Cricket is a bat
and ball game
played between two team
s of eleven. Each side bats in turn and attempts to make more runs than their opponent
s, who attempt to dismiss them. It is played on a grass arena
, usually oval
in shape. In the centre of the arena is the pitch
, with a wicket
at each end consisting of three vertical
stumps with two horizontal bails
on the top.
side has all eleven players on the field together. One is a wicket-keeper who is positioned behind the wicket. Two of the batting side take up position
, one at each wicket, and when either is dismissed, they are replaced by another member of the team. Thus, two batsmen are always playing. When ten batsmen have been dismissed, there is no one left to come in, and the team is therefore all out.
A member of the fielding side bowls from one end of the pitch to the batsman at the opposite
wicket. When six balls have been bowled, it is the end of an over and another bowler bowls from the other end at the batsman who is positioned at the opposite wicket.
A run is scored when, after a batsman hits the ball, or the ball is in play, both batsmen run to their opposite wicket. If the ball is hit over the boundary
the batsman scores six runs and does not run between the wickets. If the ball touches the ground before going over the boundary, the batsman scores four runs.
A batsman can be dismissed in several ways:
- Bowled - when the ball delivered by the bowler hits the wicket so that a bail is dislodged.
- Leg before wicket (Lbw) - when any part of the body except the hand prevents the ball hitting the wicket, and the ball has not touched the bat or hand first and did not pitch outside leg stump.
- Caught - when a fielder catches the ball before it touches the ground after leaving the bat or batsman's gloves.
- Hit wicket - when the batsman breaks the wicket with bat or body while playing a shot or starting a run.
- Run out - when the fielding side breaks the wicket with the ball when the batsman is out of his ground while the ball is in play.
- Stumped - when the batsman moves out of his ground when receiving the ball and the wicket-keeper breaks the wicket with the ball.
Each team plays one or two innings
in a match
. Matches can be a certain amount of time, or a specified number of overs. Play can finish before time if a result
has been obtained.
The first discovered reference to cricket dates from the year 1300, and the game was well-established in England in the 18th century. Lord's in London
is the home of the Marylebone Cricket Club, for many years the game's governing body. It became International Cricket Conference in 1965, and finally the International Cricket Council (ICC)in 1989.