Cricket Basics, Game Formats and Major Competitions

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, with more than 2.5 billion fans, second only to football (3.5 billion fans worldwide). However, the sport is more popular in certain parts of the world than in others. Asia remains the hub of the sport, with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka being its major markets. On the contrary, the sport is not much famous in America or Europe. Not many people understand the sport much in these parts of the world. In this article, we shall go through Cricket's basics while covering its formats and major competitions.



A leather-made ball is used as a set standard for professional Cricket. However, Tennis balls are more commonly used by children and teenagers as the leather ball is pretty hard and can cause serious injuries.


A bat is a flat wooden blade with a handle. It is used to hit the ball. Unlike baseball bats, cricket bats are pretty flat.

Other protective Equipment:

Other protective equipment includes helmets, paddings, gloves, and an abdominal guard. The batsmen wear these as they face the threatening fast bowling.


Stumps are three wooden rods that are placed at one end of the pitch. They are 28 inches high with a diameter of 1.25 inches.

Two sets of 3 stumps are placed on two opposite ends of a 22-yard strip.

Common Terms:


Pitch is the 22-yard strip made of soil and clay. The game is played on it with two sets of stumps grounded at the two ends. Lines are drawn to mark the crease.


A boundary rope is adjusted to mark the end of the ground. Generally, the boundaries are circular or oval in shape. The commonly used boundaries are about 65-80 meters from the batsman.


Cricket is played in intervals of overs. One over means six balls. Thus, a bowler bowling six legal balls constitute an over.


Runs are the scores that the batsmen make. They can hit a four or a six to score four or six runs, respectively. In addition to that, batsmen can also run between the wickets to score runs.


If a batsman hits the ball and it crosses the boundary without touching the ground(it flies over the boundary), it is called a Six. Six Runs are awarded to the batting side.


If a batsman hits a ball and it crosses the boundary after touching the ground at least once, it is called a four. The batsman is awarded four runs for it.


If a bowler beats the batsman and hits the stumps, the batsman is declared out. Another way of getting out is if a batsman plays a shot in the air and the fielders catch it without the ball touching the ground. Batsmen can get run out or stump out if they are out of their crease and the fielding side hits the stumps.

How to play:


Bowlers bowl balls from one end of the pitch while the batsman faces them at the other. Bowlers can ball fast, slow, or even try to impart spin on the ball. Fast Bowlers and Spinners are the common types of Bowlers. After each over, the fielding side must change the bowler. That's an obligation.


At any moment, there are two batsmen on the two ends of the pitch. The batsman who faces the bowler can hit the ball for runs.


If the ball does not go for a four or six, the two batsmen can run from one end to the other to complete runs. One complete run means the batsmen are swapping ends on the pitch. As long as the players don't get run out, there is no limit to running. Generally, ones and twos are common.


Each team has 11 players in a professional cricket match. All 11 players can bat and bowl for the team. There are two batsmen batting on the crease at a time. Thus, teams have to pick 10 wickets to dismiss a batting side.

Deciding the winner:

Both teams bat and bowl. Batting innings can come to an end if the whole team gets out (10 players get out) or the decided number of balls are bowled.

The team that scores more runs is the winner. The chasing team has a target in front of them as they bat second.


In total, there are three formats of Cricket.


In test cricket, matches are played for 5 days, with 90 overs on each day. Each team can play as many overs as they can or want without getting all out. There are two innings for each team. The team with a bigger cumulative score at the end of both innings(four in total, 2 for each team) wins the match.

If one or more innings are still incomplete at the end of 5 days, the match ends in a draw.

One Day:

One Day Cricket has fixed 50 overs for both teams. A bowler can bowl a maximum of 10 overs in a One Day Match. Thus, at least 5 different bowlers are needed.


This is the shortest format of the game, with 20 overs scheduled in each innings. With a 4 over the limit on each bowler, at least five bowlers are needed in a T20 game.

Major Competitions:

The Global Cricketing Competitions in the world include ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy, ICC World T20, and ICC World Test Championship.