I know that there is no need of declaring a match with limited overs format.

Even the world record total has been chased on that day itself.

But, my question is, what do the laws of cricket say about declaring an inning in a limited overs cricket match?

  • 3
    I'm trying to think why you would want to. Two possible reasons: 1. Heavy rain is forecast and you don't want to give the opposition the chance to win on Duckworth-Lewis; 2. The competition ladder uses run rate as a tie-breaker and you only have slow scoring batsmen to come in. Any others?
    – chimp
    Dec 30, 2012 at 1:38
  • This has actually happened. I can't find the article at the moment, but an English county side declared their one-day innings after one over, losing the match but preserving their run rate. The rules were changed shortly thereafter. Jun 4, 2013 at 18:16
  • @PeterEisentraut The incident you are very likely thinking of is the 1979 Benson & Hedges Cup match in which Somerset declared at 1 for 0 after 1 over, thus allowing Worcestershire an easy win but denying them the chance to surpass Somerset's already superior net run rate. Somerset were disqualified from the competition as a result.
    – Spinner
    Jun 9, 2013 at 22:04
  • @chimp I don't think reason 1 is very likely; giving up overs (and hence scoring fewer runs) will only give the opposition a lower score to chase, and hence give them a lower D/L par score. However, a related reason could be that with heavy rain forecast, the captain is concerned that insufficient overs will be played to constitute a game under the competition's regulations, and so declares. Reason 2 is quite possible (see my previous comment). Note that all reasons are a result of external factors (such as the competition rules) rather than the game itself as defined by the Laws.
    – Spinner
    Jun 10, 2013 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


The Laws of Cricket say that you can declare any innings, no matter what the agreed length is.

ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals, however, are playing under the ICC Playing Conditions, which modify the Laws of Cricket. Both the ODI and the T20I playing conditions say "Law 14 shall not apply." (Law 14 is Declaration and Forfeiture.) The analogous domestic limited-overs competitions are usually playing under very similar rules.

So no, in practice, you cannot declare in a limited-overs game.

If you really wanted to stop batting, all the batsmen could retire or time out, but that would go down differently in their personal statistics.


I can't think of the specifics, but I seem to remember this scenario from many years ago. In the old Gillette cup it was 60 overs a side and there was a reserve day if the match could not be completed in one day due to the weather or bad light. In the first round the first class counties usually played minor counties and won handsomely most of the time. In this match the 1st class county batted first and knocked up a very substantial score. The minor county, in reply, struggled and by the time play was halted for the day needed something like 160 to win off 5 overs with 2 wickets in hand. Theoretically this could be done, but the minor county, being in a hopeless position, declared to effectively concede the match.

  • It also came about in England after a declaration during a Benson and Hedges group game by Somerset to ensure they progressed to the knock out stages. See no 1 in this article
    – Ben Whyall
    Jun 15, 2015 at 14:55
  • This also happened in a 1975 South African Gillette cup match between Natal and SA-XI where Alan Barrow reached 202 on debut, after which Natal promptly declared (and won). May 7, 2020 at 12:47

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.