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How did positions on the cricket field get their names?

How did positions on the cricket field get their names? The words ‘on’ and ‘off’ originate from the offside and near side of a horse or carriage, the ‘offside’ being the opposite side, which a driver walks or rider mounts. The origin of the word ‘slips’ is hinted at in an early description of the long stop, who “is required to cover many slips from the bat”. Early cricket writers identify two slip positions – ‘short-slip’, which was equivalent to modern-day first or second ‘slip’ position. The other position was ‘long-slip’, equivalent to the modern day ‘short third man’ or ‘fly-slip’ position. By the turn of the century, an attacking field would usually have two ‘slips’ — ‘first slip’ and ‘cover-slip’ or extra-slip. The name gully apparently derives from the more general meaning of a narrow channel or gorge between ‘point’ and slips. It became a position in its own right, following the development of off-theory attack towards the end of the 19th century. The origin of the term ‘point’ stems from early cricket when the position was called ‘point of the bat’ and the fieldsman would field no more than three and half yards from the batsman. ‘New fieldsman’ was the third man up.

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