One Day International Cricket Laws


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World T20, 2nd Semi-Final

India vs West Indies

at Mumbai, Mar 31, 2016
West Indies 196/3 beat India 192/2 by 7 wickets


One Day International Cricket

One-day cricket is a version of the sport of cricket that is completed in one day, as distinct from Test cricket and first-class cricket which can take up to five days to complete.

One Day International Cricket Rules

In a one-day cricket match, each team bats only once, and each innings is limited to a set number of overs, usually fifty in a One-day International and between forty and sixty in a List A domestic one-day match. Other changes to the game include additional restrictions on where fielders may be placed (preventing teams from placing every fielder on the edge of the field to prevent boundaries), a restriction on the number of overs that may be bowled by any one bowler and stricter rules on wide balls and short deliveries (to prevent teams from restricting scoring by bowling deliveries that batsmen have no chance to score from). In many games a white ball is used rather than the traditional red; the need to paint rather than stain the white ball gives it subtly different characteristics in flight as it wears. One-day cricket is popular with spectators as it can encourage aggressive, risky, entertaining batting, often results in cliffhanger endings, and ensures that a spectator can watch an entire match without committing to five days of continuous attendance. However, many fans of Test match cricket regard it as ignoring the skills of bowlers, prone to random results not reflective of the relative skill of the teams, and with modern one-day tactics where batsmen take few risks outside the first and last few overs, lacking in the claimed excitement. Such criticisms have gained steam with the revitalisation, led by Australia, of Test matches.

Bowling restrictions

As mentioned above, in almost all competitive one-day games, a restriction is placed on the number of overs that may be bowled by any one bowler. This is to prevent a side playing two bowlers with extremely good stamina who can then bowl the entirety of their side's overs, thus skewing the composition of a side. The classical composition of a cricket team is five specialist batsmen, five specialist bowlers and a wicket-keeper: in order to maintain this, the usual limitation is set so that a side must include at least five bowlers. For example, the usual limit for twenty-over cricket is four overs per bowler, for forty-over cricket eight per bowler and for fifty-over cricket ten per bowler.
There is at least one notable exception to this convention. Pro Cricket in the United States restricts bowlers to five overs each, thus leaving a side requiring only four bowlers.

One Day International Cricket Tournaments

One-day International matches are usually played in brightly coloured clothing (leading some to give it the unflattering nickname pyjama cricket), and often in a "day-night" format where the first innings of the day occurs in the afternoon and the second occurs under stadium lights. One-day international tournaments occur in various forms:

The World Cup

  • Involves all Test nations and qualifying associate nations.
  • Consists of a round-robin group stage, a Super Six stage, semifinals, and finals.
  • Held once in four years.
  • International Cricket Council determines venue.

International Cricket Council Champions Trophy

  • Involves all Test nations and qualifying associate nations.
  • Consists of knockout games (if a team loses a single game, it is "knocked out" of the tournament).
  • Held once in four years between World Cups.
  • International Cricket Council determines venue.

One-day International Series

  • Involves two nations.
  • Consists of three to seven games, all matches are played even if series result is determined.
  • Played when one nation "tours" another.
  • Usually played in one of the two participating nations.

Triangular Tournament

  • Involves three nations.
  • Consists of a round-robin group stage, each team playing the other two or three times, and a final.
  • Played in one of the three participating nations or in neutral venues.
Quadrangular tournaments (four teams) are no longer held.
The semifinals and finals are single games, except in the annual VB Series Triangular Tournament, when the finals are a three game series.
Triangular Tournaments often occur between two touring Test series.
Triangular Tournaments are most common. Also see What is Cricket? (Explanation about Cricket), Cricket Laws, Rules, Cricket History Timeline, History of Cricket and History of ODI Cricket.

Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.