Stumps meaning in Cricket: Why do umpires call Stumps after end of a day’s play in Test Cricket?

Gurpreet Singh
|Published March 05, 2022

Stumps meaning in Cricket: The umpire at the bowling end pronounces ‘Stumps’ at the end of each day during a Test match.

Arch-rivals India and Pakistan have gained a massive upper hand in their respective home Test series matches after umpires call ‘Stumps’ at the end of Day 2 at Mohali and Rawalpindi respectively.

Both India and Pakistan, courtesy of a huge first innings total, have forced Sri Lanka and Australia respectively to play the catch-up game while operating with a spin-heavy attack each.

India, on the back of Ravindra Jadeja’s second Test century (175* off 228) and a scintillating knock from Rishabh Pant (96 off 97) declared their innings at 574-8, while also sending back four of the Sri Lankan batters back in the pavilion with mere 108 runs on the scoreboard.

On the other hand, Pakistan, playing against Australia at home after 24 years, made sure they made the Aussie bowlers’ life miserable after they too declared their first innings at 476-4, with the assistance of a couple of stellar centuries from Imam-ul-Haq (157 off 358) and Azhar Ali (185 off 361).

Stumps meaning in Cricket

Umpires were forced to call stumps on Day 2, after bad light forced the players to tread off the field with only one Over of the Australian innings possible.

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The word ‘Stumps’ was originally used by the umpires after the end of a day’s play in Test Cricket because they would then draw the stumps (the two sets of wickets) out after the final delivery of the day is bowled.

However, in modern day Cricket, the umpires, post calling ‘Stumps’, remove the bails from the top of the stumps at each end (batting and bowling) to mark the end of day’s play.

As per Law 12.2 of the MCC Laws of Cricket under the head ‘Start of play; cessation of play’, ‘the bowler’s end umpire shall call Time, when the ball is dead, at the end of any session of play or as required by the Laws’.

It is the third session (and the final one) after the end of which, the umpire finally calls ‘stumps’ to mark the end of that particular day’s play.

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About the author

Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh

Even before persuing his post-graduate diploma in English journalism from IIMC, Gurpreet was certain that Cricket had to be the driving force to keep him sane and optimistic in all life-related matters. Hailing from Ranchi and having represented Jharkhand at the Under-14 level, he believes that the more you keep digging in while understanding the nitty-gritty of a sport, the more humble you become with the realisation that you hardly know anything!

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