Fielding (cricket)

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Fielding in the sport of cricket is the action of fielders in collecting the ball after it is struck by the batsman, in such a way as to either limit the number of runs that the batsman scores or get the batsman out by catching the ball in flight or running the batsman out. A fielder or fieldsman may field the ball with any part of his person. However, if while the ball is in play he wilfully fields it otherwise (e.g. by using his hat), the ball becomes dead and 5 penalty runs are awarded to the batting side unless the ball previously struck a batsman not attempting to hit or avoid the ball. Most of the rules covering fielders are in Law 41 of the Laws of cricket.

In the early days of Test cricket, fielding was not a priority and many players were sloppy when it came to fielding.[citation needed] With the advent of One Day International matches, fielding became more professional as saving runs became more important. A good fielding side can often save 30+ runs in the course of an ODI innings.[citation needed]


Fielding position names and locations

Since there are only 11 players on a team, one of whom is the bowler, and usually another as the wicket-keeper, at most nine other fielding positions can be used at any given time. Which positions are filled by players and which remain vacant is a tactical decision made by the captain of the fielding team. The captain (usually in consultation with the bowler and sometimes other members of the team) may move players between fielding positions at any time except when a bowler is in the act of bowling to a batsman.

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