Can batters in cricket bat from behind the stumps?

A batter in cricket is that player who scores runs by hitting the ball with the bat to various parts of the ground without getting dismissed. The batter’s objective of scoring runs is achieved by hitting boundaries like fours and sixes, and running between the wickets (or pitch). Out of the pair of batters at the crease, the one facing the bowler is called the strike batter and the one at the bowler’s end is called non-strike batter.

The strike batter’s goal is also to make sure that he or she stays at the crease as long as possible. In order to do so, the basic premise for the batter is to protect the ball from hitting the stumps of their end when the bowler bowls, and to hit shots that are safely away from the fielders in order to avoid the possibility of being caught out.

The bowler has a vast range of options in terms of how a batter can be dismissed. Hitting the stumps such that the bails get dislodged is called getting bowled. Batters thus bat such that the stumps are well-guarded and at the same time visible to the bowler. The batter usually stands behind the popping crease to avoid the possibility of getting stumped by the wicket-keeper. But how far behind can the batter stand?

In cricket, there is no rule as to where the batter must stand to face a bowl. Batters have the liberty to take guard in line with any of the stumps and in front or behind the stumps. It is common sense for batters to stand in front of the stumps in order to protect their wicket (stumps). However, they can also legally stand behind the stumps to hit a shot.

Standing behind the stumps to hit a shot is a tactic that batters rarely use. However, if they do use this tactic, then it is possibly because the bowler has been bowling at a high pace and has a line that is not targeted towards the stumps. Batters can go behind the stumps of the ball is pitched short and the bounce is too high. However, in most of such occurrences, batters prefer to leave the ball as the umpire will deem an illegal delivery (wide ball).

In professional cricket seeing a batter go behind the stumps to hit a shot is a rare occurrence but not one that is unheard.

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