According to Law 35 of the Laws of Cricket, a batsman can be dismissed by the Hit Wicket method if he/she touches the bails or knocks the stumps while attempting to hit the ball.
In simpler terms, the striker will be considered out Hit Wicket if the ball is in play and the wicket is struck down by his/her bat.
Laws of Cricket
The Laws of Cricket is a code that specifies the rules of the game. It has been copyrighted and maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. As of now, there are currently 42 Laws that outline how the game is to be played worldwide.
As MCC makes it clear, a striker is out under Hit Wicket law in any of the following circumstances:
- When preparing to receive or in receiving a delivery.
- Setting off for the first run immediately after playing the ball.
- No attempt is made to play the ball, and the batsman sets off for the first run, even if there was the opportunity of playing the ball.
- Making a second stroke to guard his/her wicket within the provisions of Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once).
- If the striker puts his/her wicket down before the bowler has entered the delivery stride.
Meanwhile, the batsman cannot be out Hit Wicket on a no-ball. Also, if a bowler mistakenly touches or knocks the bails off while at play, it will be considered a no-ball.
Is it common?
Getting out under Hit Wicket is the sixth most common method of dismissal after caught, bowled, leg before wicket, run out, and stumped. Till September 2020, at least 159 batsmen were dismissed Hit Wicket in Test cricket and 70 were out in International matches.