Ashes 2023: Beginners guide to cricket and terms you’ll hear this summer- including Jaffa and Night Watchman

 The Ashes 2023 is here- and to help you out we’ve got a handy guide to some of the terms you’ll hear this summer
The Ashes are now just days away The Ashes are now just days away
The Ashes are now just days away

The biggest series in cricket is here, and if you’ve not watched any/ much cricket before, you might feel like changing that this summer. England v Australia is the pinnacle when it comes to the sport and this June/July, it is England’s turn to host. 

Getting to grips with cricket can seem daunting. There are many rules and phrases which may leave you scratching your head, but the truth is it’s not all that bad. 

To help you get ahead on your cricketing knowledge, we’ve pieced together explanations to some of the more unusual sounding terms you might hear this summer. The first of five Ashes tests gets underway on June 16 at Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

Night watchman

You can be forgiven for thinking this sounds far more dramatic and noble than it is. However, the night watchman has a very important role. 

They are normally a bowler, who is placed relatively low down in the batting order. At the ed of a days play, if they have lost a wicket, the batting team can send out a player from the lower order. 

The plan here is for the bowler to not get out and protect the batters until the next day's play. On this next day, if/when the night watchman is out, the batting order will then return to normal.  

LBW

An abbreviation of ‘Leg Before Wicket’, LBW is a form of dismissal. A batter is out when the ball strikes them on the pad without first hitting the bat and if the ball has hit them inline with the stumps. 

When a close call arises, the bowling team will shout and scream to the umpire in appeal in hopes of it being given out. If successful, the umpire will raise a single finger. 

Bazball 

Ah yes, Bazball. A term coined when England coach Brendon McCullum was appointed last year and to describe the aggressive, no holds barred form of Test cricket he has installed into England. 

Bazball has already been mentioned a lot in the build up to the Ashes series. It will increase tenfold as the next few weeks roll on. 

Duck

The animal duck is a cute little guy who is loved by many. In cricket, however, the duck is feared by batters around the world. This is because to get a duck in cricket means you are out without scoring any runs. So if you hear any mention of a player getting a duck- this is bad. 

Jaffa 

The Ashes are now just days away The Ashes are now just days away
The Ashes are now just days away

This one might get you thinking of something orange and cakey, and in cricket it is a compliment. A Jaffa is essentially a ball which is bowled so well that the batter is unable to play it. The aim for bowlers is as many jaffa’s as possible- so keep an eye and ear out for these. 

Pitch

This one might seem straight forward, but it’s included as in cricket there are two meanings. One meaning is the cut strip in the middle of the field where all the action will take place. 

However, the second meaning is one which you may hear more often. Pitch also means the bounce of the ball. ‘Pitching it right’ is essentially the bowler getting the ball to bounce on the pitch (confusing, I know) and make life difficult for the batter.