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CRICKET (cpyce, Saxon, a stick). The name of a manly English game, in which one party (the bowler) endeavours to strike down one wicket with a ball thrown from the other, and which the other endeavours to strike in its course, with force sufficient to give time to change wickets before the ball can be again brought to them. Every change of wickets constitutes a notch, and the game is decided by the greatest number of notches on either side. The full complement of players is eleven on each side, and two umpires. The following are the principal laws of the game, as settled by the Mary-le-bone club, and are universally acknowledged.

The ball must weigh not less than five ounces and a half, and not more than five ounces and three quarters.

The bat must not exceed four inches and a quarter in the widest part.

The stumps, which are three, must be twenty-seven inches out of the ground ; the bail eight inches in length.

The bowling mark must be in a line with the stumps, three feet in length, with a return mark.

The popping crease must be three feet ten inches from the wicket, and parallel to it.

The wickets must be opposite to each other, at the distance of twenty-two yards.

The wicket-keeper must stand at a reasonable distance behind the wicket, and not move till the ball is out of the bowler's hand.

The bowler must deliver the ball with one foot behind the bowlingcrease, and within the return crease, and bowl four or six balls before he changes wickets, which he is allowed to do but once in the same innings.

The striker is out; 1. if the bail be bowled off, or the stump bowled out of the ground; 2. if the ball, from a stroke over or under his bat, or upon his hand (but not wrists), is held before it touches the ground; 3. if in striking, or at any other time while the ball is in play, both his feet are over the popping crease, and his wicket put down, except his bat be grounded within it; 4. if in striking the ball he hit down his wicket; o. if the ball be struck up, and either wilfully strike it again ; 6. if in running a notch, the wicket is struck down by a throw, or with the ball in hand, before his foot, hand, or bat is grounded over the popping-crease; 7. if he stop the ball with his foot, when it would have hit the wicket.

If the players have crossed each other, he that runs for the wicket which is put down, is out; if they have not crossed, he that has left the wicket which is put down, is out. When a ball is caught, or when a striker is run out, the notch run for is not to be reckoned. When the ball has been in the bowler's or wicket keeper's hand, it is considered as no longer in play, and the strikers need not keep within their ground till the umpire has called play ; but, if the player go out of his ground with an intent to run before the ball is delivered, the bowler may put him out.

In single wicket matches, if the striker move out of his ground to strike the ball, he shall be allowed no notch for such stroke.

Not out if the striker hit the opposite wicket, and his partner be off his guard.

Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.

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