Beginners guide to understanding the game called cricket….

The cricket (game) is arguably one of the most misunderstood sports. This becomes worse for those whose interest is not in sports. We hope you don’t have to tune to another channel once you see men wearing some funny looking protective gear, hitting a ball with a bat and running to some corner of the field without anybody doing the chasing. You just wonder what in the world is going on when watching a cricket game.   So, whether you’re a total beginner or simply if you’ve ever wondered how cricket works, here’s a guide. 

Courtesy: Alfred Kenneally via Unsplash

Let’s start with the basics- the formations of the teams: Cricket is played with two teams of 11. These teams consist of batsmen, bowlers and players called all-rounders.

Equipment needed to play cricket:

Equipments required include; A round ball, a length of flat ground, a bat, Wickets (or stumps). Traditionally, cricket is played wearing pads and other various protective equipment to greatly reduce chances of injury when facing the bowler. With cricket balls being bowled up to 161km/h (by some pretty talented cricketers) over a pitch measured only at 20.12-metres; protective gear are very important.

Courtesy: Alfred Kenneally via Unsplash

Rules for scoring cricket:
The core to cricket is pretty simple. The batsman and bowler stand opposite each other on a strip in the centre of the field and then the bowler bowls the ball to the batsman who must try to hit it. If the batsman hits the ball, he will make effort to run to the other side of the centre strip where the bowler is. This act is called is called a “run”. The hitting batsman’s team score one point for each ‘run’ he does before the ball is returned to the pitch.

A batsman can earn a score two other ways. If he hits the ball all the way to the edge of the field (called the “boundary”), he scores four points. If he hits the ball over the boundary without touching the ground, he scores six points.

The batsman “gets out”:
The batsman’s two main aims are to score as many runs as possible, and to stay in as long as possible. Once a batsman is “got out”,  he comes off the pitch and cannot bat again. A batsman can get out if; Bowled: the ball hits the stumps when the bowler delivers it.

Caught: ball is caught by a fielder before it has touched the ground.

LBW (Leg Before Wicket): when the batsmen uses their body to stop the ball hitting the stumps, rather than their bat.

Run-out: If a fielder hits the stumps with the ball before the batsmen has completed their run. There is an area marked around the stumps called ‘the crease’. The run is not complete until the batsmen is inside this area.

Stumped: The wicket keeper hits the stumps with the ball when the batsmen is outside of their crease.

The different types of cricket matches:

Test Cricket: It is played over five days with a test match made up of four innings – two for each team. An innings is finished when 10 of the 11 batsmen have been “got out”. The team with the most runs over all four innings wins the game.

One Day: This type of match takes place in just one day. Each team plays one innings each, made up of 50 overs, or until every player is out – whichever one happens first. (An over is = 6 bowls). The team with the most runs wins.

Twenty20: Potentially this is the most accessible form of cricket. It’s just like like a one day match, but each team only plays 20 overs to an innings instead of 50. As usual, the team with the most runs wins.

Winning a cricket match:

Cricket matches are won differently, depending on the format. It is done essentially, by scoring more runs in your innings (one round of 11 batters) than the other team.

Courtesy: Alfred Kenneally via Unsplash

Who are fielders?

The bowler is supported by a team of 10 other fielders whose aim is to try and get the batsmen out. Essentially, they are working as a team to get the batsmen out as quickly as possible, having scored as few runs as possible. Just remember that fielding tactics are different depending on the type of match that is being played. It’s okay if you still don’t understand everything. You’re not expected to do so the first time. But as you watch over and again remember these rules.

This Australia’s national sport is pretty interesting right? So when next you tune to a channel and you see the cricket game, you now have a better understanding of what is going on. Who knows? You might even end up being the next Bradman at some point!

What other not so understood game do you want clarity on? Do share in the comment section. 

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