To understand various fielding positions in cricket seems really difficult if you are not a religious follower of the game. Here’s a beginners guide to various fielding positions in cricket:
On and Off
Almost all the positions in cricket can be divided in on and off positions. The ‘On’ position is towards the right side of the batsman when viewed towards the bowler’s end. Similarly, the ‘Off’ side refers to the positions on the left side of the batsman.
The fielders standing behind the batsman at an angle are called the slips. They are called so because they are placed there in order to catch the ball that ‘slipped’ the batsman or took an edge from the batsman. Various slip positions are:
- First Slip
- Second Slip
- Third Slip
- Leg Slip: For a right Handed batsman, if the slip stands to the right (leg side or on side) of the wicketkeeper instead of left, he is named as leg slip.
- Fly Slip: A fly slip is a player positioned far away from the batsman and the traditional slips, almost near the 30 yard circle.
The position is named so because the fielder usually stands where the second pitch is kept covered.
- Cover Point
- Extra Cover: If the fielder stands a bit wider, he becomes extra cover.
- Deep Cover: If the fielder stands deeper (near the boundary line), he is termed as deep cover.
- Deep Extra Cover: If the extra cover player stands deep, he is known as deep extra cover.
It refers to the positions on the field that are at a 90 degree angle to the batsman.
- Square leg
- Deep square leg: These fielders are stationed deeper (towards the boundary line) in line with the square leg.
- Short Backward square leg: The backward square leg is quite similar to the square leg but is positioned a bit behind the perpendicular line of the batsman.
- Deep Backward Square Leg: They are positioned in line with the short backward square leg but are placed near the boundary line.
They are called so because of the perceived danger of getting hit by a strong stroke from the batsman.
- Silly Point
- Silly mid-on: It refers to the silly position which is midway between the pitch towards the on side.
- Silly mid-off: It denotes the position which is halfway between the two ends of the pitch and is towards the off side.
If the player is positioned almost in the middle line of the mid-on and the square leg, he is termed as mid-wicket fielder.
- Deep mid-wicket: The deep mid-wicket is placed in line with the mid-wicket near the boundaries.
If the batsman manages to hit the ball behind the backward square leg using the inside part of his bat, it is said to be hit ‘fine’. The fine leg fielder is stationed behind the keeper near the boundary line in order to stop the balls that have been hit fine.
- Fine leg
- Short fine leg: it refers to the player who is positioned in line with the fine leg but near the 30 yard circle.
- Mid-Off: The position is closest to the bowler on the ‘off’ side of the pitch.
- Short mid-off: It is similar to mid-off but is comparatively closer to the batsman.
- Mid-on: They are closest to the bowler on the leg side or on side of the pitch.
- Long on: They are in line with the mid-on but are placed near the boundary lines.
- Long off: Similarly, they are in line with the mid-off and are stationed close to the boundary lines.
Other important positions
- Wicket keeper: Player positioned right behind the wickets.
- Point: They are positioned at a perpendicular line to the batsman on the ‘off side’ of the pitch. They can be thought of as the off side equivalent of the square leg.
- Backward Point: If the point stands a bit behind the lines, he is termed as backward point.
- Third Man: It refers to the player stationed behind the keeper on the off side near the boundary lines.
- Gully: It is the position between the third/fourth slip and the point. The space between the point and third slip is quite narrow and is believed to be the source of origin for the name ‘gully.’
- Cow Corner: The position between long on and deep mid wicket.
- Sweeper: Placed in line with the point but near the boundary.
That’s all for your cricketing knowledge. Now go and brag about it to your friends!