Cricket doesn’t have to be confusing; it is a game with one of the most straightforward rules in the world of sports. All you need to do – at the basic level, that is – is to hit the ball with the bat and chase the ball. Then rinse and repeat, literally.
Each Cricket game is split into what is known as innings; each team of eleven players gets to bat while the opposing team bowls. Each inning is split into “overs” which consist of groups of six deliveries one after the other by one bowler from a specific end. With every “over,” batting duties rotate.
The Cricket team with the most runs is declared the winner at the end of the game.
Cricket Players and the Gear
A game of Cricket requires a cricket ball, a bat, and two sets of long wooden stakes or stumps. A cricket ball is usually made of cork and then covered with leather. To play professionally, a Cricket player must wear protective gear such as gloves, helmet, groin guards, etc.
A Cricket team consists of eleven players, and the game is played between two teams. Each team of eleven players consists of bowlers, a wicketkeeper, expert batsmen, and all-rounders. Officials that oversee a game of tournament are:
- A match referee that officiates the game
- Two on-field umpires
- One off-field umpire
The gentleman’s game is usually played on a grassy playing field. There is a 22-yard strip at the center of the playing field known as the “pitch” or the “wicket.” Most of the action of the game takes place around this place.
Three wooden stumps lodged into the ground mark either end of the wicket. Two small wooden pieces – known as “bails” – are balanced on top of the stumps.
In professional tournaments, the wooden stumps carry tiny cameras for capturing on-pitch live action as well as vital close-ups.
Cricket is played in three formats at the international level:
This is the classic form of Cricket and can be played for up to five days. It is often considered by critics as the true trial of a cricket player’s skill. Test Cricket is played in whites, similar to Wimbledon.
One Day Internationals (ODI)
This format came into existence in the ‘70s and can be played with colored uniforms. One Day Internationals are played in two innings of fifty overs, each team facing three hundred deliveries.
This format was added to the international calendar back in 2005. T20, as it is commonly called, is played in brief or short bursts of twenty overs each. It is action-packed and fast-paced as it is usually brought to an end in less than three hours.
Twenty-twenty Cricket led to the creation of the IPL (Indian Premier League) which is a professional Cricket league that follows the structure of the European football leagues. Some IPL cricketers are known to earn as much as the top football players in Europe because T20 is a money spinner for the Indian Cricket Board and cricketers alike.
The gentleman’s game begins with two batsmen heading to the pitch while the opposing team takes position around the field. Batsmen strive to score points by hitting the ball with bats and then running backwards and forward along the wicket.
If the batsman hits the ball and it travels past the boundary line, the batting team is awarded four points automatically. If the ball moves out of the ground limit, however, the batting team receives six points instantly.
Both bowlers and fielders work at “getting out” the batsmen, one by one. Conventional methods employed in dismissing batsmen include:
- Dislodging stumps
- Trapping a batsman before the stumps
- Catching the ball before it touches the ground.
The innings ends as soon as all the batsmen have either been dismissed or when the stipulated period is up.