Everything You Need to Know About Cricket

By  //  February 11, 2021

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Cricket is a gentleman’s game invented in the late 16th century by the south-east England and was globally popularized in the 19th and 20th century.  It is the second most watched sport after football.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) governs cricket as it has more than 100+ countries and territories associated with it, out of which there are only 12 test playing nations,

Countries with test status (year-wise)

1. England (1877)

2. Australia (1877)

3. South Africa (1889)

4. West Indies (1928)

5. New Zealand (1930)

6. India (1932)

7. Pakistan (1952)

8. Sri Lanka (1982)

9. Zimbabwe (1992)

10. Bangladesh (2000)

11. Ireland (2018)

12. Afghanistan (2018)

Along with test playing nations, there are many association nations that compete in lower division cricket. They play qualification round in order to qualify for the World Cups

Associate nation with ODI status:

1. Hong Kong

2. United States

3. Papua New Guinea

4. Nepal

5. Scotland

6. Namibia

7. Netherlands

Why is cricket not in Olympics?

There are a smaller number of ICC permanent / recognized teams as ICC does not give enough recognition to the associate nations.

If these smaller cricket playing nations do not play competitive cricket with teams like India, Australia and England, then there is less chance for them to build a strong system in cricket. That’s the reason why cricket is limited to only a few countries around the world. Hence, it is not considered a game for Olympics.

Cricket has three formats namely Test, One-day and T20.

In Test cricket, each team is given two innings to bat and bowl. The match goes on for 5 days with a maximum of 90 overs per day. Cricket is played with red balls; hence the players wear whites during the match.

In one-day matches, each team gets 50 overs each to bat and bowl. The team batting first sets a target for the team batting second. If the team batting second manages to score that target within the 50 overs with wickets in hands, then the team batting second is the winner. White ball is used in this format; therefore, players wear colored jerseys.

In T20 format, each team gets 20 overs. The team scoring the greatest number of runs within the stipulated 20 overs is declared the winner.

It is the shortest format of international cricket; therefore, it is the most loved and watched format in cricket. T20 has popular tournaments like the IPL world cup, which you can read more about at a site like this.

Major ICC Tournaments in Cricket

The international teams play bilateral series or triangular series regularly for all three formats. In addition to the bilateral series ICC also organizes a few multi-teams’ tournaments at regular intervals to bring all the teams under one roof for the competition. The following are the Major ICC tournaments

1. ICC Cricket World Cup 

First Edition in: 1975

Format: ODI

Most Wins by: Australia (5 times)

Last Winners: England (2019)

ICC Cricket World Cup also known as the men’s cricket world is one of the biggest ICC events in cricket. It is played every four years and more than 10 teams participate in it. Last edition’s final was the most thrilling final as we saw the first super over in One Day Cricket.

The teams are generally divided into four groups from which each team will play the other teams in the same group once. Top-2 teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-final and it will be a knock-out match from thereon.

Although last time around in 2019, ten teams played in a round-robin format where all teams faced each other once hence playing nine matches in the tournament. The same format is expected in the forthcoming world cup too.

2. ICC T20 World Cup

First Edition in: 2007

Format: T20

Most Wins by: West Indies (2 titles)

Last Winners: West Indies (2016)

ICC T20 world cup is played with 16 teams once in every two years. Because of the fact that T20 requires a lot of power-hitting and stroke play, West Indies has won the greatest number of T20 World Cup titles.

Similar to the 50-overs world cup teams are divided into four groups where each team will face the other teams of the same group and top-2 teams will be qualified for the knockouts. (quarter finals)

3. ICC Test Championship:

First Edition: 2019-2021

Format: Test

Nowadays, test cricket isn’t given much importance as compared to limited overs cricket. In order to draw interest in fans for test cricket, ICC has started Test Championship for top 9 test playing nations.

The Test Championship is different from other ICC events as it involves bilateral cricket. Each team plays 6 series (3 home and 3 away) and teams will be given 120 points per series.

Here is the points spilt-up per match in a series:

1. Five match test series: teams will get 24 points for win and 8 points for draw

2. Four matches test series: teams will get 30 points for win and 10 points for draw

3. Three matches test series:  teams will get 40 points for win and 13.3 points for draw

4. Two matches test series: teams will get 60 points for win and 20 points for draw

Note: Points can be reduced if a team gets fined for slow over-rates

Based on the points system the teams will be ranked in points table. The top-2 teams will play the final held at Lord’s.

4. ODI Super League

First Edition: 2020-2023

Format: ODI

Along with these ICC events, there are qualification rounds for the teams in order to qualify for the ICC 50-Overs Cricket World.  All regular members of ICC excluding the host will be part of this ODI super League. 12 full members of ICC and Netherlands (Who won the ICC Cricket League Championship 2015-17) will play 8 bilateral ODI series (4 home and 4 away) during the course of 4 years till the World Cup.

Based on the points top 7 teams excluding the hosts- India (who have automatically qualified for World Cup 2023) will play the world cup 2023. The remaining 5 teams will go on to play ICC 2022 World Cup Qualifier and 5 other associate teams out of which top-2 teams will qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

Greatest Cricketers of all-time:

If we talk about cricket Sachin Tendulkar is one of the biggest names in cricket. He had served India for 24 years and has a world-record of 100 international centuries. If we look at the stats, then Sir Don Bradman has the highest average of 99.9 in 52 test matches.

Muttiah Muralitharan has taken the highest no of international wickets followed by Shane Warne. Glenn McGrath has the best bowling average of 23 runs per wicket.

If we see the current lot there is a trend going on named fabulous-4 which include Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson. These players are the key batsmen for their respective teams in all three formats. Currently, Virat Kohli is the only cricketer who averages 50+ in all three formats.