A Guide to Playing the Game of Cricket
Cricket is a game invented by the British that is played all over the world and is considered a big/major sport for lots of countries. Even though one of the first recorded international matches was played between the United States and Canada (back in the 1800s) the sport has never caught on in the United States as much as it has in the rest of the world. This guide will help you learn and play the sport of cricket and enjoy it with the rest of the world.
Some important facts for people who think cricket is very easy (especially easier than baseball):
- Cricket is not baseball!!! It is actually quite difficult than baseball. No, really it is. Baseball players think that cricketers have a paddle so they can easily hit the ball, but they are quite wrong. In baseball, you can estimate the direction in which you want to hit the ball but can never hit it consistently in a precise manner and direction that you wish. But in Cricket, the batsmen have the ability to maneuver the ball anywhere (360 degrees) on the field with extreme precision
- The Cricket ball is at least 1.5 times harder than a baseball. And guess what, the fielders in cricket don’t have gloves!!! How about that for tough hands? The only person in cricket that is allowed to wear gloves during fielding is the wicket-keeper.
- Cricket pitches/bowling deliveries can come over speeds of 90 mph+ from some fast bowlers. And these pitches are not just straight; they can bounce and swing either in or away from the batsmen (depending on how the bowler bowls it).
- Unlike in baseball, it is perfectly legal to bowl/pitch the ball on to batsman’s body.
The sport is played with two teams of 11 players each. Each team includes:
- A wicketkeeper (similar to the catcher in baseball)
- Couple (usually 2-3) fast and medium-paced bowlers/pitchers
- Couple (usually 2-3) spinners (bowlers who can turn the ball)
- And batsmen
There are three different versions of the sport: Test Match, One Day, and Twenty20 along with different tournaments that you can watch through the CPL live streaming 2020.
In regards to the duration of the game, the Test Match is the longest form of cricket. It is a hard-fought battle played through 5 days, in which each team gets to bat for two innings. One inning consists of getting 10 players of the opposite (batting) team out or having them declare their batting. This is the most traditional form of cricket, the oldest, and according to some the purest. For the purposes of this article, I will focus more on One Day and the Twenty20.
This form of cricket consists of a team batting for 50 overs (600 legal deliveries/pitches). One over consists of 6 legal deliveries/pitches. The batting team tries to score the most runs in their allotted 50 overs while the bowling team tries to contain and/or bowl out the batting team within those 50 overs. After a target total score is set by the batting team, the bowling team comes on the field to bat and tries to chase the target within their allotted 50 overs.
The newest form of cricket, developed mainly to attract very young crowds and other nations where cricket is not the most popular sport. This is the most explosive form of cricket. Instead of the 50 overs that each team gets in the One Days, here each team only gets 20 overs (120 legal deliveries/pitches) to set a formidable target for the other team to chase.
Playing the Game:
The cricket field is oval-shaped with a 3m wide and 22-yard long strip of a flat surface that is called the pitch. This is where the batting and the bowling take place (the center of the field). There are three wooden “wickets” on each end of the pitch. The main objective of the bowler is to hit those wickets when bowling to the batsman. Whereas the batsman tries to protect those wickets while facing the ball so as to not get out. The field is set accordingly by the captain and the bowler, with the wicket-keeper standing behind the wickets of the batsman. At a time there are two batsmen on the field. One facing the ball (on the end of the pitch) and the other on the opposite end (from where the bowler would pitch the ball). As the ball is pitched, the batsman tries to hit the ball away from the fielders and both the batsmen cross each other to score a run. Also, if the batsman is able to clear the boundary (the outside ending line of the cricket field) with the ball bouncing at least once inside the field he gets 4 runs. If he clears the boundary without the ball bouncing inside the field (aka homerun) he gets 6 runs.
While the batsmen are running (crossing each other) to score runs, the fielder tries to throw the ball to either end of the pitch to try and get the batsman running on that end out.
Different ways to get the batsman out:
- The bowler hits the wicket at the batting end with the ball while bowling. The batsman is bowled.
- The batsman hits the ball in the air and a fielder catches it before the ball drops on the ground. The batsman is caught.
- If the ball hits the batsman on his front leg pads and if the ball was sure going to hit wickets if the leg wasn’t there while being pitched in the line of the wickets. The batsman is out because of Leg Before Wicket (lbw).
- A fielder hits the wickets while the batsman is out of the crease (the line that the batsman always has to stay inside or cross when running to get score runs). The batsman is run out.
- The batsman misses the pitched ball and is out of his crease and the wicketkeeper collects the ball and hits the wickets before the batsman can come back into the crease. The batsman is stumped.
- The ball comes off the batsman’s bat/body and hits the wickets. The batsman is out by Hit Wicket.
This is just a brief overview of the game. So now that you have some idea of what this game is about, it is time to actually go out and play this wonderful Gentlemen’s game of Cricket.