|University of Alabama | Crimson Cricket Club | Indian Association of Tuscaloosa|
Although the game play and rules are very different, the basic concept of cricket is similar to that of baseball. Teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs, while the opposing team fields and attempts to bring an end to the batting team's innings. After each team has batted an equal number of innings (either one or two, depending on conditions chosen before the game), the team with the most runs wins.
Cricket Ground / Field
The order in which the teams bat is determined by a coin toss. The captain of the side winning the toss may elect to bat or field first.
All eleven players of the fielding team go out to field, two players of the batting team go out to bat. The remainder of the batting team wait off the field for their turn to bat. Each batsman wears protective gear and carries a cricket bat.
The game progresses by the bowling of balls. The sequence of events which constitutes a ball follows:
The fielding team disperses around the field, to positions designed to stop runs being scored or to get batsmen out. One fielder is the bowler. He takes the ball and stands some distance behind one of the wickets (i.e. away from the pitch). Another fielder is the wicket-keeper, who wears a pair of webbed gloves designed for catching the ball and protective pads covering the shins. He squats behind the opposite wicket. The rest of the fielders have no special equipment - gloves to assist catching the ball are not allowed to anyone but the wicket-keeper.
One batsman stands behind each popping crease, near a wicket. The batsman farthest from the bowler is the striker, the other is the non-striker. The striker stands before his wicket, on or near the popping crease, in the batting stance.
The batsman stands with his bat held down in front of the wicket, ready to hit the ball, which will be bowled from the other end of the pitch. The batsman usually rests the lower end of the bat on the pitch and then taps the bat on the pitch a few times as ``warm-up'' backswings.
The non-striker simply stands behind the other popping crease, waiting to run if necessary. The bowler takes a run-up from behind the non-striker's wicket. He passes to one side of the wicket, and when he reaches the non-striker's popping crease he bowls the ball towards the striker, usually bouncing the ball once on the pitch before it reaches the striker. (The bowling action will be described in detail later.)
The striker may then attempt to hit the ball with his bat. If he misses it, the wicket-keeper will catch it and the ball is completed. If he hits it, the two batsmen may score runs (described later). When the runs are completed, the ball is also considered completed. The ball is considered to be in play from the moment the bowler begins his run-up. It remains in play until any of several conditions occur (two common ones were just described), after which it is called dead. The ball is also dead if it lodges in the striker's clothing or equipment. Once the ball is dead, it is returned to the bowler for the next delivery (another name for the bowling of a ball). Between deliveries, the batsmen may leave their creases and confer with each other.
When one bowler has completed six balls, that constitutes an over. A different member of the fielding team is given the ball and bowls the next over - from the opposite end of the pitch. The batsmen do not change ends, so the roles of striker and non-striker swap after each over. Any member of the fielding team may bowl, so long as no bowler delivers two consecutive overs. Once a bowler begins an over, he must complete it, unless injured or suspended during the over.
Another possibility during a ball is that a batsman may get out. There are ten different methods of being out - these will be described in detail later. If a batsman gets out, the ball is dead immediately, so it is impossible to get the other batsman out during the same ball. The out batsman leaves the field, and the next batsman in the team comes in to bat. The not out batsman remains on the field. The order in which batsmen come in to bat in an innings is not fixed. The batting order may be changed by the team captain at any time, and the order does not have to be the same in each innings.
When ten batsmen are out, no new batsmen remain to come in, and the innings is completed with one batsman remaining not out. The roles of the teams then swap, and the team which fielded first gets to bat through an innings. When both teams have completed the agreed number of innings, the team which has scored the most runs wins.
If the batsmen are attempting to take runs, and a fielder gathers the ball and hits a wicket with it, dislodging one or both bails, while no batsman is behind that wicket's popping crease, then the nearest batsman is run out. Specifically, the batsman must have some part of his body or his bat (provided he is holding it) grounded behind (not on) the crease.
The batsmen carry their bats as they run, and turning for another run is accomplished by touching the ground beyond the crease with an outstretched bat. The batsmen do not have to run at any time they think it is unsafe - it is common to hit the ball and elect not to run.
If the batsmen run one or three (or five! rare, but possible), then they have swapped ends and their striker/non-striker roles are reversed for the next ball (unless the ball just completed is the end of an over).
The batsmen usually stop taking runs when a fielder is throwing the ball back towards the pitch area. If no fielder near the pitch gathers the ball and it continues into the outfield again, the batsmen may take more runs. Such runs are called overthrows. If the ball reaches the boundary on an overthrow, four runs are scored in addition to the runs taken before the overthrow occurred.
Runs scored by a batsman, including all overthrows, are credited to him by the scorer. The number of runs scored by each batsman is an important statistic.
If, while running multiple runs, a batsman does not touch the ground beyond the popping crease before he returns for the next run, then the umpire at that end will signal one short, and the number of runs scored is reduced by one.
The bowler must bowl each ball with part of his frontmost foot behind the popping crease. If he oversteps this mark, he has bowled a no ball. The umpire at that end calls ``no ball'' immediately in a loud voice. The batsman may play and score runs as usual, and may not be out by any means except run out, handle the ball, hit the ball twice, or obstructing the field. Further, if the batsman does not score any runs from the ball, one run is added to the batting team's score. Also, the bowler must bowl an extra ball in his over to compensate. A no ball is also called if any part of the bowler's back foot is not within the area between the return creases.
If the bowler bowls the ball far to one side or over the head of the batsman, so making it impossible to score, the umpire will signal the ball as a wide. This gives the batting team one run and the bowler must rebowl the ball.
If the striker misses a ball and the wicket-keeper fails to gather it cleanly, the batsmen may take runs. These runs are called byes and are scored as extras.
If the striker, in attempting to play a shot, deflects the ball with part of his body, the batsmen may attempt to take a run. Such runs are called leg byes. If the striker did not attempt to play a shot with his bat, leg byes may not be taken. The umpire adjudicates by signalling a dead ball if the batsmen attempt to run when, in his opinion, no attempt was made to play a shot.
Batsmen may be run out as usual while running byes and leg-byes. If, while running either form of bye, the ball reaches the boundary, four byes (of the appropriate type) are scored.
Ways of Getting OUT
The wicket is said to be broken if one or both of the bails have been dislodged and fallen to the ground. If the bails have fallen off for any reason and the ball is still in play, then breaking the wicket must be accomplished by pulling a stump completely out of the ground. If the wicket needs to be broken like this with the ball, the uprooting of the stump must be done with the ball in contact with the stump.
The field is notionally split into two halves, along a line down the centre of the pitch. The half of the field in front of the striker is called the off side, the half behind is called the leg side, or sometimes the on side. Thus, standing at the bowler's wicket and looking towards a right-handed striker's wicket, the off side is to the left and the leg side to the right (and vice-versa for a left-handed striker). The stumps of the striker's wicket are called off stump, middle stump, and leg stump, depending on which side they are on.
When a batsman gets out,
no matter by what method, his wicket is said to have fallen, and the fielding team are
said to have taken a wicket.
LBW(Leg Before the Wicket):
5. Run Out:
7. Handling the
If the technology is available for a given match, a third umpire is sometimes used. He sits off the field, with a television replay monitor. If an on-field umpire is unsure of a decision concerning either a run out or a stumping attempt, he may signal for the third umpire to view a television replay. The third umpire views a replay, in slow motion if necessary, until he either reaches a decision or decides that he cannot make a clear decision. He signals the result to the on-field umpire, who must then abide by it. If the equipment fails, the replay umpire signals no decision. The replay umpire cannot be used for any decisions other than run outs and stumpings.
Whenever any decision is in doubt, the umpire must rule in favour of the batsman.
If the ball hits an umpire, it is still live and play continues. If it lodges in an umpire's clothing, then it is dead.
The game is also presided over by a match referee, who watches from outside the field. The referee makes no decisions of relevance to the outcome of the game, but determines penalties for breaches of various rules and misconduct. In professional games, these penalties are monetary fines.
Arguing with an umpire's decision is simply not
tolerated. Anything more than a polite question to the umpires is heavily frowned upon and
could attract a penalty from the referee. The most serious misconduct in a cricket match
is of the order of a rude gesture to an opponent or throwing the ball into the ground in
disgust. Such gross misbehaviour would attract large fines and possibly match suspensions.
Penalties for physical violence can only be guessed at, but would possibly be a career
Short: One short is signalled by touching the tip of one hand to the same
If a fielder is wearing a protective helmet, and the striker hits the ball so that it bounces off the helmet, he may not be out caught off the rebound. If a ball rebounds from any other part of the body of a fielder, he may be out caught if another fielder (or the same one) then catches the ball before it hits the ground.
The difference between `bowling' and `throwing': When you throw the ball, the elbow is cocked and used to impart energy to the ball by straightening. When a ball is bowled, the elbow joint is held extended throughout. All the energy is imparted by rotation of the arm about the shoulder, and possibly a little by wrist motion. For a right-handed bowler, the action goes roughly as follows:
After the run-up, the right foot is planted on the ground with the instep facing the batsman. The right arm is extended backwards and down at this stage. The left foot comes down on the popping crease as the bowler's momentum carries him forward - he is standing essentially left-side on to the batsman. As the weight transfers to the left foot, the right arm is brought over the shoulder in a vertical arc. The ball is released near the top of the arc, and the follow-through brings the arm down and the right shoulder forward rapidly.
Bouncing the ball on the pitch is not mandatory. It's usually done because the movement of the ball off the pitch makes it much harder to hit. Unbounced deliveries, or full tosses are almost always much easier to hit, and mostly they are bowled accidentally. A full toss above hip height is no ball, and an umpire who suspects that such a ball was deliberate will give the bowler an official warning. A warning is also given if the umpire believes the bowler is bowling at the body of a batsman in a deliberate attempt to injure the batsman. After two warnings a bowler is barred from bowling for the rest of the innings.
If any rule governing the bowling action is violated, a no ball results.
Bowlers are allowed to polish the ball by rubbing it with cloth (usually on their trouser legs) and applying saliva or sweat to it. Any other substance is illegal, as is rubbing the ball on the ground. Usually one side of the ball is polished smooth, while the other wears, so that the bowler can achieve swing (curving the ball through the air). It is also illegal to roughen the ball by any means, including scraping it with the fingernails or lifting the seam. A bowler who illegaly tampers with the ball is immediately suspended from bowling for the rest of that innings.
The bowler may bowl from either side of the wicket, but must inform the umpire and the batsmen if he wishes to change sides. Bowling with the bowling arm closest to the wicket is called over the wicket, and is most common. Bowling with the non-bowling are closest to the wicket is called around the wicket.
The bowler may abort his run-up or not let go of the ball if he loses his footing or timing for any reason. The umpire will signal dead ball and the ball must be bowled again. If a bowler loses his grip on the ball during the delivery action, it is considered to be a live ball only if it is propelled forward of the bowler. If such a ball comes to rest in front of the striker, but any distance to the side, the striker is entitled to walk up to the ball and attempt to hit it with his bat. The fielding team must not touch the ball until the striker either hits it or declines to do so.
A delivery may also be aborted by the striker stepping away from his stumps, if distracted by an insect or dust in the eye, for example.
A swing bowler will hold the seam of the ball at a certain angle and attempt to release the ball so that it spins with the seam at a constant angle. With one side of the ball polished and the other rough, differential air pressure will cause it to swing in the air.
A seam bowler attempts to keep the seam vertical, so that the ball hits the seam when it bounces on the pitch and deflects in its path either to the right or left.
A fast bowler can also pull his fingers down one side of the ball as he lets it go, imparting a small amount of sideways spin to the ball. This can cause the ball to move sideways off the pitch. Such a delivery is called a leg-cutter if the ball moves from the leg side to the off side of a right-handed batsman, or an off-cutter if moves from the off to the leg. A specialist spin bowler can get a lot more spin that a fast bowler bowling cutters, however.
There are two types of spin bowling: off-spin, and leg-spin. Imagine holding a ball in your right hand and, for simplicity's sake, throwing it. If you twist your hand in a clockwise direction on release, then the spin on the ball will be such that when it bounces it will spin to your right. This is essentially off-spin bowling (so called because, to a right-handed batsman, the ball spins from the off side to the leg side). The off-spin delivery itself is called either an off-spinner or an off-break. An off-spin bowler will sometimes not spin the ball so much, putting more pace on the delivery. Such a delivery is called an arm-ball.
Now imagine twisting the ball anticlockwise and releasing it from the palm so that it `rolls' over the base of the little finger. This gives the ball spin in the opposite direction, so it spins left when it bounces. This is basic leg-spin (because to a right-handed batsman it spins from leg to off). The basic leg-spin delivery is called a leg-spinner or leg-break.
The interesting thing about leg-spin is that if
you cock your wrist at various angles you can in fact, with the same basic bowling action,
produce spin in different directions. With the wrist cocked a little towards the inside of
the arm, you can produce top-spinners. Go further and you actually end up producing
spin in the same direction as an off-spinner. A ball bowled in this way by a leg-spin
bowler is called a wrong 'un, or sometimes a googly. Probably trickiest of
all is a ball bowled with the hand in the same position as a top-spinner, but released
from under the hand, thereby gaining back-spin. This ball is called a flipper.
For left-handed spin bowlers there is a whole different system of nomenclature!
A left-handed bowler who uses the same action as an off-spinner is called an orthodox spinner. Such bowlers are not uncommon. A left-hander who bowls with the same action as a leg-spinner is called an unorthodox spinner - and these are the rarest bowlers in cricket. The left-handed analogue of the leg-spin delivery (which spins the opposite way, of course) is called an unorthodox spinner. The top-spinner and flipper retain their names. And the left-handed analogue of the wrong 'un is called a Chinaman.
Typical bowling speeds are:
Bowlers also make use of the state of the pitch, which is quite crucial to the game, and is one of the things the commentators look at in great detail before the game begins. Because it's a natural surface, there are usually small inconsistencies in its flatness, hardness and elasticity. Over a multi-day game, or even over a single day, these become more pronounced, so it often gets more difficult to bat as the game progresses. Spin bowlers in particular often find that they get much more spin from an old pitch than a freshly prepared one.
Some of the different types of balls bowled have special names:
The different types of shots a batsman can play are described by names:
Most of these shots can also be lofted, in an attempt to hit the ball over the close fielders (or the boundary). The batting strokes can be divided into two categories: Straight bat and cross bat. The straight bat shots are played with the bat held close to the vertical, and are the blocks, drives and glances. Cross bat shots are played with the bat held more horizontally, like a baseball bat. These include cuts, pulls, sweeps and hooks.
If a batsman is injured, he may retire and resume his innings when fit again, so long as his team's innings is not over. If a batsman is too injured to bat when no other batsmen remain to come in after a wicket falls, his innings must be forfeited and his team's innings ends. If a batsman is able to bat, but not run, then another player may run for him. The runner must wear the same equipment as the batter, and performs all his running. The injured non-runner must remain behind his crease at all times when the ball is in play or risk being run out, even if his runner is safely behind a crease.
If a bowler is injured during an over and cannot complete it, another bowler must bowl the remaining deliveries in that over. The bowler chosen to finish the over must not be the bowler who bowled the previous over, and must not bowl the over immediately following either.
A player may not leave the field for injury unless the injury is sustained on the field. An injured player who takes the field may not leave because of his pre-existing injury, unless it is clearly aggravated further on the field.
During very windy conditions, sometimes the bails will tend to blow off the top of the stumps. If this becomes a problem, the umpires can decide to play without bails. In this case, the wicket does not need to be broken by uprooting a stump, and the umpires must take full responsibility for deciding, in a reasonable manner, whether the wicket is broken or not.
Forms Of Cricket
Each team has two innings, usually played in alternating order. Each innings is over when either ten batsmen are out, or the captain of the batting side declares the innings closed (for strategic reasons, more later). When all the innings are completed, the team with the most runs wins. If there is a tie, the result stands (this is rare - it has only ever happened twice).
If by the end of the final day's play all the innings are not completed, the game is a draw, no matter who appeared to be ``winning''. Thus the strategic importance of sometimes declaring an innings closed, in order to have enough time to dismiss the other team and so win the game.
The order of the innings alternates except when the follow-on is enforced. This can occur if the second team to bat in the first innings scores 200 or more runs fewer than the first team. The captain of the first team may then ask the second team to follow on, i.e. to bat its second innings immediately, and defer his own team's second innings until afterwards.
Whenever a change of innings occurs during a session, a ten minute break is taken. If the end of an innings occurs within ten minutes of the end of the first or second sessions, the ten minute break is lost and the scheduled interval is shifted to begin immediately. If the end of an innings occurs within ten minutes of stumps, the day's play ends early.
Test matches are played with a red cricket ball. A new ball is used for the beginning of each innings. The same ball must be used throughout the innings, being replaced only in the following cases:
In cases 2 and 3, the ball must be replaced by a previously used ball of similarly worn condition to the old ball, as chosen by the umpires. If the ball is ever hit so that a spectator gathers it, the spectator must return it so that play can continue.
On each day of play in a Test match, a minimum of 90 overs must be bowled. If the bowling team has not bowled the required minimum by the scheduled stumps time, play is extended until the required number of overs have been bowled. Whenever an innings ends, the number of overs to be bowled is recalculated, disregarding the number of overs bowled so far during the same day. The required minimum is calculated to be the number of minutes of play remaining, divided by 4 and rounded up. On the last day of play, this formula is used up until one hour before stumps, then fifteen overs are added to the result. If extra overs are bowled before the time one hour before stumps on the final day, then there still must be a minimum of fifteen overs bowled after the time one hour before stumps. All of these conditions are recalculated for time lost due to poor weather, at a rate of one over per 4 minutes of lost time. If a day's play ends early because of poor weather conditions, all calculations are reset for the next day.
If there is heavy cloud cover, the umpires may decide that the ambient light level is too low and that the batsmen may be in danger because of difficulty in sighting the ball. If so, they offer the light to the batsmen, who may agree to leave the field or may decide to play on. If the light deteriorates further, the umpires will offer again. If the batsmen decide to leave the field and the light improves, the umpires make the decision to resume play.
If a fielder leave the field for any reason and then returns during the same innings, he may not bowl until he has been on the field again for as much time as he spent off the field.
Test matches are played in Series between two of the official Test nations. A Test Series consists of a set number of matches, from one to six, all of which are played to completion, even if one team gains an unassailable lead in the Series. Series of three or five matches are most common. Some pairs of nations compete against one another for a perpetual trophy. If a Series between two such nations is drawn, the holder of the trophy retains it.
The second is limited
overs, in which each team plays one innings of a pre-determined number of overs.
This form is called Limited overs cricket or One day Cricket.
A one- day match is played on a single day. Either a red or a white cricket ball may be
used, and play under artificial lighting is allowed.
Whichever team scores the most runs wins. A tied score stands. There is no draw result. If the match is washed out, so that the innings are not played, the game is declared a no-result.
In each innings, each bowler is restricted to bowling a maximum number of overs equal to one fifth of the total number of overs in the innings. Either a single new ball is used for each innings, or two new balls which are alternated between overs. (This is often done with white balls because they wear much faster than red balls.) New balls are never taken during an innings, but replacements for lost or damaged balls are taken as in first class matches.
In case of rain interruption to the first innings, the number of overs for each innings is recalculated so that they will be the same. If rain interrupts the second innings, making it impossible for an equal number of overs to be bowled, the number of runs scored by the first team is adjusted to compensate. There is no standard adjustment formula - one is decided beforehand for any given competition. There is also a predetermined number of overs which must be bowled in each innings for any result to be considered valid; if this limit is not reached the game is a no-result.
Because of the emphasis on scoring runs quickly, wide balls are enforced much more strictly in one-day cricket.
One-day competitions are played either as Series between pairs of international teams, round-robin competitions between groups of international teams, or round-robins between domestic teams. A World Cup one-day competition is played between all the Test nations each four years.
The following statistics are recorded:
One Day Match
The partnership scores can be seen from the differences between successive fall of wicket scores.
Good performances are considered to be:
Each of these tasks is usually greeted with enthusiastic applause from the spectators. The crowd also usually applauds significant events such as: Any wicket falling, a six, a four, a good over from a bowler (one which the batsmen have great difficulty playing safely), a good athletic effort from a fielder to gather the ball, the innings total reaching a multiple of 50.
The number of runs scored in an innings average about 3 per over for a first class match, and 4 per over in a one-day match. The variation on these numbers can be quite large, differences of up to one run per over being not uncommon. In a first class match, a captain makes his decision on declaring the innings closed based on the remaining time in the match and the size of his team's lead. He will try to allow as much time as possible to bowl the opposition out, while ensuring they do not have enough time to score enough runs to win.
Over a single player's career, the two most important statistics are:
Each of these averages is kept separately for Test cricket, first class cricket in general, and one-day cricket. A batting average above 30 is very good, 40 excellent, and 50 is legendary. Mention must be made of the Australian batsman Sir Donald Bradman, whose career average was a record 99.94, far and away the greatest batsman ever to play the game. A bowling average below 25 is considered excellent.
Teams which play Cricket
The West Indies is actually a consortium of Caribbean countries: Barbados; Jamaica; Guyana; The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Antigua and Barbuda; St. Kitt's-Nevis; Dominica; St. Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Montserrat; and Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Associate Members take part in the ICC Trophy. The top teams in this competition also compete in the World Cup. They are currently (with dates of election): Argentina (1974), Bangladesh (1977), Bermuda (1966), Canada (1968), Denmark (1966), East and Central Africa (1966), Fiji (1965), Gibraltar (1969), Hong Kong (1969), Ireland (1993), Isreal (1974), Italy (1995), Kenya (1981), Malaysia (1967), Namibia (1992), Netherlands (1966), Papua New Guinea (1973), Scotland (1994), Singapore (1974), United Arab Emirates (1990), U.S.A. (1965), West Africa (1976).
Affiliate Members. They are currently (with dates of election): Austria (1992), Bahamas (1987), Belgium (1991), Brunei (1992), France (1987), Germany (1991), Greece (1995), Japan (1989), Nepal (1988), Spain (1992), Switzerland (1985), Thailiand (1995), Vanuatu (1995).
Text from Cricinfo.com