If you have little knowledge of cricket, it can be a hard game to follow. While there are some elements that are similar to baseball, it’s a unique game that can prove baffling to newcomers. Often, it can be difficult to follow the strategies employed by players, and even a simple question like “Who’s winning?” doesn’t always have easy answers.
Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of two social projects in the United Kingdom, enjoys watching cricket and supports the English cricket team. With the growing popularity of the sport, fans like him make a point of attending games and tuning in to watch whenever possible.
Read on to find out more about this highly enjoyable and popular competitive sport.
How It’s Played
Similar to baseball, cricket features a fielding team and a batting team. A member of the fielding team (bowler) throws the ball at the batsman, who has a wooden bat he uses to attempt to hit the ball. Points (runs) are scored by hitting the ball beyond the boundary of the field, or by running. It’s the objective of the fielding team to limit the number of runs scored in the allocated time or remove the batsmen.
Each team fields 11 players, with every player holding a role in the team (bowlers, fielders, wicket keepers and batsmen). Players can have multiple functions. The field is a large circle or oval (200 metres in circumference), with a smaller inner oval helping in field placement and a 22-yard pitch area in the centre. At either side of the pitch, there are three wooden stumps (or wickets), with a couple of wooden pieces resting on top.
The batting team’s job is to protect the stumps and score as many runs as possible. Two batsmen are allowed on the field at any time, each positioned at either end of the pitch. Although one batsman hits the ball at any given time, both have to run between the wickets. If the ball is hit and reaches the wider field’s boundary, it is deemed as four runs scored. If the ball goes over the boundary, it’s six runs. In either of these two scenarios, the batsmen don’t need to run.
The bowling team’s goal is to get the batsmen out by hitting the stumps or catching the ball. Once the batting team has exhausted all its batsmen, the teams swap roles.