Cricket umpiring
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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 by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at a dedicated player of the attacking team, wh ...
played between two teams of eleven players each on a
field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlefield * Lawn, an area of mowed grass * Meadow, a grassl ...
at the centre of which is a
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 ...

pitch
with 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 ...

wicket
at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three
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 ...
. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the bowler, "bowls" (propels) the ball from one end of the pitch towards the wicket at the other end, with an "
over Over may refer to: Places *Over, Cambridgeshire, England *Over, Cheshire, England *Over, Gloucestershire, near Gloucester, England **Over Bridge *Over, South Gloucestershire, England *Over, Seevetal, Germany Music Albums *Over (album), ''Over' ...
" being completed once they have legally done so six times. The batting side has one player at each end of the pitch, with the player at the opposite end of the pitch from the bowler aiming to strike the ball with a bat. The batting side scores
runs Run(s) or RUN may refer to: Places * Run (island), one of the Banda Islands in Indonesia * Run (stream), a stream in the Dutch province of North Brabant People * Run (rapper), Joseph Simmons, now known as "Reverend Run", from the hip-hop group R ...
either when the ball reaches the
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 ...
of the field, or when the two batters swap ends of the pitch, which results in one run. The fielding side's aim is to prevent run-scoring and dismiss each batter (so they are "out", and are said to have "lost their wicket"). Means of dismissal include being
bowled In 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 by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ba ...
, when the bowled ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side either
catching
catching
a hit ball before it touches the ground, or hitting a wicket with the ball before a batter can cross the crease line in front of the wicket to complete a run. When ten batters have been dismissed, the
innings An innings is one of the divisions of a cricket match during which one team takes its turn to batting (cricket), bat. Innings also means the period in which an individual player bats (acts as either striker or nonstriker). Innings, in cricket, a ...
ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two
umpires An umpire is an official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their own or that of their superior and/o ...
, aided by a
third umpirethird_umpire.html" ;"title="Brett Lee looks on as the third umpire">Brett Lee looks on as the third umpire ponders his decision. Adelaide Oval, Australia Day, 2006 --> The third umpire (or TV Umpire) is an off-field Field may refer to: Expanses ...
and
match referee A match referee is an official appointed to oversee professional cricket matches. Match referees for Test cricket, Test matches and One Day Internationals are appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Most matches below international l ...
in international matches.
Forms of cricket 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 (cricket) ...
range from
Twenty20 Twenty20 (T20) is a shortened game format of cricket. At the professional level, it was introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 for the county cricket, inter-county competition. In a Twenty20 game, the two teams have a ...

Twenty20
, with each team batting for a single innings of 20
overs In cricket, an over consists of six consecutive legal delivery (cricket), deliveries bowling (cricket), bowled from one end of a cricket pitch to the player batting at the other end, almost always by a single bowler. A maiden over is an over in ...
and the game generally lasting three hours, to
Test matchesTest match in some sports refers to a sporting contest between national representative teams and may refer to: * Test cricket * Indoor cricket, Test match (indoor cricket) * Test match (rugby union) * Test match (rugby league) * Test match (associat ...
played over five days. Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in
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 ...
they wear club or team colours. In addition to the basic kit, some players wear
protective gear Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or infection. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical, elect ...
to prevent injury caused by the ball, which is a hard, solid spheroid made of compressed
leather Leather is a strong, flexible and durable material obtained from the tanning Tanning may refer to: *Tanning (leather), treating animal skins to produce leather *Sun tanning, using the sun to darken pale skin **Indoor tanning, the use of arti ...

leather
with a slightly raised sewn seam enclosing a
cork Cork or CORK may refer to: Materials * Cork (material), an impermeable buoyant plant product ** Cork (plug), a cylindrical or conical object used to seal a container ***Wine cork Places Ireland * Cork (city) ** Metropolitan Cork, also known as G ...
core layered with tightly wound string. The earliest reference to cricket is in
South East England South East England is one of the nine official regions of England at the ITL 1 statistical regions of England, first level of International Territorial Level, ITL for Statistics, statistical purposes. It consists of the counties of england, ...
in the mid-16th century. It spread globally with the expansion of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
, with the first international matches in the second half of the 19th century. The game's governing body is the
International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
(ICC), which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches. The game's rules, the
Laws of Cricket The ''Laws of Cricket'' is a code which specifies the rules of the game 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 by two oppos ...
, are maintained by
Marylebone Cricket Club Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord's Cricket Ground Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played betw ...
(MCC) in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
. The sport is followed primarily in
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia cov ...

South Asia
, Australasia, the United Kingdom,
southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Pr ...
and the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
.
Women's cricket Women's cricket is the form of the team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while pro ...
, which is organised and played separately, has also achieved international standard. The most successful side playing
international cricket International cricket matches are played between teams representing their nations, normally organised by the International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body of cricket Cricket is a B ...
is
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
, which has won seven
One Day International A One Day International (ODI) is a form of 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 ga ...
trophies, including five
World Cups The world is the Earth and all life on it, including civilization, human civilization. In a philosophical context, the "world" is the whole of the physical Universe, or an Ontology, ontological world (the "world" of an individual). In a theo ...
, more than any other country and has been the top-rated Test side more than any other country.


History


Origins

Cricket is one of many games in the "club ball" sphere that basically involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement; others include
baseball Baseball 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 by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at ...

baseball
(which shares many similarities with cricket, both belonging in the more specific
bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlef ...
category),
golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" ...

golf
,
hockey Hockey is a term used to denote various types of both summer and winter team sports which originated on either an outdoor field, sheet of ice, or dry floor such as in a gymnasium. There are many types of hockey. Some games make the use of ska ...

hockey
,
tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Types of tennis match#Doubles, doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket th ...

tennis
,
squash Squash may refer to: Sports * Squash (sport), the high-speed racquet sport also known as squash racquets * Squash (professional wrestling), an extremely one-sided match in professional wrestling * Squash tennis, a game similar to squash racquets ...
,
badminton Badminton is a racquet sport played using racquets to hit a shuttlecock Plastic shuttlecock A shuttlecock (also called a bird or birdie) is a high-drag projectile used in the sport of badminton Badminton is a racquet sport played ...

badminton
and
table tennis Table tennis, also known as ping-pong and whiff-whaff, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball, also known as the ping-pong ball, back and forth across a table using small rackets. The game takes place on a hard table div ...

table tennis
.Major (2007), p. 17. In cricket's case, a key difference is the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket (originally, it is thought, a "wicket gate" through which sheep were herded), that the batter must defend.Barclays (1986), p. 1. The cricket historian
Harry Altham Harry Surtees Altham (30 November 1888 – 11 March 1965) was an English 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 ...
identified three "groups" of "club ball" games: the "hockey group", in which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets (the goals); the "golf group", in which the ball is driven towards an undefended target (the hole); and the "cricket group", in which "the ball is aimed at a mark (the wicket) and driven away from it".Altham (1962), pp. 19–20. It is generally believed that cricket originated as a
children's game This is a list of game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New York City) '', 1560, Pieter Bruegel the Elder File:Paul Cézann ...
in the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the
medieval period In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in
Guildford Guildford () is a town in Surrey Surrey () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William ...

Guildford
in January 1597 (
Old Style Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) indicate a dating system from before and after a calendar change, respectively. Usually this is the change from the to the as enacted in various European countries between 1582 and the 20th century. In ...
), equating to January 1598 in the modern calendar. The case concerned ownership of a certain plot of land and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old
coroner A coroner is a government or judicial official who is empowered to conduct or order an inquest An inquest is a judicial inquiry in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is t ...

coroner
, John Derrick, who gave witness that:Altham (1962), p. 21.Underdown (2000), p. 3.Major (2007), p. 19.
Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies.
Given Derrick's age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school and so it is certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in
Surrey Surrey () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and R ...

Surrey
. The view that it was originally a children's game is reinforced by
Randle Cotgrave Randle Cotgrave was an English lexicographer Lexicography is divided into two separate but equally important groups: * Practical lexicography is the art or craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular s ...
's 1611 English-French dictionary in which he defined the noun "''crosse'' as "the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket" and the verb form "''crosser'' as "to play at cricket".Altham (1962), p. 22.Major (2007), p. 31. One possible source for the sport's name is the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
word "''cryce'' (or "''cricc'') meaning a crutch or staff. In
Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic A critic is a person who communicates an asse ...
's ''Dictionary'', he derived cricket from "''cryce'', Saxon, a stick". In
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular o ...
, the word "''criquet'' seems to have meant a kind of club or stick.Birley (1999), p. 3. Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the
County of Flanders The County of Flanders ( nl, Graafschap Vlaanderen; vls, Groafschap Vloandern; french: Comté de Flandre) was a historic territory in the Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays- ...
when the latter belonged to the
Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, Ducatus Burgundiae; french: Duché de Bourgogne, ) emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the ancient Kingdom of the Burgundians The Kingdom of the Burgundians or First Kingdom of Burgundy was establ ...

Duchy of Burgundy
, the name may have been derived from the
Middle Dutch Middle Dutch is a collective name for a number of closely related West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic languages, Germanic family of languages (the others being the North German ...
(in use in
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...
at the time) "''krick''(''-e''), meaning a stick (crook). Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word "''krickstoel'', meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low
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 ...

wicket
with two
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 ...
used in early cricket. According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of
Bonn University The Rhenish Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn (german: Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn) is a public research university A public university or public college is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is ...
, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for
hockey Hockey is a term used to denote various types of both summer and winter team sports which originated on either an outdoor field, sheet of ice, or dry floor such as in a gymnasium. There are many types of hockey. Some games make the use of ska ...

hockey
, ''met de (krik ket)sen'' (i.e., "with the stick chase"). Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but also the sport itself may be of Flemish origin.


Growth of amateur and professional cricket in England

Although the main object of the game has always been to score the most
runs Run(s) or RUN may refer to: Places * Run (island), one of the Banda Islands in Indonesia * Run (stream), a stream in the Dutch province of North Brabant People * Run (rapper), Joseph Simmons, now known as "Reverend Run", from the hip-hop group R ...
, the early form of cricket differed from the modern game in certain key technical aspects; the North American variant of cricket known as
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 ...
retained many of these aspects. The
ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional s ...

ball
was bowled underarm by the bowler and along the ground towards a
batter Batter or batters may refer to: * Batter (cooking), thin dough that can be easily poured into a pan * Batter (baseball), person whose turn it is to face the pitcher * Batter (cricket) or batsman, player who is currently batting * Batter (drum), a ...
armed with a
bat Bats are mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meanin ...

bat
that in shape resembled a
hockey stick A hockey stick is a piece of sports equipment used by the players in all the forms of hockey to move the ball or puck (as appropriate to the type of hockey) either to push, pull, hit, strike, flick, steer, launch or stop the ball/Hockey puck, puck ...

hockey stick
; the batter defended a low, two-stump
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 ...

wicket
; and runs were called notches because the scorers recorded them by notching tally sticks.Birley (1999), p. 9.Barclays (1986), pp. 1–2.Major (2007), pp. 21–22. In 1611, the year Cotgrave's dictionary was published,
ecclesiastical court An ecclesiastical court, also called court Christian or court spiritual, is any of certain court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized commu ...
records at
Sidlesham Sidlesham is a small village A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often used to describe both hamlets and smaller towns), with a popul ...
in
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, e ...

Sussex
state that two parishioners, Bartholomew Wyatt and Richard Latter, failed to attend church on Easter Sunday because they were playing cricket. They were fined 12 d each and ordered to do
penance Penance is any act or a set of actions done out of repentance Repentance is reviewing one's actions and feeling contritionIn Christianity, contrition or contriteness (from the Latin ''contritus'' 'ground to pieces', i.e. crushed by guilt) is ...
. This is the earliest mention of adult participation in cricket and it was around the same time that the earliest known organised inter-parish or
village A village is a clustered human settlement In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena ...

village
match was played – at
Chevening, Kent Chevening is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration ...
.Underdown (2000), p. 4. In 1624, a player called
Jasper Vinall Jasper Vinall (c.1590 – 10 September 1624) was the first 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, ...
died after he was accidentally struck on the head during a match between two parish teams in Sussex. Cricket remained a low-key local pursuit for much of the 17th century. It is known, through numerous references found in the records of ecclesiastical court cases, to have been proscribed at times by the
Puritans The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of J ...
before and during the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good Common good Common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...
.Underdown (2000), pp. 11–15. The problem was nearly always the issue of Sunday play as the Puritans considered cricket to be "profane" if played on the
Sabbath In Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of -originated s that claim descent from the of the ancient and the worship of the . The Abrahamic ...
, especially if large crowds or
gambling Gambling (also known as betting) is the wagering something of Value (economics), value ("the stakes") on an Event (probability theory), event with an uncertain outcome with the intent of winning something else of value. Gambling thus requires ...
were involved.Birley (1999), pp. 7–8.Major (2007), p. 23. According to the social historian
Derek Birley Sir Derek Birley (31 May 1926 – 14 May 2002) was a distinguished English educationalist and a prize-winning writer on the social history of sport The history of sports extends back to the Ancient world. The physical activity that developed in ...
, there was a "great upsurge of sport after the
Restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a film by D.W. Griffith starr ...
" in 1660.Birley (1999), p. 11. Gambling on sport became a problem significant enough for Parliament to pass the 1664 Gambling Act, limiting stakes to £100 which was, in any case, a colossal sum exceeding the annual income of 99% of the population. Along with
prizefighting Professional boxing, or prizefighting, is regulated, sanctioned boxing Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing boxing glove, protective gloves and other protective equipment such as hand wraps and mouthguards, throw Punch ...
,
horse racing Horse racing is an equestrian The word equestrian is a reference to Equestrianism, horseback riding, derived from Latin ' and ', "horse". Horseback riding (or Riding in British English) Notable examples of this are: *List of equestrian spo ...

horse racing
and blood sports, cricket was perceived to be a gambling sport. Rich patrons made matches for high stakes, forming teams in which they engaged the first professional players.Webber (1960), p. 10. By the end of the century, cricket had developed into a major sport that was spreading throughout England and was already being taken abroad by English mariners and colonisers – the earliest reference to cricket overseas is dated 1676. A 1697 newspaper report survives of "a great cricket match" played in Sussex "for fifty guineas apiece" – this is the earliest known contest that is generally considered a First Class match. The patrons, and other players from the social class known as the "
gentry Gentry (from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Lat ...
", began to classify themselves as "
amateurs An amateur (; ; ) is generally considered a person who pursues a particular activity or field of study independently from their source of income. Amateurs and their pursuits are also described as popular, informal, autodidacticism, self-taught, us ...
"The term "amateur" in this context does not mean someone who played cricket in his spare time. Many amateurs in
first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is one of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to b ...
were full-time players during the cricket season. Some of the game's greatest players, including W. G. Grace, held amateur status.
to establish a clear distinction from the professionals, who were invariably members of the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar color ...
, even to the point of having separate changing and dining facilities. The gentry, including such high-ranking nobles as the
Dukes of Richmond Duke of Richmond is a title in the Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union 1707, Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and Peerage o ...
, exerted their honour code of '' noblesse oblige'' to claim rights of leadership in any sporting contests they took part in, especially as it was necessary for them to play alongside their "social inferiors" if they were to win their bets.Birley (1999), p. 19. In time, a perception took hold that the typical amateur who played in first-class cricket, until 1962 when amateurism was abolished, was someone with a public school education who had then gone to one of
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...
or
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London, southeast of Birmingham, and northeast of Bristol. The city is home to the Unive ...
– society insisted that such people were "officers and gentlemen" whose destiny was to provide leadership.Williams (2012), p. 23. In a purely financial sense, the cricketing amateur would theoretically claim expenses for playing while his professional counterpart played under contract and was paid a wage or match fee; in practice, many amateurs claimed more than actual expenditure and the derisive term "shamateur" was coined to describe the practice.Birley (1999), p. 146.


English cricket in the 18th and 19th centuries

The game underwent major development in the 18th century to become England's national sport. Its success was underwritten by the twin necessities of patronage and betting. Cricket was prominent in London as early as 1707 and, in the middle years of the century, large crowds flocked to matches on the
Artillery Ground The Artillery Ground in Finsbury is an open space originally set aside for archery and later known also as a cricket venue. Today it is used for military exercises, rugby and football matches. It belongs to the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), ...
in Finsbury. The single wicket form of the sport attracted huge crowds and wagers to match, its popularity peaking in the 1748 season. Bowling underwent an evolution around 1760 when bowlers began to pitch the ball instead of rolling or skimming it towards the batter. This caused a revolution in bat design because, to deal with the
bouncing ball The physics of a bouncing ball concerns the physical behaviour of deflection (physics), bouncing balls, particularly its motion (physics), motion before, during, and after impact (mechanics), impact against the surface of another body (physics) ...
, it was necessary to introduce the modern straight bat in place of the old "hockey stick" shape. The
Hambledon Club The Hambledon Club was a social club that is famous for its organisation of 18th century 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 ...
was founded in the 1760s and, for the next twenty years until the formation of
Marylebone Cricket Club Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord's Cricket Ground Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played betw ...
(MCC) and the opening of
Lord's Old Ground Lord's Old Ground was a 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 comprisi ...
in 1787, Hambledon was both 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 ''Laws of Cricket'' is a code which specifies the rules of the game 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 by two oppos ...
''. New Laws introduced in the latter part of the 18th century included the three stump wicket and
leg before wicket Leg before wicket (lbw) is one of the ways in which a batsman 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 cricke ...
(lbw). The 19th century saw
underarm bowling 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 (crick ...
superseded by first roundarm and then
overarm bowling left, 200px, English cricketer Darren Gough about to deliver the ball overarm-style. {{Cricket deliveries 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 ...
. Both developments were controversial. Organisation of the game at county level led to the creation of the county clubs, starting with
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, e ...
in 1839. In December 1889, the eight leading county clubs formed the official
County Championship The County Championship (referred to as the LV= Insurance County Championship for sponsorship reasons) is the domestic first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cri ...
, which began in 1890. The most famous player of the 19th century was W. G. Grace, who started his long and influential career in 1865. It was especially during the career of Grace that the distinction between amateurs and professionals became blurred by the existence of players like him who were nominally amateur but, in terms of their financial gain, ''de facto'' professional. Grace himself was said to have been paid more money for playing cricket than any professional. The last two decades before the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...

First World War
have been called the " Golden Age of cricket". It is a nostalgic name prompted by the collective sense of loss resulting from the war, but the period did produce some great players and memorable matches, especially as organised competition at county and Test level developed.


Cricket becomes an international sport

In 1844, the first-ever international match took place between the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
and
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
. In 1859, a team of English players went to North America on the first overseas tour. Meanwhile, the British Empire had been instrumental in spreading the game overseas and by the middle of the 19th century it had become well established in Australia, the Caribbean, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, North America and South Africa. In 1862, an English team made the first tour of Australia. The first Australian team to travel overseas consisted of
Aboriginal Aborigine, aborigine or aboriginal may refer to: * Indigenous peoples, ethnic groups who are the original or earliest known inhabitants of an area **List of indigenous peoples, including: ***Aboriginal Australians ****Australian Aboriginal identity ...
stockmen who toured England in 1868. The first One Day International match was played on 5 January 1971 between Australia and England at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), also known locally as "The 'G", is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park Yarra Park (35.469 hectares) is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct, the premier sporting precin ...

Melbourne Cricket Ground
. In 1876–77, an England team took part in what was retrospectively recognised as the first-ever Test match at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), also known locally as "The 'G", is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park Yarra Park (35.469 hectares) is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct, the premier sporting precin ...

Melbourne Cricket Ground
against
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
. The rivalry between England and Australia gave birth to
The Ashes The Ashes is a Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport 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 ...

The Ashes
in 1882, and this has remained Test cricket's most famous contest. Test cricket began to expand in 1888–89 when
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...
played England.


World cricket in the 20th century

The inter-war years were dominated by
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
's
Don Bradman Sir Donald George Bradman, AC (27 August 1908 – 25 February 2001), nicknamed "The Don", was an Australian international cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each ...
, statistically the greatest Test batter of all time. Test cricket continued to expand during the 20th century with the addition of the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
(1928),
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...
(1930) and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...
(1932) before the Second World War and then
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
(1952),
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...
(1982),
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individ ...
(1992),
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...
(2000),
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
and
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
(both 2018) in the post-war period.
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...
was banned from international cricket from 1970 to 1992 as part of the apartheid boycott.


The rise of limited overs cricket

Cricket entered a new era in 1963 when English counties introduced the
limited overs Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket in which a match is generally completed in one day, which includes List A cricket (8-hour games) and Twenty20 cricket (3-hour games). The name reflects t ...
variant. As it was sure to produce a result, limited overs cricket was lucrative and the number of matches increased. The first
Limited Overs International A One Day International (ODI) is a form of 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 games, bat-and-ball game played between two team ...
was played in 1971 and the governing
International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
(ICC), seeing its potential, staged the first limited overs
Cricket World Cup The Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Men's Cricket World Cup) is the international championship The International Championship is a professional Snooker world rankings, ranking snooker tournament. The reigning champion is Judd Trump. ...
in 1975. In the 21st century, a new limited overs form,
Twenty20 Twenty20 (T20) is a shortened game format of cricket. At the professional level, it was introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 for the county cricket, inter-county competition. In a Twenty20 game, the two teams have a ...

Twenty20
, made an immediate impact. On 22 June 2017,
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
became the 11th and 12th ICC full members, enabling them to play
Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport 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 wi ...
.


Laws and gameplay

In cricket, the rules of the game are specified in a code called '' The Laws of Cricket'' (hereinafter called "the Laws") which has a global remit. There are 42 Laws (always written with a capital "L"). The earliest known version of the code was drafted in 1744 and, since 1788, it has been owned and maintained by its custodian, the
Marylebone Cricket Club Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord's Cricket Ground Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played betw ...
(MCC) in London.


Playing area

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 by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at a dedicated player of the attacking team, wh ...
played on a
cricket field 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, p ...
(see image, right) between two teams of eleven players each. The field is usually circular or oval in shape and the edge of the playing area is marked by a
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 ...
, which may be a fence, part of the stands, a rope, a painted line or a combination of these; the boundary must if possible be marked along its entire length. In the approximate centre of the field is a rectangular
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 ...

pitch
(see image, below) on which a wooden target called 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 ...

wicket
is sited at each end; the wickets are placed apart. The pitch is a flat surface wide, with very short grass that tends to be worn away as the game progresses (cricket can also be played on artificial surfaces, notably matting). Each wicket is made of three wooden
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 ...
topped by two bails. As illustrated above, the pitch is marked at each end with four white painted lines: a bowling crease, a
popping crease In the sport of cricket, the crease is a certain area demarcated by white lines painted or chalked on the field of play, and pursuant to the rules of cricket they help determine legal play in different ways for the fielding and batting side. They ...
and two return creases. The three stumps are aligned centrally on the bowling crease, which is eight feet eight inches long. The popping crease is drawn four feet in front of the bowling crease and parallel to it; although it is drawn as a twelve-foot line (six feet either side of the wicket), it is, in fact, unlimited in length. The return creases are drawn at right angles to the popping crease so that they intersect the ends of the bowling crease; each return crease is drawn as an eight-foot line, so that it extends four feet behind the bowling crease, but is also, in fact, unlimited in length.


Match structure and closure

Before a match begins, the team
captains Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a military rank in ar ...
(who are also players) toss a coin to decide which team will bat first and so take the first
innings An innings is one of the divisions of a cricket match during which one team takes its turn to batting (cricket), bat. Innings also means the period in which an individual player bats (acts as either striker or nonstriker). Innings, in cricket, a ...
.
Innings An innings is one of the divisions of a cricket match during which one team takes its turn to batting (cricket), bat. Innings also means the period in which an individual player bats (acts as either striker or nonstriker). Innings, in cricket, a ...
is the term used for each phase of play in the match. In each innings, one team
bats Bats are mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meanin ...
, attempting to
score Score or scorer may refer to: *Test score, the result of an exam or test Business * Score Digital, now part of Bauer Radio#Score Digital, Bauer Radio * Score Entertainment, a former American trading card design and manufacturing company * Score ...
runs Run(s) or RUN may refer to: Places * Run (island), one of the Banda Islands in Indonesia * Run (stream), a stream in the Dutch province of North Brabant People * Run (rapper), Joseph Simmons, now known as "Reverend Run", from the hip-hop group R ...
, while the other team
bowls Bowls, or lawn bowls, is a sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each othe ...
and
fields File:A NASA Delta IV Heavy rocket launches the Parker Solar Probe (29097299447).jpg, FIELDS heads into space in August 2018 as part of the ''Parker Solar Probe'' FIELDS is a science instrument on the ''Parker Solar Probe'' (PSP), designed to mea ...
the
ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional s ...

ball
, attempting to restrict the scoring and dismiss the batters. When the first innings ends, the teams change roles; there can be two to four innings depending upon the type of match. A match with four scheduled innings is played over three to five days; a match with two scheduled innings is usually completed in a single day. During an innings, all eleven members of the fielding team take the field, but usually only two members of the batting team are on the field at any given time. The exception to this is if a batter has any type of illness or injury restricting his or her ability to run, in this case the batter is allowed a runner who can run between the wickets when the batter hits a scoring run or runs, though this does not apply in international cricket. The order of batters is usually announced just before the match, but it can be varied. The main objective of each team is to score more runs than their opponents but, in some forms of cricket, it is also necessary to dismiss all of the opposition batters in their final innings in order to win the match, which would otherwise be . If the team batting last is all out having scored fewer runs than their opponents, they are said to have "lost by ''n'' runs" (where ''n'' is the difference between the aggregate number of runs scored by the teams). If the team that bats last scores enough runs to win, it is said to have "won by ''n'' wickets", where ''n'' is the number of wickets left to fall. For example, a team that passes its opponents' total having lost six wickets (i.e., six of their batters have been
dismissed Dismissal or dismissed may refer to: Dismissal *In litigation, a dismissal is the result of a successful ''motion to dismiss''. See motion (legal), motion *Termination of employment, the end of employee's duration with an employer **Dismissal (e ...
) have won the match "by four wickets". In a two-innings-a-side match, one team's combined first and second innings total may be less than the other side's first innings total. The team with the greater score is then said to have "won by an innings and ''n'' runs", and does not need to bat again: ''n'' is the difference between the two teams' aggregate scores. If the team batting last is all out, and both sides have scored the same number of runs, then the match is a
tie Tie has two principal meanings: * Tie (draw) A draw or tie occurs in a competitive sport when the results are identical or inconclusive. Ties or draws are possible in some, but not all, sports and games. Such an outcome, sometimes referred to as d ...

tie
; this result is quite rare in matches of two innings a side with only 62 happening in
first-class matches First-class cricket is an official classification of the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is ...
from the earliest known instance in 1741 until January 2017. In the traditional form of the game, if the time allotted for the match expires before either side can win, then the game is declared a
draw Draw, drawing, draws, or drawn may refer to: Common uses * Draw (terrain), a terrain feature formed by two parallel ridges or spurs with low ground in between them * Drawing (manufacturing), a process where metal, glass, or plastic or anything e ...

draw
. If the match has only a single innings per side, then a maximum number of
overs In cricket, an over consists of six consecutive legal delivery (cricket), deliveries bowling (cricket), bowled from one end of a cricket pitch to the player batting at the other end, almost always by a single bowler. A maiden over is an over in ...
applies to each innings. Such a match is called a "
limited overs Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket in which a match is generally completed in one day, which includes List A cricket (8-hour games) and Twenty20 cricket (3-hour games). The name reflects t ...
" or "one-day" match, and the side scoring more runs wins regardless of the number of wickets lost, so that a draw cannot occur. In some cases, ties are broken by having each team bat for a one-over innings known as a
Super Over A Super Over, also called a one-over eliminator or officially a one over per side eliminator, is a Tiebreaker, tie-breaking method used in Limited overs cricket, limited-overs cricket matches, where both teams play a single, additional Over (crick ...
; subsequent Super Overs may be played if the first Super Over ends in a tie. If this kind of match is temporarily interrupted by bad weather, then a complex mathematical formula, known as the
Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method The Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) is a mathematical formulation designed to calculate the target score (number of runs needed to win) for the team batting second in a limited overs cricket Limited overs cricket, also known as one- ...
after its developers, is often used to recalculate a new target score. A one-day match can also be declared a "no-result" if fewer than a previously agreed number of overs have been bowled by either team, in circumstances that make normal resumption of play impossible; for example, wet weather. In all forms of cricket, the umpires can abandon the match if bad light or rain makes it impossible to continue. There have been instances of entire matches, even
Test matchesTest match in some sports refers to a sporting contest between national representative teams and may refer to: * Test cricket * Indoor cricket, Test match (indoor cricket) * Test match (rugby union) * Test match (rugby league) * Test match (associat ...
scheduled to be played over five days, being lost to bad weather without a ball being bowled: for example, the third Test of the 1970/71 series in Australia.


Innings

The innings (ending with 's' in both singular and plural form) is the term used for each phase of play during a match. Depending on the type of match being played, each team has either one or two innings. Sometimes all eleven members of the batting side take a turn to bat but, for various reasons, an innings can end before they have all done so. The innings terminates if the batting team is "all out", a term defined by the Laws: "at the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batter, further balls remain to be bowled but no further batter is available to come in". In this situation, one of the batters has not been dismissed and is termed
not out In 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 by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a b ...
; this is because he has no partners left and there must always be two active batters while the innings is in progress. An innings may end early while there are still two not out batters: * the batting team's
captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a military rank in a ...
may declare the innings closed even though some of his players have not had a turn to bat: this is a tactical decision by the captain, usually because he believes his team have scored sufficient runs and need time to dismiss the opposition in their innings * the set number of
overs In cricket, an over consists of six consecutive legal delivery (cricket), deliveries bowling (cricket), bowled from one end of a cricket pitch to the player batting at the other end, almost always by a single bowler. A maiden over is an over in ...
(i.e., in a limited overs match) have been bowled * the match has ended prematurely due to bad weather or running out of time * in the final innings of the match, the batting side has reached its target and won the game.


=Overs

= The Laws state that, throughout an innings, "the ball shall be bowled from each end alternately in overs of 6 balls". The name "over" came about because the umpire calls "Over!" when six balls have been bowled. At this point, another bowler is deployed at the other end, and the fielding side changes ends while the batters do not. A bowler cannot bowl two successive overs, although a bowler can (and usually does) bowl alternate overs, from the same end, for several overs which are termed a "spell". The batters do not change ends at the end of the over, and so the one who was non-striker is now the striker and vice versa. The umpires also change positions so that the one who was at "square leg" now stands behind the wicket at the non-striker's end and vice versa.


Clothing and equipment

The wicket-keeper (a specialised fielder behind the batter) and the batters wear protective gear because of the hardness of the ball, which can be delivered at speeds of more than and presents a major health and safety concern. Protective clothing includes
pads Pads (also called leg guards) are protective equipment used by batters in the sport of cricket, catchers in the sports of baseball and fastpitch softball, and by goaltenders in ice hockey, bandy and box lacrosse. They serve to protect the legs fro ...
(designed to protect the knees and shins),
batting gloves Batting gloves are a component in bat-and-ball games sportswear. Typically consisting of a leather palm and back made of nylon or another synthetic fabric, the glove covers one or both hands of a batter, providing comfort, prevention of blisters, ...
or
wicket-keeper's gloves 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. A wicket-keeper's gloves or mitt are large leather gloves worn by cricket players of the defending team which ...
for the hands, a safety helmet for the head and a
box A box (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version ...
for male players inside the trousers (to protect the
crotch In humans, the crotch is the bottom of the pelvis The pelvis (plural pelves or pelvises) is the lower part of the Trunk (anatomy), trunk, between the human abdomen, abdomen and the thighs (sometimes also called pelvic region), together wit ...

crotch
area). Some batters wear additional padding inside their shirts and trousers such as thigh pads, arm pads, rib protectors and shoulder pads. The only fielders allowed to wear protective gear are those in positions very close to the batter (i.e., if they are alongside or in front of him), but they cannot wear gloves or external leg guards. Subject to certain variations, on-field clothing generally includes a collared shirt with short or long sleeves; long trousers; woolen pullover (if needed);
cricket cap 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 ...
(for fielding) or a safety helmet; and spiked shoes or boots to increase traction. The kit is traditionally all white and this remains the case in Test and first-class cricket but, in limited overs cricket, team colours are worn instead.


Bat and ball

The essence of the sport is that a bowler delivers (i.e., bowls) the
ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional s ...

ball
from his or her end of 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 ...

pitch
towards the
batter Batter or batters may refer to: * Batter (cooking), thin dough that can be easily poured into a pan * Batter (baseball), person whose turn it is to face the pitcher * Batter (cricket) or batsman, player who is currently batting * Batter (drum), a ...
who, armed with a
bat Bats are mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meanin ...

bat
, is "on strike" at the other end (see next sub-section: ''Basic gameplay''). The
bat Bats are mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meanin ...

bat
is made of wood, usually ''
Salix alba ''Salix alba'', the white willow, is a species of willow Willows, also called sallows and osiers, from the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant ...

Salix alba
'' (white willow), and has the shape of a blade topped by a cylindrical handle. The blade must not be more than wide and the total length of the bat not more than . There is no standard for the weight, which is usually between 2 lb 7 oz and 3 lb (1.1 and 1.4 kg). The
ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional s ...

ball
is a hard leather-seamed
spheroid A spheroid, also known as an ellipsoid of revolution or rotational ellipsoid, is a quadric In mathematics, a quadric or quadric surface (quadric hypersurface in higher dimensions), is a generalization of conic sections (ellipse In math ...

spheroid
, with a circumference of . The ball has a "seam": six rows of stitches attaching the leather shell of the ball to the string and cork interior. The seam on a new ball is prominent and helps the bowler propel it in a less predictable manner. During matches, the quality of the ball deteriorates to a point where it is no longer usable; during the course of this deterioration, its behaviour in flight will change and can influence the outcome of the match. Players will, therefore, attempt to modify the ball's behaviour by modifying its physical properties. Polishing the ball and wetting it with sweat or saliva is legal, even when the polishing is deliberately done on one side only to increase the ball's swing through the air, but the acts of rubbing other substances into the ball, scratching the surface or picking at the seam are illegal
ball tampering A pristine cricket ball In the sport of 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 ...
.


Player roles


Basic gameplay: bowler to batter

During normal play, thirteen players and two
umpires An umpire is an official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their own or that of their superior and/o ...
are on the field. Two of the players are batters and the rest are all eleven members of the fielding team. The other nine players in the batting team are off the field in the
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. The image with overlay below shows what is happening when a ball is being bowled and which of the personnel are on or close to the pitch. In the photo, the two
batters Batter or batters may refer to: * Batter (cooking), thin dough that can be easily poured into a pan * Batter (baseball), person whose turn it is to face the pitcher * Batter (cricket) or batsman, player who is currently batting * Batter (drum), a ...
(3 & 8; wearing yellow) have taken position at each end of 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 ...

pitch
(6). Three members of the fielding team (4, 10 & 11; wearing dark blue) are in shot. One of the two umpires (1; wearing white hat) is stationed behind 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 the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bai ...

wicket
(2) at the bowler's (4) end of the pitch. The bowler (4) is
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the
ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional s ...

ball
(5) from his end of the pitch to the batter (8) at the other end who is called the "striker". The other batter (3) at the bowling end is called the "non-striker". The
wicket-keeper The wicket-keeper in the sport 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 e ...
(10), who is a specialist, is positioned behind the striker's wicket (9) and behind him stands one of the fielders in a position called " first slip" (11). While the bowler and the first slip are wearing conventional kit only, the two batters and the wicket-keeper are wearing protective gear including safety helmets, padded gloves and leg guards (pads). While the umpire (1) in shot stands at the bowler's end of the pitch, his colleague stands in the outfield, usually in or near the fielding position called "", so that he is in line with the
popping crease In the sport of cricket, the crease is a certain area demarcated by white lines painted or chalked on the field of play, and pursuant to the rules of cricket they help determine legal play in different ways for the fielding and batting side. They ...
(7) at the striker's end of the pitch. The bowling crease (not numbered) is the one on which the wicket is located between the return creases (12). The bowler (4) intends to hit the wicket (9) with the ball (5) or, at least, to prevent the striker (8) from scoring
runs Run(s) or RUN may refer to: Places * Run (island), one of the Banda Islands in Indonesia * Run (stream), a stream in the Dutch province of North Brabant People * Run (rapper), Joseph Simmons, now known as "Reverend Run", from the hip-hop group R ...
. The striker (8) intends, by using his bat, to defend his wicket and, if possible, to hit the ball away from the pitch in order to score runs. Some players are skilled in both batting and bowling, or as either or these as well as wicket-keeping, so are termed
all-rounder An all-rounder is a cricketer who regularly performs well at both batsman, batting and bowler (cricket), bowling. Although all bowlers must bat and quite a handful of batsmen do bowl occasionally, most players are skilled in only one of the tw ...
s. Bowlers are classified according to their style, generally as
fast bowlers Pace bowling (also referred to as fast bowling) is one of two main approaches to bowling (cricket), bowling in the sport of cricket, the other being spin bowling. Practitioners of pace bowling are usually known as ''fast'' bowlers, ''quicks'', o ...

fast bowlers
, seam bowlers or spinners. Batters are classified according to whether they are right-handed or left-handed.


Fielding

Of the eleven fielders, three are in shot in the image above. The other eight are elsewhere on the field, their positions determined on a tactical basis by the captain or the bowler. Fielders often change position between deliveries, again as directed by the captain or bowler. If a fielder is injured or becomes ill during a match, a substitute is allowed to field instead of him, but the substitute cannot bowl or act as a captain, except in the case of concussion substitutes in international cricket. The substitute leaves the field when the injured player is fit to return. The Laws of Cricket were updated in 2017 to allow substitutes to act as wicket-keepers.


Bowling and dismissal

Most bowlers are considered specialists in that they are selected for the team because of their skill as a bowler, although some are all-rounders and even specialist batters bowl occasionally. The specialists bowl several times during an innings but may not bowl two overs consecutively. If the captain wants a bowler to "change ends", another bowler must temporarily fill in so that the change is not immediate. A bowler reaches his delivery stride by means of a "run-up" and an over is deemed to have begun when the bowler starts his run-up for the first delivery of that over, the ball then being "in play". Fast bowlers, needing momentum, take a lengthy run up while bowlers with a slow delivery take no more than a couple of steps before bowling. The fastest bowlers can deliver the ball at a speed of over and they sometimes rely on sheer speed to try to defeat the batter, who is forced to react very quickly. Other fast bowlers rely on a mixture of speed and guile by making the ball seam or
swing Swing or swinging may refer to: Apparatus * Swing (seat), a hanging seat that swings back and forth * Russian swing, a swing-like circus apparatus * Sex swing, a type of harness for sexual intercourse * Swing ride, an amusement park ride consistin ...
(i.e. curve) in flight. This type of delivery can deceive a batter into miscuing his shot, for example, so that the ball just touches the edge of the bat and can then be "caught behind" by the wicket-keeper or a slip fielder. At the other end of the bowling scale is the spin bowler who bowls at a relatively slow pace and relies entirely on guile to deceive the batter. A spinner will often "buy his wicket" by "tossing one up" (in a slower, steeper path) to lure the batter into making a poor shot. The batter has to be very wary of such deliveries as they are often "flighted" or spun so that the ball will not behave quite as he expects and he could be "trapped" into getting himself out. In between the pacemen and the spinners are the medium paced seamers who rely on persistent accuracy to try to contain the rate of scoring and wear down the batter's concentration. There are nine ways in which a batter can be dismissed: five relatively common and four extremely rare. The common forms of dismissal are
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,
caught Caught is a method of dismissing a batsman 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 ...

caught
,
leg before wicket Leg before wicket (lbw) is one of the ways in which a batsman 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 cricke ...
(lbw),
run out Run out is a method of dismissal in 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 by two opposing teams, in which the action start ...
and
stumped Stumped is a method of dismissal (cricket), dismissing a batsman in cricket, which involves the wicket-keeper putting down the wicket while the batsman is out of his Ground (cricket), ground. (The batsman leaves his ground when he has moved dow ...
. Rare methods are
hit wicket Hit wicket is a method of dismissal in 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 by two opposing teams, in which th ...
,
hit the ball twiceHit the ball twice, or ''"double-hit"'', is a method of dismissal in the sport of 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 cr ...
,
obstructing the field Obstructing the field is one of the ten methods of dismissing a batsman 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 ...
and
timed out Timed out is a method of dismissal in the sport of 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 wic ...
. The Laws state that the fielding team, usually the bowler in practice, must appeal for a dismissal before the umpire can give his decision. If the batter is out, the umpire raises a forefinger and says "Out!"; otherwise, he will shake his head and say "Not out". There is, effectively, a tenth method of dismissal,
retired out In 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 by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ...
, which is not an on-field dismissal as such but rather a retrospective one for which no fielder is credited.


Batting, runs and extras

Batters take turns to bat via a batting order which is decided beforehand by the team captain and presented to the umpires, though the order remains flexible when the captain officially nominates the team. Substitute batters are generally not allowed, except in the case of concussion substitutes in international cricket. In order to begin batting the batter first adopts a batting stance. Standardly, this involves adopting a slight crouch with the feet pointing across the front of the wicket, looking in the direction of the bowler, and holding the bat so it passes over the feet and so its tip can rest on the ground near to the toes of the back foot. A skilled batter can use a wide array of "shots" or "strokes" in both defensive and attacking mode. The idea is to hit the ball to the best effect with the flat surface of the bat's blade. If the ball touches the side of the bat it is called an "
edge Edge or EDGE may refer to: Technology Computing * Edge computing Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data. This is expected to improve response times and save band ...
". The batter does not have to play a shot and can allow the ball to go through to the
wicketkeeper The wicket-keeper in 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 by two opposing teams, in which the action starts ...
. Equally, he does not have to attempt a run when he hits the ball with his bat. Batters do not always seek to hit the ball as hard as possible, and a good player can score runs just by making a deft stroke with a turn of the wrists or by simply "blocking" the ball but directing it away from fielders so that he has time to take a run. A wide variety of shots are played, the batter's repertoire including strokes named according to the style of swing and the direction aimed: e.g., "", "drive", "hook", "pull". The batter on strike (i.e. the "striker") must prevent the ball hitting the wicket, and try to score
runs Run(s) or RUN may refer to: Places * Run (island), one of the Banda Islands in Indonesia * Run (stream), a stream in the Dutch province of North Brabant People * Run (rapper), Joseph Simmons, now known as "Reverend Run", from the hip-hop group R ...
by hitting the ball with his bat so that he and his partner have time to run from one end of the pitch to the other before the fielding side can return the ball. To register a run, both runners must touch the ground behind the popping crease with either their bats or their bodies (the batters carry their bats as they run). Each completed run increments the score of both the team and the striker. The decision to attempt a run is ideally made by the batter who has the better view of the ball's progress, and this is communicated by calling: usually "yes", "no" or "wait". More than one run can be scored from a single hit: hits worth one to three runs are common, but the size of the field is such that it is usually difficult to run four or more. To compensate for this, hits that reach the boundary of the field are automatically awarded four runs if the ball touches the ground ''en route'' to the boundary or six runs if the ball clears the boundary without touching the ground within the boundary. In these cases the batters do not need to run. Hits for five are unusual and generally rely on the help of "overthrows" by a fielder returning the ball. If an odd number of runs is scored by the striker, the two batters have changed ends, and the one who was non-striker is now the striker. Only the striker can score individual runs, but all runs are added to the team's total. Additional runs can be gained by the batting team as extras (called "sundries" in Australia) due to errors made by the fielding side. This is achieved in four ways:
no-ball 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 Bail ...
, a penalty of one extra conceded by the bowler if he breaks the rules; wide, a penalty of one extra conceded by the bowler if he bowls so that the ball is out of the batter's reach; bye, an extra awarded if the batter misses the ball and it goes past the wicket-keeper and gives the batters time to run in the conventional way;
leg byeIn the sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainment to spec ...
, as for a bye except that the ball has hit the batter's body, though not his bat. If the bowler has conceded a no-ball or a wide, his team incurs an additional penalty because that ball (i.e., delivery) has to be bowled again and hence the batting side has the opportunity to score more runs from this extra ball.


Specialist roles

The captain is often the most experienced player in the team, certainly the most tactically astute, and can possess any of the main skillsets as a batter, a bowler or a wicket-keeper. Within the Laws, the captain has certain responsibilities in terms of nominating his players to the umpires before the match and ensuring that his players conduct themselves "within the spirit and traditions of the game as well as within the Laws". The wicket-keeper (sometimes called simply the "keeper") is a specialist fielder subject to various rules within the Laws about his equipment and demeanour. He is the only member of the fielding side who can effect a
stumping Stumped is a method of dismissal (cricket), dismissing a batsman in cricket, which involves the wicket-keeper putting down the wicket while the batsman is out of his Ground (cricket), ground. (The batsman leaves his ground when he has moved dow ...
and is the only one permitted to wear gloves and external leg guards. Depending on their primary skills, the other ten players in the team tend to be classified as specialist batters or specialist bowlers. Generally, a team will include five or six specialist batters and four or five specialist bowlers, plus the wicket-keeper.


Umpires and scorers

The game on the field is regulated by the two
umpires An umpire is an official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their own or that of their superior and/o ...
, one of whom stands behind the wicket at the bowler's end, the other in a position called "square leg" which is about 15–20 metres away from the batter on strike and in line with the popping crease on which he is taking guard. The umpires have several responsibilities including adjudication on whether a ball has been correctly bowled (i.e., not a
no-ball 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 Bail ...
or a wide); when a run is scored; whether a batter is out (the fielding side must first
appeal In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is describ ...
to the umpire, usually with the phrase "How's that?" or "Owzat?"); when intervals start and end; and the suitability of the pitch, field and weather for playing the game. The umpires are authorised to interrupt or even abandon a match due to circumstances likely to endanger the players, such as a damp pitch or deterioration of the light. Off the field in televised matches, there is usually a
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who can make decisions on certain incidents with the aid of video evidence. The third umpire is mandatory under the playing conditions for
Test Test(s), testing, or TEST may refer to: * Test (assessment), an educational assessment intended to measure the respondents' knowledge or other abilities Arts and entertainment * Test (2013 film), ''Test'' (2013 film), an American film * Test ( ...
and
Limited Overs International A One Day International (ODI) is a form of 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 games, bat-and-ball game played between two team ...
matches played between two ICC full member countries. These matches also have a
match referee A match referee is an official appointed to oversee professional cricket matches. Match referees for Test cricket, Test matches and One Day Internationals are appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Most matches below international l ...
whose job is to ensure that play is within the Laws and the spirit of the game. The match details, including runs and dismissals, are recorded by two official scorers, one representing each team. The scorers are directed by the hand signals of an umpire (see image, right). For example, the umpire raises a forefinger to signal that the batter is out (has been dismissed); he raises both arms above his head if the batter has hit the ball for six runs. The scorers are required by the Laws to record all runs scored, wickets taken and overs bowled; in practice, they also note significant amounts of additional data relating to the game. A match's
statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sens ...
are summarised on a scorecard. Prior to the popularisation of scorecards, most scoring was done by men sitting on vantage points cuttings notches on
tally stick A tally stick (or simply tally) was an ancient memory aid device used to record and document numbers, quantities, or even messages. Tally sticks first appear as animal bones carved with notches during the Upper Palaeolithic The Upper Paleo ...
s and runs were originally called notches. According to
Rowland Bowen Major Rowland Francis Bowen (27 February 1916 – 4 September 1978) was a British Army officer and a 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 ...
, the earliest known scorecard templates were introduced in 1776 by T. Pratt of
Sevenoaks Sevenoaks is a town in Kent with a population of 29,506 situated south-east of London, England. Also classified as a civil parishes in England, civil parish, Sevenoaks is served by a commuter South Eastern Main Line, main line railway into L ...

Sevenoaks
and soon came into general use. It is believed that scorecards were printed and sold at
Lord's Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a 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 ...
for the first time in 1846.


Spirit of the Game

Besides observing the Laws, cricketers must respect the "Spirit of Cricket", a concept encompassing
sportsmanship These two teams of young football (soccer) players line up and high-five after a game to practice good sportsmanship. Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical act ...
, fair play and mutual respect. This spirit has long been considered an integral part of the sport but is only nebulously defined. Amidst concern that the spirit was weakening, in 2000 a Preamble was added to the Laws instructing all participants to play within the spirit of the game. The Preamble was last updated in 2017, now opening with the line:
"Cricket owes much of its appeal and enjoyment to the fact that it should be played not only according to the Laws, but also within the Spirit of Cricket".
The Preamble is a short statement intended to emphasise the "positive behaviours that make cricket an exciting game that encourages leadership, friendship, and teamwork." Its second line states that "the major responsibility for ensuring fair play rests with the captains, but extends to all players, match officials and, especially in junior cricket, teachers, coaches and parents." The umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. They are required under the Laws to intervene in case of dangerous or unfair play or in cases of unacceptable conduct by a player. Previous versions of the Spirit identified actions that were deemed contrary (for example, appealing knowing that the batter is not out) but all specifics are now covered in the Laws of Cricket, the relevant governing playing regulations and disciplinary codes, or left to the judgement of the umpires, captains, their clubs and governing bodies. The terse expression of the Spirit of Cricket now avoids the diversity of cultural conventions that exist in the detail of sportsmanship – or its absence.


Women's cricket

Women's cricket Women's cricket is the form of the team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while pro ...
was first recorded in
Surrey Surrey () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and R ...

Surrey
in 1745. International development began at the start of the 20th century and the first Test Match was played between
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
and
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
in December 1934. The following year,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...
women joined them, and in 2007 Netherlands women became the tenth women's Test nation when they made their debut against South Africa women. In 1958, the International Women's Cricket Council was founded (it merged with the ICC in 2005). In 1973, the first Cricket World Cup of any kind took place when a Women's World Cup was held in England. In 2005, the
International Women's Cricket Council The International Women's Cricket Council was formed in February 1958 by the women's cricket associations of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of ...
was merged with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to form one unified body to help manage and develop cricket. The ICC Women's Rankings were launched on 1 October 2015 covering all three formats of women's cricket. In October 2018 following the ICC's decision to award T20 International status to all members, the Women's rankings were split into separate ODI (for Full Members) and T20I lists.


Governance

The
International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
(ICC), which has its headquarters in
Dubai Dubai ( ; ar, دبي, translit=Dubayy , ) is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; ar, الإمارات العربية المتحدة ) or the Emirates ( ar, الإمارات ), is a country i ...

Dubai
, is the global governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965 and took up its current name in 1989. The ICC in 2017 has 105 member nations, twelve of which hold full membership and can play
Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport 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 wi ...
. The ICC is responsible for the organisation and governance of cricket's major international tournaments, notably the men's and women's versions of the
Cricket World Cup The Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Men's Cricket World Cup) is the international championship The International Championship is a professional Snooker world rankings, ranking snooker tournament. The reigning champion is Judd Trump. ...
. It also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, Limited Overs Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. Each member nation has a national cricket board which regulates cricket matches played in its country, selects the national squad, and organises home and away tours for the national team. In the West Indies, which for cricket purposes is a federation of nations, these matters are addressed by
Cricket West Indies Cricket West Indies (CWI), formerly known as West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), is the governing body for cricket in the West Indies (a sporting confederation of over a dozen mainly Commonwealth Caribbean, English-speaking Caribbean countries a ...
. The table below lists the ICC full members and their national cricket boards:


Forms of cricket

Cricket is a multi-faceted sport with multiple formats that can effectively be divided into
first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is one of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to b ...
,
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 ...
and, historically,
single wicket cricket Single wicket cricket is a form 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 e ...
. The highest standard is
Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport 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 wi ...
(always written with a capital "T") which is in effect the international version of first-class cricket and is restricted to teams representing the twelve countries that are full members of the ICC (see above). Although the term "Test match" was not coined until much later, Test cricket is deemed to have begun with two matches between
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
and
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
in the 1876–77 Australian season; since 1882, most Test series between England and Australia have been played for a trophy known as
The Ashes The Ashes is a Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport 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 ...

The Ashes
. The term "first-class", in general usage, is applied to top-level domestic cricket. Test matches are played over five days and first-class over three to four days; in all of these matches, the teams are allotted two innings each and the draw is a valid result. Limited overs cricket is always scheduled for completion in a single day, and the teams are allotted one innings each. There are two types:
List A List A cricket is a classification of the limited-overs (one-day) form 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 ...
which normally allows fifty overs per team; and
Twenty20 Twenty20 (T20) is a shortened game format of cricket. At the professional level, it was introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 for the county cricket, inter-county competition. In a Twenty20 game, the two teams have a ...

Twenty20
in which the teams have twenty overs each. Both of the limited overs forms are played internationally as
Limited Overs International A One Day International (ODI) is a form of 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 games, bat-and-ball game played between two team ...
s (LOI) and
Twenty20 International A Twenty20 International (T20I) is a form 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 w ...
s (T20I). List A was introduced in England in the 1963 season as a knockout cup contested by the first-class county clubs. In 1969, a national league competition was established. The concept was gradually introduced to the other leading cricket countries and the first limited overs international was played in 1971. In 1975, the first
Cricket World Cup The Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Men's Cricket World Cup) is the international championship The International Championship is a professional Snooker world rankings, ranking snooker tournament. The reigning champion is Judd Trump. ...
took place in England. Twenty20 is a new variant of limited overs itself with the purpose being to complete the match within about three hours, usually in an evening session. The first Twenty20 World Championship was held in 2007. Limited overs matches cannot be drawn, although a tie is possible and an unfinished match is a "no result". Single wicket was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries and its matches were generally considered top-class. In this form, although each team may have from one to six players, there is only one batter in at a time and he must face every delivery bowled while his innings lasts. Single wicket has rarely been played since limited overs cricket began. Matches tended to have two innings per team like a full first-class one and they could end in a draw.


Competitions

Cricket is played at both the international and domestic level. There is one major international championship per format, and top-level domestic competitions mirror the three main international formats. There are now a number of T20 leagues, which have spawned a "T20 freelancer" phenomenon.


International competitions

Most international matches are played as parts of 'tours', when one nation travels to another for a number of weeks or months, and plays a number of matches of various sorts against the host nation. Sometimes a perpetual trophy is awarded to the winner of the Test series, the most famous of which is
The Ashes The Ashes is a Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport 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 ...

The Ashes
. The ICC also organises competitions that are for several countries at once, including the
Cricket World Cup The Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Men's Cricket World Cup) is the international championship The International Championship is a professional Snooker world rankings, ranking snooker tournament. The reigning champion is Judd Trump. ...
,
ICC T20 World Cup The ICC Men's T20 World Cup (earlier known as ICC World Twenty20) is the international championship of Twenty20 International cricket. Organised by cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of ...
and
ICC Champions Trophy The ICC Champions Trophy was a One-Day International (ODI) 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 ...
. A league competition for Test matches played as part of normal tours, the
ICC World Test Championship The ICC World Test Championship is a league competition for 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 be ...
, had been proposed several times, and its
first instance A trial court or court of first instance is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administ ...
began in 2019. A league competition for ODIs, the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, began in August 2020. The ICC maintains ICC Test Championship, Test rankings, ICC ODI Championship, ODI rankings and ICC T20I Championship, T20 rankings systems for the countries which play these forms of cricket. Competitions for member nations of the ICC with List of International Cricket Council members#Associate members, Associate status include the ICC Intercontinental Cup, for first-class cricket matches, and the World Cricket League for one-day matches, the final matches of which now also serve as the ICC World Cup Qualifier.


National competitions


First-class

First-class cricket in England is played for the most part by the 18 county clubs which contest the
County Championship The County Championship (referred to as the LV= Insurance County Championship for sponsorship reasons) is the domestic first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cri ...
. The concept of a Champion County, champion county has existed since the 18th century but the official competition was not established until 1890. The most successful club has been Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Yorkshire, who had won 32 official titles (plus one shared) as of 2019. Australia established its national first-class championship in 1892–93 when the Sheffield Shield was introduced. In Australia, the first-class teams represent the various states.Harte, p. 175. New South Wales cricket team, New South Wales has the highest number of titles. The other ICC full members have national championship trophies called the Ahmad Shah Abdali 4-day Tournament (Afghanistan); the National Cricket League (Bangladesh); the Ranji Trophy (India); the Inter-Provincial Championship (Ireland); the Plunket Shield (New Zealand); the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (Pakistan); the Sunfoil Series, Currie Cup (South Africa); the Premier Trophy (Sri Lanka); the Regional Four Day Competition, Shell Shield (West Indies); and the Logan Cup (Zimbabwe).


Limited overs


Other


Club and school cricket

The world's earliest known cricket match was a village cricket meeting in Kent which has been deduced from a 1640 court case recording a "cricketing" of "the Weald and the Upland" versus "the Chalk Hill" at Chevening "about thirty years since" (i.e., ). Inter-parish contests became popular in the first half of the 17th century and continued to develop through the 18th with the first local leagues being founded in the second half of the 19th. At the grassroots level, local club cricket is essentially an amateur pastime for those involved but still usually involves teams playing in competitions at weekends or in the evening. Schools cricket, first known in southern England in the 17th century, has a similar scenario and both are widely played in the countries where cricket is popular. Although there can be variations in game format, compared with professional cricket, the Laws are always observed and club/school matches are therefore formal and competitive events. The sport has numerous informal variants such as French cricket.


Culture


Influence on everyday life

Cricket has had a broad impact on popular culture, both in the Commonwealth of Nations and elsewhere. It has, for example, influenced the lexicon of these nations, especially the English language, with various phrases such as "that's not cricket" (that's unfair), "had a good Innings#Usage outside of cricket, innings" (lived a long life) and "sticky wicket". "On a sticky wicket" (''aka'' "sticky dog" or "glue pot") is a metaphor used to describe a difficult circumstance. It originated as a term for difficult batting conditions in cricket, caused by a damp and soft pitch.


In the arts and popular culture

Cricket is the subject of works by noted English poets, including William Blake and Lord Byron.Smart, Alastair (20 July 2013)
"The art of cricket: Enough to leave you stumped"
''The Telegraph''. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
''Beyond a Boundary'' (1963), written by Trinidadian C. L. R. James, is often named the best book on any sport ever written. In the visual arts, notable cricket paintings include Albert Chevallier Tayler's ''Kent vs Lancashire at Canterbury'' (1907) and Russell Drysdale's ''The Cricketers'' (1948), which has been called "possibly the most famous Australian painting of the 20th century." French impressionism, impressionist Camille Pissarro painted cricket on a visit to England in the 1890s. Francis Bacon (artist), Francis Bacon, an avid cricket fan, captured a batter in motion. Caribbean artist Wendy Nanan's cricket images are featured in a limited edition first day cover for Royal Mail's "World of Invention" stamp issue, which celebrated the London Cricket Conference 1–3 March 2007, first international workshop of its kind and part of the celebrations leading up to the 2007
Cricket World Cup The Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Men's Cricket World Cup) is the international championship The International Championship is a professional Snooker world rankings, ranking snooker tournament. The reigning champion is Judd Trump. ...
.


Influence on other sports

Cricket has close historical ties with Australian rules football and many players have List of Australian rules footballers and cricketers, competed at top levels in both sports. In 1858, prominent Australian cricketer Tom Wills called for the formation of a "foot-ball club" with "a code of laws" to keep cricketers fit during the off-season. The Melbourne Football Club was founded the following year, and Wills and three other members codified the first laws of the game. It is typically played on Australian rules football playing field, modified cricket fields. In England, a number of association football clubs owe their origins to cricketers who sought to play football as a means of keeping fit during the winter months. Derby County F. C., Derby County was founded as a branch of the Derbyshire County Cricket Club in 1884; Aston Villa F. C., Aston Villa (1874) and Everton F. C., Everton (1876) were both founded by members of church cricket teams. Sheffield United F. C., Sheffield United's Bramall Lane ground was, from 1854, the home of the Sheffield Cricket Club, and then of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Yorkshire; it was not used for football until 1862 and was shared by Yorkshire and Sheffield United from 1889 to 1973. In the late 19th century, a former cricketer, English-born Henry Chadwick (writer), Henry Chadwick of Brooklyn, New York, was credited with devising the baseball box score (baseball), box scoreHis Hall of Fame plaque states, in part: "Inventor of the box score. Author of the first rule-book ... Chairman of rules committee in first nationwide baseball organization." Lederer, Rich. ''By the Numbers: Computer technology has deepened fans' passion with the game's statistics. Memories and Dreams'' (Vol. 33, No. 6; Winter 2011[–2012], pp. 32–34). National Baseball Hall of Fame official magazine. (which he adapted from the cricket scorecard) for reporting game events. The first box score appeared in an 1859 issue of the ''Clipper''. The statistical record is so central to the game's "historical essence" that Chadwick is sometimes referred to as "the Father of Baseball" because he facilitated the popularity of the sport in its early days.


See also

* Glossary of cricket terms Related sports * Street cricket ** Bete-ombro - Brazilian version ** Plaquita - Dominican version * Baseball ** Comparison of baseball and cricket * Stoolball


Footnotes


Citations


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

*


External links

Organisations and competitions
International Cricket Council (ICC)
Statistics and records

Media * Explanations of cricket: *
What Is Cricket? Get to know the sport
a video produced by the
International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
News and other resources
"Cricket"
''Encyclopædia Britannica'' Online {{Authority control Cricket, Ball and bat games Former Summer Olympic sports Sports originating in England Team sports