How to Play the Sport of Cricket

How to Play the Sport of Cricket



Cricket, a sport that often flies under the radar, is actually one of the most played and watched sports in the world -- with more than two billion active followers. The sport originated in southeast England in the late 1500s, and then gained popularity further south in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Oddly enough, cricket is one of the least played sports in North America.


How to play the Sport of


There are many elements that go into a game of cricket, and there are three variations to the sport all with different time limits: Test (can span up to five days), One Day, and Twenty20. The object of the game is to score more runs in the given time limit than the opposing team -- much like baseball.


Like baseball, cricket uses a very hard cork ball that’s thrown with great velocity. Players will attempt to strike the ball with a wooden bat, which is actually shaped more like a paddle. Because of the quickness the ball is thrown, players are required to wear shin pads, spiked cleats, and faceguards.


Rules of Cricket


  • There are 11 different players on each team, ranging from batsmen, bowlers, fielders, and wicket keepers.
  • In a Test match, spanning over two innings, Twenty20 is about two hours, and One Day is self explanatory. Twenty20 and One Day have a certain amount of “overs” -- similar to outs in softball or baseball.
  • Cricket is played on a very large, rounded grass or turf field -- with about a 200 meter circumference. There is the pitch area with the wickets about 22 yards apart, then the close-infield, infield, and outfield. These are the areas that can be defended.
  • There are 10 different ways to get out in cricket, the five most common include: Having your ball caught, being bowled, strikes the batsman's wicket (leg before wicket), run out, or a batsman is stumped. There are rare ways of getting, one of those includes if a batsmen somehow manages to hit the ball twice.
  • To score, a batsman can hit within many different boundaries -- all accounting for different point totals. If a batsman is hit by the ball, that also counts as a score. If a ball passes the batsman, that can result in a score. Lastly, if a “no ball” or illegal throw occurs, that can result in a score.
  • The first team to score 200 more runs than their opponent, regardless of the day, will be declared the winner. A team can also win if they have more runs by the end of the time limit than the opposing team. Games never end in a draw unless declared by the umpires.


Though the sport may be odd looking to those in the U.S., the talent needed to be a stand alone cricket player is off the charts. Cricket balls are actually smaller than baseballs, making them more difficult to hit. These balls are harder and heavier as well, and cricket players have to catch them barehanded. Don’t forget, bowlers get a running start as well in cricket.


Written by: Devin Pickell

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