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A cricket field is a large grass field on which the game of
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
is played. Although generally oval in shape, there is a wide variety within this: some are almost perfect circles, some elongated ovals and some entirely irregular shapes with little or no symmetry – but they will have entirely curved boundaries, almost without exception. There are no fixed dimensions for the field but its diameter usually varies between 450 feet (137 m) and 500 feet (150 m) for men's cricket, and between and for women's cricket. Cricket is unusual among major sports (along with
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) in that there is no official rule for a fixed-shape ground for professional games. On most grounds, a rope demarcates the perimeter of the field and is known as the ''boundary (cricket)">boundary Boundary or Boundaries may refer to: * Border, in political geography Entertainment *Boundaries (2016 film), ''Boundaries'' (2016 film), a 2016 Canadian film *Boundaries (2018 film), ''Boundaries'' (2018 film), a 2018 American-Canadian road trip ...
''. Within the boundary and generally as close to the centre as possible will be the ''square'' which is an area of carefully prepared grass upon which cricket pitches can be prepared and marked for the matches. The pitch is where batsmen hit the bowling (cricket), bowled ball and run between the wickets to score run (cricket), runs, while the fielding team tries to return the ball to either wicket to prevent this.


Field size

The
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Standard Playing Conditions define the minimum and maximum size of the playing surface for international matches. Law 19.1.3 of ICC Men's Test Match Playing Conditions as well as ICC Men's One Day International Playing Conditions states:
19.1.3 The aim shall be to maximise the size of the playing area at each venue. With respect to the size of the boundaries, no boundary shall be longer than 90 yards (82.29 metres), and no boundary should be shorter than 65 yards (59.43 metres) from the centre of the pitch to be used.
The equivalent ICC playing conditions (Law 19.1.3) for international women's cricket require the boundary to be between and from the centre of the pitch to be used. In addition, the conditions require a minimum three-yard gap between the "rope" and the surrounding fencing or advertising boards. This allows players to dive without risk of injury. The conditions contain a grandfather clause, which exempts stadiums built before October 2007. However, most stadiums which regularly host international games easily meet the minimum dimensions. A typical Test match stadium would be larger than these defined minimums, with over of grass (having a straight boundary of about 80m). In contrast an association football field needs only about of grass, and an Olympic stadium would contain of grass within its 400m running track, making it difficult to play international cricket in stadiums not built for the purpose. Nevertheless,
Stadium Australia Stadium Australia, currently known as Accor Stadium for sponsorship purposes, is a multi-purpose stadium A multi-purpose stadium is a type of stadium A stadium (plural stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor spo ...

Stadium Australia
which hosted the Sydney Olympics in 2000 had its running track turfed over with 30,000 seats removed to make it possible to play cricket there, at a cost of A$80 million. This is one of the reasons cricket games generally cannot be hosted outside the traditional cricket-playing countries, and a few non-Test nations like Canada, the UAE and Kenya that have built Test standard stadiums.


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 Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves ...

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. The pitch measures long. At each end of the pitch three upright wooden stakes, called the
stumps In cricket, the stumps are the three vertical posts that support the bails and form the wicket In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at ...
, 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 In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bai ...
. One end of the pitch is designated the ''batting end'' where the
batsman In cricket, batting is the act or skill of hitting the cricket ball, ball with a cricket bat, bat to score runs (cricket), runs and prevent the dismissal (cricket), loss of one's wicket. Any player who is currently batting is denoted as a batsm ...
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, by indicating where the
batsmen's grounds In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricke ...
are, and to determine whether a delivery is fair.


Parts of the field

For
limited overs cricket Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played b ...
matches, there are two additional field markings to define areas relating to fielding restrictions. The "circle" or "fielding circle" is an oval described 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 Parallel may refer to: Computing * Parallel algorithm In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their a ...
, 30 yards (27.4 m) to the length of the pitch. This divides the field into an infield and outfield and can be marked by a painted line or evenly spaced discs. The close-infield is defined by a circle of radius 15 yards (13.7 m), centred at middle stump guard on the popping crease at the end of the wicket, and is often marked by dots.


See also

*
List of Test cricket grounds One hundred and twenty-one grounds have hosted Test cricket'' Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration, and is considered the game's highest standard. Rotary Test matches are played between national r ...


References

{{reflist, 30em Cricket captaincy and tactics Cricket laws and regulations * Sports venues by type