An interesting concept of Box Cricket and the rules of the sport
Cricket has been played for more than a century and it has developed several variations over the years with different formats making it to international cricket. A rather popular form of cricket trending these days is box cricket or indoor cricket. A concept that borrows several aspects and rules from the original game, box cricket has developed over the years with its own identity prevailing in recent times.
Several variations of box cricket have been in existence since the early 1960s. Just like in traditional cricket, there are two batsmen, a bowler as well as fielders and the team that outscores another one wins. While the basic rules remain the same, box cricket has several rule tweaks to make the game more interesting for its participants and audience.
The rules of box cricket vary from location to location and are significantly different from the set laws of cricket. This article will help you understand in detail what box cricket is, how it is played and what its common rules are.
What is Box Cricket?
Indoor cricket or box cricket involves two teams with 6-8 players each playing in a closed space, usually a net-covered turf. It may or may not involve women cricketers alongside men cricketers. Most matches are played within an hour’s time frame with rules set before the game or tournament.
Box Cricket Rules and Regulations
Box cricket has some interesting rules and regulations on top of the traditional cricket rules to make the game more exciting. Playing in an enclosed space comes with its challenges and box cricket accounts for this with some unique rules set in place to make the game fairer to the two teams in action.
- There are generally 6-8 players in box cricket with one substitute.
- If there are women cricketers, the composition of the two teams should be in equal men to women ratio with 4:2 or 6:2 being hugely popular.
- Each match is played inside 5-12 overs with bowlers allowed to bowl 1/4 of the total overs or a maximum of two overs in some cases.
- Aside from the conventional dismissals in cricket, box cricket also has a few other dismissal modes.
- Anything that goes outside the playing area in full will result in the batsman’s dismissal.
- If there are nets, the usual rules consider any rebound catch – whether off the sides or off the roof – to be a wicket.
- Fall of a wicket will result in penalty runs for batting team in box cricket, usually up to -5 runs.
- The last ball of the innings is a jackpot ball with the runs scored by the team doubled. If it is a dismissal, the negative runs are doubled too. In some cases and venues, an entire over is allotted as jackpot over with runs scored in the over doubled to give a boost to the batting team – just like a powerplay in cricket.
- Two fielders are to be placed behind and two in front of the bowling crease.
- Winner of a tie is decided by a super over. That said, in some cases where teams are looking to finish matches soon, a coin toss for a winner or a one-ball hit out is also played out.
- With 8-team matches, the batting team has seven wickets and can play two batsmen at the same time as usual cricketing rules work.
- In some cases, there is a last-man-standing rule in which case the team has eight wickets and the last batsman can play on his own after he runs out of partners.
- The batsman has to be careful with the number of balls he misses or doesn’t score off. Three successive dot balls or misses are usually categorised as a dismissal in box cricket.
- There are scorecards or boards around the nets in Box Cricket and 8-10 runs are awarded each time the batsman hits the ball on one of them. This means that unlike in traditional cricket, the six isn’t the highest rewarding shot.
- Runs scored by a batsman are considered valid only if he makes them while standing inside the crease (at least one leg). The idea is to avoid batsmen from stepping out and hitting.
- The ball hit to the roof is either a dead ball or a dismissal, if the catch is taken in box cricket.
- In some places, rebound runs are also awarded if the ball hits the roof and then goes for a four.
- Bowling is usually underarm for female cricketers in box cricket. Even for male cricketers, bowling is usually throwing with a permissible limit of flexing the elbow behind the shoulders. This eliminates running in to bowl like in conventional cricket.
- The ball should be bowled from behind the crease and shouldn’t be beyond the reach of the batsman to avoid penalty runs in the form of extras such as no-balls and wides.
- Bowler has to bowl from the box drawn around the bowling crease.
- No-ball, wides, byes and overthrows apply as usual although leg byes are usually disallowed.
- A Lasith Malinga-kind sidearm action is banned.
- A bowler not only gets to take a wicket for his team but also to reduce the run tally as each dismissal costs -5 penalty runs for the batting team.
- The usual rules of being bowled, caught, leg before wicket, hit-wicket apply to box cricket too.
- Three misses or dots are considered a dismissal.
- No stumping off a no-ball is allowed although that doesn’t apply to wides.
- The keeper cannot stump in front of the stumps meaning that he has to collect the ball first from behind and then attempt a stumping.
In general, there is no real set of rules for box cricket, with teams mutually agreeing upon a certain guideline to adhere to during the match or tournament they participate in. Box cricket is hugely popular in India now with a large number of artificial turfs laid out with nets surrounding the playing area. There are box cricket tournaments and leagues organised around the country with the youth showing great interest in the adapted form of cricket.
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