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Cricket

   
A cricket match in progress. The beige strip is the cricket pitch. The men wearing black trousers on the far right are the umpires.

Cricket is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players each. It is a bat-and-ball game played on a roughly elliptical grass field, in the centre of which is a hard, flat strip of ground 22 yards (20.12 m) long, called the pitch.

At each end of the pitch stand a set of wooden poles called wickets (traditionally made from the wood of the ash tree). A player from one team (the bowler) propels a hard, fist-sized ball(made of cork which is then wrapped in leather.) from one wicket towards the other. A player from the opposing team (the batsman) attempts to defend the wicket from the ball with a wooden cricket bat, traditionally made of willow. Another batsman (the non-striker) stands in an inactive role near the bowler's wicket.

If the batsman hits the ball with his bat, he may run to the other wicket, exchanging places with the non-striker. This scores a run. The batting team attempts to score as many runs as it can, while members of the bowling team gather the ball and return it to either wicket. If the ball strikes a wicket while the nearest batsman is still running, the batsman is out. Batsmen can also be out by other means, such as failing to defend the bowled ball from hitting the wicket, or hitting a catch to a fielder.

Once out, a batsman is replaced by the next batsman in the team. As there must always be two batsmen on the field, if and when the tenth batsman is out, the team's turn to bat or innings (always with a terminal "s" in cricket usage) is over, and the other team may bat while the first team takes the field. Depending on the specific rules of the match, one or two innings may be played, possibly with a fixed number of legally-bowled balls defining the end of an innings rather than ten batsmen having been dismissed. At the end of the match, the winner is the team that has scored the most runs. However, the game may run out of time before it is finished, in which case it is a draw, even if one team is overwhelmingly winning at that point. This is sometimes surprising to those not familiar with the game, but it does add interest to one-sided games by giving the inferior team the incentive to try and achieve a draw even if they cannot win.

Cricket has been an established team sport for several centuries. It originated in its modern form in England, and is popular mainly in the countries of the Commonwealth. In some countries in South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, cricket is by far the most popular sport. Cricket is also a major sport in England and Wales, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean, which are known in cricketing parlance as the West Indies. It is also a prominent minor sport in countries as diverse as the Netherlands, Israel, Nepal, and Argentina (see also: International Cricket Council).

The length of the game — a match can last six or more hours a day for up to five days in one form of the game — the numerous intervals for lunch and tea, and the rich terminology are notable aspects which can often confuse those not familiar with the sport. For its fans, the sport and the intense rivalries between top cricketing nations provide passionate entertainment and outstanding sporting achievements. It has even occasionally given rise to diplomatic outrage, the most infamous being the Bodyline series played between England and Australia.

A cricket ball used in Test matches. The white stitching is known as the seam.
As One-Day games are often played under floodlights, a white ball is used to aid visibility. A Cricket bat, back and front sides Kids playing Cricket on a make-do Pitch in a park. It is common in many countries for people to play cricket in make do pitches as it is a highly popular sport.

Objective and summary

Cricket is a bat and ball sport. The objective of the game is to score more runs than the opposing team. A match is divided into innings[1] during which one team bats and the other bowls.

If, in a two-innings match, the first team to bat is dismissed in their second innings with a combined first- and second-innings score less than the first-innings score of their opponents (a relatively rare occurrence), the match is concluded and they are said to have lost by an innings and n runs, where n is the difference in score between the teams. If the team batting last is dismissed with the scores exactly equal, i.e. they are one run short of their target (an extremely rare occurrence) the match is a tie.

If the match has only a single innings per side, with a set number of deliveries, and the match is temporarily interrupted by bad weather, then a complex mathematical formula known as the Duckworth-Lewis method is often used to recalculate a new target score.

If such a match is abandoned without completion due to an impossibility of continuing the play, because of an extended period of bad weather, unruly crowd, or any such unlikely event or situation, the result is declared as No-Result if fewer than a previously agreed number of overs has been bowled by either team.

Laws of cricket

The game is played in accordance with 42 laws of cricket, which have been developed by the Marylebone Cricket Club in discussion with the main cricketing nations. Teams may agree to alter some of the rules for particular games. Other rules supplement the main laws and change them to deal with different circumstances. In particular, there are a number of modifications to the playing structure and fielding position rules that apply to one innings games that are restricted to a set number of fair deliveries.

Players and officials

Players

Each team consists of eleven players. Depending on his primary skills, a player may be classified as a specialist batsman or bowler. A balanced team usually has five or six specialist batsmen and four or five specialist bowlers. One player of the team that is bowling and fielding takes up the role of a wicket-keeper, which is a highly specialised fielding position. A player who excels in both batting and bowling (or occasionally in batting and keeping wicket) is known as an all-rounder.

Umpires

Two on-field umpires preside over a match. One umpire will stand behind the wicket at the end from which the ball is bowled, and adjudicate on most decisions. The other will stand near the fielding position called square leg, which offers a side view of the batsman, and assist on decisions for which he has a better view. In some professional matches, they may refer a decision to an off-field 'third' umpire, who has the assistance of television replays. In international matches an off-field match referee ensures that play is within the laws of cricket and the spirit of the game.

Scorers

Two scorers are appointed, and most often one scorer is provided by each team. The laws of cricket specify that the official scorers are to record all runs scored, wickets taken and (where appropriate) overs bowled. They are to acknowledge signals from the umpire, and to check the accuracy of the score regularly both with each other and, at playing intervals, with the umpires. In practice scorers also keep track of other matters, such as bowlers' analyses, the rate at which the teams bowl their overs, and team statistics such as averages and records. In international and national cricket competitions the media often requires to be notified of records and statistics, so unofficial scorers often keep tally for the broadcast commentators and newspaper journalists. The official scorers occasionally make mistakes, but unlike umpires' mistakes these can be corrected after the event.

The playing field

The cricket field consists of a large circular or oval-shaped grassy ground. There are no fixed dimensions for the field but its diameter usually varies between 450 feet (137 m) to 500 feet (150 m). On most grounds, a rope demarcates the perimeter of the field and is known as the boundary.

The pitch

Most of the action takes place in the centre of this ground, on a rectangular clay strip usually with short grass called the pitch. The pitch measures 10 × 66 feet (3.05 × 20.12 m).

At each end of the pitch three upright wooden poles, called the stumps, are hammered into the ground. Two wooden crosspieces, known as the bails, sit in grooves atop the stumps, linking each to its neighbour. Each set of three stumps and two bails is collectively known as a wicket. One end of the pitch is designated the batting end where the batsman stands and the other is designated the bowling end where the bowler runs in to bowl. The area of the field on the side of the line joining the wickets where the batsman holds his bat (the right-hand side for a right-handed batsman, the left for a left-hander) is known as the off side, the other as the leg side or on side.

Lines drawn or painted on the pitch are known as creases. Creases are used to adjudicate the dismissals of batsmen and to determine whether a delivery is fair.

Parts of the field

For a one-innings match played over a set number of fair deliveries, there are two additional field markings. A painted oval is made by drawing a semicircle of 30 yards (27.4 m) radius from the centre of each wicket with respect to the breadth of the pitch and joining them with lines parallel, 30 yards (27.4 m) to the length of the pitch. This line, commonly known as the circle, divides the field into an infield and outfield. Two circles of radius 15 yards (13.7 m), centred on each wicket and often marked by dots, define the close-infield. The infield, outfield, and the close-infield are used to enforce fielding restrictions.

Placements of players

The team batting always has two batsmen on the field. One batsman, known as the striker, faces and plays the balls bowled by the bowler. His partner stands at the bowling end and is known as the non-striker.

The fielding team has all eleven of its players on the ground, and at any particular time, one of these will be the bowler. The player designated as bowler must change after every over. The wicket-keeper, who generally acts in that role for the whole match, stands or crouches behind the wicket at the batting end. The captain of the fielding team spreads his remaining nine players — the fielders — around the ground to cover most of the area. Their placement may vary dramatically depending on strategy. Each position on the field has a unique label.

Match structure

The toss

On the day of the match, the captains inspect the pitch to determine the type of bowlers whose bowling would be suited for the offered pitch surface and select their eleven players. The two opposing captains then toss a coin. The captain winning the toss may choose either to bat or bowl first.

Overs

Each innings is subdivided into overs. Each over consists of six consecutive legal (see "Extras" for details) deliveries bowled by the same bowler. No bowler is allowed to bowl consecutive overs. After the completion of an over, the bowler takes up a fielding position, while another player takes over the bowling.

After every over, the batting and bowling ends are swapped, and the field positions are adjusted. The umpires swap so the umpire at the bowler's end moves to square leg, and the umpire at square leg moves to the new bowler's end.

End of an innings

An innings is completed if:

  1. Ten out of eleven batsmen are 'out' (dismissed).
  2. A team chasing a given target number of runs to win manages to do so.
  3. The predetermined number of overs are bowled (in a one-day match only, usually 50 overs).
  4. A captain declares his innings closed (this does not apply to one-day limited over matches).
Playing time

Typically, two innings matches are played over three to five days with at least six hours of cricket being played each day. One innings matches are usually played over one day for six hours or more. There are formal intervals on each day for lunch and tea, and shorter breaks for drinks, where necessary. There is also a short interval between innings.

The game is only played in dry weather. Additionally, as in professional cricket it is common for balls to be bowled at over 90 mph (144 km/h), the game needs to be played in daylight that is good enough for a batsman to be able to see the ball. Play is therefore halted during rain (but not usually drizzle) and when there is bad light. Some one-day games are now played under floodlights, but, apart from few experimental games in Australia, floodlights are not used in longer games. Professional cricket is usually played outdoors. These requirements mean that in England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Zimbabwe the game is usually played in the summer. In the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh games are played in the winter. In these countries the hurricane and cyclone season coincides with their summers.

Batting and scoring runs

See also: Scoring

Batting
The directions in which a right handed batsman intends to send the ball when playing various cricketing shots.

Batsmen stand waiting for the ball at the batting crease. The wooden bat that a batsman uses consists of a long handle and a flat surface on one side. If the batsman hits the ball with his bat, it is called a shot (or stroke). If the ball brushes the side of the bat it is called an edge or snick. Shots are named according to the style of swing and the direction in the field to which the batsman desires to hit the ball. Depending on the team's strategy, he may be required to bat defensively in an effort to not get out, or to bat aggressively to score runs quickly.

Batsmen come in to bat in a batting order, which is decided by the team captain. The first two positions, known as "openers", are generally a specialised position, as they face the most hostile bowling (the opposing team's fast bowlers are at their freshest and the ball is new). After that, the team typically bats in descending order of batting skill, the first five or six batsmen usually being the best in the team. After them the all-rounders follow and finally the bowlers (who are usually not known for their batting abilities). This order may be changed at any time during the course of the game for strategic reasons.

Run scoring

To score a run, a striker must hit the ball and run to the opposite end of the pitch, while his non-striking partner runs to his end. Both runners must touch the ground behind the popping crease with either his bat or his body to register a run. If the striker hits the ball well enough, the batsmen may double back to score two or more runs. This is known as running between wickets. But there is no tip and run rule, so the batsmen are not required to attempt a run when the ball is hit. If the batsmen score an odd number of runs, then they will have swapped ends and their roles as striker and non-striker will be reversed for the next ball, unless the most recent ball marks the end of an over.

If a fielder knocks the bails off the stumps with the ball while no batsman is grounded behind the nearest popping crease, the nearest batsman is run out. If the ball goes over the boundary, then four runs are scored, or six if the ball has not bounced.

Extras

Every run scored by the batsmen contributes to the team's total. A team's total also includes a number of runs which are unaccredited to any batsmen. These runs are known as extras, apart from in Australia where they are also called sundries. Extras consist of byes, leg byes, no balls, wides and penalty runs. The former two are runs that can be scored if the batsman misses making contact with bat and ball, and the latter two are types of fouls committed by the bowler. For serious infractions such as tampering with the ball, deliberate time-wasting, and damaging the pitch, the umpires may award penalty extras to the opposition; in each case five runs. Five penalty runs are also awarded if a fielder uses anything other than his body to field the ball, or if the ball hits a protective helmet left on the field by the fielding team. A team need not be batting in order to receive penalty extras.

Bowling and dismissals

Bowling
Darren Gough bowling

A bowler delivers the ball toward the batsmen, using what is known as a bowling action: the elbow may be held at any angle and may bend further, but may not straighten out during the action. If the elbow straightens, it is an illegal throw and the delivery is called a no-ball. Under new cricketing law, after consultation with health experts, the bowler is allowed to sraighten his arm 15 degrees or less, if the bowler straightens his or her arm more than 15 degrees it is called a "no ball". This new law came in to prevent injury to bowlers. Usually, the bowler pitches the ball so that it bounces before reaching the batsman. Some part of the bowler's front foot in the delivery stride (that is, the stride when the ball is released) must be behind the popping crease to avoid a no-ball (although the bowler's front foot does not have to be grounded). The ball must also be delivered so it is within the batsman's reach, otherwise it is termed a wide. A wide cannot be called if the batsman hits the ball. A wide or no-ball results in a run to the batting team score, and the ball to be rebowled.

The bowler's primary goal is to take wickets; that is, to get a batsman out or dismissed. If a bowler can dismiss the more accomplished batsmen on the opposing team he reduces the opportunity for them to score, as it exposes the less skilful batsmen. Their next task is to limit the numbers of runs scored per over they bowl. This is known as the Economy rate. If a bowler gets a batsman out, he is credited for this achievement. There are two main kinds of bowlers : pace bowlers and spin bowlers.

Dismissal of a batsman

A batsman is allowed to bat as long as he does not get out (also known as being dismissed). There are ten ways of being dismissed, some of which are credited as wickets to the bowler, some of which are not credited to any player. If the batsman is dismissed, another player from the batting team replaces him until ten batsmen are out and the innings is over.

Many modes of dismissal require the wicket to be "put down". The wicket is put down if a bail is dislodged from the top of the stumps or a stump is struck out of the ground either with the ball, or by a fielder with the ball in his hand. Of the following ten modes of dismissal, the first six are common, while the last four are technicalities which rarely occur. Briefly, the ten modes are:

  • Caught — When a fielder catches the ball before the ball bounces and after the batsman has struck it with the bat or it has come into contact with the batsman's glove while it is in contact with the bat handle. The bowler and catcher are both credited. (Law 32)
  • Bowled — When a delivered ball hits the stumps at the batsman's end, and dislodges one or both of the bails. This happens regardless of whether the batsman has edged the ball onto the stumps or not. The bowler is credited with the dismissal. (Law 30)
  • Leg before wicket (LBW) — When a delivered ball misses the bat and strikes the batsman's leg or pad, and the umpire judges that the ball would otherwise have struck the stumps. The laws of cricket stipulate certain exceptions in favour of the batsman; for instance, a batsman should not be given out LBW if the place where the ball bounced on the pitch is to the leg-side of the area strictly between the two wickets. The bowler is credited with the dismissal.
  • Run out — When a fielder, bowler or wicket-keeper removes one or both of the bails with the ball by hitting the stumps whilst a batsman is still running between the two ends. The ball can either hit the stumps directly or the fielder's hand with the ball inside it can be used to dislodge the bails. Such a dismissal is not officially credited to any player, although the identities of the fielder or fielders involved is often noted in brackets on the scorecard.
  • Stumped — When the batsman leaves his crease in playing a delivery, voluntarily or involuntarily, but the ball goes to the wicket-keeper who uses it to remove one or both of the bails through hitting the bail(s) or the wicket before the batsman has remade his ground. The bowler and wicket-keeper are both credited. This generally requires the keeper to be standing within arm's length of the wicket, which is done mainly to spin bowling. (Law 39)
  • Hit wicket — When the batsman accidentally knocks the stumps with either the body or the bat, causing one or both of the bails to be dislodged, either in playing a shot or in taking off for the first run. The bowler is credited with the dismissal. (Law 35)
  • Handled the ball — When the batsman deliberately handles the ball without the permission of the fielding team. No player is credited with the dismissal. (Law 33)
  • Hit the ball twice — When the batsman deliberately strikes the ball a second time, except for the sole purpose of guarding his wicket. No player is credited with the dismissal. (Law 34)
  • Obstructing the field — When a batsman deliberately hinders a fielder from attempting to field the ball. No player is credited with the dismissal. (Law 37)
  • Timed out — When a new batsman takes more than three minutes to take his position in the field to replace a dismissed batsman. (If the delay is even more protracted, the umpires may cause the match to be forfeited.) No player is credited with the dismissal. (Law 31)

Additionally, a batsman may leave the field undismissed. For instance, if he is ill or injured, this is known as retired hurt or retired ill. The batsman is not out; he may return to bat later in the same innings if sufficiently recovered. Also, an unimpaired batsman may retire, in which case he is treated as being dismissed retired out; no player is credited with the dismissal.

An individual cannot be out — 'bowled', 'caught', 'leg before wicket', 'stumped', or 'hit wicket' off a no ball. He cannot be out — 'bowled', 'caught', 'leg before wicket', or 'hit the ball twice' off a wide.

Some of these modes of dismissal can take place without the bowler bowling a delivery. The batsman who is not on strike may be run out by the bowler if he leaves his crease before the bowler bowls, and a batsman can be out obstructing the field or retired out at any time. Timed out by its nature is a dismissal without a delivery. With all other modes of dismissal, only one batsman can be dismissed per ball bowled. Obstructing the field, Handled the ball, Timed Out and Hit the ball twice dismissals are extremely rare.

Fielding and wicket-keeping

A pair of Wicket Keeping Gloves. The webbing which helps the 'keeper to catch the ball can be seen between the thumb and index fingers.

Fielders assist the bowlers to prevent batsmen from scoring too many runs. They do this in two ways: by taking catches to dismiss a batsman, and by intercepting hit balls and returning them to the pitch to attempt run-outs to restrict the scoring of runs.

The wicket-keeper is a specialist fielder who stands behind the batsman's wicket throughout the game. His primary job is to gather deliveries that the batsman fails to hit, to prevent them running into the outfield, which would enable batsmen to score byes. To this end, he wears special gloves (he is the only fielder allowed to do so) and pads to cover his lower legs. Due to his position directly behind the striker, the wicket-keeper has a good chance of getting a batsman out caught off a fine edge from the bat; thicker edges are typically handled by the "slips" fieldsmen. The wicket-keeper is also the only person who can get a batsman out stumped.

Other roles

Captain

The captain's acumen in deciding the strategy is crucial to the team's success. The captain makes a number of important decisions, including setting field positions, alternating the bowlers and taking the toss. The captain's job on the team is very important but can be rather stressful at times. Much blame is placed on a captain when his team loses. However, it is considered an honour to be in such a privileged position and much praise is given to the captain when his team wins. The burden of the captain's duties can interfere with his quality of play considerably, slightly, or not at all, depending on how well he deals with the stress of his position.

A runner

In the event of a batsman being fit to bat but too injured to run, he may ask the umpire and the fielding captain for a runner. The runner chosen must, if possible, be a player who has already been given out. After a batsman hits the ball, the runner's only task is to run between the wickets in place of the injured batsman.

Substitutes

In one-day international (ODI) cricket and some other limited overs competitions, a single substitution is allowed during the game. A player who is replaced cannot return to the game. This kind of substitute is known as Super Sub, and was introduced in 2005.

In all forms of cricket, if a player gets injured or becomes ill during a match, a substitute is allowed to field instead of him; though he cannot bowl, bat, or act as a captain or wicket-keeper. Here the substitute is a temporary role and leaves the field once the injured player is fit to return.

History

A basic form of the sport can be traced back to the 13th century, but it may have existed even earlier than that. The game seems to have originated among shepherds and farm workers in the Weald between Kent and Sussex. Written evidence exists of a sport known as creag being played by Prince Edward, the son of Edward I (Longshanks), at Newenden, Kent in 1300.

In 1598, a court case referred to a sport called Creckett being played at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford around 1550. The Oxford English Dictionary gives this as the first recorded instance of cricket in the English language.

A number of words are thought to be possible sources for the term cricket. The name may derive from a term for the cricket bat: old French criquet (meaning a kind of club) or Flemish krick(e) (meaning a stick) or in Old English crycc (meaning a crutch or staff). (The latter is problematic, since Old English 'cc' was palatal in pronunciation in the south and the west midlands, roughly ch, which is how crycc leads to crych and thence crutch; the 'k' sound would be possible in the north, however.) Alternatively, the French criquet apparently derives from the Flemish word krickstoel, which is a long low stool on which one kneels in church and which resembles the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket.

During the 17th century, numerous references indicate the growth of cricket in the south-east of England. By the end of the century, it had become an organised activity being played for high stakes and it is possible that the first professionals appeared about that time. We know that a great cricket match with eleven players a side was played for high stakes in Sussex in 1697 and this is the earliest reference we have to cricket in terms of such importance.

The game underwent major development in the 18th Century and had become the national sport of England by the end of the century. Betting played a major part in that development and rich patrons began forming their own "select XIs". Cricket was prominent in London as early as 1707 and large crowds flocked to matches on the Artillery Ground in Finsbury. The Hambledon Club was founded sometime before 1750 and started playing first-class matches in 1756. For the next 30 years until the formation of MCC and the opening of Lord's in 1787, Hambledon was the game's greatest club and its focal point. MCC quickly became the sport's premier club and the custodian of the Laws of Cricket.

The 19th Century saw underarm replaced by first roundarm and then overarm bowling. Both developments were accompanied by major controversy. County clubs appeared from 1836 and ultimately formed a County Championship. In 1859, a team of England players went on the first overseas tour (to North America) and 18 years later another England team took part in the first-ever Test Match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Australia.

Cricket appeared at one Olympic Games, at Paris in 1900. Olympic cricket lasted only two days and Great Britain is the current Olympic champion.

Cricket entered an epochal era in 1963, when English counties modified the rules to provide a variant match form that produced an expedited result: games with a restricted number of overs per side. This gained widespread popularity and resulted in the birth of one-day international (ODI) matches in 1971. The governing International Cricket Council quickly adopted the new form and held the first ODI Cricket World Cup in 1975. Since then, ODI matches have gained mass spectatorship, at the expense of the longer form of the game and to the consternation of fans who prefer the longer form of the game. As of the early 2000s, however, the longer form of cricket is experiencing a growing resurgence in popularity.

Forms of cricket

The first Test cricket match was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) situated in Yarra Park, Melbourne, Australia, in 1877.

Test cricket

Test cricket is a form of international cricket started in 1877 during the 1876/77 English cricket team's tour of Australia. The first Test match began on 15 March 1877 and had a timeless format with four balls per over. It ended on 19 March 1877 with Australia winning by 45 runs.

The Test Cricket Series between England and Australia is called The Ashes, with the trophy being a tiny fragile urn, reputed to hold the ashes of a bail or cricket ball used during the second Test series between the two countries, which was presented to the English Cricket Captain, Ivo Bligh, by a group of Melbourne women, following the Test Series win by the England Cricket Team, during the England Cricket Team's Tour of Australia in 1882/83.

Since then, over 1,700 Test matches have been played and the number of Test playing nations has increased to ten with Bangladesh, the most recent nation elevated to Test status, making its debut in 2000. Test matches are two innings games that must be finished within a five day time period. Tests that are not finished by five days are considered a draw and neither teams gets credit for a win.

One-day cricket

One-day matches, also known as limited overs or instant cricket, were introduced in English domestic cricket in the 1960s due to the growing demands for a shorter and more dramatic form of cricket to stem the decline in attendances. The idea was taken up in the international arena in 1971, during an England team tour of Australia, when a Test match was rained off, and the one-day game has since swollen to become a crowd-pleaser and TV-audience-generator across the globe. The inaugural World Cup in 1975 did much to hasten this. The abbreviations ODI or sometimes LOI (for Limited Overs International) are used for international matches of this type. In one-day cricket, each team bats for only one innings, and it is limited to a number of overs, usually 50 in international matches. Despite its name, a one-day match may go into a second day if play is interrupted by rain. Day and night matches are also played which extend into the night. Innovations such as coloured clothing, frequent tournaments and result oriented-games often resulting in nail-biting finishes have seen ODI cricket gain many supporters. Strategies such as quick scoring, gravity-defying fielding and accurate bowling make this form more invigorating as compared to the Test matches.

First-class matches

A first-class match is generally defined as a high-level international or domestic match that takes place over at least three days on natural (as opposed to artificial) turf. A significant feature of first-class cricket is that games must have two innings per side, in contrast with games where the teams have one innings each (including limited overs matches played by teams that are normally recognised as first-class).

The status of a match depends on the status of the teams contesting it. All Test-playing nations are allowed to play first-class matches, as are their regional, state, provincial or county teams. Matches of Kenya, one of the foremost non-Test-playing nations, with other first class teams are adjudged first class, but its domestic matches are not. As a benchmark, a match can be considered first-class only if both teams have first-class status. Thus, a match between two Test nations, between two domestic teams in full members of the ICC, or between a Test nation and another Test nation's domestic team, may be considered first class. A Test match is also considered to be a first-class match, but one-day internationals are not due to the two innings per side rule.

The point of origin of first-class cricket is an ongoing controversy that is described in the main article.

Other forms of cricket

At lower levels, club cricket is usually played over one to two days, either as a two innings or one innings limited overs match. The game of cricket has also spawned a set of matches with modified rules to attract more fans. The 'Twenty20' rule can be an example of cricket rule modification, since this particular modification enforces a limit of 20 overs per innings, which makes the game rather shorter in order to maximise the attention of the fans. These matches are not recognised by the ICC as official matches.

Other variants of the sport exist and are played in areas as diverse as on sandy beaches or on ice. Families and teenages may play backyard cricket in suburban yards or driveways, typically with an improvised set of rules. This is known as gully cricket in the subcontinent. Some popular rule variations are:

  • "Can not get out first ball". If out on the first ball, the batter may continue to bat. This rule is design to make sure all players spend some time batting.
  • "Six and out". If a batter hits the ball over the fence (scoring six runs) they are out and required to fetch the ball themselves by climbing into a neighbours yard.

Kwik cricket is a form of the sport where the bowler does not have to wait for the batsman to be ready before a delivery, leading to a faster, more exhausting game which is often used in school PE lessons. Indoor cricket is a variant of the game that can be played in a netted, indoor arena.

International structure

ICC member nations. Orange are Test playing nations; green are the associate member nations; and purple are the affiliate member nations.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the international governing body for cricket. It is headquartered in Dubai and includes representatives of each of the ten Test-playing nations, as well as an elected panel representing non-Test-playing nations.

Each nation has a national cricket board which regulates cricket matches played in their country. The cricket board also selects the national squad and organises home and away tours for the national team.

Nations playing cricket are separated into three tiers depending on the level of cricket infrastructure in that country. At the highest level are the Test-playing nations. They qualify automatically for the quadrennial World Cup matches. A rung lower are the Associate Member nations. The lowermost rung consists of the Affiliate Member nations.

See also: Non-Test teams to have played ODI matches.


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See also: Non-Test teams to have played ODI matches. Also, a Superman video game with the same name will be released near or on the date Superman Returns will arrive in theaters. The lowermost rung consists of the Affiliate Member nations. These include:. A rung lower are the Associate Member nations. As such, there are many references to the previous series. They qualify automatically for the quadrennial World Cup matches. Singer has said that this film will be using the first two films in the Superman film saga that began with 1978's Superman: The Movie as a vague history to the events of Superman Returns.

At the highest level are the Test-playing nations. Christopher Reeve's widow Dana Reeve, in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005, was shown the press release photo of Brandon Routh and gave her nod of approval to the actor and the suit. Nations playing cricket are separated into three tiers depending on the level of cricket infrastructure in that country. At the San Diego Comic-Con, Bryan Singer showed a five minute montage of clips from the film to over six-thousand viewers, receiving a standing ovation. The cricket board also selects the national squad and organises home and away tours for the national team. A full account of the project history until mid-2004, before the current production, has recently surfaced in an internet board (see Superman Lives). Each nation has a national cricket board which regulates cricket matches played in their country. released the first teaser trailer.

It is headquartered in Dubai and includes representatives of each of the ten Test-playing nations, as well as an elected panel representing non-Test-playing nations. On November 17, 2005, Warner Bros. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the international governing body for cricket. During production, Singer released a series of 'video diaries' on the internet at BlueTights.net, giving almost unprecedented up-to-date insight into the behind-the-scenes work being done, on what would normally be a very secretive production. Indoor cricket is a variant of the game that can be played in a netted, indoor arena. This movie has been rumored to be one of the most expensive films ever, with a budget $250,000,000, but director Bryan Singer recently debunked the rumors claiming it is "a little lower than $200,000,000". Kwik cricket is a form of the sport where the bowler does not have to wait for the batsman to be ready before a delivery, leading to a faster, more exhausting game which is often used in school PE lessons. Shooting of Superman Returns initiated in Australia, on locations which included a farm located outside of the regional city of Tamworth, and in Sydney.

Some popular rule variations are:. Petersen eventually left to direct the film Troy and Warner Studios decided to concentrate on separate movies for each character. This is known as gully cricket in the subcontinent. Superman, was also put on the fast track to production with Wolfgang Petersen set to direct. Families and teenages may play backyard cricket in suburban yards or driveways, typically with an improvised set of rules. For a brief period in 2001 and 2002 a Superman and Batman film, Batman vs. Other variants of the sport exist and are played in areas as diverse as on sandy beaches or on ice. Luthor as an alien, Krypton not destroyed) but was also leaked onto the internet, receiving a generally hostile reaction by fans.

These matches are not recognised by the ICC as official matches. Abrams turned in a script that not only substantially revised the premises of the franchise (e.g. The 'Twenty20' rule can be an example of cricket rule modification, since this particular modification enforces a limit of 20 overs per innings, which makes the game rather shorter in order to maximise the attention of the fans. J.J. The game of cricket has also spawned a set of matches with modified rules to attract more fans. Other names attached during the years included directors Oliver Stone, Brett Ratner, Michael Bay and Charlie's Angels' McG, and actors Sandra Bullock, Beyoncé Knowles, Johnny Depp, Anthony Hopkins, James Caviezel, Henry Cavill and Matthew Bomer. At lower levels, club cricket is usually played over one to two days, either as a two innings or one innings limited overs match. Other reasons for this project's collapse can be attributed to the skyrocketing budget figures in pre-production, the accident which paralyzed former Superman actor Christopher Reeve for the rest of his life, and Warner Bros' unwillingness to release this film alongside 1999's juggernaut Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

The point of origin of first-class cricket is an ongoing controversy that is described in the main article. Both Peters and Burton are alleged to have wanted to make a "re-imagining" which borrowed the names of the franchise and its characters, but little else (Peters wanted a Bruckheimer-style wall-to-wall action film, Burton - "a Superman-as-Batman figure"). A Test match is also considered to be a first-class match, but one-day internationals are not due to the two innings per side rule. Another commonly mentioned reason, from both Smith and Burton, is the the producer, Jon Peters, was trying to influence the script with strange ideas, such as trying to force Smith into adding a gigantic spider to the storyline. Thus, a match between two Test nations, between two domestic teams in full members of the ICC, or between a Test nation and another Test nation's domestic team, may be considered first class. Likewise, Burton was not happy with Smith's script, and was planning on bringing Andrew Kevin Walker on to rewrite the script. As a benchmark, a match can be considered first-class only if both teams have first-class status. A Q&A session concerning Smith's dissatisfaction with Burton's intended direction of the project can be seen on the DVD release An Evening with Kevin Smith.

Matches of Kenya, one of the foremost non-Test-playing nations, with other first class teams are adjudged first class, but its domestic matches are not. The project has had a long and protracted history stretching back to the mid-1990s with Kevin Smith and Tim Burton being signed on to write and direct and Nicolas Cage slated to star as the Man of Steel in a movie version (tentatively titled Superman Lives) of the comic book storyline Death of Superman, for release in the summer of 1999. All Test-playing nations are allowed to play first-class matches, as are their regional, state, provincial or county teams. The film is to be a loose sequel to Superman: The Movie and Superman II, which is reflected through the use of subtle references, in-jokes, set design and particularly the use of footage featuring Marlon Brando as Jor-El. The status of a match depends on the status of the teams contesting it. As he struggles to stop Luthor's plans to bring about cataclysmic destruction upon his beloved adopted world, Superman embarks on a journey of redemption that takes him from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space. A significant feature of first-class cricket is that games must have two innings per side, in contrast with games where the teams have one innings each (including limited overs matches played by teams that are normally recognised as first-class). In the meantime his old nemesis recently released from prison, Lex Luthor, plots to render him powerless by the means of data crystals stolen from Superman's Fortress of Solitude, which itself is only one part of a wider and elaborate villainous plot.

A first-class match is generally defined as a high-level international or domestic match that takes place over at least three days on natural (as opposed to artificial) turf. His return challenges him to bridge the distance between himself and Lois while finding a place in a society that has learned to survive without him. Strategies such as quick scoring, gravity-defying fielding and accurate bowling make this form more invigorating as compared to the Test matches. In their years apart, Lois Lane, is now in a serious relationship with another man - Richard White - and has had a young child. Innovations such as coloured clothing, frequent tournaments and result oriented-games often resulting in nail-biting finishes have seen ODI cricket gain many supporters. After re-uniting with his widowed mother, Martha Kent, Superman returns to the Daily Planet as Clark Kent and is shocked to discover the woman he loves has moved on with her life. Day and night matches are also played which extend into the night. After an absence of several years, Kal-El returns to Earth after investigating the remains of his destroyed homeworld of Krypton to determine if he was indeed the sole survivor of the planet.

Despite its name, a one-day match may go into a second day if play is interrupted by rain. . In one-day cricket, each team bats for only one innings, and it is limited to a number of overs, usually 50 in international matches. Bryan Singer is also reported to be targetting for a PG rating rather than the PG-13 rating of current superhero-themed movies. The abbreviations ODI or sometimes LOI (for Limited Overs International) are used for international matches of this type. In addition, pieces and motifs of John Williams' classic film score for Superman: The Movie will be adapted by composer John Ottman and incorporated into the film's new score. The inaugural World Cup in 1975 did much to hasten this. Bryan Singer plans to incorporate unused footage of Marlon Brando's performance as Jor-El from material directed by Richard Donner for Superman: The Movie and the original version of Superman II.

The idea was taken up in the international arena in 1971, during an England team tour of Australia, when a Test match was rained off, and the one-day game has since swollen to become a crowd-pleaser and TV-audience-generator across the globe. The continuity established in Superman: The Movie will serve as its back-story, or as Singer puts it, a 'vague history'. One-day matches, also known as limited overs or instant cricket, were introduced in English domestic cricket in the 1960s due to the growing demands for a shorter and more dramatic form of cricket to stem the decline in attendances. Filming initiated in February 2005 and the movie is expected to be released in the United States on June 30, 2006. Tests that are not finished by five days are considered a draw and neither teams gets credit for a win. The screenplay has been written by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Test matches are two innings games that must be finished within a five day time period. The role of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor will be played by Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey.

Since then, over 1,700 Test matches have been played and the number of Test playing nations has increased to ten with Bangladesh, the most recent nation elevated to Test status, making its debut in 2000. The film is currently being directed by Bryan Singer and the role of Superman/Clark Kent will be portrayed by Brandon Routh. The Test Cricket Series between England and Australia is called The Ashes, with the trophy being a tiny fragile urn, reputed to hold the ashes of a bail or cricket ball used during the second Test series between the two countries, which was presented to the English Cricket Captain, Ivo Bligh, by a group of Melbourne women, following the Test Series win by the England Cricket Team, during the England Cricket Team's Tour of Australia in 1882/83. Superman Returns is a 2006 American superhero film based on the fictional character and superhero Superman. It ended on 19 March 1877 with Australia winning by 45 runs.
. The first Test match began on 15 March 1877 and had a timeless format with four balls per over. This film is expected to have a PG-13 rating.

Test cricket is a form of international cricket started in 1877 during the 1876/77 English cricket team's tour of Australia. Singer felt Caviezel was too famous and recognizable after playing Jesus in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004). As of the early 2000s, however, the longer form of cricket is experiencing a growing resurgence in popularity. One of many candidates considered, James Caviezel expressed great interest in the role of Superman/Clark Kent and campaigned long and hard to win the coveted part, but despite his best efforts he was rejected by director Bryan Singer in favor of newcomer Brandon Routh. Since then, ODI matches have gained mass spectatorship, at the expense of the longer form of the game and to the consternation of fans who prefer the longer form of the game. This will be the first Superman movie to be released simultaneously in conventional movie theaters and IMAX theaters. The governing International Cricket Council quickly adopted the new form and held the first ODI Cricket World Cup in 1975. Pictures.

This gained widespread popularity and resulted in the birth of one-day international (ODI) matches in 1971. This will be the first Superman movie to be distributed domestically and globally by Warner Bros. Cricket entered an epochal era in 1963, when English counties modified the rules to provide a variant match form that produced an expedited result: games with a restricted number of overs per side. Producers of Smallville were allowed to visit the set during production. Olympic cricket lasted only two days and Great Britain is the current Olympic champion. Pictures; the first was Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. Cricket appeared at one Olympic Games, at Paris in 1900. This will be the second Superman movie to date produced outright by Warner Bros.

In 1859, a team of England players went on the first overseas tour (to North America) and 18 years later another England team took part in the first-ever Test Match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Australia. The opening credits of this film will use a similar three-dimensional, "zooming" text style to the one used in the first three films. County clubs appeared from 1836 and ultimately formed a County Championship. One of the Bluetights video diaries suggests an opening sequence that uses comic-book style images to relate the events of the 1978 film. Both developments were accompanied by major controversy. The Kryptonian pod in this film closely resembles the ship baby Kal-El was placed in when he travelled to Earth in Superman: The Movie. The 19th Century saw underarm replaced by first roundarm and then overarm bowling. The score composed by John Ottman will feature themes created by John Williams for the orignal film.

MCC quickly became the sport's premier club and the custodian of the Laws of Cricket. Ben Hubbard, the man who takes care of Martha Kent, was mentioned in Superman: The Movie but is actually going to be seen in this film. For the next 30 years until the formation of MCC and the opening of Lord's in 1787, Hambledon was the game's greatest club and its focal point. Bryan Singer said that he will use footage from the first film, as well as Brando's unused scenes from Superman II. The Hambledon Club was founded sometime before 1750 and started playing first-class matches in 1756. The use of footage of Marlon Brando, who played Jor-El in Superman: The Movie shot for the Superman films. Cricket was prominent in London as early as 1707 and large crowds flocked to matches on the Artillery Ground in Finsbury. Peta Wilson.

Betting played a major part in that development and rich patrons began forming their own "select XIs". Flight Attendant Bobbie Faye ... The game underwent major development in the 18th Century and had become the national sport of England by the end of the century. Mike Massa. We know that a great cricket match with eleven players a side was played for high stakes in Sussex in 1697 and this is the earliest reference we have to cricket in terms of such importance. 777 Pilot ... By the end of the century, it had become an organised activity being played for high stakes and it is possible that the first professionals appeared about that time. Noel Neill.

During the 17th century, numerous references indicate the growth of cricket in the south-east of England. Formerly Wealthy Woman ... (The latter is problematic, since Old English 'cc' was palatal in pronunciation in the south and the west midlands, roughly ch, which is how crycc leads to crych and thence crutch; the 'k' sound would be possible in the north, however.) Alternatively, the French criquet apparently derives from the Flemish word krickstoel, which is a long low stool on which one kneels in church and which resembles the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket. Stephan Bender. The name may derive from a term for the cricket bat: old French criquet (meaning a kind of club) or Flemish krick(e) (meaning a stick) or in Old English crycc (meaning a crutch or staff). Young Clark Kent ... A number of words are thought to be possible sources for the term cricket. James Karen.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives this as the first recorded instance of cricket in the English language. Ben Hubbard ... In 1598, a court case referred to a sport called Creckett being played at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford around 1550. Marlon Brando (Archive footage, previous films). Written evidence exists of a sport known as creag being played by Prince Edward, the son of Edward I (Longshanks), at Newenden, Kent in 1300. Jor-El... The game seems to have originated among shepherds and farm workers in the Weald between Kent and Sussex. Parker Posey.

A basic form of the sport can be traced back to the 13th century, but it may have existed even earlier than that. Kitty Koslowski ... Here the substitute is a temporary role and leaves the field once the injured player is fit to return. Kal Penn. In all forms of cricket, if a player gets injured or becomes ill during a match, a substitute is allowed to field instead of him; though he cannot bowl, bat, or act as a captain or wicket-keeper. Stanford ... This kind of substitute is known as Super Sub, and was introduced in 2005. Frank Langella.

A player who is replaced cannot return to the game. Perry White ... In one-day international (ODI) cricket and some other limited overs competitions, a single substitution is allowed during the game. Sam Huntington. After a batsman hits the ball, the runner's only task is to run between the wickets in place of the injured batsman. Jimmy Olsen ... The runner chosen must, if possible, be a player who has already been given out. James Marsden.

In the event of a batsman being fit to bat but too injured to run, he may ask the umpire and the fielding captain for a runner. Richard White ... The burden of the captain's duties can interfere with his quality of play considerably, slightly, or not at all, depending on how well he deals with the stress of his position. Eva Marie Saint. However, it is considered an honour to be in such a privileged position and much praise is given to the captain when his team wins. Martha Kent ... Much blame is placed on a captain when his team loses. Kevin Spacey.

The captain's job on the team is very important but can be rather stressful at times. Lex Luthor ... The captain makes a number of important decisions, including setting field positions, alternating the bowlers and taking the toss. Kate Bosworth. The captain's acumen in deciding the strategy is crucial to the team's success. Lois Lane ... The wicket-keeper is also the only person who can get a batsman out stumped. Brandon Routh.

Due to his position directly behind the striker, the wicket-keeper has a good chance of getting a batsman out caught off a fine edge from the bat; thicker edges are typically handled by the "slips" fieldsmen. Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman ... To this end, he wears special gloves (he is the only fielder allowed to do so) and pads to cover his lower legs. His primary job is to gather deliveries that the batsman fails to hit, to prevent them running into the outfield, which would enable batsmen to score byes. The wicket-keeper is a specialist fielder who stands behind the batsman's wicket throughout the game.

They do this in two ways: by taking catches to dismiss a batsman, and by intercepting hit balls and returning them to the pitch to attempt run-outs to restrict the scoring of runs. Fielders assist the bowlers to prevent batsmen from scoring too many runs. Obstructing the field, Handled the ball, Timed Out and Hit the ball twice dismissals are extremely rare. With all other modes of dismissal, only one batsman can be dismissed per ball bowled.

Timed out by its nature is a dismissal without a delivery. The batsman who is not on strike may be run out by the bowler if he leaves his crease before the bowler bowls, and a batsman can be out obstructing the field or retired out at any time. Some of these modes of dismissal can take place without the bowler bowling a delivery. He cannot be out — 'bowled', 'caught', 'leg before wicket', or 'hit the ball twice' off a wide.

An individual cannot be out — 'bowled', 'caught', 'leg before wicket', 'stumped', or 'hit wicket' off a no ball. Also, an unimpaired batsman may retire, in which case he is treated as being dismissed retired out; no player is credited with the dismissal. The batsman is not out; he may return to bat later in the same innings if sufficiently recovered. For instance, if he is ill or injured, this is known as retired hurt or retired ill.

Additionally, a batsman may leave the field undismissed. Briefly, the ten modes are:. Of the following ten modes of dismissal, the first six are common, while the last four are technicalities which rarely occur. The wicket is put down if a bail is dislodged from the top of the stumps or a stump is struck out of the ground either with the ball, or by a fielder with the ball in his hand.

Many modes of dismissal require the wicket to be "put down". If the batsman is dismissed, another player from the batting team replaces him until ten batsmen are out and the innings is over. There are ten ways of being dismissed, some of which are credited as wickets to the bowler, some of which are not credited to any player. A batsman is allowed to bat as long as he does not get out (also known as being dismissed).

There are two main kinds of bowlers : pace bowlers and spin bowlers. If a bowler gets a batsman out, he is credited for this achievement. This is known as the Economy rate. Their next task is to limit the numbers of runs scored per over they bowl.

If a bowler can dismiss the more accomplished batsmen on the opposing team he reduces the opportunity for them to score, as it exposes the less skilful batsmen. The bowler's primary goal is to take wickets; that is, to get a batsman out or dismissed. A wide or no-ball results in a run to the batting team score, and the ball to be rebowled. A wide cannot be called if the batsman hits the ball.

The ball must also be delivered so it is within the batsman's reach, otherwise it is termed a wide. Some part of the bowler's front foot in the delivery stride (that is, the stride when the ball is released) must be behind the popping crease to avoid a no-ball (although the bowler's front foot does not have to be grounded). Usually, the bowler pitches the ball so that it bounces before reaching the batsman. This new law came in to prevent injury to bowlers.

Under new cricketing law, after consultation with health experts, the bowler is allowed to sraighten his arm 15 degrees or less, if the bowler straightens his or her arm more than 15 degrees it is called a "no ball". If the elbow straightens, it is an illegal throw and the delivery is called a no-ball. A bowler delivers the ball toward the batsmen, using what is known as a bowling action: the elbow may be held at any angle and may bend further, but may not straighten out during the action. A team need not be batting in order to receive penalty extras.

Five penalty runs are also awarded if a fielder uses anything other than his body to field the ball, or if the ball hits a protective helmet left on the field by the fielding team. For serious infractions such as tampering with the ball, deliberate time-wasting, and damaging the pitch, the umpires may award penalty extras to the opposition; in each case five runs. The former two are runs that can be scored if the batsman misses making contact with bat and ball, and the latter two are types of fouls committed by the bowler. Extras consist of byes, leg byes, no balls, wides and penalty runs.

These runs are known as extras, apart from in Australia where they are also called sundries. A team's total also includes a number of runs which are unaccredited to any batsmen. Every run scored by the batsmen contributes to the team's total. If the ball goes over the boundary, then four runs are scored, or six if the ball has not bounced.

If a fielder knocks the bails off the stumps with the ball while no batsman is grounded behind the nearest popping crease, the nearest batsman is run out. If the batsmen score an odd number of runs, then they will have swapped ends and their roles as striker and non-striker will be reversed for the next ball, unless the most recent ball marks the end of an over. But there is no tip and run rule, so the batsmen are not required to attempt a run when the ball is hit. This is known as running between wickets.

If the striker hits the ball well enough, the batsmen may double back to score two or more runs. Both runners must touch the ground behind the popping crease with either his bat or his body to register a run. To score a run, a striker must hit the ball and run to the opposite end of the pitch, while his non-striking partner runs to his end. This order may be changed at any time during the course of the game for strategic reasons.

After them the all-rounders follow and finally the bowlers (who are usually not known for their batting abilities). After that, the team typically bats in descending order of batting skill, the first five or six batsmen usually being the best in the team. The first two positions, known as "openers", are generally a specialised position, as they face the most hostile bowling (the opposing team's fast bowlers are at their freshest and the ball is new). Batsmen come in to bat in a batting order, which is decided by the team captain.

Depending on the team's strategy, he may be required to bat defensively in an effort to not get out, or to bat aggressively to score runs quickly. Shots are named according to the style of swing and the direction in the field to which the batsman desires to hit the ball. If the ball brushes the side of the bat it is called an edge or snick. If the batsman hits the ball with his bat, it is called a shot (or stroke).

The wooden bat that a batsman uses consists of a long handle and a flat surface on one side. Batsmen stand waiting for the ball at the batting crease. See also: Scoring. In these countries the hurricane and cyclone season coincides with their summers.

In the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh games are played in the winter. These requirements mean that in England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Zimbabwe the game is usually played in the summer. Professional cricket is usually played outdoors. Some one-day games are now played under floodlights, but, apart from few experimental games in Australia, floodlights are not used in longer games.

Play is therefore halted during rain (but not usually drizzle) and when there is bad light. Additionally, as in professional cricket it is common for balls to be bowled at over 90 mph (144 km/h), the game needs to be played in daylight that is good enough for a batsman to be able to see the ball. The game is only played in dry weather. There is also a short interval between innings.

There are formal intervals on each day for lunch and tea, and shorter breaks for drinks, where necessary. One innings matches are usually played over one day for six hours or more. Typically, two innings matches are played over three to five days with at least six hours of cricket being played each day. An innings is completed if:.

The umpires swap so the umpire at the bowler's end moves to square leg, and the umpire at square leg moves to the new bowler's end. After every over, the batting and bowling ends are swapped, and the field positions are adjusted. After the completion of an over, the bowler takes up a fielding position, while another player takes over the bowling. No bowler is allowed to bowl consecutive overs.

Each over consists of six consecutive legal (see "Extras" for details) deliveries bowled by the same bowler. Each innings is subdivided into overs. The captain winning the toss may choose either to bat or bowl first. The two opposing captains then toss a coin.

On the day of the match, the captains inspect the pitch to determine the type of bowlers whose bowling would be suited for the offered pitch surface and select their eleven players. Each position on the field has a unique label. Their placement may vary dramatically depending on strategy. The captain of the fielding team spreads his remaining nine players — the fielders — around the ground to cover most of the area.

The wicket-keeper, who generally acts in that role for the whole match, stands or crouches behind the wicket at the batting end. The player designated as bowler must change after every over. The fielding team has all eleven of its players on the ground, and at any particular time, one of these will be the bowler. His partner stands at the bowling end and is known as the non-striker.

One batsman, known as the striker, faces and plays the balls bowled by the bowler. The team batting always has two batsmen on the field. The infield, outfield, and the close-infield are used to enforce fielding restrictions. Two circles of radius 15 yards (13.7 m), centred on each wicket and often marked by dots, define the close-infield.

This line, commonly known as the circle, divides the field into an infield and outfield. A painted oval is made by drawing a semicircle of 30 yards (27.4 m) radius from the centre of each wicket with respect to the breadth of the pitch and joining them with lines parallel, 30 yards (27.4 m) to the length of the pitch. For a one-innings match played over a set number of fair deliveries, there are two additional field markings. Creases are used to adjudicate the dismissals of batsmen and to determine whether a delivery is fair.

Lines drawn or painted on the pitch are known as creases. The area of the field on the side of the line joining the wickets where the batsman holds his bat (the right-hand side for a right-handed batsman, the left for a left-hander) is known as the off side, the other as the leg side or on side. One end of the pitch is designated the batting end where the batsman stands and the other is designated the bowling end where the bowler runs in to bowl. Each set of three stumps and two bails is collectively known as a wicket.

Two wooden crosspieces, known as the bails, sit in grooves atop the stumps, linking each to its neighbour. At each end of the pitch three upright wooden poles, called the stumps, are hammered into the ground. The pitch measures 10 × 66 feet (3.05 × 20.12 m). Most of the action takes place in the centre of this ground, on a rectangular clay strip usually with short grass called the pitch.

On most grounds, a rope demarcates the perimeter of the field and is known as the boundary. There are no fixed dimensions for the field but its diameter usually varies between 450 feet (137 m) to 500 feet (150 m). The cricket field consists of a large circular or oval-shaped grassy ground. The official scorers occasionally make mistakes, but unlike umpires' mistakes these can be corrected after the event.

In international and national cricket competitions the media often requires to be notified of records and statistics, so unofficial scorers often keep tally for the broadcast commentators and newspaper journalists. In practice scorers also keep track of other matters, such as bowlers' analyses, the rate at which the teams bowl their overs, and team statistics such as averages and records. They are to acknowledge signals from the umpire, and to check the accuracy of the score regularly both with each other and, at playing intervals, with the umpires. The laws of cricket specify that the official scorers are to record all runs scored, wickets taken and (where appropriate) overs bowled.

Two scorers are appointed, and most often one scorer is provided by each team. In international matches an off-field match referee ensures that play is within the laws of cricket and the spirit of the game. In some professional matches, they may refer a decision to an off-field 'third' umpire, who has the assistance of television replays. The other will stand near the fielding position called square leg, which offers a side view of the batsman, and assist on decisions for which he has a better view.

One umpire will stand behind the wicket at the end from which the ball is bowled, and adjudicate on most decisions. Two on-field umpires preside over a match. A player who excels in both batting and bowling (or occasionally in batting and keeping wicket) is known as an all-rounder. One player of the team that is bowling and fielding takes up the role of a wicket-keeper, which is a highly specialised fielding position.

A balanced team usually has five or six specialist batsmen and four or five specialist bowlers. Depending on his primary skills, a player may be classified as a specialist batsman or bowler. Each team consists of eleven players. In particular, there are a number of modifications to the playing structure and fielding position rules that apply to one innings games that are restricted to a set number of fair deliveries.

Other rules supplement the main laws and change them to deal with different circumstances. Teams may agree to alter some of the rules for particular games. The game is played in accordance with 42 laws of cricket, which have been developed by the Marylebone Cricket Club in discussion with the main cricketing nations. If such a match is abandoned without completion due to an impossibility of continuing the play, because of an extended period of bad weather, unruly crowd, or any such unlikely event or situation, the result is declared as No-Result if fewer than a previously agreed number of overs has been bowled by either team.

If the match has only a single innings per side, with a set number of deliveries, and the match is temporarily interrupted by bad weather, then a complex mathematical formula known as the Duckworth-Lewis method is often used to recalculate a new target score. they are one run short of their target (an extremely rare occurrence) the match is a tie. If the team batting last is dismissed with the scores exactly equal, i.e. If, in a two-innings match, the first team to bat is dismissed in their second innings with a combined first- and second-innings score less than the first-innings score of their opponents (a relatively rare occurrence), the match is concluded and they are said to have lost by an innings and n runs, where n is the difference in score between the teams.

A match is divided into innings[1] during which one team bats and the other bowls. The objective of the game is to score more runs than the opposing team. Cricket is a bat and ball sport. .

It has even occasionally given rise to diplomatic outrage, the most infamous being the Bodyline series played between England and Australia. For its fans, the sport and the intense rivalries between top cricketing nations provide passionate entertainment and outstanding sporting achievements. The length of the game — a match can last six or more hours a day for up to five days in one form of the game — the numerous intervals for lunch and tea, and the rich terminology are notable aspects which can often confuse those not familiar with the sport. It is also a prominent minor sport in countries as diverse as the Netherlands, Israel, Nepal, and Argentina (see also: International Cricket Council).

Cricket is also a major sport in England and Wales, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean, which are known in cricketing parlance as the West Indies. In some countries in South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, cricket is by far the most popular sport. It originated in its modern form in England, and is popular mainly in the countries of the Commonwealth. Cricket has been an established team sport for several centuries.

This is sometimes surprising to those not familiar with the game, but it does add interest to one-sided games by giving the inferior team the incentive to try and achieve a draw even if they cannot win. However, the game may run out of time before it is finished, in which case it is a draw, even if one team is overwhelmingly winning at that point. At the end of the match, the winner is the team that has scored the most runs. Depending on the specific rules of the match, one or two innings may be played, possibly with a fixed number of legally-bowled balls defining the end of an innings rather than ten batsmen having been dismissed.

As there must always be two batsmen on the field, if and when the tenth batsman is out, the team's turn to bat or innings (always with a terminal "s" in cricket usage) is over, and the other team may bat while the first team takes the field. Once out, a batsman is replaced by the next batsman in the team. Batsmen can also be out by other means, such as failing to defend the bowled ball from hitting the wicket, or hitting a catch to a fielder. If the ball strikes a wicket while the nearest batsman is still running, the batsman is out.

The batting team attempts to score as many runs as it can, while members of the bowling team gather the ball and return it to either wicket. This scores a run. If the batsman hits the ball with his bat, he may run to the other wicket, exchanging places with the non-striker. Another batsman (the non-striker) stands in an inactive role near the bowler's wicket.

A player from the opposing team (the batsman) attempts to defend the wicket from the ball with a wooden cricket bat, traditionally made of willow. A player from one team (the bowler) propels a hard, fist-sized ball(made of cork which is then wrapped in leather.) from one wicket towards the other. At each end of the pitch stand a set of wooden poles called wickets (traditionally made from the wood of the ash tree). It is a bat-and-ball game played on a roughly elliptical grass field, in the centre of which is a hard, flat strip of ground 22 yards (20.12 m) long, called the pitch.

Cricket is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players each. If a batter hits the ball over the fence (scoring six runs) they are out and required to fetch the ball themselves by climbing into a neighbours yard. "Six and out". This rule is design to make sure all players spend some time batting.

If out on the first ball, the batter may continue to bat. "Can not get out first ball". (Law 31). (If the delay is even more protracted, the umpires may cause the match to be forfeited.) No player is credited with the dismissal.

Timed out — When a new batsman takes more than three minutes to take his position in the field to replace a dismissed batsman. (Law 37). No player is credited with the dismissal. Obstructing the field — When a batsman deliberately hinders a fielder from attempting to field the ball.

(Law 34). No player is credited with the dismissal. Hit the ball twice — When the batsman deliberately strikes the ball a second time, except for the sole purpose of guarding his wicket. (Law 33).

No player is credited with the dismissal. Handled the ball — When the batsman deliberately handles the ball without the permission of the fielding team. (Law 35). The bowler is credited with the dismissal.

Hit wicket — When the batsman accidentally knocks the stumps with either the body or the bat, causing one or both of the bails to be dislodged, either in playing a shot or in taking off for the first run. (Law 39). This generally requires the keeper to be standing within arm's length of the wicket, which is done mainly to spin bowling. The bowler and wicket-keeper are both credited.

Stumped — When the batsman leaves his crease in playing a delivery, voluntarily or involuntarily, but the ball goes to the wicket-keeper who uses it to remove one or both of the bails through hitting the bail(s) or the wicket before the batsman has remade his ground. Such a dismissal is not officially credited to any player, although the identities of the fielder or fielders involved is often noted in brackets on the scorecard. The ball can either hit the stumps directly or the fielder's hand with the ball inside it can be used to dislodge the bails. Run out — When a fielder, bowler or wicket-keeper removes one or both of the bails with the ball by hitting the stumps whilst a batsman is still running between the two ends.

The bowler is credited with the dismissal. The laws of cricket stipulate certain exceptions in favour of the batsman; for instance, a batsman should not be given out LBW if the place where the ball bounced on the pitch is to the leg-side of the area strictly between the two wickets. Leg before wicket (LBW) — When a delivered ball misses the bat and strikes the batsman's leg or pad, and the umpire judges that the ball would otherwise have struck the stumps. (Law 30).

The bowler is credited with the dismissal. This happens regardless of whether the batsman has edged the ball onto the stumps or not. Bowled — When a delivered ball hits the stumps at the batsman's end, and dislodges one or both of the bails. (Law 32).

The bowler and catcher are both credited. Caught — When a fielder catches the ball before the ball bounces and after the batsman has struck it with the bat or it has come into contact with the batsman's glove while it is in contact with the bat handle. A captain declares his innings closed (this does not apply to one-day limited over matches). The predetermined number of overs are bowled (in a one-day match only, usually 50 overs).

A team chasing a given target number of runs to win manages to do so. Ten out of eleven batsmen are 'out' (dismissed).

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