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LostInParadise's avatar

What are the basic rules of cricket?

Asked by LostInParadise (27909points) February 15th, 2015

I just read an article about the international matches going on and have no idea what they are talking about. There was talk of centuries, seamers and overs. This question was asked here once before a few years ago and was not really answered. All that I know is that the game resembles baseball in that there is a batter and a pitcher, though those are probably not the names used. Are there different bases? Can people be on base as in baseball while someone else is batting? Are there different innings? I don’t need to know the rules in detail, just a rough idea of how the game is played.

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10 Answers

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

The aim of the game of cricket is to get more runs than the opposing team.

There is a rectangular pitch with a batsman at either end. Right behind them are a set of stumps with bales resting on the top of them. Behind the stumps is a fielder or the wicket keeper. There is a bowler (similar to a pitcher) on the other team whose job is to bowl a ball and to hit the stumps, knocking the bales off the stumps. If that happens, the batsman is out. Apart from trying to bowl the batsman out, the bowler aims to minimise the distance the batsman can hit a ball and in this way, limits the number of runs each batsman can make.

Around the larger field (the rectangle is within a much larger oval/circular space) are fielders whose job is to catch the ball after the batsman hits it and to return it so the batsman can be put out.

A bowler runs towards the pitch and bowls (throws) the ball at the batsman. You might think of it as pitching. The batsman hits the ball. If he hits it outside of the larger area, he scores 6 runs (bit like a home run). When the batsman hits the ball, he judges whether he has sufficient time to run to the other end of the pitch before it’s returned by a fielder, if not caught by a fielder (which means he’s out immediately). If there’s sufficient time, the two batsmen run towards each other’s end so they end up at the opposite end of the pitch from where they started OR they keep running by reaching the other batsman’s end and turning and running again until they’re back at their own ends. They’d only keep running if they think they can run back again before the ball is returned by a fielder. I think baseball works on a similar principle in that the hitter must reach a different base before being caught out or the fielder touches the base.

A century is when a batsman makes 100 runs.

A seamer is the way the ball is thrown. It basically means it’s bowled so it lands on its seam. There are different styles of bowling. Bouncer is another term for a different type of bowled ball.

An over has been completed when a bowler bowls six, successful and consecutive balls to one batsman.

In some formats they may be limited to 20 overs per side (20 20 cricket) or they may participate in 1 day cricket which is 50 overs per side. Or the number of overs might be limitless within a test match and the match goes for up to five days.

I actually can’t believe I know all this about cricket. It’s a very long game and people are PASSIONATE about it.

My husband thinks it’s hilarious that I’m trying to briefly explain the objective and rules of cricket.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I hope that all makes sense @LostInParadise. Please ask more questions if I’ve not made sense.

LostInParadise's avatar

That does help. The game resembles baseball, but is different in a lot of fundamental ways. Overs are like outs in baseball. If there is no limit to the number of overs, how does the game end?

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Ran out of editing time. The innings is the length of time each side gets to bat for. The goal is to make as many runs as possible within your innings. An inning will usually last until all of the 10 of the 11 batsmen are out. That would be in a test situation. In 20 20 or one day cricket, the innings is limited by the set number of overs.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

You run out of batsmen to bat (10 of the 11 are out) or you run out of overs. An over is a run of six successfully bowled balls. So in 20 20, there are only 20 overs per side. All the players might not get to bat if the first batsmen are very successful.

I’m not sure what an ‘out’ is in baseball. In cricket, out means the bowler hit the stumps with the ball and bowled you out or that a fielder caught dthe ball when you hit it and you’re out or the fielder returned the ball to a fielder near the pitch and that fielder knocks the bales off the stumps. Then you’re out too.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I can’t draw here to show you a pitch but this is what it looks like. It is surrounded by a large field and that’s where the fielders are positioned to catch the ball or retrieve the ball after you hit it.

That Wiki page also shows you the ‘wicket’. That’s the stumps with the bales on top. The wicket keeper stands behind that hoping to catch the ball when its bowled and knock the bales off. Alternatively, the bowler can knock the bales off when he bowls.

Bowling is an artform. You are not supposed to chuck the ball or to ball underarm. If you don’t bowl in a specific way, it’s considered cheating. There are all sorts of technicalities.

It is an ‘inning’ not the innings too.

ucme's avatar

It all seems to have been said, more or less, but a key difference in cricket as opposed to baseball, is that only the wicket keeper wears gloves.
The outfielders & bowler catch with bare hands, because they’re men.

ucme's avatar

When England play Australia in test matches, they’re known as The Ashes.
So named because the first time England lost on home soil to them, it was considered the death of English cricket, they burnt the bails, put them in a tiny urn & presented them, rather dramatically, to the Aussie team.
Like what @Earthbound_Misfit said, people are PASSIONATE about their cricket :D

LostInParadise's avatar

Thanks @Earthbound_Misfit and @ucme. From what you said and from the Web searches that I did, the more I think about it, the more I can see the similarity to baseball. The use of wickets seemed a little odd at first, but now I see that they server two purposes. The first is to act like a strike zone when someone is at bat. The second is to provide the equivalent of tagging out someone. If the ball gets to the wicket before the runner gets to the base, that is like being tagged out.

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