So, you’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of hitting, running, and screaming “Howzat” – known as Cricket.
Maybe you have a friend or significant other who really loves the game but they’re too deep into it and every time they explain Cricket to you it’s confusing. Or maybe you’ve watched a couple games on your own and just can’t follow along.
Regardless of your reasons, you’re here trying to understand the game of Cricket and you’re in the right place, by the end of this you’ll have enough of an understanding of the game to jump right into a match viewing or conversation and not be totally out of your depth.
It’s essential to know what’s happening in the game when betting on the cricket, so understanding the basics is the first place to start.
Table of Contents
A game of Cricket consists of two teams, each with 11 players and is contested on a rectangular pitch at the centre of an oval field. Other than the teams there are two umpires (referees) who officiate the match.
The most important equipment of the game is the bat, the ball, and the wickets. You win a game of Cricket by having the most runs at the end.
Both teams will take turns batting and fielding/bowling and will swap after each inning.
The batting team will have two batsmen on the field at a time, the rest of the team will wait for their chance to bat off field. One batsman will be taking bowls, they’re known as the striker or hitter, the batsmen not receiving bowls will stand at the opposite end of the pitch. Each batsman will have a wicket behind them.
The opposing team’s bowler will bowl the ball to the batter to strike their wicket, therefore sending them out of the game.
When the batsman strikes the ball, they will sprint to their teammates wicket to tag it, while their teammate does the same, therefore swapping places, this is considered a single run. The batting team will attempt to do this as much as possible while the fielders attempt to run them out.
The batting team will switch to the bowling team when 10 of their batsmen have been ran out.
Six runs will be awarded to the batting team if a struck ball hits the perimeter of the field straight from the air, and four runs are awarded if it rolls and hits the perimeter.
The fielding team consists of a bowler, a wicketkeeper, and several fielders. The bowler will bowl balls to the batsmen, trying to hit the wicket. The wicket-keeper will catch any balls the striker misses.
The fielders will try and catch balls hit by the striker to send them out, fielders can catch struck balls mid-air to send batsmen out but will most commonly pick up balls running along the ground and throw them further up the field.
Everyone on the fielding side is trying to hit the batsmen’s wickets. The bowler is trying to make the batsmen miss the ball, therefore causing the ball to hit the wicket.
Fielders and wicket keepers are trying to catch struck balls and hit the wicket with it before the batsmen reaches the safety line.
When a bowler bowls six balls that is considered an over. A different member of the fielding team will then get a chance to bowl and will bowl the next over from the opposite end of the pitch, which makes the striker and non-striker swap positions. No bowler can bowl consecutive overs.
Let’s summarise and clarify some of the terms we’ve discussed so far.
Innings: An inning is the amount of time it takes a team to finish batting.
Run: The unit of scoring in Cricket, you can think of this as a point.
Over: A set of six consecutive balls bowled at one wicket. Once an over is finished the fielding team switches to the opposite direction and bowls towards the other wicket.
Wicket: The three stumps at the end of the pitch. A batsman must prevent a bowler from hitting the wicket with the ball by striking the ball away. If the wicket is hit by the ball after the batsman misses or while they are running and out of the safety zone, they are dismissed.
Dismissal: This is the end of the batsman’s batting period.
Those are the basics of cricket to help get you started on your viewing journey. To summarise the game in one sentence, two teams consisting of 11 people will take turns hitting and running and bowling and fielding, respectively. The team with the most runs at the end of the allotted innings will win.
Cricket 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Cricket – Bet and Win