Cricket is another bat-and-ball sport which is similar to baseball. However, its not as popular since this game is mostly played in India, Pakistan, and England. Lately, popularity has increased to Australia and New Zealand but still Cricket can’t compete with major European and US sports.

Cricket Intro
Welcome to Cricket

Cricket is played between two teams of eleven players on a field similar to the one in baseball. Both sides take turns in being the batting side or the bowling and fielding side. The batting side tries to score while the other side tries to prevent that. The winner of the game is the team that manages to get more points. Keep reading to learn more about this sport.

Cricket History

It’s believed that Cricket first originated as a children’s game in England, at some point in the medieval period. Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597. When it comes to the name of the sport, there are several possibilities.

Cricket might be named after the English word cryce which means a crutch or staff. There are other similar words from languages like French and Dutch. At that time England was trading with the country of Flanders and France, so both of them are possible. In old French the word criquet meant a club or a stick. In middle Dutch, the word crick was used to refer to a stick. Most of these reports suggest that the name might have a Flemish origin.

Cricket History

Through the years cricket was played all over England which meant it was surely played in their colonies as well. The British Empire had been instrumental in spreading the game overseas and by the middle of the 19th century it had become well established in Australia, the Caribbean, India, New Zealand, North America and South Africa. It was around the middle of the 19th century when cricket became an international sport.

At the moment India, Pakistan, and England are the strongest countries when it comes to cricket. Other countries that compete include Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, and Ireland.

Cricket Rules

This sport has rules that are specified in a special code known as The Laws of Cricket. The code has 42 rules and, since 1788, it has been owned and maintained by its custodian, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. As we mentioned above the game is played by two sides of eleven players each.

The match time depends on the type of match that is played. There are 6 types of matches that can be played. It’s basically two groups of three types because the second group is just the international versions of the types located in the first group. First-class matches are the oldest type and Tests are their international counterpart. Usually, they are played over four or five days and each one lasts about eight hours.

Cricket Rules

Next we have List A matches or on the international scene known as ODI’s. They can be played just one day or several days, depending on the agreement. These matches last no longer than 8 hours as well. Last but not least, we have T20 matches or T20 internationals. They are much shorter than the other two cricket types because of the reduced number of innings. Depending on the tournaments, T20 can last as little as two and a half hours.

How to Play

Cricket is a very complicated game which is probably why it’s not popular all over the world. There are various ways to score points, and each way give a different amount of points. The defense has special tasks as well which can lead to points or to the prevention of the other team from scoring.

Each Striker places himself in front of his “witchet” and waits for the ball to be thrown towards him while the other Striker is waiting to run.

After the ball is thrown, the Striker will try to hit the ball as far as possible, and the following situations may occur:

  • If the ball leaves the field by air, 6 points are won.
  • If the ball leaves the field but hits the ground first, 4 points are won.
  • In the event the ball is folded and remains in the field, the Scouts can run and change their positions. When a defender manages to catch the ball and sends it to the receiver, once he catches it, they can’t change anymore. Each exchange is worth 1 point.

Pitch Rules, Players, and Equipment

The cricket field is usually circular or oval in shape and the edge of the playing area is marked by a boundary, which may be a fence, part of the stands, a rope, a painted line or a combination of these; the boundary must if possible be marked along its entire length. In the middle of the field there is a rectangular pitch which is 3 meters wide. In the pitch there are wooden targets called wickets is sited at each end; the wickets are placed 20 meters apart.

Cricket Equipment

During regular play, thirteen players are on the field. Two of the players are batsmen and the rest are the eleven members of the fielding team. The other nine players in the batting team are off the field in the pavilion. Both teams take turns in the innings so both have equal time to bat and to defend. Since there are so many rules and different types of players, there is a lot of equipment in one cricket match.

The wicket-keeper and the batsmen wear protective gear because of the hardness of the ball, which can be delivered at speeds of more than 145 kilometers per hour. Protective clothing includes pads, batting gloves or wicket-keeper’s gloves for the hands, a safety helmet for the head and a box for male players inside the trousers (to protect the crotch area). Additionally, all the players wear the same jerseys and most wear cricket caps as well. The runners have spiked shoes to increase traction.


Two referees called umpires are regulating a cricket match. They have a lot of decisions to make and each team can complain to one of the umpires for a certain decision. Televised games have a 3rd umpire who is a video referee assistant. He is used to clarify certain situations in order to make the absolute right decision.

The match details, including runs and dismissals, are recorded by two official scorers, one representing each team. The scorers are directed by the hand signals of an umpire. The scorers are required by the Laws to record all runs scored, wickets taken and overs bowled; in practice, they also note significant amounts of additional data relating to the game.

Cricket Organisations and Tournaments

Cricket is played by both men and women. The first one is more popular; however, women’s cricket is played a lot in England and Australia. At one point they had a different governing body but right now, everything connected to this sport is governed by the International Cricket Council or ICC. This organisations was formed in 1909 and right now it has 105 members.

ICC Logo
International Cricket Council Logo

Twelve of those members have full membership and are allowed to play Test matches. They are controlling all the matches and that’s where sports betting comes in place. The ICC is responsible for the organisation and governance of cricket’s major international tournaments, notably the men’s and women’s versions of the Cricket World Cup. It also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, Limited Overs Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals.

It’s important to note that those twelve most important members of the ICC each have a national cricket board which regulates the matches in their countries. They also select the national squad, and organize home and away tours for the national team. You can learn more about the ICC on their website.

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