Cricket is a modern day sport played between two teams. Each team has eleven players. The game is played on an oval or round shaped ground which has a rectangular 22 yard long pitch at the center. One team bats to score as many runs as possible. The other team stops the run flow by dismissing the batsmen. A run is scored when a batsman hits the ball with his bat, runs to opposite end of pitch and touches the crease there without being dismissed.
There are three formats of the game:
a) Test Cricket
b) One Day Cricket
The oldest form of cricket is Test Cricket. The game of cricket actually evolved with Test Cricket. Records show that first ever test match was played between Australia and England in the year 1876-77. The game of cricket has come a long way since then. The rules have changed a lot. A test match is played over a period of five days with each team batting and bowling twice. Maximum over that can be bowled in a day is 90 while there is no limit on the number of over a single bowler can bowl. Over 2000 test matches have been played till date.
There are nine test playing nations which are full members of International Cricket Council – The International Cricket Governing body. These members are Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
One Day International
Limited over cricket was introduced in England in the year 1963. Internationally, the first limited over game was played in the year 1971. One game is played in one day. A bowler can bowl a maximum of 10 over’s in a game. In 1975, a new tournament known as World cup came into existence. All International Cricket Council members gathered at one place for a series of matches against each other. The winners of tournament were termed as World Champions.
World cup is played after every four years. ICC has conducted 10 world cups till date. Australia became champions four times, West Indies and India twice while Pakistan and Sri Lanka once. The last world cup was held in the year 2011 and was won by India.
The latest evolution in the game of cricket is twenty-twenty. Here, each team plays 20 overs and a bowler can bowl a maximum of four overs. First international Twenty-twenty game was played in the year 2005 between Australia and New Zealand. First twenty-twenty world cup was held in 2007. The tournament is played every two years and twenty-twenty world champions are crowned. 20 international teams have played the game till date.
Even after 100 years of its existence, the popularity of game is still increasing. More and more people are taking up this sport. It is only second to Football in terms of followers around the globe and is set to post a challenge for the top slot very soon.