What are extras in cricket?

Let us say that a team scored 300 runs and lost four wickets at the completion of their innings. The acres of the five batsmen who batted were 120, 80, 23, 37 and 25. If we add these scores together we get a total of 285. This is 15 runs short of the total runs scored in the innings. So who scored those runs? 

These runs are not scored by an individual but are awarded to the team. These runs are called extras. These extra runs are added to the team’s total in scenarios where the ball is not struck with the batsman’s bat. Let us see all the types of extras in cricket:


When the bowler bowls by over-stepping the crease, the umpire will signal by extending one of his hands on one side. This indicates a No-ball. It is important to note that a no-ball is awarded when the entire foot is over the crease line. Another way in which a no-ball is called out is when the bowler’s back foot touches or is outside the return crease. Cricket in the last decade has seen the advent of “Free Hit” if the No-ball is awarded because of over-stepping the crease line. A free hit means that on the immediate next delivery of the bowler, the batsman cannot be ruled out by any means. 

Another variant of the no-ball is when the bowler bowls in a way that the ball doesn’t pitch and is directed above the batman’s waist line. In most cases, a waist high no-ball does not award a free hit to the batsman. 

No ball judged by the cricket umpire

Another way an umpire signals no-ball is when the ball bounces more than twice before crossing the batman’s crease or if the ball is rolled on the ground. 

No-balls reward the batting side with 1 run. The number of runs scored in a free-hit are added. 


As the word says, wide means a ball that is beyond a certain perimeter. On the off-side, if the ball is bowled beyond 35 inches wide of the middle stump is called a wide. A wide line is usually drawn which helps the umpire in decision making. A ball bowled at the leg-side and left by the batsman is always considered a wide (does not apply in Test Matches unless it is beyond 35 inches). Another variant of wide is when the ball is bounced above the batman’s head. An umpire indicates all forms of wide by extending both his hands on the sides. A wide rewards the batting side with 1 run. However, many times, wides are so bad even the wicket-keeper fails to stop the ball and it might travel all the way to the boundary. This means that the batting team would get 5 runs (1+4).

There are cases when a wide ball and no-ball occur simultaneously. The batting team will be awarded 1 run for the no-ball. The wide ball would be bypassed in this case. 

Wide extra cricket umpire signal


When the bowler bowls a legal delivery, that is neither a wide or a no-ball, it is often seen that wicket-keeper misfields or is slow to the ball in some cases. This allows the batsman to run between the wickets without even touching the ball with the bat. The number of runs scored in this fashion are called byes. Byes are indicated by the umpire by raising one hand up with an open palm (no gap between the fingers) . 


These are extras that are scored when the ball hits any part of the batman’s body except his gloves and the bat and later the batsman either run to score or the ball reaches the boundary. Leg-byes are indicated by the umpire by lifting and bending one leg from the knee and tapping that knee with his hand. 

Leg Bye signal by the cricket umpire

Penalty runs

Penalty runs are those which occur due to breaching of the laws of cricket. Wicket-keepers often place their helmet behind them when they are wearing a cap. In rare cases, if a bowl strikes this helmet, the batting team is awarded 5 runs. There are also cases where the fielding team has tried to tamper the ball, damage the pitch or take excessive time between two overs. In all these cases, the batting side is awarded 5 runs. Needless to say, that a certain code of conduct if not maintained by the players might end up in the opposition getting 5 runs.

Extras have historically been crucial in the outcomes of various matches. They are an indication of the bowling side’s efficiency and their discipline in the process of restricting the opponent’s score. 

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