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Backyard cricket: The Official Rules (by Steve Waugh)
Backyard cricket: The Official Rules (by Steve Waugh)

The time for a classic Aussie game of backyard cricket has returned – and who better to offer the official rules for backyard cricket than champion former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh.

“We all start our cricket careers in the backyard, and everyone has their own set of rules unique to their yard,” Waugh said.

“With this in mind, I just thought I’d share some of the classic rules for backyard cricket that you can take and modify to suit your situation.”

Rule 1: First ball reprieve

A universal rule in every backyard across the country. A batsman can’t lose their wicket on the first ball.

Rule 2: One hand, one bounce

You don’t play backyard cricket without a drink in one hand – hence the one hand, one bounce rule. You can dismiss the batsman on the first bounce by catching the ball with one hand. Just don’t spill your drink.

Rule 3: Six and out

This rule was invented to prevent the smart alec who goes the tonk on the 10-year-old bowler. Over the fence is out and you also have to make the trek to collect the ball.

Rule 4: No LBW

Calling an LBW is a fine art. As no one in the backyard will have the eye of Billy Bowden, they can’t be trusted. So stand in front of the wicket as much as you like.

Rule 5: No running between wickets

It’s 40C and you’ve just had a barbecue feast. Who wants to run? Stand your ground and make them work for your wicket.

Rule 6: Three over spell

No one likes a hog, so batsmen cannot stay at the crease for longer than three overs. An over in backyard cricket is a subjective notion, so bat until someone complains.

Rule 7: Everyone’s a bowler

In the backyard arena, there are no specialist batsmen. Everyone must have a bowl. Just watch out for grandpa’s googly.

Rule 8: Deal breaker

It’s all a bit of fun, but when the sound of smashing glass is heard, it’s game over. Last man standing takes the blame, so ditch the bat and get out of there.

With these rules, you can now go confidently into backyard warfare and emulate your heroes. Play well and play fair!