One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A line four feet (1.22 metres) in front of and parallel to the line of the stumps, within which the batsman must keep the bat or one foot grounded to avoid the risk of being stumped or run out.
- ‘David Shepherd, however, had already signalled the no-ball, and as a grinning de Villiers led the teams off for lunch, King remained out in the middle, scratching the popping crease like a disconsolate rooster.’
- ‘Mike introduces me to the popping crease and the return crease, although seconds after, I cannot remember which is which.’
- ‘Little cracks had appeared at around a good length near the popping crease of the Cathedral End and similar cracks had opened a little around a leg stump line at the River End.’
Late 18th century: from the verb pop, perhaps in the obsolete sense ‘strike’.
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