OBJECTIVE OF CRICKET: Score more runs during your team’s inning than the opposing team by hitting the ball and running across the pitch.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 22 players, 11 on each team
MATERIALS: 1 cricket ball, 1 cricket bat, 2 wickets (6 stumps and 4 bails)
TYPE OF GAME: Sport
OVERVIEW OF CRICKET
Cricket is an all-ages sport played both professionally and recreationally. The sport is primarily played in the British commonwealth or countries that were previously part of the British Empire. The goal for the offensive team is to hit the ball and run across the pitch, scoring runs. The goal of the defensive team is to either knock over the wicket or get 10 batsmen out to end the inning.
Cricket is played on a large circle or oval-shaped field around 150 feet in diameter. The field is separated by the pitch, the infield, the outfield, and the boundary.
- Pitch – a 75-foot by 12-foot rectangle in the center of the field. This is where the 2 batsmen attempt to hit the ball and score runs.
- Infield – an oval around the pitch that is about 15 yards across and 30 yards long.
- Outfield – the remainder of the field.
- Boundary – a wall or fence that surrounds the entire outfield of the cricket field.
There are 2 wickets on each side of the pitch. A wicket consists of 3 stumps which are 28-inch tall stakes in the ground and 2 bails that are set on top of the stumps.
A cricket defensive team consists of a bowler, a wicketkeeper, and 9 fielders.
The bowler throws the ball by bouncing it towards the batter of the other team and tries to knock over the bails. The wicket-keeper stands behind the wicket and tries to get the batsman out. The fielders stand in various positions around the infield and outfield and attempt to either catch the ball or retrieve it and quickly throw it towards the pitch.
The offensive team in cricket sends out 2 batsmen at a time to score runs and hit the ball.
Cricket starts like many other sports, by flipping a coin to see who goes first. Cricket is an old game with a lot of rules, and it can be very difficult to learn to play as a beginner. So, let’s dive into the game and break down all the rules you’ll need to know to start playing.
The bowler is the player that starts every play. A bowler must throw the ball from behind the “crease”, which is the line next to the wicket opposite the batter. If the bowler steps over this line, a run will be awarded to the opposing team. The bowler must either bounce the ball once on the pitch or throw the ball so that it is below the batter’s waist.
The bowler throws 6 balls, which equals an “over”. Each team is allowed 50 overs per inning. The inning ends either when the overs have been reached or 10 batsmen have been dismissed. The bowler must throw the ball in reach of the batsmen, otherwise, the umpire will call it a “wide ball”. When a wide ball is called, the batting team is awarded an extra run.
The bowler’s goal is to knock over the wicket of the opposing team.
Batting and Runs
There are always 2 batsmen at a given time on the field. The batsmen stand on opposite sides of the pitch, one on the batting side. When the bowler bowls the ball towards the wicket, the batter tries to hit the ball. The hit can go in front of the batter, to the side, or behind.
The goal of the batsmen is to hit the ball and then run to change positions. If they successfully change positions after hitting the ball, they will be awarded 1 run. The batsmen can swing in any way they want. Some batsmen will play defensively and try to simply block the ball with the bat to prevent it from hitting the wicket.
Once the ball has been hit, batsmen can attempt to score as many runs as possible. But if they have not both made it safely to the wickets and a defensive player knocks over the bails on one of the wickets, the batsman is out.
Fours and Sixes
Not all plays require the batters to switch sides safely to score runs. If a batsman hits the ball to the barrier, 4 runs are automatically awarded. If the batsman hits the ball over the barrier, 6 runs are automatically awarded.
The defensive team’s goal is to get 10 outs before the batting team scores too many runs. When a player is called out, they are dismissed from the field. Once 10 players have been dismissed, the inning ends, and the defensive team bats.
Here are the different ways a batsman can be dismissed:
- The bowler knocks over the wicket while the batsman is trying to hit the ball.
- The ball hits the batsman’s leg while their leg is directly in front of the wicket.
- A fielder knocks over the wicket before the batsman safely makes it to the opposite wicket.
- A fielder catches a ball that has been hit by a batter before it bounces.
END OF GAME
Each team gets 1 inning to score as many runs as possible. Once the overs of an inning have been reached or 10 batsmen have been dismissed, the other team gets a chance to bat. When both innings end, the team with the most runs wins!
It is also possible for a cricket match to end in a draw, but this is extremely rare.