Definition of no-ball in English:



  • An unlawfully delivered ball, counting one as an extra to the batting side if not otherwise scored from.

    ‘we also bowled far too many no-balls and wides’
    • ‘The no-ball counts for little apart from an extra run under the current front-foot rule, which gives the batsman little time to take advantage of it.’
    • ‘In the early weeks of this Ashes tour, it looked a little like our dream had come true, except that they wanted to play like us, what with the batting collapses, dropped catches, wides and no-balls.’
    • ‘I propose that each batsman face only 90 balls (excluding no-balls and wides) and has to retire at the end of it if he is unbeaten.’
    • ‘His first ball was a no-ball, his second a full-toss, and his third ripped out of the rough for two byes.’
    • ‘Defending their modest 151 total, Bangladesh made life even more difficult for themselves by conceding 30 extras including 12 no-balls and 10 wides.’


[with object]Cricket
  • (of an umpire) declare (a bowler) to have bowled a no-ball; declare (a delivery) to be a no-ball.

    ‘at Lord's he took a Test hat-trick and was no-balled for throwing’
    • ‘But till 1862 such a delivery was reckoned as illegal; in fact, Edgar Willsher of Kent was the first cricketer to be no-balled for bowling overarm in 1862.’
    • ‘Also, I thought that, towards the end of the match, the umpire was no-balling me unnecessarily, allowing Benjamin to go for big shots.’
    • ‘Or will the data have to be transmitted to a laboratory in Australia for complex and elaborate testing before an umpire can no-ball a bowler for chucking?’
    • ‘It was an Australian umpire, standing in Australia, who no-balled him for throwing in 1995.’
    • ‘He had no choice but to take Meckiff out of the attack when he was no-balled for throwing on the second, third and ninth deliveries of his opening over.’