 20 Over phase early, and the match will be a draw.


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