In an improvised game of cricket - in the park, the garden or in the street or playground - there is usually just one wicket, and only one batsman. At the bowler's end there is often just a single stump, or even a pullover or something to indicate the point from which the bowler bowls.

When the batsman runs, he (or she) first approaches the bowler's end. To be 'run out' a fielder needs to break the wicket toward which the batsman is running. So if he only has time to take one run he needs to give some indication that he is not going for a second run. So he has to say something to indicate that his run is completed.

When I was a kid, well over half a century ago, we used to shout 'WICKETS'. But I just noticed last night, in Manchester, playing with my grandson and his mates that they shout 'IN'.

Does anyone else, from one of the great cricket-loving nations, have a view and any particular experience to report in this matter?

  • Amazingly, every time I read something new about cricket, it confuses me more. For that reason alone, I admire the sport and those that practice or follow it.
    – oerkelens
    Jul 15, 2015 at 8:41
  • @oerkelens But the Netherlands is one of the 'cricket-loving' nations I had in mind. Didn't you get a win against England in a limited-overs match?
    – WS2
    Jul 15, 2015 at 8:44
  • We'd say 'IN' in Irish street cricket as well.
    – Ronan
    Jul 15, 2015 at 8:48
  • We beat England several times (at least twice, and at least once during World Championship play-offs or something of the kind). Be that as it may, I wasn't even aware we had a cricket team. Imagine my surprise at work when my Indian colleagues started congratulating me.
    – oerkelens
    Jul 15, 2015 at 9:03

1 Answer 1


I played cricket just like this in the school playground (rural Gloucestershire, late 1970's) and we always shouted "In!".

  • Were there ever any arguments? I'm getting a bit concerned about IN. Could it not be confused with a cough ? Could a batsman shout IN and then claim he hadn't? WICKETS seems more declamatory to me.
    – WS2
    Jul 15, 2015 at 9:13
  • Oh there were plenty of arguments, but not of that sort. "In" is nice and short and usually declaimed at high volume, so it's hard to confuse with a cough. A common trick was for a batsman in danger of being run out to bellow "In!" while still some yards down the wicket, in an attempt to put the bowler off just as he is receiving the ball from the fielder.
    – mikeagg
    Jul 15, 2015 at 9:47

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