Monday, 17 Jun 2024

What Is the Difference Between a Tie and a Draw in Cricket?

Cricket is a fascinating sport with its unique set of rules and traditions. One of the most intriguing aspects of cricket is the possibility of a match ending without a winner being declared. In such cases, the result can be either a tie or a draw, but many people are unaware of the difference between the two.


A tie in cricket is a rare occurrence and has only happened twice in the history of Test cricket. The first instance was in 1960 when the West Indies played against Australia, and the second was in 1986 when Australia faced India.

In a tie, both teams complete their innings, and at the conclusion of play, their scores are equal. Let’s take a look at the scores from the West Indies vs. Australia matches mentioned above:

West Indies

  • First innings score: 454
  • Second innings score: 284
  • Total: 737


  • First innings score: 505
  • Second innings score: 232
  • Total: 737

In other forms of cricket, such as one-day matches or Twenty20, ties can also occur. However, tiebreakers are used to determine a winner. These tiebreakers can include a bowl-out, a super-over, or other methods to decide the result.


According to Law 21 in cricket, a draw is defined as follows: “A match which is concluded as defined in Law 16.9 (Conclusion of match), without being determined in any of the ways stated above, shall count as a Draw.”

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In simpler terms, a draw happens when a team fails to complete their innings by the official end of play. In Test cricket, where the number of overs is not limited, a team batting last can play for a draw when they have no chance of surpassing their opponent’s score. The objective is to avoid getting bowled out before the scheduled end of play. Draws are relatively common in cricket, especially in Test matches.

Other Unusual Ways a Cricket Match Can End

Apart from ties and draws, there are a few more unusual ways in which a cricket match can conclude. While these situations are rare, they are still worth mentioning:


Very rarely, umpires have the authority to award a match to one side, declaring them the winner. This decision usually occurs when a team refuses to continue playing, leading the umpires to rule that they have forfeited the game.


Conceding a match is an extremely uncommon occurrence in cricket. It happens when a team mistakenly accepts an incorrect score displayed on the scoreboard (in good faith) as the winning score. In this extraordinary situation, the team that was initially considered the loser is instead seen as having conceded the match to their opponents.


Due to unpredictable weather conditions, a cricket game may not even begin. In such cases, the match is deemed “abandoned” and does not count toward any statistical records.


Q: How often do ties occur in cricket?
A: Ties in cricket are extremely rare and have only happened twice in the history of Test cricket.

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Q: Can ties occur in other forms of cricket besides Test matches?
A: Yes, ties can also occur in one-day matches and Twenty20 matches. However, tiebreakers are implemented to determine a winner in these cases.

Q: What is a draw in cricket?
A: A draw occurs when a team fails to complete their innings by the official end of play. It is a relatively common result in Test matches, where teams may opt to play for a draw when they cannot surpass their opponent’s score.


In cricket, a tie is when both teams complete their innings, and their scores are equal at the conclusion of play. On the other hand, a draw occurs when a team does not finish their innings by the official end of play. Ties are rare, while draws are relatively common in Test matches. Additionally, cricket matches can also be awarded, conceded, or abandoned under unique circumstances. Understanding these outcomes adds to the intrigue and complexity of this beloved sport.

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