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Amazing Guide to All Things Cricket

While there are many deviations, basically cricket is a game played with a bat and ball. Cricket is played by two opposing teams of 11 players each on a cricket field. One team bats while the other team bowls and fields. A run is scored when the batter hits the ball and runs to touch a crease where the ball was pitched from without being out. The teams alter between batting and fielding with intervals of innings.

Cricket began in southern England in the 16th century. Two hundred years later cricket became the national sport of England. Soon the sport spread to other countries and now international matches are governed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Cricket is second as the world's second most popular sport after football (soccer.)

In 1859, the England team traveled to North America and in 1862, they took their first tour of Australia. In 1876, they were in the first match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The first Limited Overs International was held in 1971. The governing International Cricket Council (ICC) held the first limited overs Cricket World Cup in 1975. Cricket is played in two very distinct forms; One is a limited duration of a certain number of hours of playing time and each team plays two innings. The second form is called limited overs; each team plays one innings of a pre-determined number of overs.

World Teams
England, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh are the official Test Cricket nations. The West Indies includes: Barbados; Jamaica; Guyana; The Republic of Trinidad; Antigua, Barbuda; St. Kitt's-Nevis; Dominica; St. Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Montserrat; and Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Minor competing cricketing nations include: Ireland, Kenya, Fiji, Canada, The Netherlands, USA.

The Ashes is played every two years between Australia and England and is the most popular
Test cricket series. The prize is a small urn containing the ashes of English cricket from the match in 1882 when Australia beat England for the first time.

The ball is made of hard cork and string covered by leather and must weigh between five ounces and a half and five ounces and three-quarters and ne between nine inches and nine and one quarter inches circumference.

The bat is made of willow, flat on one side, curved on the other for strength and about four and a quarter inches wide and less than thirty-eight inches long. The Bowler pitches or bowls the ball with a wicket with one foot on the ground behind the bowling crease. Throwing or jerking is illegal.

The wickets are wooden and made up of a set of three stumps topped by a pair of bails.

The stumps are three wooden posts that have spikes extending from the bottom and are hammered into the ground in a row.

Protective gear includes pads, gloves, and a helmet. Spiked shoes are usually worn.

Players wear white or cream clothing when a red ball is used and solid team colors when a white ball is used.

Whenever a batsman strikes the ball during a pitch, he may score runs. A run is scored when the batsmen crosses over midway between the popping creases while running back and forth between them.

When a fielder gathers the ball and hits a wicket with it, dislodging one or both bails, then the nearest batsman is out. The batsmen carry their bats as they run, and touch the ground beyond the crease much like tagging a base. The batsmen do not have to run.

If a batsman hits the ball to the boundary fence, four runs are scored and running is not necessary. If the ball goes over the boundary six runs are scored. When a four or six is scored the ball is completed. If a fielder gets the ball but steps out of bounds with the ball the four runs count. Runs scored by each batsman, including all overthrows, are kept as statistics.

When a batsman does not touch the ground beyond the popping crease before he returns for the next run, the number of runs scored is reduced by one.

Bowling Styles
The two basic approaches to bowling are fast and spin. A fast bowler sends a speeding ball attempting to beat the batsman. When the ball swings or curves it can be very tricky to play.

  • A spin bowler uses wrist and finger motion to put a spin on the ball.
  • A swing bowler holds the ball at the seam pitches a spin causing the ball to swing in the air.
  • A seam bowler keeps the seam vertical, so the ball hits the seam when it bounces on the pitch and goes either right or left.

The two types of spin bowling are off-spin and leg-spin. These throws involve a clockwise or counter clock wise release.

Bowling speeds for a fast bowler:
140-160 km/h (85-100 mph)

Medium pace bowler:
110-140 km/h (65-85 mph)

Spin bowler:
70-110 km/h (45-65 mph)


When a batsman gets out, his wicket is said to have fallen, and the fielding team is said to have taken a wicket.

Common Outs:

When a fielder catches the ball the batsman has hit it. (The fielder cannot step out of bounds during the catch or immediately afterward or instead of being out the batsman scores six runs.)

When the batsman misses the ball and the ball breaks the wicket from the bowler's delivery the batsman is out. The batsman is not out if the wicket does not break.

Leg Before Wicket: If the batsman misses the ball and it hits his body when it would otherwise have hit the wicket, the batsman is out. An umpire must call this and will only do so if the fielding team appeals the decision.

A batsman is stumped if he misses the ball and steps outside his crease and is out.

When a batsman is running or returning after an aborted run and a fielder breaks that batsman's wicket with the ball while he is out of the crease the batsman is out.

When the batsman touches and breaks the wicket he is out.

When a batsman touches the ball with a hand that is not currently holding the bat, without the permission of the fielding team he is out.

If a batsman deliberately obstructs a fielder he is out.

There are other less common ways to get out.

History of Cricket
Timeline by year from 1550.
Cricket in the eighteenth century.
The history of Zimbabwe cricket.
The history of Bermuda cricket.
The history of USA cricket.
Cricket in Singapore.
Kenya Cricket
History of Cricket in Ireland
Israel cricket history.
Early cricket
Blog dedicated to cricket and the history behind the game.
Cricket history

Cricket Forums'

Fantasy Cricket

Cricket Stats
Collects, analyzes, and presents statistics for the game of cricket.
Database of test mach stats.
World Cup Records
Cricket Records
Cricket Records
Cricket stats and rankings

Cricket News
Cricket news and updates
Live Cricket Scores
News and live cricket matches.
News and live scores.
The latest news and stats.
Cricket UK
Cricket scores
USA Cricket

News, features, photos, blogs, and live scores.
Cricket teams around the world.

Cricket Rules

How to Play Cricket
Cricket rules explained.
In depth explanation of cricket.
Types of cricket

Clubs and Associations

List of clubs and leagues

A.N.T.S. Cricket Clubs and Associations

West Australian Cricket Association

UK Cricket Clubs

USA Cricket Association

New Zealand Club Cricket

West Indies Cricket

Pakistan Cricket

The British Officers Cricket Club

Edmonton Cricket Club

Stretford Cricket Club

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