In today’s world, games that are played with the help of bats and balls hold most of the popularity. Games such as hockey and baseball are some of the most popular, but do not yet have the title of arguably the most popular game in the world. This title is held by a very particular bat and ball game, called Cricket. This game, in and of itself, has become one of the most popular games there are, as it causes a hubbub, frenzied cheering and depressed moaning every single time it comes around.
The General Rules of Cricket
This game is played by a minimum and a maximum of two teams, with eleven sportsmen present in each. One can find a pitch of 22 yards, or thereabouts, at the very centre of the playing field. This pitch has something called a wicket present on both ends of it, which in itself is comprised of two bails and three stumps.
The Players and Their Objectives
There are two batsmen present from the team which chose to (or was forced to) be the batting team, with one being called the striker batsman (who the ball is thrown at) and the runner batsman (present for taking runs, or scores). The bowler, who throws the ball at the striking batsman, does so with the sole objective of hitting the wicket, which (if successful in) results in the batsman being ousted.
On the other hand, the batsmen descend upon the field in the hopes of hitting the ball and sending it beyond a particular boundary to score runs, after which they can take the opportunity to score additional runs by running to the other wicket and back (optional). The remaining players on the playing field have the sole objective of trying to stop the batsman from scoring runs, which they accomplish by either trying to catch the ball in mid-air, or picking it up and throwing it to the bowler as soon as possible. Obviously, the team that has the most runs at the end of a match is declared the winner.
The bat used for the game, called a cricket bat, is flat, with a round bottom. According to rules, the size of the bat cannot exceed 38 inches, with the width of the bat being set at 4.25 inches. A variable factor is the weight of a bat, which can range from 1.1 to 2.3 kilograms.
As the ball is thrown at quite breakneck speeds, the batsman has to use pads, knee guards and wear a helmet for proper protection. Except for those in close proximity to the batsman, the fielders are not required to wear protective equipment (slip and short leg). As he is in the direct path of danger, the wicket keeper has to wear the standard protective equipment, with additional padding to cushion the impact of the ball.
The ball used for the game is made of cork, which is covered with either white or, more commonly, red leather, depending on the type of the game. While the weight of the ball is set between 5.5 to 5.75 ounces, the circumference of the ball is 224mm to 229 mm.
The Field and The Umpires
The playing field itself is 66 feet or 20.1 meters. There are two umpires present on the field and a third umpire off the field. While there are many countries where cricket is famous, the ones who love cricket the most are – England, Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland.