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A Beginners Guide to Cricket: Learn about the Basics of Cricket

If you're new to the game of cricket and want to learn the basics, this beginner's guide has you covered. From the rules to the equipment, this guide will help you get started and understand the fundamentals of the game.

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By Crickified
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Beginner

A Beginners Guide to Cricket

Cricket is a fascinating sport that has captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world. Whether you're a seasoned cricket lover or a newcomer to the game, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to understand and enjoy cricket to the fullest. From the basics of the game to the different types of cricket and the strategies involved, we'll take you through a step-by-step journey into the world of cricket.

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1. Introduction to Cricket

What is Cricket?

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each. The objective of the game is for one team to score more runs than the other. The game is played on a cricket field, with a rectangular pitch in the center and a set of wickets at each end.

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The History of Cricket

Cricket has a long and rich history that dates back to the 16th century in England. It evolved from a simple game played in villages to a widely popular sport played at the international level. The first recorded cricket match took place in 1646, and the first international cricket match was played in 1844 between the United States and Canada.

Why Cricket is Popular?

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Cricket is a sport that captures the imagination of fans around the world for several reasons. Its strategic nature, the thrill of close matches, and the camaraderie among players make it an exciting and engaging sport to watch. Additionally, cricket has a strong following in countries like India, England, Australia, and South Africa, where it is considered a national obsession.

2. The Basics of Cricket

The Ground and Equipment

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Cricket is played on a large oval-shaped field, known as the cricket ground. The ground is typically covered with grass and is divided into several sections, including the pitch, the boundary, and the outfield. The pitch is a rectangular strip in the center of the ground where most of the action takes place.

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Cricket Equipments


The equipment used in cricket includes a bat, a ball, and protective gear for the players. The bat is a flat wooden instrument with a handle, which the batsman uses to hit the ball. The ball is made of cork covered with leather and is bowled by the bowler towards the batsman.

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The Teams

A cricket team consists of eleven players, with each player having a specific role to play. The team is divided into batsmen, bowlers, and fielders. The batsmen are responsible for scoring runs, while the bowlers try to dismiss the batsmen by getting them out. The fielders assist the bowlers by catching the ball or stopping it from reaching the boundary.

Scoring Runs in Cricket

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The primary objective of the batting team is to score runs. Runs are scored when the batsmen hit the ball and successfully run between the wickets. If the ball reaches the boundary, the batsmen are awarded four runs. If the ball crosses the boundary without touching the ground, it is considered a six and the batsmen are awarded six runs.

The batsmen can also score runs through extras, which include wides, no-balls, and byes. Wides and no-balls are bowled outside the batsman's reach or illegally, respectively, and result in additional runs for the batting team. Byes are runs scored when the ball passes the batsman and the wicket-keeper fails to stop it.

3. Types of Cricket

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Test Cricket

Test cricket is the longest format of the game and is considered the pinnacle of cricket. Test matches are played over five days, with each team having two innings to bat and bowl. The matches are played with a red ball and white clothing. Test cricket is known for its strategic battles and the endurance required by players to perform consistently over long periods.

One-Day International (ODI) Cricket

ODI cricket is a limited-overs format where each team gets to bat and bowl for a fixed number of overs, usually 50. The matches are played with a white ball and colored clothing. ODI cricket is known for its fast-paced action and high-scoring matches. These matches often feature explosive batting and aggressive bowling.

Twenty20 Cricket (T20)

T20 cricket is the shortest and most exciting format of the game. Each team gets to bat and bowl for 20 overs, resulting in a fast-paced and thrilling game. T20 matches are played with a white ball and colorful clothing. This format is known for its power hitting and innovative shot-making, making it a favorite among fans.

4. The Cricket Ground


The Pitch

The pitch is the central area of the cricket ground where most of the action takes place. It is a rectangular strip of carefully prepared turf, measuring 22 yards in length. The pitch consists of three main sections: the bowling crease, the popping crease, and the batting crease. The condition of the pitch can greatly influence the outcome of a match.

The Boundary

The boundary is the outer edge of the cricket field that defines the area where the batsmen can score runs by hitting the ball. The boundary can vary in size depending on the ground, but it is typically marked by a rope or a fence. Hitting the ball beyond the boundary without it touching the ground results in a four or a six, depending on the rules of the format.

Fielding Positions

Fielding positions in cricket are strategically placed around the field to maximize the chances of getting the batsmen out or preventing them from scoring runs. Each position has its own name and serves a specific purpose. Some common fielding positions include slips, gully, cover, mid-wicket, and fine leg. The fielding captain decides on the positions based on the game situation and the strengths of the players.

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Fielding Positions


5. The Team


The Captain 

The team captain, one of eleven players, holds the responsibility of managing and making decisions for the team during the game. Prior to the match, a coin toss determines which team will bat first. Throughout the game, it is up to the captain to determine the batting order, assign bowlers for each over, and strategically position fielders on the field.

The Vice-Captain

The Vice-Captain is a player who accompanies the Captain during the game. They may have various responsibilities, such as filling in for the captain when they are injured or unavailable, or taking over as captain if the original captain can no longer fulfill that role. The Vice-Captain is one of eleven players on the team and plays an important role in supporting and leading the team alongside the Captain.

The Batsmen

Batsmen are the players responsible for scoring runs for the batting team. They take turns to face the bowlers and try to hit the ball to score runs. Batsmen use a combination of technique, timing, and power to score runs. Batsmen can fulfill various roles and occupy different positions, such as being an opening batsman, a middle-order player, or a tailender or finisher. The opening batsmen play a crucial role in setting the tone for the innings, while the middle-order batsmen consolidate the innings and score runs consistently.

The Bowlers

Bowlers are the players responsible for delivering the ball to the batsmen. They use various techniques and strategies to try and dismiss the batsmen. Bowlers can be classified into different types based on their style of bowling, such as fast bowlers, spinners, and medium pacers. Each type of bowler has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the captain decides which bowlers to use based on the match situation.

The Wicket-Keeper

The wicket-keeper is a specialized fielder who stands behind the stumps and is responsible for catching the ball when the batsman misses it. The wicket-keeper also plays a crucial role in stumping the batsman, which is when the batsman steps out of their crease to play a shot and the wicket-keeper dislodges the bails with the ball in hand. The wicket-keeper is an important member of the team and must have excellent reflexes and good hand-eye coordination.

6. Playing a Cricket Match


Toss and Decision

Before the start of a cricket match, a coin toss is conducted between the captains of the two teams. The team that wins the toss gets to decide whether they want to bat or bowl first. The decision is influenced by factors such as the condition of the pitch, weather conditions, and the strengths of the team. The toss can have a significant impact on the outcome of the match, as it sets the tone for the game.

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Toss between India and Pakistan (Skippers Rohit Sharma (India) and Babar Azam (Pakistan)( left))


Batting and Bowling Innings

In a cricket match, each team gets a chance to bat and bowl. The batting team sends two batsmen to the crease, while the bowling team tries to dismiss the batsmen and restrict the scoring of runs. The batting team tries to accumulate as many runs as possible, while the bowling team tries to take wickets and restrict the scoring. The innings continue until all the batsmen are out or the captain decides to declare the innings.

Scoring Runs and Taking Wickets

During a batting innings, the batsmen score runs by hitting the ball and running between the wickets. The batsmen can also score runs by hitting boundaries or byes. The bowling team tries to dismiss the batsmen by getting them out in various ways, such as bowling them out, catching them, or getting them out lbw (leg before wicket). The team that takes the most wickets and restricts the scoring of runs has a better chance of winning the match.

7. Rules and Terminology


How to Get Out in Cricket

In cricket, there are several ways for a batsman to get out. Some of the common modes of dismissal include being bowled, caught, stumped, run out, and lbw (leg before wicket). Each mode of dismissal has its own set of rules and conditions. The fielding team must appeal to the umpire for a decision, and the umpire raises the finger if they believe the batsman is out.

LBW (Leg Before Wicket)

LBW, or leg before wicket, is a mode of dismissal where the batsman is given out if the ball hits their leg before hitting the bat and the umpire believes that the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps. LBW decisions are often a subject of controversy and require the umpire to make a judgment based on the position of the batsman, the ball, and the stumps.

Appeals and Umpire's Decision

In cricket, the fielding team can make an appeal to the umpire if they believe that a batsman is out. The appeal involves the fielders appealing to the umpire by shouting and raising their hands. The umpire then makes a decision based on the appeal and the laws of the game. The umpire's decision is final and binding, and cannot be overturned unless there is clear evidence of an error.

DRS (Decision Review System)

The cricket technology-based system called the Decision Review System (DRS), previously referred to as the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), aids match officials in making accurate decisions. During a game, the on-field umpires have the option to seek assistance from the third umpire through an Umpire Review. Additionally, players have the right to request that the third umpire reviews a decision made by the on-field umpires through a Player Review.

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Demonstration of DRS for LBW


8. Strategies and Tactics


Batting Strategies

In cricket, batsmen employ various strategies to score runs and build partnerships. Some common batting strategies include playing defensively to see off the new ball, playing aggressively to put pressure on the bowlers, and rotating the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking. Batsmen also need to be aware of the field placements and adjust their shots accordingly.

Bowling Tactics

Bowlers use different tactics to dismiss batsmen and restrict the scoring of runs. Fast bowlers often try to intimidate batsmen with pace and bounce, while spinners use flight and turn to deceive the batsmen. Bowlers also set up batsmen by bowling different types of deliveries, such as yorkers, bouncers, and slower balls. The choice of tactics depends on the match situation and the strengths of the bowler.

Fielding Techniques

Fielding is an important aspect of cricket, and teams strive to be excellent in the field to create opportunities and prevent runs. Fielders need to have good catching skills, agility, and a strong throwing arm. They also need to be aware of the game situation and anticipate the batsman's shots. Effective fielding can put pressure on the batting team and lead to wickets.

9. Famous Cricket Tournaments and Teams


The Ashes

The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious cricket competitions in the world. The series dates back to 1882 and is played biennially. The Ashes is known for its fierce rivalry and intense battles between the two teams.

Border-Gavaskar Trophy

The International Test cricket series between India and Australia is known as the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. This prestigious series pays tribute to two renowned former captains, Allan Border from Australia and Sunil Gavaskar from India. The matches are scheduled according to the future tours organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

ICC Cricket World Cup

The ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, commonly referred to as the Cricket World Cup, is the premier global competition for One Day International (ODI) cricket. Administered by the International Cricket Council (ICC), this tournament takes place every four years and features a series of qualifying matches leading up to the finals. Regarded as one of the most popular sporting events worldwide, it holds a special status in the international cricket calendar according to the ICC.

ICC Cricket T20 World Cup

The ICC T20 World Cup is the global competition for Twenty20 cricket. Administered by the International Cricket Council (ICC), this tournament features 20 teams. The top 12 teams from the previous edition receive automatic qualification, while the remaining 8 teams are selected through Regional Qualifiers. Traditionally, this event takes place every two years.

Asia Cup

The ACC Men's Asia Cup, also known as the Asia Cup, is a cricket tournament for men that brings together teams from Asian countries. This prestigious event is played in either One Day International (ODI) format or Twenty20 International (T20) format. The tournament was established in 1983 with the founding of the Asian Cricket Council, which aimed to foster harmony and friendship among Asian nations through sports. Initially planned to be held biennially, the Asia Cup holds significant importance as it crowns the champion of Asia in cricket. It is unique as it serves as the only continental championship in this sport. To add more excitement, the competition switches between ODI and T20 formats every two years.

Indian Premier League (IPL)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) (also known as the TATA IPL for sponsorship reasons), is an annual cricket tournament in India. This men's Twenty20 (T20) league features ten franchise teams representing different cities. Established by the BCCI in 2007, the competition takes place during the summer months from March to May. One of its unique aspects is that it has a dedicated window in the ICC Future Tours Programme since there are fewer international cricket tours scheduled during this time worldwide.

10. Tips for Watching and Enjoying Cricket


Understanding the Scoreboard

The scoreboard in cricket can be complex for newcomers, but with a little understanding, it becomes a valuable tool to follow the match. The scoreboard displays the current score, the number of wickets taken, the number of overs bowled, and other important statistics. By keeping an eye on the scoreboard, you can track the progress of the game and the performance of the teams.

Cheering for Your Favorite Team

Cricket matches are known for their lively and passionate atmosphere. Supporting your favorite team adds to the excitement of the game. Joining in with the chants, cheering at boundaries, and applauding good performances creates a thrilling experience for both players and fans. Dressing up in team colors and waving flags can also show your support for the team.

Engaging with Other Fans

Cricket matches provide an excellent opportunity to engage with other fans and share your passion for the game. Whether you're watching the match at a stadium or following it on television or social media, discussing the game with fellow fans can enhance your enjoyment. Joining fan clubs, attending cricket events, and participating in online forums are great ways to connect with like-minded cricket enthusiasts.

Conclusion

Cricket is a captivating sport that offers a unique blend of skill, strategy, and excitement. Whether you're a die-hard cricket fanatic or a curious newcomer, this comprehensive guide has provided you with a solid foundation to understand and enjoy the game. From the basics of cricket to the intricacies of strategies and tactics, you now have the knowledge to follow matches, cheer for your favorite team, and engage with fellow fans in the thrilling world of cricket. So grab your bat and ball, and let the game begin!

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