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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 20, 2014

Declaration guidelines in test cricket

  • Harsha Perera , Paramjit S. Gill and Tim B. Swartz EMAIL logo


This paper considers the decision problem of when to declare during the third innings of a test cricket match. There are various factors that affect the decision of the declaring team including the target score, the number of overs remaining, the relative desire to win versus draw, and the scoring characteristics of the particular match. Decision rules are developed and these are assessed against historical matches. We observe that there are discrepancies between the optimal time to declare and what takes place in practice.

Corresponding author: Tim B. Swartz, Professor, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby BC, Canada V5A1S6, e-mail:
aSwartz has been partially supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  1. 1

    At the completion of the second innings of a scheduled 5-day match, if the team batting first leads by at least 200 runs, then it has the option of forcing the second innings batting team to bat again in the third innings. The sequence of batting innings according to Team A, Team B, Team B, and Team A (if required) is the result of team A enforcing the follow-on.

  2. 2

    If a team has accumulated an adequate amount of runs during its first innings (Team A) or second innings (Team B), then the team may decide to declare at that time, but these less common scenarios are not the focus of this study.


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Published Online: 2014-1-20
Published in Print: 2014-1-1

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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