Corridor of uncertainty

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In the sport of cricket, the corridor of uncertainty is an area where a cricket ball can pitch during a delivery: a narrow line on and just outside a batsman's off stump. The name is derived from the opinion that this is the area in which a batsman struggles most to determine whether to play forward or back, or to leave the delivery. If a batsman leaves the ball, there is a chance the ball will turn inward and either bowl him or hit him with an increased chance of leg before wicket. If a batsman plays the ball, there's a chance the ball will go to the outside instead, leading to an outside edge that can be easily caught by the slip fielders or Wicketkeeper.

The first recorded use of the phrase is often, perhaps wrongly, credited to former Yorkshire and England batsman, now commentator, Geoffrey Boycott whilst commentating on England's 1990 tour of the West Indies.[1] There are other earlier claims to coinage, however, including a televised interview with Merv Hughes who says Allan Border instructed him to bowl in the "corridor of uncertainty" at one point in the 1988-1989 West Indies tour of Australia. Among the references found online, one that predates Boycott's claim by several months is an article from the Age on 11 July 1989 where Martin Blake attributed it to Terry Alderman. It says that Alderman "rarely strayed from the "corridor of uncertainty" that he coined himself several years ago" [2]

The phrase has also been used in other sports commentary. In football it is commonly used to describe a cross or pass which is delivered into the area in front of the goalkeeper and behind the last line of defence. The "uncertainty" in this case comes from the decision which both the last defender and the goalkeeper must make: whether to defend the ball, or leave it to the other player.

"Corridor of uncertainty" is also the name, or part of the name, of several online cricket forums and at least two fanzine-type cricket publications.

Outside of the world of cricket, the term “Corridor of Uncertainty” is commonly used in Chicago to describe a strip of 4am bars and pubs on Rush & Division street. Due to the hours of operation these bars often produce unforeseen acts of pure seshingdom.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greenslade, Nick (4 July 2004), "First and last: Geoffrey Boycott", The Observer
  2. ^ Blake, Martin (11 July 1989), "Test win hopes soar", The Age