Laws of Cricket - 1774 Version

Settled and revised at the Star and Garter in Pall Mall on Friday 25 February 1774 by a Committee of Noblemen and Gentlemen of Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, and London.


In the Chair: Sir William Draper.
Present: His Grace the Duke of Dorset, Right Honourable Earl Tankerville, Sir Horace Mann, Philip Dehany, John Brewer Davis, Harry Peckham, Francis Vincent, John Cooke, Charles Coles, Richard James, Esquires, Rev. Charles Pawlet.

The Laws of Cricket, &c.

  • The ball must weigh not less than five ounces and a half, nor more than five ounces and three-quarters.
  • It cannot be changed during the game, but with consent of both parties.
  • The bat must not exceed four inches and one quarter in the widest part.
  • The stumps must be twenty-two inches, the bail six inches long.
  • The bowling-crease must be parallel with the stumps, three feet in length, with a return-crease.
  • The popping-crease must be three feet ten inches from the wickets ; and the wickets must be opposite to each other at the distance of twenty-two yards.
  • The party which goes from Home shall have the choice of the innings and the pitching of the wickets, which shall be pitched within thirty yards of a centre fixed by the adversaries.
  • When the parties meet at a third place, the bowlers shall toss up for the pitching of the first wicket, and the choice of going in.
  • The bowler must deliver the ball with one foot behind the bowling-crease, and within the return-crease; and shall Bowl four balls before he changes wickets, which he shall do but once in the same innings.
  • He may order the player at his wicket to stand on which side of it he pleases.
  • The striker is out if the bail is bowled off, or the stump bowled out of the ground.
  • Or if the ball, from a stroke over or under his bat, or upon his hands (but not wrists), is held before it touches the ground, though it be hugged to the body of the catcher.
  • Or if, in striking, both his feet are over the popping-crease, and his wicket is put down, except his bat is grounded within it.
  • Or if he runs out of his ground to hinder a catch.
  • Or if the ball is struck up, and he wilfully strike it again.
  • Or if in running a notch, the wicket is struck down by a throw, or with the ball in hand, before his foot, hand, or bat is grounded over the popping-crease; but if the bail is off, a stump must be struck out of the ground by the ball.
  • Or if the striker touches or takes up the ball before it has lain still, unless at the request of the opposite party.
  • Or if the striker puts his leg before the wicket with a design to stop the ball, and actually prevent the ball from hitting his wicket by it.
  • If the players have crossed each other, he that runs for the wicket that is put down is out; if they are not crossed, he that has left the wicket that is put down is out.
  • When the ball has been in the bowler's or wicket-keeper's hands, the strikers need not keep within their ground till the Umpire has called Play; but if the player goes out of his ground with an intent to run before the ball is delivered, the bowler may put him out.
  • When the ball is struck up in the running ground between the wickets, it is lawful for the strikers to hinder its being catched; but they must neither strike at, nor touch the ball with their hands.
  • If the ball is struck up, the striker may guard his wicket either with his bat or his body.
  • In single-wicket matches, if the striker moves out of his ground to strike at the ball, he shall be allowed no notch for such stroke.
  • The wicket-keeper 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.
  • The umpires shall allow two minutes for each man to come in, and fifteen minutes between each innings ; when the Umpire shall call Play, the party refusing to play shall lose the match.
  • They are the sole judges of fair and unfair play, and all disputes shall be determined by them.
  • When a striker is hurt they are to allow another to come in, and the person hurt shall have his hands in any part of that innings.
  • They are not to order a player out, unless appealed to by the adversaries.
  • But if the bowler's foot is not behind the bowling-crease, and within the return-crease, when he delivers the ball, the Umpire unasked must call No Ball.
  • If the strikers run a short notch, the Umpire must call No Notch.


  • If the notches of one player are laid against another, the bet depends on both innings, unless otherwise specified.
  • If one party beats the other in one innings, the notches in the first innings shall determine the bet.
  • But if the other party goes in a second time, then the bet must be determined by the number on the score.

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

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