Cricket, often referred to as "Gentleman’s game" is the national sport of England. It is a bat and ball game that was evolved in England in the 16th century, and with time it spread around the world.
Today, cricket is a popular sport in England, Australia, the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), South Africa, New Zealand, the West Indies and a few other countries such as Afghanistan, Ireland, Kenya, Scotland, the Netherlands and Zimbabwe.
The main aim of the game is to score more runs than the opponent by hitting fours, sixes and running between the wickets to win the match.
It is believed that cricket was originated as a children's sport in the southeastern counties of England. The name of the sports "cricket" has been derived from an Old Eglish Word "cryce" means a stick. During that time, runs were called as "notches" because the scorer used to notch tally sticks to counts number of runs. The first time when adults participated in this sport was an incident of 1611 when two parishioners failed to attend the prayer on Easter Sunday and were fined penance. However, the sport had a low- key pursuit for a great span of time, but it started expanding out of England till the end of the century.
In the 18th century, cricket became the national sport of England and in 1748, the earliest known cricket season (52nd English cricket season) was played that earned much popularity and finally the sport housed in the heart of people. In 1787, Marylebourne Cricket Club was founded and by the middle of the 19th century, it became famous in many countries including Australia, the Caribbean, India, New Zealand, North America and South Africa. In 1859, English players went for the first overseas tour and the last two decades before the First World War was called the "Golden Age of Cricket" in which many significant matches were conducted and great players were produced. In 1876-77, the first ever Test match was played in the MCC Ground between England and Australia and that was when the rivalry gave birth to The Ashes Series in 1882.
The zest of Test cricket expanded all around the world during the during the 20th century and West Indies, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh started playing this format. In 1963, English counties introduced a new variant of cricket-limited overs.
The first international limited-overs series was played in 1971 and the first limited-overs World Cup was staged in 1975. A new limited-overs format was introduced in the 21st century which made an immediate impact in the sport, attracting throngs of people to watch and play the sport.
The bats initially used closely resembled with the hockey sticks and the oldest bat dates from 1729. When bowlers started pitching the ball, it was needed to change the structure of the bat so that it can hit the bounced ball.
The first shoulderless bats appeared during the 1960s and double-sided bats were evolved during the 1970s that changed the zest of playing Twenty-Twenty cricket as the wood was removed from the centre of the rear of the bat, improving its pick-up. In 1974, new GN100 Scoop bats were introduced which were lighter in weight. These bats allowed weaker players to play numerous strokes. From then, bats were quickly updated according to the ease and efficiency of players. In 2005, an Australian sports equipment company Kookaburra released new bats with Carbon fibre-reinforced polymer which provided more support to the spine of the bat. After four years, offset edge bats were introduced with better swing weight and increased performance.
At present, various types of bats have been invented which records the real-time data of the batsman's performance during a live match and provide sufficient information about the technicalities he/she used to hit the ball.
Red balls have been implemented in Test cricket since the introduction of the format but in 2010, pink balls substituted the red balls to be more visible to players during the night Test matches. White balls were introduced in night ODI matches.
Officially the game consists of two teams of 11 players each. At the time of the play the bowling team has 11, and the batting team has 2 players on the field. Substitutions are also allowed in exceptional circumstances.
The game is played on a circular or an oval-shaped grassy field which is known as ‘Cricket Ground’ or ‘Cricket Stadium' the ground consists of a flat rectangular shaped pitch on which the game is executed.
It is 22 yards long and 10 feet wide and has distinct markings that define the creases according to the laws of cricket.
It is one of the highest standard forms of cricket defined as a match, which is conducted for three to four days with each side of teams having 11 players played on natural grass and not on artificial turf. Although the origin of the name of this variant of cricket is still unknown yet is in practices before it acquired official status in 1895. Test cricket is the form first-class cricket played on international level whereas domestic matches are termed as "First-class".
The longest and the highest standard form of cricket is Test cricket which is played national teams with Tests status as determined by ICC. The series last for five or longer days, each team playing for four innings with 11 players in each team. The first official Test match series was held from 15 to 19 March 1877 between England and Australia at MCG in Australia. In 2012, ICC permitted day/night matches and the first day/night match was held in 2015 on 27th November-1st December. The Women's Test Cricket is played for four days with a slightly different playing format.
This variant of cricket is generally conducted for a day contrary to Tests and First-Class cricket that can be held for 2-5 days.As the name reflects out, this format has limited number of overs usually 20 to 50. It is one of the most popular variants of cricket that encourages an aggressive, risky and entertaining style of play failing to give a moment of boredom to spectators and often ending up at the top of suspense of the winning team. In limited overs, each side bats only one time. In some cases, if a result is not possible with a one day match, it is continued on the second day. There is a restriction in number of overs played by a single bowler. ODI, Twenty20, T10 and all other formats that are played with limited overs belong to this variant of the sport.
In this limited-overs format, each team usually faces 50 overs. The Cricket World Cup which is held in every four years follows this format. ODI matches are also termed as "Limited Overs Internationals" (LOI). It’s a game of late 20th-century and the first ODI was played between Australia and England on 5th January 1971 at Melbourne Cricket Ground. During the early days of this format, 60-overs matches used to be played that varied to 4 45 or 55 overs with time, but now 50 overs are fixed for this format. The rules for this format are generic. Each bowler is restricted to bowl maximum 10 overs, and therefore each team must have at least five competent bowlers to cover up 50 overs. When the second batting team loses all its wickets, and the runs are equal to the team that batted first
One of the classifications of Limited-Overs cricket format is List A cricket. ODI and other domestic cricket competitions of limited overs come to this classification. In this variant of cricket, the number of overs for each team in an inning varies from 40 to 60. Some international matches that are yet to achieve the ODI status are also counted in this variant of cricket. It is one of the three major forms of cricket recognized by International Cricket Council (ICC) the other two being Twenty20 and First-Class cricket. The first List A cricket match was held in May 1963 between Lancashire and Leicestershire where each team batted for 65 overs and each bowler was assigned for 15 overs. Matches that have been qualified as List A cricket are listed as follows-
T20 or Twenty-20 cricket is another short format of cricket with 20 overs which was by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 for an inter-county competition in England and Wales. For this variant of cricket, each team is restricted to play a single inning of 20 overs. A typical Twenty-20 game is conducted for about three hours with each team having 90 minutes to play along with a 10 minutes break between innings. Almost all test playing nations play this format and have domestic cup competitions.
In T20, each bowler is allowed to bowl for a maximum of 4 overs. Where men's T20 internationals were initiated in 2004, women's T20 internationals took one more year to be staged. Domestic competitions that are held in different countries and are followed worldwide such as Indian Premier League (IPL) and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy of India, Big Bash League of Australia, Pakistan Super League, Sri Lanka Premier League and many more.
It is a professional 10 overs cricket league, owned and launched by T10 Sports Management on an international stage. In this format, each team has a single inning of 10 overs per game of 90 minutes. T10 league is played in a Round-Robin format, followed by semi-finals and finals. In case of a tie, the result is decided by a Super-Over.
There are numerous formats of cricket that do not hold international recognition but are popular with some different terms and formats. Here we have listed up some of the most popular amateur cricket formats -
This variant of cricket is usually played in cup or league format in which marches are played with limited overs or a limited time span. The game can range from a few hours to two days and the official laws of cricket are always observed.
It is a single inning game with limited time playing format. To win the game, a team must score the highest aggregate of runs and along with taking all the wickets of the opposite side. The declaration is upto the batting team, and if the side batting second doesn't lose all of its wickets, the match results in a draw.
There are some shortened forms of cricket designed to be played within an hour or two, played in the evening or as a series of multiple contests held in an entire day.
As it is clear by the name, the game is played in an indoor sports hall when outdoor cricket is not feasible. There are two versions of this game-Traditional version which is played in UK with six players assigned and a hard ball is used whereas another version is a soft-ball version which is popular amongst junior players and adults of the Southern Hemisphere.
This is the oldest form of the sport which is played between two individuals who bat and ball by turns. However, the bowler is assisted by a team of fielders who remain fixed even after the change of innings. The one who scores more runs is declared as the winner of the game. This form of cricket is mostly encountered in local cricket clubs
A high-speed version of cricket which is played with equipment made of plastic (for safety reasons) to encourage the game interest amongst youngsters. The numbers of players can be varied, and the dimensions can be changed according to the level of ease or difficulty for players. This format is more formal in Australia and New Zealand as compared in the UK. To signify no ball, dead ball or wide ball; two plastic cones are placed near the right and left leg of the batsman along with tennis balls placed on their top.
There are other informal forms of cricket in which the laws of the game can be ignored or modified according to the preferences of players. In these forms of cricket players bat and bowl individually or with a number of players that can be varied. Backyard cricket, beach cricket, street cricket etc. are counted amongst the informal amateur cricket form, played in backyards, beach, and streets respectively. In most of these forms, there is only one wicket, one bowling position and no overs. In beach cricket, the creases and boundaries are drawn in the sand and bin, deckchair, boogie board, or cool box can be used in place of stumps.
This form of cricket is often practiced in the UK, played in gardens or other recreational grounds of the country. In this form, there is no concept of runs as there are no sufficient spaces and the winner is the one who can survive for the longest deliveries. The ball used in this type of cricket is soft and bouncy and the fielders take a circular position near the batsman for catching chances.
Although it is a form of cricket yet, it is very much similar to children's game "Catch" in which the ball is bowled at the legs of the batsman. The rules for this form vary and spectators can also make a catch and bat occasionally.
This cricket form is popular in the South Asian sub-continent, USA and Canada in which a harder version of a tennis ball is used. The number of overs can be varied from 6 to 25 and the use of protective gears is not mandatory.
This form of cricket is popular in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries. Pakistan has introduced this form of cricket where it is active since the 1980s and has conducted leagues throughout UK, USA and Canada. In this forms of cricket, the ball used is covered with insulating tape to make it heavy. With this ball, fast bowlers can deliver an extra swing and it’s easy to produce turns for finger spinners.
It is the national sport of Samoa and is significantly popular in New Zealand. In this form, the ball is made of a hard rubber wrapped with pandanus palm. Players wear traditional clothing known as lava-lava and protective gears are not donned. There is no limit to the players in a team in this form of cricket.
In this game, only one batsman is involved while others hold the position as fielders and one as a bowler. Upon hitting the ball, the batsman runs to a certain distance marked and players rotate between fielding, batting and bowling positions.
This form of cricket is specifically founded in Australia for players of above 60 years of age and the rules of the game are according to their convenience that are slightly different from the standard rules.
This is another version of cricket that resembles with the game of baseball and is played by women. In this game, two teams each having 12 players bat and field two innings each. There are no overs in this variant of cricket and the batswomen bat from one end only. The two bowlers bowl alternately.
This cricket form is popular in the Caribbean countries in which broomsticks are used as bats and tennis or rubber balls are used to bowl along with old license plates with twisted ends that are used as wickets.
A unique form of cricket which is played in the Trobriand Islands and includes under-arm bowling, dances and chanting on outs, an uncertain number of players, and traditional war costumes as uniforms.
It is an indoor miniature version of cricket which is played on a large table top. This form of cricket is specifically designed for physically challenged players by Doug Williamson at Nottingham Trent University. Both the teams have six players and the objective is to scor e more runs than the opponent team. The ball is scrolled through a through a small slant on the table and the batsman has to hit that ball with a small wooden bat. Fielders are assigned around the table to flip off the ball accordingly.
In cricket, batsman uses a wooden (usually salix alba) blade shaped bat which is topped by a cylindrical handle. The width of the blade must not exceed to 108 mm and the total length of the bat must not be more than 965 mm. Although there is no particular standard for the weight of the bat, but it usually weighs between 1.1 and 1.4 kg.
The ball used in this sport is basically a hard spheroid of circumeference22.9 cm having cork inside and covered with a leather shell. It has seams (six rows of stitches that attach the leather shell to the cork interior) which help bowlers to propel. The most significant rules related to the ball are that no bowler is allowed to apply any lubricates, picking at the seam and scratching the surface which is collectively known as the rule of ball- tampering. However, polishing the ball with sweat or saliva to increase the swing of the ball is legal.
As the ball can be delivered with the speed of more than 45 km/h, the batsmen and wicket-keeper are commanded to wear protective gears for major safety concerns. Some of the essential protective gears include knee pads, shin pads, gloves, a helmet for the safety or head and a box to protect the crotch area. Additional padding can be worn by batsman inside their shirts and trousers such as thigh pads, arm pads, rib and shoulder protectors.
The only fielder who is allowed to wear protective gear is the one very close to batsmen, but he/she can't wear gloves or leg guards.
The uniform of cricket players includes a short or long sleeved collared shirt with long trousers, a woolen pullover (optional), a cricket cap (for fielders), shoes or spiked boots (to increase traction). The whole uniform kit is usually white for Test and First-class matches and team colours can be donned for limited overs format.
Decision Review System (DRS) is a technology-based system, frequently used in sports (predominantly in cricket). It refers to the process to examine the decision given by the on-field umpire. The system enables to take the decision whether a batsman is out or not. Initially, ICC made it mandatory to be used in all matches, but later on, it was made optional. If both the team shows a positive response with the use of DRS in the match, they may use it.
DRS consist of three major components:-