October 10, 2023

Why Do Cricketers Take Guard And How to Ask for it Correctly

Cricket, a gentleman’s game loved by millions across the globe, is full of intriguing rituals and traditions. One such ritual that often catches the eye of spectators is when cricketers take guard before facing a delivery. But have you ever wondered why they do it? Here, we will explore the reason behind this peculiar practice and also discuss the correct way to request for a guard.

Taking guard is a vital part of a batsman’s preparation at the crease. It allows them to position themselves correctly and determine their stance in relation to the stumps. By taking guard, batsmen ensure that they have enough space to play their shots without getting too close to the wickets or standing too far away from them.

To initiate this process, the batsman typically marks his guard with his bat by making a small indentation on the pitch. This helps him maintain consistency in his positioning throughout his innings. The choice of guard may vary depending on various factors such as personal preference, playing conditions, and even the bowler’s style of delivery.

Interestingly, there are different types of guards that batsmen can opt for – leg stump guard, middle stump guard, or off stump guard. These guards indicate where exactly the batsman wants to take position in relation to the stumps. The selection of guard is often influenced by factors like batting style, strengths and weaknesses of the batsman, and even field settings.

Asking for guard correctly is crucial for both batsmen and umpires to avoid any confusion or miscommunication. Batsmen usually ask for their preferred guard by mentioning either “leg”, “middle”, or “off”. Umpires play a key role here by understanding and acknowledging these requests promptly. Clear communication between both parties ensures smooth proceedings on the field.

Cricketers take guard because they don’t trust the bowlers to aim for the stumps instead of their bodies.

Why do cricketers take guard?

Cricketers are known for their precise and strategic gameplay, but have you ever wondered why they take guard? It is a crucial aspect of the game that ensures a fair contest between the batsman and the bowler.

When a cricketer takes guard, they are essentially marking the spot where they stand in relation to the stumps. This allows them to establish their position and judge the distance from the wicket. By taking guard, cricketers can adapt their stance according to various factors such as pitch conditions, ball movement, and bowler’s line and length.

The position a batsman takes guard can have a significant impact on their batting performance. It not only helps them gauge the correct distance from the stumps but also assists in maintaining proper balance while playing shots. The placement of their feet can influence their ability to reach deliveries more effectively and make calculated decisions based on the speed and movement of the ball.

In addition to these technical aspects, taking guard also serves as a psychological tool. It allows batsmen to assert their authority over the bowler by positioning themselves confidently at the crease. This subtle act signifies their readiness to face any challenge thrown at them and sets the tone for an intense battle between bat and ball.

Interestingly, there is no set rule or standard position for taking guard. Each cricketer has their unique style and preference when it comes to marking their territory at the crease. Some may opt for middle or leg stump guards, while others may choose off stump or even different positions depending on personal batting techniques.

So next time you watch a cricket match, pay attention to how batsmen take guard before facing each delivery. It may seem like a small ritual, but it holds immense significance in ensuring fair play, aiding batting performance, and setting the stage for an exhilarating showdown on the field.

Why take guard when you can just hope the bowler has terrible aim?

Explanation of the concept of taking guard

Taking guard is a fundamental concept in the game of cricket. It refers to the position that a batsman takes at the crease before facing the bowler. The purpose of taking guard is to give the batsman a reference point for positioning himself correctly and ensuring that he is standing in line with the stumps.

When a batsman takes guard, he typically indicates his preference by tapping his bat on the ground, just in front of one of the three wooden stumps that make up the wicket. This helps him align himself properly and ensure that he has a clear view of the bowler’s delivery.

The decision of where to take guard can vary depending on factors such as personal preference, playing conditions, and the style of bowler being faced. Some batsmen may prefer to take guard closer to off stump, while others may opt for middle or leg stump. This choice is often influenced by a player’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their strategy against different types of bowling.

Taking guard also allows the batsman to establish their preferred stance and balance at the crease. By positioning themselves correctly, they can achieve better timing and control over their shots, which are crucial for scoring runs. Additionally, it helps them gauge their distance from the stumps and make quick judgments about whether to play a shot or let the ball go.

While taking guard may seem like a simple act, it plays an important role in enabling batsmen to prepare themselves mentally and physically for each delivery they face. It provides them with a sense of familiarity and confidence, allowing them to focus on watching the ball closely and making split-second decisions based on its line and length.

Master the art of asking for guard correctly, because it’s way more important than asking for directions (and you might end up getting hit on the head with a cricket bat if you do it wrong).

How to ask for guard correctly

Cricket is a game that requires precision and strategy, and even the smallest of details can make a difference. One such detail is taking guard correctly. Knowing how to ask for guard in the right way can enhance a cricketer’s performance and set them up for success.

Here is a concise 4-step guide on how to ask for guard correctly:

  1. Stand in front of the stumps: Before requesting for guard, position yourself in front of the stumps with your bat aiming towards the bowler. This ensures that your body alignment is correct and allows you to assess your guard more effectively.
  2. Politely approach the umpire: Approach the umpire confidently and politely request for your preferred guard by using clear and concise language. For example, you could say, “May I have middle stump guard, please?” It is important to be specific about which guard you want as it varies from player to player.
  3. Maintain good eye contact: While asking for guard, maintain good eye contact with the umpire as it demonstrates respect and attentiveness. This also helps in establishing clear communication between you and the official, ensuring that there are no misunderstandings regarding your preferred position.
  4. Confirm your guard: Once the umpire has acknowledged your request, it is essential to confirm your received guard by aligning yourself with the crease accordingly. Take a quick look down at where you intend to stand before nodding or acknowledging the umpire’s response.

In addition to these steps, remember to maintain professionalism throughout the process by avoiding unnecessary conversation or gestures that may distract both yourself and those around you.

Knowing how to ask for guard correctly can provide cricketers with a sense of comfort and familiarity when they step onto the pitch. By adhering to these guidelines, players can ensure that they begin their innings on solid footing and are able to focus solely on their performance without any distractions or concerns about their positioning at the crease.

Do you want to avoid the embarrassment of asking for the wrong guard? Let’s learn from the cricketers who have already been there, done that!

Common mistakes when asking for guard

Cricketers often make common mistakes when asking for guard, jeopardizing their stance and subsequent performance. One such error is failing to provide specific details to the umpire, resulting in confusion and misalignment. Another mistake is not being assertive enough in requesting a particular mark, leading to a lack of confidence in the player’s positioning. These errors can easily be avoided by clearly communicating the desired guard and ensuring the umpire understands the instructions adequately.

Additionally, another crucial aspect that cricketers should be mindful of is not fully understanding their own batting style and requirements when asking for guard. Each player has different preferences, such as foot movement or prioritizing off-side play over leg-side shots. Failing to articulate these specifics can lead to discomfort and compromises in balance during the game.

Furthermore, it is crucial for cricketers to avoid using vague or misleading terms when requesting guard. Instead of simply stating “middle stump,” they should specify whether they want middle-and-off or middle-and-leg stance. By providing precise information, players can ensure they receive a guard that aligns with their strategic objectives.

Moreover, one should remember that communication is key during this process. Politely clarifying any doubts or misinterpretations from the umpire can prevent unnecessary frustration later on. It is essential to establish a clear line of communication with the umpire so that both parties are on the same page regarding the requested guard.

Overall, taking guard correctly forms an integral part of a batsman’s preparation before facing the bowler. It ensures proper alignment and balance, allowing players to execute their shots effectively and maximize their potential at the crease. By avoiding common mistakes like ambiguous requests, lack of assertiveness, and failure to understand personal requirements, cricketers can enhance their chances of success during their stint at bat.

Wrap it up like an LBW appeal, because it’s time to conclude this bat-swinging, guard-taking journey with a bowler of a conclusion!


Throughout this article, we have delved into the intriguing world of cricketers taking guard. We have explored the reasons behind this practice and discovered the correct way to request it. Now, let us reflect on what we have learned and draw our final insights.

As we have seen, cricketers take guard to ensure that they have a reference point for their positioning at the crease. It allows them to establish their stance correctly and gives them confidence in their ability to judge the movement of the bowler. By knowing how to ask for it correctly, batsmen can communicate their preferences effectively and maximize their chances of success.

In addition to these insights, there are a few more details worth mentioning. While taking guard is primarily associated with batsmen, it is also relevant for umpires who need to position themselves accurately during the game. Furthermore, there are different methods available for requesting guard, such as indicating whether you are left-handed or right-handed.

Now that we have covered these additional aspects, we can conclude that taking guard is not merely a ritual but an essential aspect of cricket. It allows players to establish a solid foundation from which they can build their innings or make crucial decisions as umpires. So next time you watch a cricket match, take note of how players take guard and appreciate the significance behind this seemingly simple action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do cricketers take guard?

Cricket players take guard to position themselves correctly in relation to the stumps and the bowler. It helps them determine their batting stance, establish the correct alignment, and ensure they have enough space to play their shots effectively.

What does taking guard mean in cricket?

Taking guard involves a batsman marking a reference point on the pitch usually with the bat to indicate the desired position. It helps the batsman to align himself better and adjust to the line and length of the bowler’s delivery.

How do cricketers ask for guard correctly?

A batsman usually asks the umpire for guard before the start of an innings or when a new bowler comes into the attack. They typically ask by saying phrases like “Can I have middle stump guard, please?” or “May I have leg stump guard, please?” The umpire then acknowledges and guides the batsman accordingly.

What are the common types of guard taken by batsmen?

The three common types of guard taken by batsmen are middle stump guard, leg stump guard, and off stump guard. Middle stump guard positions the batsman in the middle of the batting crease, while leg and off stump guard position the batsman accordingly on the leg or off side.

Why do cricketers sometimes change their guard?

Cricketers may change their guard based on various factors like the line and length of the bowler, the movement of the pitch, or their own batting preferences. Changing the guard allows batsmen to find a more comfortable position and adapt to different conditions or bowlers.

Can a player ask for a specific guard position at any time?

Yes, a player can ask for a specific guard position at any time, provided they inform the umpire before taking the guard. However, it is more common to change guard between overs or when facing a new bowler.

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