Why free hit is not there in the Test Cricket?

In Twenty-20 matches, when a bowler bowls no ball (overstepping with front foot or back foot) then next delivery is free hit, but in the Test matches why is it not there?


3 Answers 3


ICC announced the free-hit rules on 2007 October along with some other changes in rules for limited overs cricket.

The only reason to us for not having free-hits in unlimited overs cricket is ICC didn't wants it.

Why they didn't?

Reasons may be:

  • Free-hits are for increasing the excitement of the match, it won't be suit for unlimited overs match, where a batsman may be playing to save the wicket.
  • Most of the fielders are placed inside the 30-yard circle, so it is not favor for a bowler to stop a batsman from scoring.
  • Many other rules like power-play were not implemented in Test-cricket, which may only suits to limited overs.

T20 cricket match is more about entertainment than a genuine cricket. Cricket fans want to see more runs (mostly in form of boundaries) rather than fine cricketing shots. And Free Hit allows the batsman to hit the ball without any fear of being out. So they can hit more and long boundaries if the bowler make mistake.

The Test cricket is the oldest form of cricket. Which has a different taste of cricket from it's starting. Where cricket fans want to see pure cricketing techniques rather than hitting freely. So Free hit is not suitable in the Test cricket. Also ICC does not change rules of Test cricket as much as possible. That's why free hit is not implemented in the Test Cricket.

Also, ICC implemented the Free Hit concept in the ODI cricket because it is another form of limited overs cricket where fans want to see pure cricketing techniques + more runs.

  • 3
    Unless substantiated by, e.g., minutes of or statements by the ICC, this answer seems to amount to speculation and (personal) opinion only.
    – user1564
    Sep 24, 2013 at 11:12
  • 2
    @aufkag - Then the question should be primarily opinion-based since ICC didn't mention anything about Test cricket during their announcement.
    – Himanshu
    Sep 24, 2013 at 11:31
  • 1
    @hims056 True. It would make more sense for the question to be "why are there free hits in T20 and ODI matches?" rather than "why aren't there free hits in Test cricket?"
    – Spinner
    Sep 24, 2013 at 22:12

Because there is no reason for a free hit. The run penalty for a no ball is quite sufficient. Test cricket is not about slogging balls out of the ground, which is what a free hit promotes.

  • 1
    This isn't an answer.
    – TrueDub
    Jul 17, 2017 at 16:31

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