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Cricket Game Rules


Cricket is a sport that has been tracked back to the early 16th century and has been a popular ever since. The pinnacle of the international game comes in the form of the Cricket World Cup. Other major events include the T20 World Cup, Test Series and One Day series. Each country runs a host of domestic competitions all highly competitive.

  • Cricket rules are not that complicated to understand. Cricket involves five basic equipment - the ball, the bat, the wickets, stumps, and the bails. These are the ABCs of cricket and will help you understand the rest of the rules.
  • Cricket is a team game played between two teams of 11 players each. The 11 players constitute batsmen, bowlers and a wicket keeper.
  • The match is usually played on a large circular or oval shaped ground. There is also a smaller inner oval with a 22 yard pitch at the centre. At each end of the pitch is a set of three wickets with two wooden bails atop them.
  • The match is broken down into separate sections called balls, which is one delivery of the ball bowled by a bowler to a batsman. Six of these balls form an over.
  • An innings is made of a specific number of overs or a certain amount of time. A one day international match consists of 50 overs per innings, a twenty twenty international match consists of 20 overs per innings whereas a test match is limited to a certain number of days which is 5 with 90 overs to be played on each day.
  • During the innings, the batting team will have two batsmen on the pitch while the 11 players of the opposing team, who are the bowling team, will have their players at various parts of the field as fielders. One of them will be bowling the ball and another one will be a wicket-keeper and will be stationed behind the wicket.
  • The match will also have two on-field umpires that make the decisions of the game. There is also a third umpire that monitors the game through a screen and helps with uncertain or close decisions.

Cricket Game Rules

10 Cricket Rules You Need to Know

1. Two teams, 22 players:

Purdue University explains that a cricket match is little more than two teams facing off against each other. Each team has 11 players on the field. One of a teams 11 players is the team captain. This player is primarily responsible for ensuring that a team has no more than 11 players on the field at any given time.

2. Umpires rulings are final:

Lords notes that the umpire is the final authority in play decisions. Players who fail to follow directions or who balk at an umpires decision will be turned over to the team captain for dismissal or other discipline measures.

3. Six balls equal one over:

The bowler bowls the cricket ball to the striker. If the latter hits it and misses, the ball is considered completed. After the bowler delivers six balls, he has completed an "over." Another team member now takes a turn to bowl the next over.

4. Game duration is negotiated:

Teams may agree to play two innings and limit the number of hours they will be on the field. In the alternative, the teams may opt to only play one innings but do so by agreeing on the number of overs ahead of time.

5. Professional-level cricket matches are limited duration games:

Even so, these games -- usually referred to as test matches -- last six hours per day and continue for five days. Since test matches must use natural light only, playtime is set between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

6. Batsmen do not have to run:

American audiences are familiar with baseball player's tossing aside their bats and running from base to base. In cricket, the batsmen carry their bats with them as they run and use them to touch the ground marking their progress. It is noteworthy that they do not have to run.

7. Boundary fence hit equals four runs:

Cricket recognizes that a batsmans ability to hit the fence with a bowled ball should equal four runs. If the ball goes beyond the boundary fence, the batsman scores six runs.

8. Overthrows allow for additional runs:

Should fielders neglect to throw the ball back, the batsmen will continue taking runs. If the ball rolls to the boundary of the field, the runs already completed are added to the automatic four-run score a boundary hit earns.

9. Time wasting is penalized:

It is well known that cricket games can go on for days. In order to curtail time wasting, a new batsman is out of the game if it takes him longer than two minutes to take the field after a wicket fall.

10. Field placement is optional:

The team captain may choose to place team members in a number of field positions. Each captain uses this strategy to the advantage of the team and to throw off the strategy of the opposing team.