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When is a 'wide ball' called?

Umpire Billy Bowden signals a wide
The umpire spreads his arms to signal a wide

A wide ball does not count as one of the bowler's six legitimate balls in one over.

It is the umpire's job to decide when a wide ball has been bowled.

A wide ball will be called when the batsman, playing a normal stroke, is unable to reach the ball. This can apply to a bouncer above head height.

However a ball cannot be called wide if:

- It is out of the batsman's reach as a result of him moving away from it.

- The batsman can bring the ball within reach by playing a conventional stroke.

- The ball touches the batsman's bat or any part of his body.

The umpire will signal a wide ball by raising both arms at shoulder height and the bowler must bowl another legitimate delivery.

For every wide ball the fielding team is penalised one run.

This run, along with any other runs gained as a result of the wide ball, is added to the batting team's tally of extras and does count against the bowler's individual figures.

Umpires' interpretation of what constitutes a wide ball is much stricter in limited-overs cricket than in first-class cricket, particularly with deliveries down the leg side.

A batsman can be stumped off a wide.

see also
The aim of cricket
06 Sep 05 |  Laws & Equipment
How runs are scored
06 Sep 05 |  Laws & Equipment
The field of play
06 Sep 05 |  Laws & Equipment
LBW explained
08 Nov 06 |  Laws & Equipment
Understanding the no-ball law
29 Aug 10 |  Laws & Equipment
Understanding byes and leg byes
06 Sep 05 |  Laws & Equipment

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