They are a fundamental part of the game of cricket and they can certainly help a batting team to boost their total. But what are extras and how are they accumulated?
What are Extras in Cricket?
An extra can be defined as a run which is not scored off the bat. They can occur by a number of different methods and each of them will add to a batting team’s total.
In some, but not all cases, the extra will also be debited to a bowler’s figures.
Type of Extras
There are two types of illegal delivery that will result in extras being awarded to the batting team.
There are a number of ways in which a bowler can deliver a no-ball. These extras can most commonly be awarded if the bowler oversteps the front crease but there are other possibilities.
One run will usually be added to the batting team’s score and the no-ball will also be debited to the bowler’s figures. There are some variables with this and, in certain limited overs competitions around the world, two runs will be added for a no ball.
A wide is defined as a ball that the batter cannot reach when they are standing in their normal batting position. The laws on wides are stricter in one day cricket as compared to test and first class games.
A single run is added to the batting team’s total and it’s also debited to the bowler’s figures. If the batters run between the wickets or if the ball reaches the boundary, the extra runs are counted as wides as opposed to byes.
A bye is awarded when the batters run and the ball has not touched the bat or any part of the striking batter’s body. Four byes can also be added to the batting total if the ball crosses the boundary rope.
While any byes scored are awarded to the batting team, they are not debited to the bowler’s figures.
While most leg byes are recorded when the ball hits the batter’s pads, the name is a little misleading. In fact, leg byes can be awarded when the ball hits any part of the batter’s body – with the exception of the glove.
The batter has to be playing a shot and, of course, the two batsmen would have to complete a run, or the ball can travel to the boundary. Leg byes add to the batting team’s score, but they are not debited to the bowler’s figures.
The concept of penalty runs is a new one and it can be applied in a number of different scenarios. One of the more common ways in which penalty runs are added is related to time.
In limited overs games, the fielding side has a time limit in which to bowl their allocation of overs. There is some flexibility in terms of stoppages in play but, if the umpires feel that they haven’t bowled their overs quickly enough, five penalty runs will be added to the batting team’s score.
One of the more recent additions to the list of penalty run options involved the concept of fake fielding. In general, this means pretending to have the ball and misleading the batters in the process.
In the 2022 ODI series between Pakistan and West Indies, we saw a bizarre incident which led to the Windies being awarded five penalty runs. The laws state that only the wicket keeper is allowed to wear gloves.
At a late stage in the game, Babar Azam picked up a stray wicket keeping glove to collect the ball. Pakistan were on course to win quite comfortably so it was all seen as a joke but it was interesting to see this rare law come into play.
Five runs is the usual penalty and these are not debited to a bowler’s figures.
It’s important to understand the concept of extras, whether you’re a bowler taking part in a game or simply watching a match live or on TV.
Some of the rules relating to extras are new so it helps to have a rundown. It’s all about being able to follow the laws of cricket which can be confusing at times, so I hope this has helped you to understand and enjoy the game a little bit better.