Circle in Cricket

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Circle in Cricket

At cricket competitions, depending on the format of matches, there are restrictions on the sports ground. This is done to prohibit cricketers from using certain illegal techniques in the game. In addition, restrictions encourage batsmen to perform large and long strokes. In this article, we will briefly describe the part of the field that is called a circle.

Circle on cricket term
The 30-yard circle in cricket is also known as the inner circle

Circle: general information

Each cricket sports team has its own captain, who determines the positions of fielders on the field. Today, professional cricket competitions are divided mainly into two large formats: a test (first-class) championship and a championship with a limited number of overs (one-day or short T20 matches).

In test and first-class matches, the restrictions on the field differ from one-day ones (there are practically none in test matches). In the history of one-day cricket, the restrictions on the playing field have changed several times. This is done to force the player with the bat to knock the balls away, not to play too defensive cricket. Currently, restrictions are used in cricket competitions with a limited number of overs, such as: One Day International, Twenty20 and 100-ball cricket.

As you know, men and women play cricket. Therefore, different restrictions are used for them. The total diameter of the cricket ground can vary from 450 to 500 feet. We describe what is inside a large ellipse.

The male circle is an oval consisting of 2 drawn semicircles. The radius of each semicircle should be 30 yards. The middle stump of the gate is located in their centers. These two semicircles are connected by lines – all together, this is the circle. Another name for this restriction is the infield.

As you have already understood, there are wickets inside the circle. In turn, two circles with a radius of 15 yards are also drawn around these wickets (the wicket is the center of the circle). Two circles are connected to each other and form a zone called close-infield. And already inside the close-infield is the pitch zone, where all the main actions of the match take place.

Cricket Circle in history
Circle was first introduced in Australia in the 1980s

How does circle (infield) affect the positions of players? The so-called PowerPlay rules apply to competitions in the ODI format. During the first 10 overs (in matches with innings of 50 overs), no more than two fielders are allowed to be placed behind the circle. This is called the first game in the majority. Further, between 11 and 40 overs, no more than four players are allowed outside the circle. During the 41-50 overs period, a maximum of 5 fielders is located outside the 30-yard circle.

As for T20 matches, the number of players there is the same as in the one-day format, but the limit is valid for the first six overs. Starting from the 7th over, no more than five players can be allowed outside the circle called infield.

In women’s cricket competitions, the radii of the drawn restrictions are different from the men’s ones. Here, the circle infield has a radius of 25 yards, and the two circles that form the close-infield are 13 yards.

Women’s restrictions were first introduced in the 2005 ODI between England and Australia. They have softer rules. There are two blocks of five overs in women’s matches, on which a maximum of 3 field players must be outside the circle. Moreover, the period of these blocks is chosen by the team captain. After two blocks are completed, the number of field players outside the 25-yard zone increases to 5.

Circle: history

Officially, the first restrictions (PowerPlay rules) on the cricket field were introduced in the 1980s. By 1992, only two players could be behind the circle in the first 15 overs (up to 10 overs was reduced in 2005), then five field players could remain behind this zone. Since 2008, the batting team was allowed to choose one of three periods with restrictions (one period was mandatory at the beginning, the serving team chose the second and the third by the batter team).

In 2015, the International Cricket Council introduced new rules on restrictions in one-day matches. There are three blocks in the PowerPlay rules (since 2012, they were canceled to 2), which we wrote about in the paragraph about ODI. Also, in the latest changes, it is allowed to cancel the PowerPlay rules.

Every day more and more interesting news appears on our website. Go to other sections and find out any information about cricket.

Read more information about cricket in our section with cricket terms.

Circle in Cricket: what you need to know

How the cricket circle look like?

The 30-yard circle in cricket is also known as the inner circle. It’s marked out by two semi-circles at a 30-yard (27m) radius from the middle stumps at each end. These semi-circles are joined by lines running parallel to the wicket and this separated the ‘infield’ and the ‘outfield’.

When did the cricket circle become the rule of the game?

Cricket circle or limitations/ field restrictions was first introduced in Australia in the 1980s.

How is the 30-yard Circle used in the ODIs?

In International One Day matches (known as ODIs and where teams bat for 50 overs each) there are compulsory powerplays in the first ten overs of an innings. During this time only two fielders are allowed to be placed in the outfield.

Is the 30-yard Circle used in Test Matches?

However, it must be noted that the 30-yard circle plays little to no role in the longest form of the game. In three- and five-day Test Matches fielding teams are allowed to be placed almost anywhere. The only restriction is that you must not have more than two fielders place behind square on the leg-side. This rule applies to all forms of the game and was designed to prevent bowlers setting fields which encouraged them to bowl at the batsmen’s body as became popular in the Bodyline Ashes Tour of 1932-33.

Is the 30-yard Circle used in Women’s Cricket?

In the women’s game it is also worth mentioning that the circle is smaller than it is in the men’s game. Instead of being 30 yards it is, in fact, five yards shorter. During powerplays in the shorter forms of women’s cricket, there must be no more than two fielders in the outfield. During the rest of the innings there can be no more than five players of the fielding team standing beyond the inner circle.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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