no ball



  • noun
    (written as no-ball)
    a delivery judged by the umpire to be unfair. When a no-ball is bowled the umpire calls ‘no-ball’ and signals to the scorer by extending one arm horizontally. One run is added as an ‘extra’ to the score of the batting side (the penalty is two runs in some domestic one-day competitions), and the no-ball does not count as part of the over. The batsman may also score runs in the normal way off a no-ball, but he can only be dismissed by being run out or by hitting the ball twice, obstructing the field, or handling the ball. Even if a batsman is dismissed, the penalty run or runs are still credited to the batting side.
    See also extras
  • verb
    (written as no-ball)
    (of the umpire) to declare that the bowler has made an unfair delivery, by calling ‘no-ball’
    Citation ‘In 1862, Willsher was no-balled six times in succession by his old friend John Lillywhite, standing as an umpire in the England v. Surrey match at the Oval’ (Marqusee 1994)
    Citation ‘In Sri Lanka, the perception was that Hair’s no-balling of Murali was random and preconceived’ (Vic Marks, Observer 27 August 2006)
  • verb
    (written as no-ball)
    (of a bowler) to bowl a no-ball
    Citation ‘I was glad that Willis and Dilley chose the other end since they are both prone to no-ball’ (Brearley 1982)


  • noun in cricket, a ball that has been bowled in a way not permitted by the rules of the game