What are the bails in cricket? Complete information about bails

Bails in cricket are one of the most crucial components of this beautiful sport. Bails hold the power to signify triumph for a bowler, fielder & keeper. Fans talk a lot about run-outs, bold’s, and hit wickets but the huge significance of these small bails usually go unnoticed. 

With this blog, I am going to give you every detail about bails in cricket. See how they look, what is their weight and length, know different types of bails & many more things. With my 13 years of experience of watching cricket, I will try my very best to let you know everything about bails.

What are bails in cricket?

White cricket ball & a pair of bails are lay over green grass

Bails are the small wooden(or plastic) pieces that are placed over the stumps. Generally, two pairs of bails are used in a match, each pair placed over stumps of both ends. 

Bails adds more visual appearance in the game about whether the ball hit the stump or not. 

They get dislodged immediately from the stumps as soon as the ball hits the stump. 

Bails play a very important role in deciding whether the batter is out or not, through being run-out, bowled, stumped & hit wicket. 

Fall of the bails adds more thrill, excitement & enjoyment to the game. It decides whether the batter has to leave the field or continue playing. 

In recent times, innovations like LED bails have added a more modern touch to this traditional game, making the dismissal more visually striking, especially during night matches.

Two Parts of bails

cricket bail parts
Two Parts of bail – Spigot & Barrel

A simple piece of ball is essentially made up of two components. 

1- Barrel: It is the main cylindrical part of the bail that sits over the stumps. Barrel is the most visible portion of bails that catches player, umpire & spectators attention immediately after bails falls. 

2- Spigot: Spigot is another cylindrical portion of bails that ensures stable connection of bail with stumps. Each bail has two spigots, one is on right & other is on left of the barrel. One spigot is longer while the other is shorter in length. The longer spigot is inserted into the hole on the  corner stump while the shorter spigot is inserted into the hole on the middle stump  along with the shorter spigot of the other bail. This geometry of spigot makes a bail an asymmetrical object.

Different types of bails in cricket

At present three types of bails are currently used in cricket. They are as follows:

1. Wooden Bails

wooden bails are placed over a set of stumps
Wooden bails

As the name suggests, these types of bails are made from wood. Wooden bails are one of the most traditional components of cricket that are in use even today. They are very cheap & generally light in weight. Their use depends upon match, match timing & country. Wooden bails are somewhat dangerous for wicket-keepers, sometimes bails jump upon the keeper’s eyes & can cause injury in keeper eyes.

2- LED Bails:

Someone is placing a pair of illuminating red LED bails over the pair of stumps
LED bails

These bails are the newest edition in this list. LED bails are equipped with the LED lights that blink immediately when the bails get dislodged from the stumps. These bails are generally made from composite plastic. These bails are very expensive & heavy in weight. LED bails are usually used in high profile tournaments & series like World cup, T20 leagues, Ashes etc.

3. Windy Bails:

These bails are majorly similar to the above two bails but only differ in weight. The weight of a windy bail is appreciably higher than LED or wooden bails. They are only used when the atmosphere is quite windy, thus to avoid unwanted fall of bails from the stumps. The Basin reserve is a stadium in New Zealand where the atmosphere is quite windy, hence these bails can be quite useful for this stadium.

Length of bails in cricket

Length of bails in cricket
Length of A Bail

The length of an individual bail is specified in the Laws of Cricket by the MCC. According to these rules:

Overall length:  10.95cm

Length of barrel: 5.40 cm

Longer spigot: 3.50 cm

Shorter spigot: 2.06 cm 

Above rules are strictly applicable to all types of bail, whether wooden, LED or windy bails.

Weight of a Bail

There is no specific rule about the weight of an individual bail. It is believed that its weight may vary depending upon the manufactures, conditions etc. However, during manufacturing, the weight of the bail is adjusted to the correct level so that it falls easily when the ball hits the stump.

During the 2019 cricket world cup, Daily Mail had published a report about the weight of an individual bail. In this report, they mention the approximate weight of different bails.

Weight of bail & image representation of what should happen when ball hits the stump
Weight of bails in cricket {IMG By: Daily Mail}

Wooden- 25 g

LED(zings)- 40 g

Windy– 51 g

Read Also: What is the weight of a cricket ball?

Cost of Bails in cricket

cost of bails in cricket
Approximate cost of different types of bails

Cost of the bails is not fixed. It depends upon manufacturers, type, country and many other factors. Approximate cost of different types of bails is shown below:

Wooden Bails: These are the cheapest bails used in cricket. Since it is just a piece of pure wood & does not involve any technology thus it does not cost too much. Wooden bails can be purchased at just $1. However higher quality wooden bail can cost around $8-$10. 

LED Bails: These bails are very expensive, since these bails are very high in tech & made up of very valuable parts. Depending upon the manufacturer, its price varies. Most widely used LED bails i.e Zings bails cost around 50,000 INR($700). 

It is quite astonishing that all cricket boards do not buy these bails directly, but they make an annual contract with the company. Through this contract they get the whole pack of stumps & bails at rent. 

However for your club matches you can buy LED bails at around 3000 INR($35-$40), which are obviously low in quality.

How LED Bails work?

LED bails were first made by an Australian man, Eckermann. He is a former cricket player & got the inspiration of LED bails from a LED toy of his daughter. 

The bails are powered by hidden low voltage batteries. They each contain a microprocessor that detects when contact between the bails and the stumps has been broken. 

The bails are illuminated within 1/1000th of a second. “They can be vibrated, knocked, rained upon, but will only flash when both ends(or spigots) are completely dislodged from the stumps,” explains Eckermann(Zing’s bails maker). The microprocessors then send a radio signal to the stumps which also light up.

Written By:

Somesh lakhera- The Man behind Cricket Punch
Somesh Lakhera

Somesh Lakhera, a passionate cricket enthusiast with over 13 years of dedicated cricket-watching experience. With an unwavering love for the game, Somesh shares his insights and knowledge through his cricket blogging, bringing the excitement of cricket to fans around the world.

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