Types of Dismissal in Cricket: A Comprehensive Guide

Dismissal in cricket can happen in various ways. This comprehensive guide outlines the different types of dismissals in cricket, including bowled, caught, run out, stumped, and more. This guide will deepen your understanding of the game.

By Crickified
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Simon Taufel giving out to batsmen during a match

Cricket, often referred to as the gentleman's game, is a sport loved by millions worldwide. With its complex rules and strategic gameplay, cricket offers a thrilling experience for both players and spectators. One of the most crucial aspects of the game is the dismissal of a batsman. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various types of dismissal in cricket, from the classic "caught" to the rare "timed out." So, let's dive in!


Cricket, known for its rich history and traditions, has captivated fans for centuries. The game, played by two teams of eleven players, revolves around scoring runs and dismissing the opposition's batsmen. With the 2019 World Cup underway, cricket enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting thrilling matches and unforgettable moments.

Dismissal in Cricket

Dismissal in cricket occurs when the batsman's innings comes to an end due to the opposing team's efforts. When a batsman is dismissed, the batting team loses a wicket, while the opposing team gains an advantage. This crucial event requires the dismissed batsman to leave the field permanently for their team's innings and be replaced by a teammate.


The Purpose of Dismissal

The primary objective of dismissal is to prevent the dismissed batsman from scoring more runs in the current innings. Each team's innings reaches its conclusion when ten out of the eleven players are dismissed. Dismissal decisions are primarily handled by the players themselves. If the dismissal is obvious, the batsman voluntarily leaves the field without waiting for the umpire's decision.

Handling Dismissal Decisions


The responsibility of dismissing a batsman lies with the opposing team's bowlers. Bowlers, often specialists in their craft, are selected for their exceptional bowling skills. While some players serve as all-rounders, contributing both with the bat and ball, specialist bowlers are given multiple opportunities to bowl during an innings. However, they rarely bowl two consecutive overs.

Common Methods of Dismissal

There are various ways in which a batsman can be dismissed in cricket. Let's explore the most common methods:


Types of Dismissal in Cricket


The method of dismissal known as "bowled" occurs when the bowler delivers a ball that hits the batsman's wicket, resulting in the batsman being dismissed. According to Law 32 in the Laws of cricket, the batsman is not considered bowled out if the ball makes contact with any other player, umpire, bat, gloves, or any part of the batsman's body before hitting the wicket.


If the ball deflects off the batsman's bat and then hits the wicket, it is commonly referred to as being "knocked on," "played on," or "dragged on." On the other hand, if the batsman's wicket is put down without any contact with the ball, it is known as a "clean bowled" dismissal. Clean bowled dismissals can further be classified as "bowled through the gate" or "bowled around the legs," depending on the trajectory of the ball. It is important to note that a batsman cannot be dismissed for a no ball, dead ball, or wide.

Sri Lankan Kusal Mendis bowled by Indian Pacer Mohammed Siraj during Asia Cup 2023 India vs Sri Lanka Final Match at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo



"Caught" is another common method of dismissal in cricket. As per Law 33, if the batsman hits the ball delivered by the bowler with their bat and it is caught by a member of the opposing team, the batsman is dismissed by a catch. If the wicket-keeper catches the ball, it is known as a "caught behind" or "caught at the wicket." If the bowler catches the ball, it is referred to as a "bowled and caught" dismissal. It is important to note that a batsman cannot be caught out if the ball is deemed a no ball, if the batsman does not make contact with the ball, if the ball is not under the control of the fielder, or if the ball lands beyond the boundary. When a batsman is caught out, any runs they scored will be void.

Rohit Sharma taking catch during Asia Cup 2023 India vs Bangladesh Super Four Match at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Leg before Wicket (LBW)

The method of dismissal known as "leg before wicket" (LBW) occurs when the fielding side appeals to the umpire, who then rules the batsman out if the ball strikes the wicket but is instead intercepted by any part of the batsman's body. The decision of the umpire is based on several criteria, including the position where the ball pitched, whether the batsman was attempting to hit the ball, and if the ball hit the wicket in line with the stumps.

LBW out

Run Out

A batsman can be dismissed by a run out if, at any time while the ball is in play, their wicket is put down by the opposing team. According to Law 38, the batsman may not be dismissed if their bat is grounded behind the popping crease and they subsequently leave it to avoid injury when the wicket is put down. Additionally, a batsman is not run out if the ball is not touched by a fielder, or if they can be given out by stumped.

MS Dhoni hit run-out batsmen during a match


The method of dismissal known as "stumped" can only be executed by the wicket-keeper. If, during a legitimate delivery, the wicket-keeper puts down the wicket of a batsman who is out of their ground and not attempting a run, the batsman is said to be stumped. Stumping dismissals often involve cooperation between the wicket-keeper and the bowler. The bowler draws the batsman out of their ground, and the wicket-keeper catches the ball and breaks the wicket before the batsman realizes they have missed the ball and attempts to return to their ground. When a batsman is stumped, the wicket-keeper is credited with the dismissal, while the bowler is credited with the batsman's wicket.

MS Dhoni Stumped out a batsmed during a match

Hit the Ball Twice

The rare method of dismissal known as "hit the ball twice" occurs when a batsman intentionally strikes the ball again with their bat, other than the hand holding the bat, in order to prevent it from hitting the stumps. According to Law 34, if the ball is in play and the batsman hits it with their bat or body, and before the ball has been touched by the bowler or fielder, they intentionally strike the ball again with their bat, they are considered out. The bowler does not receive credit for this dismissal as it is not actively sought. However, instances of a batsman hitting the ball twice in modern cricket are exceptionally rare.


A batsman may choose to retire at any time during their innings when the ball is dead. This method of dismissal is governed by Law 25. Retirement can be either "retired out" or "retired not out." If a batsman retires due to injury or illness and intends to resume their innings, they are considered "retired not out." In this case, the retiring batsman can return to the crease if they recover and the opposing captain permits them to continue. However, if the batsman retires without the umpire's permission, they are considered "retired out" and are not allowed to resume their innings. If the batsman cannot return by the end of the innings, the batting team must close their innings after all other batsmen are dismissed.

Hit Wicket

The method of dismissal known as "hit wicket" occurs when a batsman, while attempting to hit the ball, knocks the bail of the stumps, uproots the stumps, or takes off for a run. According to Law 35, the credit for a hit wicket dismissal is given to the bowler. It is important to note that a batsman cannot be given hit wicket if the ball delivered by the bowler is a no ball or a dead ball. Hit wicket dismissals are rare occurrences in international cricket.

Obstructing the Field

A batsman can be given out if they intentionally attempt to distract or obstruct the fielding side through action or word. This method of dismissal is governed by Law 37. There are three circumstances in which this type of dismissal applies:

The batsman, while attempting to play a shot, intentionally strikes the ball with their hand, not holding the bat, to avoid injury.
The batsman intentionally obstructs a fielder, preventing them from making a catch.
The batsman, without the consent of the bowler or fielder, uses the bat to return the ball to any fielder while the ball is in play.

Timed Out

The method of dismissal known as "timed out" occurs when the incoming batsman fails to be in a position and ready to face the ball within three minutes of the fall of the previous wicket. This dismissal is governed by Law 40 and is intended to prevent unnecessary delays in the game. It is extremely rare for a batsman to be timed out.


Dismissal in cricket is a vital aspect of the game. The bowlers play a crucial role in dismissing batsmen, allowing their team to maintain control of the game. From the classic "caught" to the rare "timed out," there are various methods through which a batsman can be dismissed. Each dismissal type brings its own excitement and challenges for both the batting and fielding teams. As cricket continues to evolve, the art of dismissal remains an integral part of this beloved sport, showcasing the skills and talents of players from around the world.

So, the next time you watch a cricket match, pay close attention to the different types of dismissals and appreciate the strategies employed by both teams. Whether it's a stunning catch, a clean bowled, or a perfectly executed run out, each dismissal adds to the excitement and drama of the game. Cricket truly is a sport that keeps fans on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting the next dismissal.

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