What is Cricket?

Cricket is a sport played with bat and ball which came into it’s earliest existence in the mid 16th century. It’s played between two teams consisting of eleven players each.

It’s historically believed that cricket originated in the south-eastern part of England and expanded throughout the entire country as well as on British colonies over a period a time.

There have been several modifications in the game if we talk about the rules; or basically ‘laws’ as we say in the cricket. From unlimited days cricket to limited days test matches and modern forms of cricket like ODIs and T20Is, the game has evolved.

The game is basically aimed at batting team scoring as much as runs as they can and fielding team aiming to avoid batting team to do so. The both teams get to bat and field simultaneously. The team scoring the higher run in comparison to the opposing team is declared winner in the end.

Cricket is often said to be most popular sports after football/soccer. The majority of it’s audience hails from South Asian countries or Subcontinent as they say it. Apart from South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, the game has equally high stature in countries like Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, The Caribbean and of course the birth country; England.

Basic Terminologies of Cricket:

  • Stumps: Three vertical wooden posts making a wicket.
  • Bails: Two small pieces of wood on top of the stumps to form a wicket
  • Wicket: (1) A set of stumps and bails (2) the dismissal of batter is also known as wicket.
image displaying wicket
  • Runs: Scoring done by the batter/batting team.
  • Boundary: (1) The perimeter of the ground (2) four runs, also used to mention four or six collectively (3) the rope that demarcates the perimeter of the ground.
  • Over: The delivery of six consecutive legal balls by one bowler.
  • Innings: Turn for batter/batting team to bat or bowling team to bowl respectively.
  • Pitch: The rectangular surface in the center of the field where most of the actions takes place, It’s 22 yards in length.
image: Cricket pitch
  • Pavillion: Dressing room for the players.
  • Umpire: one of two or three enforcers of the laws and adjudicators of play.
Cricket umpire(the one wearing the hat) and the bowler
  • Maiden: an over in which no runs are scored
  • Out: the state of a batsman who have been dismissed.
  • Run Out: dismissal by the member of the fielding side dislodging the wicket(either stumps or bails or both) before batter make their crease while making a run.
  • LBW: abbreviation for Legs Before Wicket. It is a form of dismissal in which Umpire assumes the legs or other parts of the batter was blocking the wicket.
  • Wide: a delivery that passes illegally wide of the wicket. The delivery is not counted in an over and one additional run is provided to the batting team.
  • No-ball: an illegal delivery in which bowler oversteps the permissible bowling stride, bowls full toss over the waist line, bowling the ball without round arm action(throwing), violating the fielding restrictions. The delivery is not counted in an over and one additional run is provided to the batting team and in case of limited overs cricket, free-hit is awarded to the batting team.
  • Free hit: In limited overs game, if no ball is incurred, free hit is awarded to the batting team. In this ball, batter is not dismissed in case of wicket except of run out.

Formats of Cricket:

In the modern day cricket there are normally 3 formats of the game which are regulated by ICC. They are:

Type: Multi-Day Cricket 50 overs Cricket 20 overs Cricket
Domestic Cricket First Class Cricket List A T20
International Cricket Test Cricket ODI T20I
  • First Class Cricket includes the matches of premier multi day cricket tournament of countries with Test Status. The Test matches, match involving touring sides and domestic team is also given FC status. ICC recognises matches with 3 or more days duration as First Class.
  • List A Cricket includes the matches of premier limited over cricket tournament of countries with Test Status. The ODI match, Match involving top ranking nations who do not have ODI status, limited over match involving touring sides and domestic team is also given List A status. ICC recognises 40/50 overs cricket as List A.
  • T20 Cricket includes the matches of premier 20 overs cricket tournament of countries with Test Status. The T20I match, 20 overs match involving touring sides and domestic team is also given T20 status. ICC only recognises 20 overs cricket as T20.
  • Test Cricket is 5 day match played between 12 teams that have Full Members Status.
  • ODI Cricket is 50 over game played between countries with ODI status.
  • T20I Cricket is 20 over game played between any 2 international sides.

Rules of Cricket:

The rules of the cricket is referred as the ‘laws of the game’. It has been historically regulated by Marylelebone Cricket Club (MCC). Although in modern times, International Cricket Council (ICC) makes the modifications/changes in the cricket without altering the core concept of the game.

As I earlier said, the game is basically aimed at batting team scoring as much as runs as they can and fielding team aiming to avoid batting team to do so. For the fielding team, they try to dismiss the each batter or in the cricketing term (try to get them ‘out’). There are different forms of dismissal in cricket. Some of which are:

  • Bowled: Hitting the wickets with ball when bowling.
  • Caught: Catching the ball in the air after batter hits the ball.
  • LBW: Hitting the batter legs in front of the wicket.
  • Run Out: dismissal by the member of the fielding side dislodging the wicket(either stumps or bails or both) before batter make their crease while making a run.
  • Hit Wicket: Batter deliberately or mistakenly hitting the wicket while batting also leads to the dismissal.

The batter try to score as many runs as possible before eventually getting out. The methods of scoring runs are:

  • Hitting the ball and running between the wickets or pitch and making it to the other end of the pitch before the fielders can hit the wickets with the ball. Each time the batter run one full length of the pitch, it is counted as 1 run.
  • Hitting the ball to the boundary along the ground is counted as 4 runs.
  • Hitting the ball over the boundary without ball bouncing in the inner part of the boundary is counted as 6 runs

The fielding team must get 10 batter out before they get to bat. When they come out to bat, they aim to make more runs than the opposing teams. If they are able to do it, they are termed as winners. If they fail to do it and if the fielding team get all the 10 wickets before they chase to the total than the opposing team is declared winners.

From the favourite pastimes for the Brits, to one of the most popular sports played around the globe, cricket has came a long way and it continues to fascinate and amaze us with all the actions it brings within. I hope this article has touched an introductory part for those who are absolutely new to cricket and also for those who are confused with the rules of the game. Of course, all yours doubts regarding cricket would be eventually be answered once you start watching this amazing game.

2 thoughts on “What is Cricket?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *