Laws of Cricket - 1755 Version

This edition of the Laws is believed to be the first printed in book form. It was printed in 1755 by W.Read.

As settled by the Several CRICKET-CLUBS,
Particularly that of the STAR and GARTER In PALL-MALL


  • The Pitching the first Wicket is to be determined by the Toss of a Piece of Money.
  • When the first Wicket is pitch'd, and the Popping-Crease cut, which must be exactly Three Feet Ten Inches from the Wicket, the other Wicket is to be pitch'd directly opposite, at Twenty-Two Yards Distance, and the other Popping-Crease cut Three Feet and Ten Inches before it.
  • The Bowling-Creases must be cut in a direct Line from each Stump.
  • The Stumps must be Twenty-Two Inches Long, and the Bail Six Inches.
  • The Ball must weigh between Five and Six Ounces.
  • When the Wickets are both pitch'd, and all the Creases cut, the Party that wins the Toss-up, may order which Side shall go inn first, at his Option.


  • The Bowler must deliver the Ball, with one Foot behind the Crease, even with the Wicket; and when he has bowl'd one Ball, or more, shall bowl to the Number of Four before he changes Wickets, and he shall change but once in the same Innings.
  • He may order the Player that is inn at his Wicket, to stand on which Side of it he pleases, at a reasonable Distance.
  • If he delivers the Ball, with his hinder Foot over the Bowling-Crease, the Umpire shall call no Ball, tho' it be struck, or the Player be bowl'd out; which he shall do without being ask'd, and no Person shall have any Right to question him.


  • If the Wicket is bowl'd down, it's out.
  • If he strikes, or treads down, or falls himself upon his Wicket in striking (but not in over-running) it's out.
  • A Stroke, or Nip, over or under his Bat, or upon his Hands (but not Arms) if the Ball be held before it touches the Ground, though it be hugg'd to the Body, it's out.
  • If in striking, both his Feet are over the Popping-Crease, and his Wicket put down, except his Bat is down within, it's out.
  • If he runs out of his Ground to hinder a Catch, it's out.
  • If a Ball is nipp'd up, and he strikes it again wilfully, before it came to the Wicket, it's out.
  • If the Players have cross'd each other, he that runs for the Wicket that is put down, is out: If they are not cross'd, he that returns is out.
  • If in running a Notch, the Wicket is struck down by a Throw, before his Foot, Hand, or Bat is over the Popping-Crease, or a Stump hit by the Ball, though the Bail was down, it's out.
  • But if he Bail is down before, he that catches the Ball must strike a Stump out of the Ground, Ball in Hand, or else it's not out.
  • If the Striker touches, or takes up the Ball before it has lain quite still, unless ask'd by the Bowler, or Wicket-Keeper, it's out.


  • When the Ball has been in Hand by one of the Keepers, or Stoppers, and the Player has been at Home, he may go where he pleases till the next Ball is bowl'd.
  • If either of the Strikers is cross'd, in his running Ground, designedly, the same must be determined by the Umpires.
    N.B. The Umpires may order that Notch to be scored.
  • When the Ball is hit up, either of the Strikers may hinder the Catch in his running Ground; or if it is hit directly across the Wickets, the other Player may place his Body any where within the Swing of the Bat, so as to hinder the Bowler from catching it; but he must neither strike at it, nor touch it with his Hands.
  • If a Striker nips a Ball up just before him, he may fall before his Wicket, or pop down his Bat, before it comes to the Wicket, to save it.
  • The Bail hanging on one Stump, though the Ball hit the Wicket, it's not out.


  • The Wicket-Keepers shall stand at a reasonable Distance behind the Wicket, and shall not move till the Ball is out of the Bowler's Hand, and shall not, by any Noise, incommode the Striker; and if his Hands, Knees, Foot, or Head, be over, or before the Wicket, though the Ball hit it, it shall not be out.


  • To allow Two Minutes for each Man to come inn when one is out, and Ten Minutes between each Hand.
  • To mark the Ball that it may not be changed.
  • They are sole Judges of all Outs and Inns; of all fair or unfair Play; of all frivolous Delays; of all Hurts, whether real or pretended, and are discretionally to allow what Time they think proper before the Game goes on again.
  • In Case of a real Hurt to a Striker, they are to allow another to come inn, and the Person hurt to come inn again; but are not to allow a fresh Man to play, on either Side, on any Account.
  • They are sole Judges of all Hindrances; crossing the Players in running, and standing unfair to strike, and in Case of Hindrance may order a Notch to be scor'd.
  • They are not to order any Man out, unless appealed to by one of the Players.
  • These Laws are to the Umpires jointly.
  • Each Umpire is the sole Judge of all Nips and Catches; Ins and Outs; good or bad Runs, at his own Wicket, and his Determination shall be absolute; and he shall not be changed for another Umpire, without the Consent of both Sides.
  • When the four Balls are bowl'd, he is to call over.
  • These Laws are separately.
  • When both Umpires call Play three Times, 'tis at the Peril of giving the Game from them that refuse to play.

Reproduction of the Laws of Cricket is by kind permission of Marylebone Cricket Club

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