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Half A Century Of Cricket Terms

Are you a cricket novice who wants a fast track way to brush up on the sport’s lingo? Here’s a list of terms, ranging from essential to the eccentric, to wrap your lips around:

Agricultural shot

An inelegant, uncultured swipe at the ball which normal projects the ball miles.


A less talented batsman whose intention is to stay in to support his more talented partner.

Baggy green

An Australian cricket cap. It’s baggy… and it’s green… and you only get the one.


A dangerously fast delivery which doesn’t touch the pitch, propelling straight at the batsman’s head.


A TV graphic showing all the deliveries a batsman has received.


A batsman who plays agricultural shots (see above).


A score of zero.


A batsman of limited or no ability; an easy victim for the bowler.

Bunsen Burner

Rhyming slang for Turner; a wicket on which the slower spin bowlers will achieve great success.

Buffet / Cafeteria Bowling

Help yourself! Easy bowling for the batsman to score from.


A run accredited to the batting side without the need to hit the ball.


Dismissed by being bowled out with all three stumps blasted out of the ground.


A batsman who makes 100 runs.


A nickname for a bright and shiny new cricket ball.


A slow left-arm bowler’s alternative delivery which, on landing, moves to the right.

Come to the crease

The movement of a batsman to the centre of the ground to start their innings.

Corridor of uncertainty

Tricky area in which a bowler delivers the ball with the batsman unsure as to whether to play it or not. Phrase coined by (Sir) Geoffrey Boycott.

Cow shot

Another term for an agricultural shot.

Daisy cutter

A bowler’s delivery which, on landing, skids along the ground.

Devil’s number

87. An unlucky 13 away from 100, feared by Australians.

Dibbly dobbly

An unskilled bowler, or an unskilled delivery.


Fearless, magical shot initiated by Tillakaratne Dilshan whereby he flicks a 90 mile an hour delivery over his left shoulder.

Donkey drop

A ludicrously high delivery which is aimed to land on the batsman’s wicket.


The mysterious delivery of an off break bowler (see below) whereby the ball, on landing, spins to the left instead of the right.


A batsman’s score of zero for a completed innings.


A disguised leg break (see below) which will skid low instead of turning in the orthodox way.


To be dismissed after the ball has bounced back onto the stumps with the batsman out of their crease.

Fruit Salad

A mixed bag of deliveries from the same bowler.

Full pint

A third of a castle; when one stump is knocked out of the ground.


Another term for the stumps.

Golden duck

The score of a batsman who’s out on the first ball (also known as Gozza).


A disguised delivery from a leg break bowler which turns from off to leg.


A fielding position close to the batsman at 45 degrees from the wicket.

Helicopter shot

Invented by M S Dhoni (Indian legend), an over exaggerated hit of the ball involving a wild flourish of the bat.


An appeal from the fielding side to the umpire in order to claim a batsman’s dismissal.

It’s just not cricket

Description of unsporting, unchivalrous behaviour.


A wonderful, often unplayable delivery.


Leg Before Wicket; a type of dismissal where the batsman is deemed to have prevented their wicket being broken by the ball by putting their body, and not their bat, in the way.

Leg break

A slow delivery which on landing sees the ball spin from the batsman’s left to right.


A cheeky term possibly coined by commentator David Bumble Lloyd after a bowler has taken five wickets e.g. Five-for, Fiffer, Michelle Pfeiffer.


A score of 111. You can also have a Double Nelson (222) or Triple Nelson (333) etc.


A lesser talented batsman who will come to the crease when a wicket falls late in the day to protect a better player.


A gentle nudge of the ball.

On Side / Off Side

When a batsman is taking guard, the on side is to their left, and the off side to their right.

Off break

A slow delivery which, on landing, turns from the batsman’s right to their left.

Rib tickler

A fast, dangerous delivery that, after bouncing, flies up to the batsman’s ribs. Known as “chin music” when it reaches higher to the chin, and a “perfume ball” when it flies past the nose.


A ball which is hit incredibly high, into the sky.


A TV gadget used to determine whether or not a batsman has hit the ball.

Sticky dog / Sticky wicket

A pitch between the stumps which has been badly affected by wet weather, leading to inconsistent bounce of the bowler’s deliveries.


A fast delivery which is aimed to land at the batsman’s feet.


So if you are watching the cricket, why not play some Lingo Bingo and let us know how many of the fifty phrases above you hear mentioned in the Test! Always fancied giving cricket a go? Take a look and see if one of our venues near you offers cricket as an activity.

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