Cricket is played on a near circular field. Batters have the goal of hitting shots that reach the boundary lines to score as many runs as possible. Bowlers have the goal of getting the batters out by various lawful methods. One of the shots that a batter plays unintentionally is called the French cut. When the bowler hits the inside edge of the bat, it deflects behind the batter between the legs and the leg stump. The ball travels in an area that is even difficult for the wicket-keeper to stop. The French cut is thus a lucky shot for the batter as it marginally misses the leg stump and in turn generates more runs as the ball goes to an area where fielders are seldom placed.
The name French cut is said to be a mock word invented by the English. Since the English played cricket more proficiently as the founders of the sport, they often mocked the informal techniques used by fellow Europeans, particularly the French. Since it is an involuntarily played lucky shot, the English called it the French cut.
Some players are credited for playing this shot intentionally. Australia’s Mark Waugh is the most notable name that pops in a cricket fan’s mind when they hear the word French cut. In order to hit this shot deliberately, the angulation of the bat, in line of the incoming delivery has to be extremely precise. It is also a risky shot to play. This is because once the ball takes the inside edge, it can also hit the player on the legs resulting in an injury or hit the stumps resulting in the batter getting dismissed.
The French Cut is also one of the reasons behind the origin of the word French cricket.