Box cricket or indoor cricket is a variant of cricket that shares many basic concepts with the original game but with added enhancements to improve the engagement and enjoyment of casual players. Different variants exist within box cricket based on the abilities and availability of players for the match.
Several versions of the game have been in existence since the late 1960s, and like conventional cricket, the indoor version involves two batsmen, a bowler and a team of fielders. The bowler bowls the ball to the batsmen who must score runs. The team with the highest score at the end of the match wins.
Despite these basic similarities, box cricket differs significantly from its traditional counterpart in several ways, most notably on the field of play and the means by which runs are obtained. The following are some of the rules involved in Box Cricket and the reasoning behind them.
- 6 to 8 players in one team and 1 substitute. Unlike conventional cricket, it is often difficult to find a full playing XI for both sides in amateur scenarios.
- In case of mixed gender matches, the fielding team should only have 6 male and 2 female players at any time in the ground.
- Each match will be of 3-12 overs.
- Each bowler can bowl only around 1/4 of the total match over count (1 in case of 3 over a match and 3 in case of 12 over match)
- Runs scored by the batsmen will be valid only if he bats with at least one leg inside the batting crease before the ball is delivered.
- Batting team can score 8 runs by hitting the 8-run board on the field.
- The ball struck directly to hit the roof becomes dead immediately. No runs will be awarded and there will be no dismissal. The ball will not be bowled again.
(A ball that hits the roof having previously hit a wall is still in play. At some venues, the roof acts as a side wall where 1 run is allocated when the ball touches it, but a fielder can catch the ball and the batsman is out caught)
- Underarm bowling is compulsory, depending on whether female players are in the team.
- The ball should be pitched beyond the no-ball line, otherwise, it will be called no-ball.
- Bowler has to ball within the given box i.e bowling crease.
- Any deviation from the above rules will be “No Ball”.
- Usual No ball, Wide ball, Byes and Overthrow will be applicable.
- Sidearm bowling is not allowed.
Mode of dismissals:
- Ball going directly over the provided line of the box will be out if it doesn’t bounce inside the box even if it is a No ball.
- Stumps bowled by the bowler.
- Ball in the air Caught out by the fielding team.
- On-strike batsman can be stumped out by wicket-keeper.
- Either batsman can be run out by the fielding team.
- Stumping on no ball will not be considered.
- If the keeper collects the ball before it passes the stumps for the stumping, then stumping will be not valid.
- If the match is tied, then the winner of the match will be either decided by coin toss or Super Over.
- 2 fielders should be behind the bowling crease and 2 fielders should be ahead of the bowling crease.
- Umpire’s decision will be binding and final. No argument will be entertained with the umpire.
On the whole, it becomes pretty clear that the rules of the game are quite flexible and adaptable to the mutual wishes of both teams. The added benefits of this flexible system are that it allows a widely varying mix of people from different age groups and physical fitness levels to play together, in addition to helping get hesitant people more active and more likely to engage with conventional cricket.
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