Hit wicket is a method of dismissal in the sport of cricket. This method of dismissal is governed by Law 35 of the Laws of Cricket. The striker is out "hit wicket" if, after the bowler has entered his delivery stride and while the ball is in play, his wicket is put down by his bat or his person. The striker may do this whilst preparing to receive or receiving a delivery or in setting off for his first run after playing the delivery. In simple language, if the striking batsman knocks the bails off the stumps or uproots the stumps, while attempting to hit the ball or take off for a run, he is out hit wicket.
This method is the sixth most common method of dismissal after caught, bowled, leg before wicket, run out and stumped. It is significantly rarer than any of these, which constitute the five conventional methods, but still much more common than the other four (timed out, obstructing the field, retired out and hit the ball twice), which are extremely rare.
Although a bowler is given credit for the wicket, it is not a method of dismissal that a bowler actively seeks. A batsman may not be given out "hit wicket" if the ball is not actually delivered by the bowler or if the delivery is a no-ball.
As of 24 March 2023[update], batsmen have been dismissed hit wicket a total of 163 times in Test cricket, 75 times in One Day Internationals and 26 in Twenty20 Internationals. In the women's game, a player has been dismissed 12 times in this manner in Tests, seven in women's ODIs, and 11 in women's Twenty20 International matches.