Saturday, November 19, 2005

Cricket

Tonight : India-South Afrika.

Cricket is the most popular sport in India. Matches always gather large crowds of excited supporters and the game is played by many people in open spaces throughout the country.

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players. Created in England, the game had become well established in India by the middle of the 19th century.

A cricket match is typically played on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular pitch. A game is divided into periods called innings. The teams switch between fielding and batting at the end of each innings.

During an innings, the “batting team” tries to score as many runs as possible and the “fielding team” plays defence. The fielding team spreads out across the field, except for the bowler who faces the striking batsman at opposite ends of the pitch. The target behind the batsman is called a wicket.

A run is scored by the striking batsman hitting the ball with his bat, running to the opposite end of the pitch and touching the crease there without being dismissed. The batsman is dismissed if 1) the bowler succeeds in hitting the wicket or if 2) the ball, after being struck by the batsman, is caught by the fielding team before it touches the ground.

A new bowler is designated at the end of each over (set of 6 balls). The innings is complete when 10 of the 11 members of the batting team have been dismissed or a set number of overs has been played.

In limited overs cricket, winning the game is achieved by scoring the most runs. In Test cricket, it is necessary to score the most runs and dismiss the opposition twice in order to win the match.

Updates:

-New academic research claims cricket is not English, but was imported by immigrants from northern Belgium. More here.
-India won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

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