Cricket is a sport played for over 800 years. It became professional in the 17th century and global in the 18th century. It involves two teams of 11 players who bat and score runs by running back and forth between wickets. The game is played on a grassy rectangular field with two sets of wickets. Cricket follows a set of 42 rules, and players usually stay in one position. Games are supervised by two on-field umpires, and innings can last up to six hours a day. Cricket is an outdoor sport and cannot be played on rainy days or at night.
Cricket has been a sport played around the world for more than eight centuries. Indeed, there is written evidence of Prince Edward playing cricket in 14th century England. It was not until the 17th century, however, that cricket became a professional sport played in competitions, and it was not until a hundred years later that it became known throughout the world.
Cricket is played by two teams of eleven players each, who take turns tossing a leather ball. At first glance, cricket looks somewhat similar to baseball, with players batting a ball and trying to score as many runs as possible. The differences, however, are many. To begin with, cricket is played with a flat, rather than rounded, bat, and players do not run up a square to score a run, but run forward in an attempt to reach the opposite end of the field. If the ball is hit hard enough to go the distance, a player may continue running back and forth between opposite ends, scoring a point each time he completes the full distance.
A cricket pitch is always a grassy rectangle measuring 66 x 10 feet (20.12 x 3.05m). Two sets of wickets (consisting of three logs and two bars each) are placed at each end of the field. Several additional lines mark the infield and outfield areas, used to determine whether a pass is legal based on the player’s position and the direction of the ball.
Cricket follows a system of 42 Rules, which can be changed before a match if both teams agree. This mainly applied to the field, the playing structure and the positioning of the players. Players usually stay in one position, either as batsmen or bowlers; all-rounders (players who can take either position in any given game) are rare and considered extremely valuable on a team. Games are supervised by two on-field umpires known as umpires, although a third off-field umpire is sometimes involved in international matches. Cricket innings are extremely long, up to six hours a day, with several breaks for coffee and refreshments. Cricket cannot be played on rainy days or at night; while some indoor cricket games do exist, the sport is meant to be played outdoors.