Stump (cricket)

From Academic Kids

In the sport of cricket, the term stump has three different meanings:

  1. part of the wicket,
  2. a manner of dismissing a batsman, and
  3. the end of the day's play ("stumps").

Part of the wicket

The stumps are three vertical posts supporting the bails to form a wicket at each end of the pitch.

The stumps are 28 inches tall and usually made of wood. They have a spike at one end for hammering into the ground, and the other end is domed with groove to provide a resting place for the bails.

Each stump is referred to by a specific name:

  • Off stump is the stump on the off side of the wicket.
  • Middle stump is the stump in the middle of the wicket.
  • Leg stump is the stump on the leg side of the wicket.

In modern professional play, the stumps are often emblazoned with a sponsor's logo. Although they are too far away from spectators to be seen, such logos are visible on television coverage.

For professional matches, often one or more of the stumps is hollow and contains a small television camera. This is aligned vertically, but can view through a small window on the side of the stump via a mirror. The so-called stump-cam gives a unique view of play for action replays, particularly when a batsman is bowled.

Manner of dismissing a batsman

A batsman can be out stumped if:

  • the wicket-keeper puts down the wicket, while
  • the batsman is:
    • out of his ground (because he has moved down the pitch beyond the popping crease, usually in an attempt to hit the ball),
    • receiving a delivery which is not a no ball, and
    • not attempting a run.

Stumping is the fifth most common form of dismissal after caught, bowled, leg before wicket and run out. It is governed by Law 39 of the Laws of cricket. It is usually seen when a medium or slow bowler is bowling. It requires co-operation between a bowler and wicket-keeper: the bowler must induce the batsman to move out of his ground, and the wicket-keeper must be quick enough to break the wicket before the batsman makes his ground (i.e. places the bat or part of his body on the ground back behind the popping crease). The bowler obtains credit for dismissing a batsman who is stumped. A batsman may not be out stumped off a no ball, but may be stumped off a wide delivery.

End of the day's play

Stumps is used as a term to mean the end of a day's play, e.g. "The umpires called stumps" means that the umpires declared play over for the day. At the end of a session, i.e. before lunch or tea, the umpires will remove the bails; at the end of the day's play, the umpires will remove the stumps.

See also


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