Where is the long stop field position in cricket?

Long stop is one of the most unique and rarely used field positions in cricket. The use of long stop in professional cricket is rare, but can be observed occasionally in lower tiers of cricket.

The long stop fielder is the one who is placed behind the wicket-keeper, near the boundary. Today, the field position is devised for scenarios when a team lacked a specialist wicket-keeper. Even though professional cricket allows a team to field without a wicket-keeper, captains refrain to opt for such a strategy.

The long-stop position finds its roots in the 1860s. The position was a routine for a little over three decades, after which the role of wicket-keeper amplified. In those three decades, captains would position more than one (maximum three) long-stops in addition to the wicket-keeper. Cricket historians have noted that back then the role of long stop fielders were to cut off the runs made through byes. In fact, some scoreboards would even read how many runs were conceded by a particular long stop fielder.

As the game evolved, the pace of bowlers increased. This made fielding captains ponder if having an additional fielder in front would be more advantageous then having them behind the wicket-keeper. This change took place in the 1890s and long-stops were restricted to lower tiers. The workload of wicket-keepers increased since then.

Even though the modern, rapid and shorter formats of cricket has seen cricketers hit shots all around the field (including ones behind the wicket-keeper), the long stop is still not used.

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