Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, only behind soccer, with over 2.5 billion followers. Cricket was invented in England and is now played around the world, predominently by historically commonwealth countries.
Cricket is played on either circular or oval shaped grounds. There is a rectangular area in the middle of the ground, called the pitch, which is the most important part of the field. On the pitch, all the bowling and batting takes place. A set of wooden sticks, called stumps and bails, is placed on both ends of the pitch. A cricket ball; made of wood and leather, and a wooden bat are required to play the sport. The batsmen wear a full set of protective gear.
In the traditional form of the game, a match is played between two teams, with 11 players on each team, in an innings format. One team gets to bat while the other team bowls and fields. The collection of all the overs that a team bats for, is called an innings. The team that bats first, tries to score as many runs as possible. After the two teams have played their innings, the team with the most runs is the winner.
Cricket matches are played in several different formats. Generally, the formats are:
- Limited Over format: Each innings is played for a fixed number of overs. A one-day (ODI) format - 50 Overs per innings, and a T20 format - 20 overs per innings, are the two types of limited overs cricket currently played.
- Unlimited Overs format: More commonly known as a test match, is an extended form of cricket, where each team gets to play two innings without any overs restriction. A single match can go on for up to 5 days.
Several cricket matches are played all through the year in the form of tours, where one national team travels to another, to play a series in one or more formats of the sport.
Forms of Cricket
- Test Cricket — the longest form of cricket, played over 5 days.
- One Day Cricket — a form of cricket in which each team's innings is played for a maximum of 50 overs.
- T20 Cricket — a fast-paced limited over cricket match played 20 overs per team
- Indoor Cricket — a modified version of cricket played indoor with nets for walls.
- Blind Cricket — a modified version of cricket for blind athletes with a larger ball with bells inside..
- Backyard Cricket — informal version of cricket played in yards or streets.
- Kilikiti — a traditional Samoan and Tuvalu sport similar to cricket.
- Vigoro — an Australian sport that combines elements of Cricket and Baseball, mainly played by women. Played on a pitch shorter than for cricket, with a bat with a long handle like a paddle.
- Stoolball — a team sport played on a circular grass field, possibly the precursor to cricket and baseball.
- Danish Longball — a bat and ball game developed in Denmark, like a hybrid of baseball and cricket.
- Fricket — a ‘two-on-two’ flying disc game. Also known as disc cricket, cups, suzy sticks and crispy wickets.
- Bat-and-Trap — an old English bat and ball game, in which a ball is projected into the air out of a trap using a bat, and then hit between posts 21 feet away.
- Gilli-Danda — a South Asian game played with two sticks; the long stick is used to strike the shorter one in the air.
- About the Cricket Major Championships
- The Basic Rules of Cricket
- Complete list of sports
- The Encyclopedia of Sports