Cricket originated in England. Today, it is the second most popular sport in the world, largely played in countries that made up the former British Empire. The major cricket powerhouses are Australia, England, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, New Zealand, Bangladesh, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the official regulating body of the sport. There are 10 full members that have been given the status of official test playing nations. There are also 33 associate members and 58 affiliated members forming the structure of ICC. Headquartered at the historic Lord’s Cricket Ground in England, ICC also has offices in Monaco and Dubai.
World Cricket comes to its full swing when a Cricket World Cup is held every 4 years. This tournament is officially the biggest One Day International (ODI) cricket tournament in which all the test playing nations and qualifying associate members participate. Canada is considered a top associate member of the ICC.
Cricket has a rich history in Canada. In fact, Cricket was our first national sport. It can be traced as far back as 1745 in this country.
Formats of Cricket
There are 3 major formats in modern cricket.
Twenty20 – 20 Overs pitched (bowled) by each team. Twenty20 cricket is the newest and most exciting format of the game. A twenty20 game lasts approximately 3 hours.
One Day – 50 Overs (300 pitches) bowled by each team.
Test Cricket – Test cricket can last up to 5 days, with each team batting twice.
Cricket is played between two teams of 11 players each.
A coin is tossed by the captain of each team to decide who bats or fields first.
The first batting team tries to make as many runs as possible in the appointed number of balls pitched (bowled) at them. The goal of the second batting team is to surpass the number of runs scored by the first team, in the same amount of balls bowled.
The main functions of the players on a cricket field are:
1. Batsman: Score runs off the balls bowled by the bowler
2. Bowler: Bowls balls to get the batsmen “out” (removed from the field of play)
3. Fielder: Players who assist the bowler and try to restrict the batsmen from scoring runs.
The video below briefly describes some basic principles of the the sport of cricket: