Cricket Player Positions
What are the different player positions in cricket? What responsibilities are associated with each position? Get ready to learn the basics of cricket player positions. No prior knowledge of the topic is required to start learning.
List of Cricket Player Positions
Listed below are the eleven (11) player positions in the sport of cricket, accompanied by the number they are most commonly associated with.
- #1: wicketkeeper
- #2: slip
- #3: gully
- #4: point
- #5: cover
- #6: third man
- #7: fine leg
- #8: mid-wicket
- #9: mid-off
- #10: square leg
- #11: captain
What Is the Best Position to Play in Cricket?
The best position to play in cricket depends on each individual player's skill set and attributes. There are, however, two positions that are regarded as the most important player positions. The first of which is the captain, who relays strategies and vital information to teammates throughout each match, as well as decides whether to bat or take the field following the opening coin toss.
Second in overall importance and number of responsibilities is the wicketkeeper, who receives every pitch (called a bowl) and must prevent the ball from getting away such that the runners are able to advance. The wicketkeeper is equivalent to the catcher position in baseball.
Bowlers are also one of the more exciting and important positions to play in cricket, as they are responsible for pitching the ball to the batter. However, bowlers are not identified under one of the eleven primary position titles. Also not included are the umpires, who are not players but are crucial to maintaining the integrity of the match and making calls that dictate the outcome of each bowler/batter duel and any baserunning disputes.
Cricket Position Responsibilities
Each player position comes with a unique set of responsibilities. The tasks most commonly attributed to each of the 11 positions are outlined below:
- Wicketkeeper: the fielding team's "catcher," responsible for staying in front of every ball and returning it to the bowler without enabling baserunners to advance.
- Slip: catches many of the balls put into play by the batter, making good hand-eye coordination and reactionary skills a must
- Gully: a "close-catching position", in which ground balls must be fielded almost immediately after being hit into play by the batter
- Point: often the best fielder on the team, makes difficult catches on balls that are often tailing away from the player
- Cover: similar to an outfielder in baseball, must quickly field the ball and return it to the bowler before runs are able to score
- Third Man: covers a large area and prevents additional runs from scoring when a well-struck ball has already resulted in a run or two being scored
- Fine Leg: another run-saving position, albeit one that does not see a lot of action in terms of balls being hit in the player's direction
- Mid-Wicket: requires good hands and ball tracking ability to combat balls hit deep into the field of play
- Mid-Off: often occupied by each team's captain, tasks include standing close to the bowler and preventing runners from advancing from one base to the other
- Square Leg: stands nearest to the umpire and fields weakly-hit balls
Although responsibilities are not limited to each specific position and all players need to be able to make difficult catches and field different types of hits, the tasks listed for each player position are those that are most common and most important to the success of a team.
Important Players on a Roster
The captain, the twelfth man, and an all rounder are all important players on a cricket team.
The captain has many responsibilities that include determining fielding positions when on defense, creating the batting lineup, and choosing the bowlers.
The twelfth man is the substitute player for a cricket team. They can only substitute in for a fielder and are not allowed to bowl, bat, or become the captain. They may only substitute in for an injured player and are not restricted to any specific fielding position.
An all rounder for a cricket team is a player who is known to be both a good bowler, a good batsman, and a good fielder.
The goals of the fielders will differ depending on where in the field they are playing. Together, they all have the goal to catch balls that come into the field and record dismissals.
Remember that fielding positions in cricket can alter. All fielding positions depend on the tendencies of the bowler, the batsman, the conditions of the pitch and of the entire field. At all times there will be nine fielders, a wicket keeper and a bowler.
How Many Players Are in a Cricket Game?
There are eleven (11) players per team in a cricket match. Each team is allowed to carry a twelfth player to act as a substitute should one of the 11 starting players become injured or otherwise unable to continue the match. There are some restrictions attached to the reserve player, however, as this player is forbidden to enter the match as a bowler, batter or captain. Only fielding is permitted for the twelfth player per the official rules of cricket.
How Many Positions Are There in Cricket?
Including the captain, there are eleven (11) positions in cricket, with one of the 11 players serving as the bowler at any given time. The same 11 players that occupy the field also serve as batters when their team's turn to bat arrives, making their appearances in line with the captain's predetermined batting order.