The Duckworth Lewis Method's cricket dictionary

Neil Hannon and Thomas Walsh of the cricket-loving band explain the sport’s rudest terms



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Maiden Over

We all know that a 'maiden over' is an over (six deliveries of the ball) in which no runs are scored. However it is a common misconception that the word 'maiden' refers to the unsullied, virginal nature of the scorecard. This in fact is a quite recent addition to the Cricketing Dictionary, emanating from a predilection amongst MCC members for heavy rock – the club tie featuring, as it does, a white snake on a deep purple background.

No Ball

It is a little known fact of cricket etymology that the meaning of this term has changed completely since it was first coined more than three hundred years ago. 'Kreaquette' first received royal patronage in the court of William and Mary, and they would do almost anything to enhance their chances against the all-conquering Flemish. It may sound brutal to modern ears, but in these times it was common practice to castrate young batsmen, as it was thought this made them calmer and more even-tempered at the crease. Some have pondered whether this technique has recently been revived in the innocent, unflappable form of Joe Root.


According to scientists there is an unusually high incidence of swinging among cricketers. We cannot name names of course (that would Knott be Wright) but apparently these 'Key parties' Border on the obscene, with very little Warne. We have reliable evidence that Peter Willey does not attend such events.

Reverse Swing

We're not exactly sure what this is, but apparently it takes place late on at such parties when the atmosphere gets particularly 'hot and heavy'.

Tickle Down Leg

The tickling sensation one feels as a batsman when small drops of urine escape the confines of one's box and run slowly down the inner thigh. This can either be a symptom of the fear induced by an on rushing pace bowler, or merely the result of forgetting to visit the lavatory at lunch.

Tickle Down Fine Leg

The same thing, but generally confined to the women's game.

Anal Ball

Well, you have to get it in somewhere! This little known (but, at the time, highly controversial) form of bowling was a major feature of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket competition in the late ‘70s. Its chief exponent was the fabled Kiwi, Terry Jacksy. Many presumed the 'anal' delivery to have been a lurid play on Jacksy's surname, when in fact it was down to the intentionally provocative movement of his posterior at the moment of release. He would often be cheered onto the ground with shouts of 'brown ball in the ring', 'they don't like it up 'em', and 'shove it up their arseholes, Terry!'

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