In cricket, batsmen usually take guard, but they do so in order to know where they are aiming the ball etc.

But the other day one of my friends said that I am not supposed to fully cover the wickets. I said that there is no such rule and that it was only a thing that we kids invented in gully or backyard cricket. But he said that if one fully covers the wicket, then the wide range also increases. Is this true?

2 Answers 2


You are correct that a batsman may stand however they please in front of the wicket. This is normally subject to Law 41.14 and 41.15, but a backyard game does not typically have a pressed pitch to play on, and this law is somewhat irrelevant.

Your friend is incorrect that the wide range increases. The only determination of a wide is that the batsman cannot play it - this is going to be the case regardless of where a batsman stands.

However, the Preamble to the Laws makes several very important points, some of them being

Play hard and play fair.


Create a positive atmosphere by your own conduct, and encourage others to do likewise.

Standing in a way that prevents the bowler from sighting the stumps is about as unfair and negative as a batsman can be, short of actively interfering with the bowler (itself covered by other laws). This is covered by Law 41 in general.

As it is also unlikely that you have dedicated umpires, they cannot intervene as the law requires. This will have to be an issue you decide together but for the sake of the spirit of the game, you are best advised to concede the point and guard conventionally.


Well actually, if a batsmen moves either towards the off-side or leg-side, once the bowler is in his delivery stride, the wide range does expand, especially on the offside. If the ball is outside the off-side wide line, but the umpire believes the ball was within reachable distance, as a result of batsmen positioning, he may deem the ball be legal.

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