For a cricket game to be played within Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) laws laws it is essential that the cricket field used is the correct size and has the correct markings.

A properly marked out cricket field allows umpires to make key decisions during games, judging whether batters are outside their crease, or if bowlers are bowling legal deliveries.

This illustrated guide will give you all the information you need to know about regulation sizes of a cricket field and outline all the markings and dimensions you need to prepare your field for matches.

What is the length of a cricket pitch?

The pitch, also known as the ‘wicket’ is a rectangular section of the cricket field that is cut much shorter than the rest of the field. It often is more of a straw colour than the green outfield. This is where the stumps are placed and where the batting and bowling will take place.

Law 6.1 of the MCC laws of cricket state that the regulation length of a cricket wicket is 22 yards/20.12m/66ft in length and 3.33 yards/3.05m/10ft in width.

This changes for junior cricketers under the age of 11, who based on National Youth Cricket League’s rules should play on pitches 21 yards/19.2m/63ft long.

What cricket pitch markings do you need?

In this section we will go through in detail all the cricket pitch lines and dimensions you will need when marking out your wicket.

cricket field dimensions

Bowling Crease – the stumps will be positioned in the centre of this line at both ends of the pitch. The bowling crease is a horizontal line that should 2.64m long. The distance between the two bowling creases at either end of the pitch is 22 yards/20.12m/66ft. This is equal to the length of the cricket pitch.

Popping Crease – this line is horizontal and marked parallel to the bowling crease. It measures 3.66m in length 1.22m/4ft in front of the bowling crease and the stumps. Bowlers must ensure some part of their front foot on landing, when bowling, is behind the popping crease line. Failing to keep the front foot behind the line will see the umpire call a ‘no-ball’, which means the bowler will have to bowl an extra delivery and one run will be added on to the batting team’s score.

Batting Crease – the area between the bowling crease and the popping crease lines is known as the ‘batting crease’. Batters must make sure they have part of their body or bat grounded behind the popping crease line, inside the batting crease, when the ball is in play and before a fielder is able to remove the bails from the stumps with the ball, to avoid the risk of being run out or stumped. This applies at either end of the wicket so the player at the non-striker's end must also ensure that they remain in their crease until the bowler has released the ball as they can be run out by the bowler.

Return Crease – these vertical lines are 2.44m/8ft in length, perpendicular to the popping crease on both sides of the pitch. Bowlers must stay within these lines when bowling. If any part of the bowlers back foot is in contact with the return crease as they release the ball, a no-ball will be called, the bowler will re-bowl that ball and one-run is added to the batting team’s score.

The Wide Guidelines – these lines are only needed for limited overs matches such as 20-over, 50-over and 100 ball games, and are marked between the popping crease and the bowling crease. The lines are measured 17in inside the return crease on both sides of the pitch. If the ball is bowled outside of these guidelines on either side of the wicket, then a ‘wide ball’ is called by the umpire, the ball will have to be bowled again and one run is added to the batting team’s score.

Protected Area Indicators – these indicators are small hash marks that protect certain areas of the pitch from players standing there and wearing the pitch down as a result, which could lead to the bowling side gaining an unfair advantage. The first set of indicators are marked either side of the pitch 1.53m/5ft in front of, and parallel to, the popping creases at each end. The other set is marked at either end of the pitch 12in to both sides of middle stump.

Cricket stumps height and width

MCC laws state the height of cricket stumps should be 28in above the ground and the combined width of all three stumps should be 9in. There is a set of stumps positioned on both bowling creases at each end of the pitch opposite and parallel to one another. Each set of stumps has two, 4.4-inch-long wooden bails placed on the grooves at the top of the stumps. When in place the bails should not reach more than half an inch above the stumps.

cricket stumps sizes

How to mark out a cricket field

This section of the guide will give you more information on how to mark out your cricket field accurately. We will cover the creases, the inner circle, the boundary and the area surrounding it to show you how to mark out a field correctly but efficiently.

The Crease

Lining cricket creases is made much easier with a cricket crease marker. Place the frame on where you wish the crease to be painted. Paint around the frame using line marking paint for a smart, accurate and professional crease.

cricket field lines

The Inner Circle

The inner circle or ’30-yard circle’ is only used in short format games with strict fielding rules, where the fielding side are only permitted to have a certain number of fielders stationed outside the inner circle.

To mark this out you need to:

  • Using a tape measure, measure 89.9ft (75.5ft for women’s matches) outwards from the centre of middle stump and make a mark using paint or inner circle marker discs
  • Repeat this first step but move the tape 14.8ft to the left or right, painting a mark or placing down a disc each time
  • Keep repeating until you have made a half-circle at one end of the pitch
  • Repeat first 3 steps to make a half-circle at the other end of the pitch
  • Join the two semi circles together with straight lines that run parallel to the wicket
  • Your inner circle is complete and ready to use in limited overs matches!

The Boundary

The boundary is the outer perimeter of the cricket field that is often marked by white lines, boundary rope or boundary flags. Batters look to hit the ball past the boundary in order to score 4 or 6 runs depending on whether the ball bounces before crossing the rope. The distance to the boundary is measured from the centre of the wicket or from middle stump but this varies from ground to ground depending on its size and/or the level of the competition.

For local-level cricket minimum and maximum boundary sizes are outlined in specific competition rule books. The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) playing conditions state for international men’s cricket boundaries shall be no longer than 90 yards (270ft) and no shorter than 65 yards (59.43 metres) from the centre of the wicket being used. The equivalent law for international women’s cricket requires the boundary to be between 60 and 70 yards (54.86 and 64.01 metres) from the centre of the wicket being used.

The National Youth Cricket League play with the following inner circle and boundary sizes.

National Youth Cricket Inner Circle & Boundary Sizes
Age Group Inner Circle Boundary Circle
Under 11 20 yards (60ft|18.3m) 45 yards (135ft|41.1m – 50 yards (150ft|45.7m)
Under 13 30 yards (90ft|27.4m) 50 yards (150ft|45.7m) – 55 yards (165ft|50.3m)
Under 15 30 yards (90ft|27.4m) 55 yards (165ft|50.3m) – 60 yards (180ft|54.9m)
Under 17 30 yards (90ft|27.4m) 60 yards (180ft|54.9m) – 70 yards (210ft|64m)
Under 19 30 yards (90ft|27.4m) 60 yards (180ft|54.9m) – 70 yards (210ft|64m)
Women 30 yards (90ft|27.4m) 50 yards (150ft|45.7m) - 60 yards (180ft|54.9m)
cricket field dimensions

Outside The Field

MCC law 19.1.2 states that no part of a cricket sight-screen should be within the boundary. Sight-screens are large structures made from wood being held together by a metal frame and transported by wheels. The wood is painted a contrasting colour to the ball and the whole structure is placed directly behind the bowlers’ release point, in order to help with the batter’s visibility. A safety gap of three yards is advised to be maintained beyond the field of play. This safety zone should be clear of any items that could cause injury such as sight-screens, scoreboards and clubhouses.

Now that you have all the relevant information about cricket pitches thanks to our cricket pitch markings and size guide you can now browse our full range of FORTRESS cricket ground equipment and find the items you need to get your pitch ready.

At Net World Sports, we pride ourselves on the quality of our FORTRESS cricket equipment range. We carry batting equipment in sizes suitable for both adults and juniors, as well as cricket balls, ground equipment, stumps, cricket nets, cages, matting, training equipment, and much more.