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1. Number of players

A match is played between two sides, each of eleven players, one of whom shall be captain. By agreement a match may be played between sides of fewer than, or more than, eleven players, but not more than eleven players may field at any time.

2. Nomination of players

Each captain shall nominate his players in writing to one of the umpires before the toss. No player may be changed after the nomination without the consent of the opposing captain.

3. Captain

If at any time the captain is not available, a deputy shall act for him.

(a) If a captain is not available during the period in which the toss is to take place, then the deputy must be responsible for the nomination of the players, if this has not already been done, and for the toss. See 2 above and Law 12.4 (The toss).

(b) At any time after the nomination of the players, only a nominated player can act as deputy in discharging the duties and responsibilities of the captain as stated in these Laws.

4. Responsibility of captains

The captains are responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted within the spirit and traditions of the game as well as within the Laws. See The Preamble – The Spirit of Cricket and Law 42.1 (Fair and unfair play – responsibility of captains).


1. Substitutes and runners

(a) If the umpires are satisfied that a nominated player has been injured or become ill since the nomination of the players, they shall allow that player to have

(i) a substitute acting for him in the field.

(ii) a runner when batting.

Any injury or illness that occurs at any time after the nomination of the players until the conclusion of the match shall be allowable, irrespective of whether play is in progress or not.

(b) The umpires shall have discretion to allow, for other wholly acceptable reasons, a

substitute fielder or a runner to act for a nominated player, at the start of the match, or at any subsequent time.

(c) A player wishing to change his shirt, boots, etc. shall leave the field to do so. No

substitute shall be allowed for him.

2. Objection to substitutes

The opposing captain shall have no right of objection to any player acting as a substitute on the field, nor as to where the substitute shall field. However, no substitute shall act as wicketkeeper.

See 3 below.

3. Restrictions on role of substitutes

A substitute shall not be allowed to bat, bowl or act as wicket-keeper. Note also Law 1.3(b) (Captain).

4. A player for whom a substitute has acted

A nominated player is allowed to bat, bowl or field even though a substitute has previously acted for him.

5. Fielder absent or leaving the field

If a fielder fails to take the field with his side at the start of the match or at any later time, or leaves the field during a session of play,

(a) the umpire shall be informed of the reason for his absence.

(b) he shall not thereafter come on to the field of play during a session of play without the consent of the umpire. See 6 below. The umpire shall give such consent as soon as is practicable.

(c) if he is absent for 15 minutes of playing time or longer, he shall not be permitted to bowl thereafter, subject to (i), (ii) or (iii) below, until he has been on the field for at least the length of playing time for which he was absent.

(i) Absence or penalty for time absent shall not be carried over into a new day’s play.

(ii) If, in the case of a follow-on or forfeiture, a side fields for two consecutive innings, this restriction shall, subject to (i) above, continue as necessary into the second innings, but shall not otherwise be carried over into a new innings.

(iii) The time lost for an unscheduled break in play shall be counted as time on the field of play for any fielder who comes on to the field at the resumption of play after the break. See Law 15.1 (An interval).

6. Player returning without permission

If a player comes on to the field of play in contravention of 5(b) above and comes into contact with the ball while it is in play,

(a) the ball shall immediately become dead and the umpire shall award 5 penalty runs to the batting side. Additionally, runs completed by the batsmen shall be scored together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the offence. The ball shall not count as one of the over.

(b) the umpire shall inform the other umpire, the captain of the fielding side, the batsmen and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of the reason for this action.

(c) the umpires together shall report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and the player concerned.

7. Runner

The player acting as a runner for a batsman shall be a member of the batting side and shall, if possible, have already batted in that innings. The runner shall wear external protective equipment equivalent to that worn by the batsman for whom he runs and shall carry a bat.

8. Transgression of the Laws by a batsman who has a runner

(a) A batsman’s runner is subject to the Laws. He will be regarded as a batsman except where there are specific provisions for his role as a runner. See 7 above and Law 29.2 (Which is a batsman’s ground).

(b) A batsman who has a runner will suffer the penalty for any infringement of the Laws by his runner as if he had been himself responsible for the infringement. In particular he will be out if his runner is out under any of Laws 33 (Handled the ball), 37 (Obstructing the field) or 38 (Run out).

(c) When a batsman who has a runner is striker he remains himself subject to the Laws and will be liable to the penalties that any infringement of them demands.

Additionally, if he is out of his ground when the wicket at the wicket-keeper’s end is

fairly put down by the action of a fielder then, notwithstanding (b) above and irrespective of the position of the non-striker and the runner,

(i) notwithstanding the provisions of Law 38.2(e), he is out Run out except as in (ii)

below. Sections (a), (b), (c) and (d) of Law 38.2 (Batsman not Run out) shall apply.

(ii) he is out Stumped if the delivery is not a No ball and the wicket is fairly put down by the wicket-keeper without the intervention of another fielder. However, Law 39.2(a) (Not out Stumped) shall apply.

If he is thus dismissed, runs completed by the runner and the other batsman before the

wicket is put down shall be disallowed. However, any runs for penalties awarded to

either side shall stand. See Law 18.6 (Runs awarded for penalties). The non-striker shall return to his original end.

(d) When a batsman who has a runner is not the striker

(i) he remains subject to Laws 33 (Handled the ball) and 37 (Obstructing the field) but

is otherwise out of the game.

(ii) he shall stand where directed by the striker’s end umpire so as not to interfere with


(iii) he will be liable, notwithstanding (i) above, to the penalty demanded by the Laws

should he commit any act of unfair play.

9. Batsman retiring

A batsman may retire at any time during his innings when the ball is dead. The umpires, before allowing play to proceed shall be informed of the reason for a batsman retiring.

(a) If a batsman retires because of illness, injury or any other unavoidable cause, he is entitled to resume his innings subject to (c) below. If for any reason he does not do so, his innings is to be recorded as ‘Retired – not out’.

(b) If a batsman retires for any reason other than as in (a) above, he may resume his innings only with the consent of the opposing captain. If for any reason he does not resume his innings it is to be recorded as ‘Retired – out’.

(c) If after retiring a batsman resumes his innings, it shall be only at the fall of a wicket or the retirement of another batsman.

10. Commencement of a batsman’s innings

Except at the start of a side’s innings, a batsman shall be considered to have commenced his innings when he first steps on to the field of play, provided Time has not been called. The innings of the opening batsmen, and that of any new batsman on the resumption of play after a call of Time, shall commence at the call of Play.


1. Appointment and attendance

Before the match, two umpires shall be appointed, one for each end, to control the game as required by the Laws, with absolute impartiality. The umpires shall be present on the ground and report to the Executive of the ground at least 45 minutes before the scheduled start of each day’s play.

2. Change of umpire

An umpire shall not be changed during the match, other than in exceptional circumstances, unless he is injured or ill. If there has to be a change of umpire, the replacement shall act only as striker’s end umpire unless the captains agree that he should take full responsibility as an umpire.

3. Agreement with captains

Before the toss the umpires shall

(a) ascertain the hours of play and agree with the captains

(i) the balls to be used during the match. See Law 5 (The ball).

(ii) times and durations of intervals for meals and times for drinks intervals. See Law 15 (Intervals).

(iii) the boundary of the field of play and allowances for boundaries. See Law 19


(iv) any special conditions of play affecting the conduct of the match.

(b) inform the scorers of agreements in (ii), (iii) and (iv) above.

4. To inform captains and scorers

Before the toss the umpires shall agree between themselves and inform both captains and both scorers

(i) which clock or watch and back-up time piece is to be used during the match.

(ii) whether or not any obstacle within the field of play is to be regarded as a boundary. See Law 19 (Boundaries).

5. The wickets, creases and boundaries

Before the toss and during the match, the umpires shall satisfy themselves that

(a) the wickets are properly pitched. See Law 8 (The wickets)

(b) the creases are correctly marked. See Law 9 (The bowling, popping and return creases).

(c) the boundary of the field of play complies with the requirements of Laws 19.1 (The boundary of the field of play) and 19.2 (Defining the boundary – boundary marking).

6. Conduct of the game, implements and equipment

Before the toss and during the match, the umpires shall satisfy themselves that

(a) the conduct of the game is strictly in accordance with the Laws.

(b) the implements of the game conform to the following

(i) Law 5 (The ball)

(ii) externally visible requirements of Law 6 (The bat) and Appendix E.

(iii) either Laws 8.2 (Size of stumps) and 8.3 (The bails) or, if appropriate, Law 8.4

(Junior cricket).

(c) (i) no player uses equipment other than that permitted. See Appendix D. Note

particularly therein the interpretation of ‘protective helmet’.

(ii) the wicket-keeper’s gloves comply with the requirements of Law 40.2 (Gloves).

7. Fair and unfair play

The umpires shall be the sole judges of fair and unfair play.

8. Fitness for play

(a) It is solely for the umpires together to decide whether either conditions of ground, weather or light or exceptional circumstances mean that it would be dangerous or unreasonable for play to take place. Conditions shall not be regarded as either dangerous or unreasonable merely because they are not ideal.

(b) Conditions shall be regarded as dangerous if there is actual and foreseeable risk to the safety of any player or umpire.

(c) Conditions shall be regarded as unreasonable if, although posing no risk to safety, it would not be sensible for play to proceed.

9. Suspension of play in dangerous or unreasonable conditions

(a) All references to ground include the pitch. See Law 7.1 (Area of pitch).

(b) If at any time the umpires together agree that the conditions of ground, weather or light, or any other circumstances are dangerous or unreasonable, they shall immediately suspend play, or not allow play to start or to recommence.

(c) When there is a suspension of play it is the responsibility of the umpires to monitor conditions. They shall make inspections as often as appropriate, unaccompanied by any players or officials. Immediately the umpires together agree that the conditions are no longer dangerous or unreasonable they shall call upon the players to resume play.

10. Position of umpires

Each umpire shall stand where he can best see any act upon which his decision may be required.  

Subject to this over-riding consideration, the bowler’s end umpire shall stand where he does not interfere with either the bowler’s run up or the striker’s view.

The striker’s end umpire may elect to stand on the off side instead of the on side of the pitch, provided he informs the captain of the fielding side, the striker and the other umpire of his intention to do so.

11. Umpires changing ends

The umpires shall change ends after each side has had one completed innings. See Law 12.3 (Completed innings)

12. Consultation between umpires

All disputes shall be determined by the umpires. The umpires shall consult with each other whenever necessary. See also Law 27.6 (Consultation by umpires)

13. Informing the umpires

Throughout the Laws, wherever the umpires are to receive information from captains or other players, it will be sufficient for one umpire to be so informed and for him to inform the other umpire.

14. Signals

(a) The following code of signals shall be used by umpires.

(i) Signals made while the ball is in play

Dead ball - by crossing and re-crossing the wrists below the waist.

No ball - by extending one arm horizontally.

Out - by raising an index finger above the head. (If not out, the umpire shall call Not out.)

Wide - by extending both arms horizontally.

(ii) When the ball is dead, the bowler’s end umpire shall repeat the signals above, with the exception of the signal for Out, to the scorers.

(iii) The signals listed below shall be made to the scorers only when the ball is dead.

Boundary 4 - by waving an arm from side to side finishing with the arm across

the chest

Boundary 6 - by raising both arms above the head.

Bye - by raising an open hand above the head.

Commencement of last hour - by pointing to a raised wrist with the other hand.

Five penalty runs awarded to the batting side - by repeated tapping of one shoulder with the opposite hand.

Five penalty runs awarded to the fielding side - by placing one hand on the opposite shoulder.

Leg bye - by touching a raised knee with the hand.

New ball - by holding the ball above the head.

Revoke last signal - by touching both shoulders, each with the opposite hand.

Short run - by bending one arm upwards and touching the nearer shoulder with the

tips of the fingers.

All these signals are to be made by the bowler’s end umpire except that for Short

run, which is to be signalled by the umpire at the end where short running occurs.

However, the bowler’s end umpire shall be responsible both for the final signal of

Short run to the scorers and for informing them as to the number of runs to be


(b) The umpire shall wait until each signal to the scorers has been separately acknowledged by a scorer before allowing play to proceed.

15 Correctness of scores

Consultation between umpires and scorers on doubtful points is essential. The umpires shall, throughout the match, satisfy themselves as to the correctness of the number of runs scored, the wickets that have fallen and, where appropriate, the number of overs bowled. They shall agree these with the scorers at least at every interval, other than a drinks interval, and at the conclusion of the match. See Laws 4.2 (Correctness of scores), 21.8 (Correctness of result) and 21.10 (Result not to be changed).


1. Appointment of scorers

Two scorers shall be appointed to record all runs scored, all wickets taken and, where

appropriate, number of overs bowled.

2. Correctness of scores

The scorers shall frequently check to ensure that their records agree. They shall agree with the umpires, at least at every interval, other than drinks intervals, and at the conclusion of the match, the runs scored, the wickets that have fallen and, where appropriate, the number of overs bowled. See Law 3.15 (Correctness of scores)

3. Acknowledging signals

The scorers shall accept all instructions and signals given to them by umpires. They shall immediately acknowledge each separate signal.