Can a batsman hit wicket out on a free hit? | Cricket Rules 2024

Can a Batsman Hit Wicket Out on a Free Hit?

Cricket is a game filled with complexities and nuances, and one such intriguing aspect is the concept of a free hit. Introduced to prevent bowlers from overstepping the line, the free hit rule allows the batsman to take a swing without the fear of getting dismissed via most conventional methods. However, amidst the plethora of rules governing the sport, a common question arises: Can a batsman hit wicket out on a free hit?

Introduction to Free Hit in Cricket

Before delving into the specifics, let’s understand what a free hit entails. In cricket, a free hit is a penalty awarded to the batting side when a bowler commits a front-foot no-ball, i.e., oversteps the popping crease while delivering the ball. Upon such an infringement, the umpire signals a no-ball, and the subsequent delivery is designated as a free hit.

Understanding the Free Hit Rule

During a free hit, the batsman can only be dismissed through a few select modes of dismissal, namely, run out, obstructing the field, handling the ball, or hitting the ball twice. This rule aims to provide an advantage to the batting side while penalizing the bowler for their error.

Can a Batsman Get Out on a Free Hit?

Now, let’s address the main query: Can a batsman be dismissed by hitting the wicket on a free hit? The short answer is yes, a batsman can indeed be out hit wicket even during a free hit, albeit under specific circumstances.

Can a batsman hit wicket out on a free hit
Can a batsman hit wicket out on a free hit

Explaining the Hit Wicket Rule

Hit wicket refers to a scenario where the batsman, in the process of playing a shot or setting off for a run, disturbs the stumps with either their bat or body, resulting in the dislodging of the bails. This action leads to the batsman’s dismissal, regardless of whether it occurs during a regular delivery or a free hit.

Application of the Rule on Free Hits

While the free hit rule offers some reprieve to the batsman, it does not absolve them of the responsibility to avoid hitting the wicket. If a batsman inadvertently disturbs the stumps during a free hit, they are deemed out hit wicket, and their innings comes to an abrupt end.

Instances Where a Batsman Can Be Out Hit Wicket on a Free Hit

Let’s explore some scenarios where a batsman can find themselves dismissed hit wicket despite the delivery being a free hit:

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Scenario 1: Batsman Displaces the Bails While Playing a Shot

If, while attempting to strike the ball aggressively, the batsman’s bat or body makes contact with the stumps, causing the bails to fall, they will be declared out hit wicket, regardless of the delivery’s nature.

Scenario 2: Batsman Hits the Stumps While Taking a Swing

In the heat of the moment, a batsman might lose their balance or misjudge their position, leading to accidental contact with the stumps. Such instances, even during a free hit, result in the batsman’s dismissal under the hit wicket rule.

Clarifications and Exceptions

Umpire’s Discretion

It’s essential to note that the final decision regarding a batsman’s dismissal lies with the on-field umpires. They assess each situation individually, considering factors such as intent and the sequence of events before making a ruling.

Unintentional Actions by the Batsman

In cases where the batsman’s contact with the stumps is purely accidental and not a result of their attempt to play the ball, the umpires may exercise discretion and not declare them out hit wicket.

Precautions Taken by Batsmen during Free Hits

To mitigate the risk of being dismissed hit wicket during a free hit, batsmen often take extra precautions, such as being more mindful of their stance and movement around the crease.

Common Misconceptions Regarding Free Hits and Hit Wicket

There are some misconceptions surrounding the free hit rule and its interaction with the hit wicket law. It’s crucial for players and fans alike to understand the nuances to avoid confusion during matches.


In conclusion, while a free hit provides batsmen with a rare opportunity to score runs without the fear of dismissal via conventional methods, they are not entirely immune to the hit wicket rule. Batsmen must exercise caution and maintain focus to avoid inadvertently getting out hit wicket, even during a free hit.


Q. Can a batsman be out stumped on a free hit?

Ans. No, the stumping dismissal is not applicable during a free hit. The batsman can only be dismissed through a select few modes, as outlined by the rules.

Q. Is there a limit to the number of free hits a batsman can receive in an innings?

Ans. No, there is no limit to the number of free hits a batsman can receive. Each front-foot no-ball committed by the bowler results in a free hit for the batting side.

Q. What happens if the batsman is out caught on a free hit?

Ans. If the batsman is caught off a free hit, they are not dismissed. The delivery is considered a no-ball, and the batsman remains at the crease.

Q. Can a bowler change the field during a free hit?

Ans. Yes, the fielding side can adjust their field placements between deliveries, including during a free hit.

Q. Is the wide delivery rule applicable during a free hit?

Ans. Yes, if the bowler delivers a wide ball during a free hit, it is still counted as a wide, and an additional delivery is added to the over.

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