What is the square leg position in cricket?

Square leg is the name given to a fielding position in cricket. It is considered to be one of those regions where a lot of catches can be taken as shots are often hit in this area. The captain of the fielding side usually positions the best catcher of the side at square leg.

The fielder is positioned exactly in the region as the name suggests. ‘Leg’ means that the fielder is positioned on the leg side. ‘Square’ means the fielder is at right angles to the stumps on the leg side. The square leg fielder is very close to the leg-side umpire. The captain has to ensure that the square leg fielder does not block the view of the square leg umpire. The square leg position is within the 30-yard circle.

When the fielder at square leg is pushed vertically behind near the boundary ropes, then that field position is called deep square leg. Another subtle variation of square leg is called backward square. Instead of standing in line with the stumps, the fielder at backward square is placed slightly behind the line of the stumps on the leg side.

Short pitched balls or bouncers are usually hit by the batters in the square leg region. Batters tend to bashfully pull the ball towards the square leg area. This makes it imperative for the square leg fielder to be athletic and agile. Fielders at square leg often have to hop higher or dive sideways to catch the ball. This makes it one of the most difficult positions to field at.

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