Cricket is a sport that is rich in rules, regulations, and traditions. One of the more recent additions to the rulebook is the Free Hit rule, which was introduced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2007. The Free Hit rule is a unique rule that has changed the game in several ways. In this article, we will deliver into the details of the Free Hit rule and explore its impact on the game of cricket.
What is a Free Hit in Cricket?
A Free Hit is a type of delivery in cricket that is awarded to the batting team after the bowler has committed a no-ball offense. A no-ball is a delivery that is considered illegal due to various reasons such as the bowler overstepping the crease, throwing the ball, or bowling it above waist height. When a bowler bowls a no-ball, the umpire will signal a Free Hit by raising their arm.
The Free Hit delivery is significant because the batting team cannot be dismissed off that delivery unless they are run out or obstructing the field. This means that if the batsman hits the ball in the air and is caught by a fielder, or if the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, the batsman cannot be out. Instead, the delivery will be considered null and void, and the next delivery will be a regular delivery.
How is a Free Hit Awarded?
As mentioned earlier, a Free Hit is awarded when a bowler bowls a no-ball. However, not all no-balls result in a Free Hit. Only no-balls that are a result of overstepping the crease by the bowler will result in a Free Hit. If the no-ball is due to other reasons such as throwing or bowling above waist height, a Free Hit will not be awarded.
Additionally, if the no-ball results in the dismissal of a batsman via run-out, the next delivery will still be a Free Hit. However, if the dismissal is due to obstruction of the field, the Free Hit will be canceled, and the next delivery will be a regular delivery.
The Impact of Free Hit on Cricket
The Free Hit rule has had a significant impact on the game of cricket. It has made the game more exciting and added another layer of strategy to the game. The rule has given the batting team an advantage and has forced bowlers to be more cautious in their deliveries. This has led to an increase in the number of runs scored in the game.
The Free Hit rule has also given rise to a new type of delivery known as the “Free Hit ball.” This is a delivery that is specifically aimed at limiting the runs scored by the batting team on a Free Hit delivery. Bowlers will often bowl a slower ball or a yorker to restrict the scoring opportunities for the batting team.
The Free Hit rule is a unique addition to the game of cricket. It has added excitement to the game and made it more challenging for bowlers. The rule has also given rise to a new type of delivery and has changed the way the game is played. As cricket continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how the Free Hit rule will continue to impact the game.