What’s cricket? Mi a krikett?

Welcome to the amazing sport of cricket. “Bowled him. Great delivery. Wonderful strike.” Cricket is the second-most
popular sport in the world and is played in over 120 countries. It is supported by millions of passionate fans of all ages and from all walks of life. They play in the park,
on the beach and even in the street. Rich or poor, young or old,
this ancient 16th century game unites and inspires people
from all countries and cultures. To the layman
the game can seem a bit complicated, but it’s actually quite easy to understand
once you’ve grasped the basics. Depending on the format
a game of cricket can last hours, a day or,
in the case of Test cricket,
up to five days. Yes, five days! The basic rules,
or Laws as they are known in cricket,
are always the same. Cricket is played on a grass field with a specially-prepared
rectangular playing surface in the centre. This is known as the cricket pitch. The pitch is where
most of the action takes place. Two teams play the game.
Each team has 11 players. To play you will need a bat, a ball
and 3 wooden poles called stumps. The captains of each team flip a coin
to decide who will bat first and who will have to field. Each side will have a
turn to bat and a turn to bowl. Unlike baseball, each team will generally
only bat once in a match. The aim of the game is to score
as many runs as you can while batting. The team with the most runs
at the end of the game is the winner. The key players at any time
in a cricket match are the bowler, the batsmen and the fielders. The bowler will try to outwit
the batsman by bowling… slow… fast… spin… and by skillful manipulation of
how the ball moves in the air or behaves once it bounces on the pitch. The fielders must be alert and agile,
ready to react if the ball comes their way. At the top level of the game,
fielders are highly athletic to ensure they can save
as many runs as possible. The batter stands guarding his stumps as the bowler attempts
to hit them with the ball. To score runs the batter must hit the ball
and then run to the other end of the pitch before the fielding team
can return the ball. They can run up and down the pitch
as many times as they feel they can before the fielding team
can get the ball back. Each time the batter completes
a length of the pitch a run is scored against their name. If a batter hits the ball
to the boundary of the field they are awarded 4 runs. This is called a 4. The highest-scoring shot in cricket is a 6. “That’s a little more orthodox
and it has gone all the way.” A batter can score 6 runs
by hitting the ball over the boundary rope without
the ball touching the ground. The fielding team is trying
to get the batter out as quickly as possible
to prevent them scoring runs. Batters can be got out
in a number of ways. The bowler strikes the stumps
directly while bowling. Bowled. Catching the ball in the air
before it touches the ground. Caught. Returning the ball
to the end of the cricket pitch before the batter
can complete their run. Run out. Once the batter is declared out
they have to leave the field and they are replaced
by the next batter. Once all batters are out,
the fielding team gets a chance to beat the score
set by the first batting team. “Bowled him.” One of the most popular forms of cricket
is known as Twenty20 cricket. Introduced in 2003, this is a shorter, adrelanine-fuelled version of the game, limited to 120 balls per side, split into
groups of 6 balls, called overs. 20 overs per side makes up
a team’s total innings. The limited number of overs means the batsmen have
to aggressively score the runs, and this makes for a thrilling spectacle, with players taking big risks
to score runs for their team. A Twenty20 game is generally
completed in about 3 hours, with each inning lasting
about 75 minutes. This type of cricket is very popular and is driving the phenomenal growth
of the sport around the world. It generally results in a carnival
party atmosphere at cricket matches. Now you know what’s cricket,
why not teach your friends and start playing the game at home?

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