Understanding the Basics of Cricket

While the United States focused on the NBA, NFL, and NHL, the other countries were engrossed in a unique sport: cricket. Cricket spread throughout the world in the 16th century, courtesy of the British colonizers.

While it is the second most-watched sport in the world, it can still appear intimidating to beginners.

Cricket Formats

No matter what the format, the rules of the sport remain the same. There are three traditional formats of international cricket.

  • T-20 Cricket: A game of T-20 crickets is based around 20 overs and lasts around 3 hours on average. 
  • One-Day Cricket: Also known as ODIs, the One-Day Cricket matches last one day, or 8 hours per cricket match. 
  • Test Cricket: The longest among all cricket formats, Test Cricket matches can last up to 5 days to a full week. 

Cricket Ground

A cricket game is played on an oval-shaped cricket ground, and right in the middle of the field is a rectangle, known as the cricket pitch. 

Cricket Pitch

The cricket pitch is where the batsmen play the game. Wickets are present at both ends of the pitch. Each wicket consists of three wooden stumps that support two bails. 

The Teams

A typical game of cricket has two teams with eleven players per team. Both teams have one goal: score more runs than the opposite team. Up to three or four umpires are present in a match to fairly judge the match. In case one cannot make the decision, it automatically shifts to the next. They have access to the most detailed video record of each move by the players, which helps them in making clear decisions regarding all disputes. 

The Toss

Before each game, the captains of the two teams meet, and there is a coin toss. Batting or Fielding is assigned to either side of the coin. The team that wins the coin toss can make their choice of bowling or fielding.

Batting and Fielding

While one team bats first, the other has to bowl. Aside from the bowler, the rest of the squad is spread out strategically over the entire cricket field. 

How It Works

The bowler from one team throws the bowl towards the batsman, who stands in front of the wicket. The other batsman stands on the opposite end of the cricket pitch.

As soon as the ball hits the bat and the batsman flings it in the air, the two batsmen try to score runs. They do this by running towards the opposite wickets. The two batsmen have to complete their runs to the opposite sides before the fielders catch the ball and throw it towards the wicket. 

Runs, Fours & Sixes

  • Each time a batsman runs the full length of the pitch, it equals one run.
  • If the batsman hits the ball to the boundary along the ground, it equals four runs. 
  • If the batsman hits the ball to the boundary without touching the ground, it equals six runs. Also known as a sixer, it is the highest scoring shot in cricket. 


There are several ways to make a batsman leave the game. 

  • Bowled Out: If the bowler or a fielder throws the ball and knocks the stumps off the wickets, the batsman is bowled out. 
  • Caught Out: If a fielder catches a ball hit by a batsman without it touching the ground, it is called a catch, and the batsman will be out of the game. 
  • LBW Out: If the bowler bowls such that the ball hits the batsman’s leg in front of the wicket, it is called an LBW out (LBW means Leg Before Wicket). 
  • Run Out: Hitting the wicket with the ball before the batsman can run to the other side of the pitch equals a Run Out. 


A set of six balls comprises an Over. In the one-day matches, the maximum number of overs in a single game is 50, which equals 300 balls or one inning. 

Turns & Wins

If a team runs out of overs or all batsmen from the team are out, the fielding team gets its turn to bat. 

The team with the highest score at the end of the match wins once both sides have batted. 

Brian Morgan

Brian Morgan is a seasoned sports writer known for his in-depth analysis and engaging coverage of major golf tournaments. With over a decade of experience, he provides expert insights and betting tips for leading sports betting websites.