What is cricket?
Cricket is a team game of ball and bat. It is popular in Asia, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. And the English have been playing it for over 750 years! It’s as unthinkable without cricket as it is without Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot.
A bit of history
Cricket has English roots and originated in the 18th century. The word ‘cricket’ comes from the Saxon word ‘cric’ meaning shepherd’s stick. Many researchers claim that the stick and ball were used for recreation by shepherds on pastures, where the ball skated well in low grass. It may have been the stick that gave the game its name, although this remains a controversial issue to this day.
Either way, the game has attained the status of a national sport in Britain. The first club was established in Hambledon, in the 1960s. The game’s centre then developed as the nation’s capital as fields were built and new clubs opened. The Marylebone Cricket Club was founded in 1787 and a year later approved new rules for the game.
England was a colonial power, so its national game soon spread to the colonial countries of Australia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. National teams appeared in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Canada and Caribbean countries. Cricket was added to the Olympics programme in 1900 but did not remain on the programme for long. As cricket had only two teams represented at the Games – an English and a French team – the sport was struck off the Olympic list due to insufficient competition.
The first world championship between the three nations of England, Australia and South Africa was staged in 1912. But the weather conditions failed to produce a winner. The second World Cup was not played again until 1975, and since then cricket world championships have been held every four years. Many people now use cricket betting to make money.
- Wrestling takes place on an oval grass pitch, in the middle of which there is a rectangular area – the ground pitch. This is marked by wickets, fixtures made of wood.
- There are two teams in cricket, with 11 players in a team. One team is the attacker, whose aim is to smash their opponent’s wicket with the ball, earning as many points as possible. The other team are the defenders and their function is to guard the wicket and not allow the forwards to score points.
- The ball is pitched along the length of the pitch, in the playing areas marked by the marking lines, the creases. The player of the attacking team who serves the ball is called the bowler. The defender who repels the bowler’s shots with the bat is the batsman. There is also the wicketkeeper, the player who defends the wicket.
- The positions of bowler and batsman are taken in turn by all players on both sides. Each cricketer may make 6 throws, collectively called ‘over’. The bowler throws the ball and the batsman hits it. Points are awarded for the range of the projectile: 4 points up to the edge of the pitch and 6 points beyond the edge. If the ball does not fly far enough, the batsman can gain extra points by running to the opposite wicket and coming back.
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