Cricket is one of the most popular sports around the world. It has been played for hundreds of years, and was considered an exhibition sport until the twentieth century. It is now a fully organized sport, with the International Cricket Council regulating the rules and regulations, as well as providing guidance on how the game should be played. There are several different versions of cricket, such as Twenty20, One Day, and Test cricket. Each version is played by a different number of teams, which consist of up to 19 players each. A single international cricket game can consist of up to 25 overs of cricket, which are divided into three separate periods of play, each with a different scoring system. As well as the different versions of the game, there are several different rules and regulations that govern cricket. These are included in the Official Rules of Cricket, which can be found online.
As well as being a popular sport, cricket is also a game that is enjoyed by gamblers around the world. The number of people wagering on cricket has steadily increased over the past few years, which has led to an industry being formed around the game. It is now possible to bet on almost any game outcome in cricket, with wagers placed on everything from the total number of runs scored in an over, to the final score of a completed game. Bookmakers currently offer odds of around 1.5 for under 2.5 runs per over, with the favorite team to win an international cricket match being available at odds of 3-4.5. Bookmakers also offer odds on specific players and matches, providing punters with a variety of options when it comes to placing wagers on this exciting sport.
The Basics of Cricket
It’s important to remember that not all sports are created equal, and cricket is no different. There are a number of terms used in cricket that might not be familiar to readers, so let’s discuss them briefly.
The cricket season is comprised of three distinct periods: the warm-up matches, the competitive season, and the post-season (or Test series). The warm-up stage is a series of organized matches known as the ‘NatWest Series’. These games are held between September and November, and they serve as preparation for the main event: the Indian Premier League. The top four teams from the IPL then participate in the Indian Independence League (the ‘Quadrilateral Series’), which takes place in the spring and summer, and the Champions League, which is a twenty-team tournament that occurs in the same year as the other two. The five-week long competitive season runs from April to May, and June to September, and is made up of the following tournaments: the Indian Premier League, the Quadrilateral Series, and the Champions League. Finally, the post-season stage is a series of Test matches, which are held between October and December and are the ultimate measure of a cricket player’s skill. A six-game Test series is the match which separates the men from the boys, and provides the winner with a measure of peace, as well as a fat pay-check. The winners of the six-game series are presented with the Ashes, after which the teams play a series of one-day matches to determine the overall winner of the tournament. These matches are known as the ‘NatWest Series’.
The following are some of the more popular terms used in cricket, and how they are defined:
A cricketer’s squad is the group of players which he is permitted to take to a cricket match, and which he is permitted to remove from the field of play at any time, subject to the restrictions of the game. For example, when Stuart Broad was presented with an England cap for the first time, he became the sixth member of the England squad.
The England Cricket Squad is made up of players who have represented England at one level or another. Generally, you will find that a cricketer’s ‘best’ squad is comprised of players who are established at the top levels of the sport, who are known for their ability to ‘punch above their weight’, and who have a record of winning silverware. When selecting a squad for a game, the coach will look to include players who complement each other’s styles of play, and who have the ability to perform in all three forms of the game. The England Cricket Squad for the third Test against Australia at Trent Bridge will be made up of the following players:
- Stuart Broad
- Rory Burns
- Jack Butt
- Chris Woakes
- Graeme Swann
- Alastair Cook
- Jason Roy
- Mark Stoneman
- Matt Prior
- Tom Curran
- Craig Kiesworcester
An over is a period of play in cricket. During a cricket match, each period of play is divided into five or six overs. In general, an over will last for around 15 minutes. However, there is wiggle-room in this time to allow for oddities in the game such as floodlights hitting the ball, which will affect the length of an over slightly. The minimum length of an over is defined as three balls. This means that, as long as the third ball is delivered within the time allotted for the over, the batsman has failed to hit a four, and the over will still continue.
Each team will be allowed to make three changes to their lineup for each game. Batting may also be made on the field of play during an over. When a bowler delivers the ball, he will be given a set number of overs to deliver. Once the allotted amount of overs are up, the bowler will be required to go to the opposite end of the field and fetch the ball, after which he will be allowed to bowl again. Once all the balls have been bowled, the umpires will call time, and the batsmen will run off until they are replaced by the new team. This process will continue until the game has been completed. Changes during an over do not need to be reported. However, bowlers are encouraged to report changes in condition, so that the umpires can take these into account during the game.
A wicket is another name for the ‘runaway crease’ in cricket. This is the area of the wicket-keeper’s box which is closer to the batsman than it is to the bowler. It is essential for a bowler to dismiss the batsman before this area, because it will result in an automatic free-hit for the batsman. When a bowler misses the wicket-keeper with a delivery, there will be no warning at all, and the batsman will simply walk up to the crease and begin his innings. A wicket is generally regarded as being a key part of a cricket match, and its value can be measured in the form of runs.
For example, if a bowler misses the wicket-keeper with a delivery, and subsequently the batsman scores 100 runs off the next 50 balls, the match would be considered won by the team in whose favor the wicket was lost. This type of scoreline is known as a ‘hundred-run blow-out’, and is very common in the sport.
The collarbone is the part of the human anatomy that connects the skull to the chest. In cricket, when a bowler misses the wicket-keeper with a delivery, there will be no warning at all, and the batsman will simply walk up to the crease, as described above. However, as the bowler is making his way back to his end of the pitch, he will inevitably run into the fence or gate opposite, which connects to the chest area. When this happens, the ball will continue on in the direction it was originally headed, and strike the lower part of the bowler’s chest. If this area of the chest is not protected by a shirt, the ball may enter the lung and damage internal organs, causing serious injury or even death.
For this reason, the umpires will generally not allow this type of delivery, and the bowler will almost certainly be ruled out of the next match. However, even if the delivery was legal, the batsman would still be given out because the fence or gate was not within the boundaries of the pitch.