The game of cricket originates from England. Nobody knows the exact date of when cricket was first played but there is evidence of the game being played in the year 1550 (over 450 years ago!)
In the early years, the game was only played in England but the game then also became popular in many of the British colonies. Today, big international matches (called test matches) are played in Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
In England, it is a sport that is only really played in the summer because the game needs good light and no rain! In English schools, normally the pupils will play football or rugby in the winter and cricket or tennis in the summer.
The basic rules
Cricket is a game played with a bat and a ball.
It is a team game. There are 2 teams of 11 players. Each team must try to beat the other team. Traditionally, the players wear white trousers, and a white T-shirt and sometimes a white jumper. Since the ball is very hard and quite heavy (160 grams), players also often wear a helmet and protective gloves and pads.
It is played outside in a large open field. The main action is in the centre of the field in a rectangular area called a pitch. At each end of the pitch, there are 3 vertical sticks in the ground called a wicket.
When the game starts, a player from one of the teams (Team A) will throw (“bowl”) the ball and try to hit the wicket. A player from the opposite team (Team B) will hold a bat and stand in front of the wicket. When the player from Team A throws (“bowls”) the ball at the wicket, the player from Team B must protect and defend the wicket by hitting the ball with the bat.
The team that is batting (Team A) will start the game with only 2 players on the field. The other 9 players from Team A will be off the field watching the game. The 2 players who are on the field will be holding a bat and they will each stand at opposite ends of the pitch. From team B, all 11 players will be on the field. 10 of them will be standing all over the field and 1 of them will be bowling. Bowling means to throw (or deliver) the ball to try to hit the wicket.
If the bowler (from Team B) hits the wickets with the ball, then the player who was batting from Team A is eliminated. We say that he is “out”. He then leaves the field and is replaced by another member of team A.
But if the player from Team A hits the ball very hard, then he will run the length of the rectangular pitch towards the other wicket. If he arrives at the opposite wicket before the “fielders” from Team B can chase the ball and throw it at the wicket, then player A scores a point. The point is called 1 “run”.
If the batter (Team A) hits the ball high in the air and a “fielder” (Team B) catches the ball before it touches the ground, then the batter (Team A) is eliminated. Again, we say that he is “out”.
Team A continues to bat and to score runs until 10 members of Team A are eliminated. When that happens, the teams swap over – Team A will now be bowling and fielding and team B will now be batting. When Team B has finished batting, that is the end of the first innings. Each team will then take it in turns to bat a second time. That is called the second innings. At the end of the second innings, we compare the total number of runs for both teams from both innings. The team that scored the most runs wins the game.
(Please note that this is only a very simplified version of the rules. There are many rules and parts of the game that I have not mentioned. 🙂 )
Fun facts about cricket
Official international cricket matches last 5 days!
On each day, players play for about 6 hours.
Play is interrupted for rain or bad light.
Play is also interrupted for breaks (lunch and afternoon tea)
Fast bowlers are able to bowl the ball at speeds over 130 km/h
Here is an excellent video I found on YouTube showing you the game in action and also explaining the rules:
Nathan Johnson says
I have heard of people playing cricket before, but it is cool to actually learn about the sport. I didn’t realize that it was so old! For someone who is so used to American baseball, it is a little tricky trying to understand the game of cricket. Thanks for sharing!
If a batsman hits the ball into the stumps at the bowlers end and the ball bounces off for runs how can the fielding team effectively a run out at that end when the bails have already been disloged