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8 unknown Test Cricket Rules and their explanations

Test cricket or cricket in general has plenty of rules which are unknown to the fans. Let's have a look at 8 unknown Test Cricket Rules and their explanations.

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Shreya Ghosh
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8 unknown Test Cricket Rules and their explanations - sportzpoint.com

Test cricket is the highest standard of cricket which is also considered as the longest duration cricket match. The 5-day long match is also known as the Test match because this long period is a proper method of assessing the teams' strength, ability, and determination towards the game. It is undoubtedly the most exciting of all the other formats. The first test match was played officially between England and Australia. This match was organized in the Melbourne cricket ground and between 15-19 March 1877. Likewise, in every other form of cricket, test matches have a definite set of rules. So let us take a look at 8 unknown Test Cricket Rules and their explanations.

1. Concussion Rule

ICC concussion rule: 8 unknown Test Cricket Rules and their explanations - sportzpoint.com

The Concussion rule has been approved by the ICC in 2019. According to this rule, an injured player can be substituted by one of his teammates if he/she gets hit on the head. Marcus Labuschagne is the first Concussion substitute in the history of Test cricket. Steve Smith got injured by Jofra Archer's bouncer and later he was replaced by Labuschagne.

This is one of the newly applied test cricket rules by the ICC. However, the substitute player must be a "player match" for the injured player.

Read also: 10 most underrated test cricketers of all time

2. Total Overs in a Test match

A traditional scoreboard showing the overs in test cricket. | SportzPoint

A traditional scoreboard showing the overs in test cricket. Image- Wikipedia

A minimum of 90 overs of bowling is played per day in a span of 6 hours. The whole 6 hours are divided into 3 sessions of two hours each. Also, a lunch break of 30 minutes and a tea break of 20 minutes are taken in between the sessions. On the first 4 days of the match, a minimum of 15 overs needs to be bowled in one hour. And on the last day, about 75 overs need to be bowled. But if the match gets interrupted due to rain, storm, or any other interference, then the definite overs can be increased or decreased according to the situation of the match.

The eligible light for a test match continues to get measured by the umpires on the first day of the match and the value continues to be the same for the rest of the days.

Also read: WTC Final: IND vs NZ All Players Stats, Records In England, WTC and against each other

3. New Ball

James Anderson checking a new ball  | SportzPoint

James Anderson checking a new ball. Image- MCC

A new ball is used at the beginning of each innings in the test match. After every 80 overs, the captain of the bowling side can opt for a new ball depending on the condition of the ball. The ball can fail the loop test, get torn, or change its shape. So, at that moment the ball can be changed into a new one.

Also, if the ball gets out of shape within the 80-over period, the balls can be changed with the supervision of umpires. Umpires check the ball's size and then decide according to the condition of the ball. The changed ball must be of the same overs old as the distorted ball.

4. Day-Night Test Cricket

The first-ever pink ball test match which  had some new rules implemented | SportzPoint

The first-ever pink ball test match had some new rules implemented. Image- ESPNcricinfo

Initially, test cricket was played in the daytime. But recently the rule was changed in November 2015 when the first day-night test match took place between Australia and New Zealand. The popularity of Test cricket was dying. The number of spectators was declining during the daytime test matches. Therefore the home board and the visiting board agreed on approving the day-night test match. An interesting fact about the day-night test match is that a pink ball is used instead of a red ball because of the visibility.

5. 22- Yard Pitch

why the cricket pitch is 22 yards long? - sportzpoint.com

The cricket pitch is the most important area in the entire cricket field. The cricket pitch is generally 22 yards long. The "Code of 1744" is one of the earliest known laws of cricket and the length of the pitch has been determined according to this law. The better the pitch, the chances of the bowlers bowling splendidly increase.

The cricket pitch gets observed by the umpires and they decide if the pitch is suitable for a test match or not. However, it is the groundsmen and curator who decide on which pitch the match will be played.

Why the pitch is 22 yards?

Cricket is a very colonial game and traditionally follows old measurement systems such as yards. Over the period of time, Saxon linear measurements were standardized to a mile or 8 furlongs or furrow long. 8 furlongs are equal to 320 perches or 1,760 yards or twig (English stick ).

The iron yard of the king in the 13th century had the measurement of 3 feet of 12 inches or the length of a furrow. After some very historical calculations, the iron yard measurement was preserved to be the Saxon strip-acre which was of one furlong by one tenth of a furlong or 40 by 4 perches. Thus the cricket pitch got the measurement of 22 yards.

Read also: Top 9 cricketers from the Indian U-19 cricket team who represented India

6. Follow-On Rule

The famous match where India won after following on in 2001 | SportzPoint

The famous match at Eden Garden where India won after following on. Image- FPJ

If the second batting team scores noticeably fewer runs than the first batting team, then the second batting team can be forced to follow on. In the follow-on rule, the second batting team is forced to bat the second innings right after their first innings as they were unable to score runs close to the runs by the first team in their first innings.



Cricket is the only game to have the rule of "second chance" as the test cricket rules are somehow related to the test of life. The team that gets the upper hand on the match, asks the team to follow on and keep batting. This somehow also gives chance to the team to make a comeback as well.

7. Obstructing the Field

obstructing the field - 8 unknown Test Cricket Rules and their explanations - sportzpoint.com

According to Law 37 of the laws of cricket established by the Marylebone Cricket Club, a batsman is considered out if he voluntarily tries to abstract the fielders either by words or steps.

Obstructing the field means the situation when the playing ball is being returned to any fielder by the batsman. Leonard Hutton of England was the first batsman who was dismissed for obstructing the field against South Africa in August 1951.

8. Mankad

Mankand: 8 unknown Test Cricket Rules and their explanations | SportzPoint

Mankad is one of the most interesting Test Cricket Rules where the non-striker batsman is dismissed before the bowler releases the ball. If the non-striker batsman is out of his line, then the bowler can immediately dismiss him even before releasing the ball to the batsman on the strike.

The term "Mankad" is derived from the name of the Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad.  Vinoo Mankad ran out the Australian opener Bill Brown in the 1947 Sydney Test match. After that only on three instances, the dismissal took place in test cricket. In 1979, Australia's Hurst mankaded Pakistani batsman S Bakht which was the last time mankading happened in test cricket.

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