A Comprehensive Guide: What Is Free Hit in Cricket

Anjali Raj Singh
Anjali Raj SinghAugust 22, 2023
Updated 2023/09/11 at 9:45 AM
A cricketer kissed his bat at the end of the game.
Photo by Yogendra Singh: Pexels Copyright 2022

In cricket, the free hit is an important rule which grants a batsman the chance to face the delivery without the risk of being released through some modes of discharge. A second opportunity at glory: What is free hit in cricket? So, this rule comes into action as a consequence of the bowler promising a no-ball by exceeding the crease. What is a Free Hit in Cricket? Read more to know!
And when the bowler bowls a no-ball the cricket umpire signals it and afterwards the batsman gets a free hit.
The free hit permits the batsman to get the next delivery without chances of getting out to the bowlers’ action.
And the batsman can only discharge through run out or any other configuration of dismissal which does not result from the bowler’s delivery.
But this existing addition to the cricketing guidelines were introduced to offer, some benefits to the battling side as a penalty for a bowler’s no-ball violation. But with this rule, the batting team in cricket capitalizes on the situation and increases their runs by making their cricket game even more appealing and competitive.

A view of two players playing a cricket game to view what is afree hit in cricket.
Image by Patrick Case from Pexels/Copyright 2020

1. What Is a Free Hit in Cricket?

A free hit in cricket is a different opportunity which is awarded to the batsman. And it arises when the bowler in a cricket game delivers a no-ball either by surpassing the cricket crease for some reason. Moreover, when the umpire signals a no ball the consecutive delivers are positioned for a free hit.
During a free hit, the batsman can only discharge using run out, or any other way of discharge which does not result directly from the bowler’s delivery. But this rule was the introduction to offer benefit to the batting side team as an outcome of bowler no ball violation, which allows them to take benefit of the condition and increase their score runs.
So, it is essential to note down that free hit rules and regulations apply only to the next delivery ball after no ball and not for any consecutive deliveries in the same over. This exciting rule has added an engaging dimension to cricket matches permitting them for more fun and strategic cricket play.

2. Essential Rules to Follow

The rules around a free hit in the cricket game are very simple and come into effect when the bowler delivers a no-ball because of overrunning the cricket crease in the very same over. Also, when the umpire signals a no-ball the next bowling delivery has been declared as a free hit. So, during the period of a free hit, the batsman gets the benefit of, not being able to discharge through the bowler’s action.
They can only not be discharged throughout or in any other way, which does not directly result from the bowler’s delivery ball. This special guideline was introduced to penalize the bowler for the no-ball offence and give the batting side team the chance to take profit from the situation.
It is very important to note that free hit applies to only the very first bowling delivery, after the no ball and not for any consecutive delivery in the particular over. So, these engaging rules have been fun and strategic components to the cricket match, which makes the game more interesting to the cricket players and the audience alike.

Few players playing cricket in a park.
Image by Steward Maswener from Pexels/Copyright 2021

3. When Free Hit Is Award

A free is an award in a cricket game when the bowler delivers a no-ball which can happen, due to overrunning to the cricket crease or for any other reason. The cricket standing umpire rod tucker signals a no ball and as with, the effect the next bowling delivery is a term described as a free hit. With this, the batsman takes advantage of it.
Because they cannot be discharged from the bowler’s side to the next delivery. With this, they can also be dismissed when they run out or because of any other form of discharge, not from the next bowler delivery into the cricket match.
So, the free hit was the introduction to penalize the bowler for their no-ball delivery violation, giving the benefit to the batting team to increase their score run. With this, there is the addition of more fun and strategic components to the cricket match, which makes the cricket match more appealing to the team players and the spectators on the pavilion.
There are many strategies which need to be followed by the batsmen and bowlers. Here are some of them discussed below:

4.1. For the Batsman 

Batsman should be well prepared to take advantage of the free hit by being assertive and finding scoring opportunities. And they target their powerful areas on the cricket field to increase their score runs during the free hit period.
With this batsmen are permission to use their footwork laying, to get the ideal position for playing the free-hit delivery efficiently. So, they should make sure to communicate with their team partners to strategically plan the approach. This assures you to quickly take the singles or doubles in the case of a defensive shot.
Or the batsman should be watchful and prevent taking any unwanted risks, on the free hit rule delivery to avoid potential discharge.

4.2. For the Bowler’s

Bowlers have suggested being cautious and preventing bowling for waist-high no ball and eliminating giving away free ball hits to the batting team.
Also, should work on their bowling methods and ensure control to decrease, the chance of overrunning the cricket ground crease. These bowlers have expectations to plan their bowling legal delivery strategically, to give surprise to the batsmen during the free hit and cause false shots.
So, the expectation is high from the bowlers to interact efficiently with the fielders, to build up a defensive set-up to constraint the batsman, and to restrain them from increasing their score run option. But bowlers can also try to deceive batsmen, with slow delivery or camouflaged variation to create opportunities for the layoff.

A view of the 'no ball' in a cricket game. A batsman missed a ball while keeping his leg out of a white line.
Image by Patrick Case from Pexels/Copyright 2020

5. The Famous Free Hits 

Famous free-hit rule moments overjoyed the audience because they provided high-stakes situations during the cricket match. These unexpected moments turned the tide of the game, by offering opportunities to the batsmen, and bowling team players to display their skills and commitment.
So, with this batsmen have also taken advantage of increasing their score runs and entertained the spectators with their powerful stunning shots. Moreover, these have launched sixes or have placed far away from the boundary lines, by leaving their fans in awe of their capability to seize the given opportunity.
Lastly, famous free-hit moments have left the crowds thrilled and satisfied by creating forever memories. And giving their fans reasons to cherish the international Cricket Council game.

6. Final Words 

At the end of this article, we can conclude that the free hit ball has successfully, elevated the interest in limited-overs cricket, giving fans all around the world memorable and interesting moments with which the audience resonates.

 Furthermore, this aspect of the cricket game has also been celebrated and ensured, that cricket always remains everyone’s favourite and cherished sport.

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