Introduction to Cricket
When one mentions the word cricket they usually refer to the world's 2nd most popular sport as opposed to the insect. You picture an oval field with players in the middle; wearing golf caps; fully dressed in white; swinging at a leather ball with a wooden bat.
Cricket is thought to have been played as far back in time as the 14th century. It spans the globe, being extremely popular in many countries including England, Australia, India, The West Indies and South Africa. It is religiously followed in some countries such as India where players have a near demi-god status.
It consists of two teams of 11 players each that take it in turn to bat and bowl. The game takes place on a roughly oval shaped field of grass with a rectangular strip (the pitch) at the centre where the bowler (one who delivers the ball) bowls the ball to the batsman at the opposite end. There are two sets of 3 stumps of wood at both ends of the pitch, known as the wicket. The batsmen bat in pairs, each standing at both ends of the pitch while the bowler bowls to the batsman at one end. The rest of the bowling side is placed in various positions on the field as they try to limit the batsmen scoring runs (therefore known as fielders). A bowler gets 6 deliveries to dismiss a batsman at which point the bowler has to be changed. A set of 6 legitimate (refer section on laws) deliveries is known as an 'over'. The number of overs per match varies according to the type of match played.
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If a batsman is dismissed then another member of the batting side takes his place. The batting side is said to be 'bowled out' when no more batting pairs can be formed (i.e. When 10 batsmen have been dismissed). Once the batting side is dismissed the roles are reversed as the bowling side now bats and vice versa.
The objective of the game is for the batting side to score as many 'runs' as possible while the bowling side attempts to dismiss the batsman (one who bats) limiting the number of runs given away. There are several ways to score runs and several ways to dismiss the batsman. The side that has scored the most runs at the end of the match wins. This basic concept is governed by a number of rules which are enforced during the game by umpires.