What is the cover position in cricket?

Cover refers to a fielding position in cricket. This particular field position is within the 30-yard circle on the off-side field.

Traditionally, there was a specific area outside the boundary ropes where the groundsmen used to keep the covers that were immediately brought on to cover the pitch in case it rained. This area was towards the off-side. Hence, the corresponding field position was called cover. Another theory suggests that since the cover area is a wide one, spanning between point and mid-off, the fielder has to “cover” a lot of ground and thus the name.

The fielder at cover is a busy one. This fielder has to have a lot of stamina and should be quick on feet. Cover drive is a graceful and a favorite of most batters globally. Played off the back foot, the cover drive is a commonly played shot and the fielder at cover has an uphill task of stopping that ball. This fielder might have to dive, run after the ball or slide to stop it. All signs suggest that the fielder at cover has to be absolutely fit and active.

In some scenarios, the captain might position another fielder between the cover and mid-off region. This position is called the extra cover. If the cover and extra cover fielders are sent vertically behind near the boundary ropes, then these positions now become deep cover and deep extra cover respectively.

An attacking variant of the cover position is the short extra cover. The fielder is brought somewhere between the extra cover position and the pitch. This position is filled when the batter is more dominant on the off-side. Moreover, unlike a few other attacking field positions, the short extra cover can be placed in overs of both pacers and spinners.

The cover position, alongside point, square leg and mid-wicket is the most hectic area on the cricket field.

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