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Cricket Information: Handful and Complete

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History of Cricket

Cricket players in black and white image

A lot of theories and speculations exist about the origin of cricket. Among them, the first reference available dates back to 17 January 1597. Probably, children who lived in south-east England created the game.

France is the place from which the game originated. From the usage of the word, ‘Creag’ historians came to the conclusion and the reference dates back to March 1300. These linked the future King Edward II of France.

Only around the 17th century, adults began to play the game. Until then it remained as children’s game. An older sport ‘bowls’ resembled cricket a lot. In the sport, a batsman tries to stop the ball from reaching the target by hitting it away.

People played the game on grazing land. And so the things used might be a lump of wool and a stick. Moreover, some other farm tools and a tree stump or a stool might be in use.

Interestingly, in the year 1611, two men in Sussex underwent trail for playing cricket on Sunday instead of going to church.

The word cricket resembles the Middle Dutch word, ‘Krick’ which means stick.

During the English Civil War in the early 17th century and the Commonwealth, the sport made no significant progress. Before the English Civil War (1642-1651), village teams played matches.

The sport began to flourish after the Restoration in 1660. As gamblers made large bets, the Cavalier Parliament passed the Gaming Act 1664. The act limited the stakes to £100. Most importantly, it was not a small amount of money at that time.

By the end of the 17th century, cricket became a gambling sport. And there is a newspaper report about a match in Sussex in 1697. In the match, the stake was 50 guineas a side, and the report named it ‘great match.’

In 1696, the press got the freedom, and newspapers were free to report the cricket news. But it took a long time for the press to publish comprehensive reports. In the first half of the 18th century, the media focussed on betting but not on the play.

Because of the gambling and the money involved, patrons began to adopt the sport. And they formed their teams with village experts. In about 1725, an important group of aristocrats and businessmen became patrons, and regular newspaper coverage started. Moreover, the newspapers began to mention individual players.

Cricket began in North America in the 17th century. In the 18th century, other countries like West Indies, India, and Australia followed and played the game. Then it spread to New Zealand and South Africa, in the early years of the 19th century.

The basic rules grew with the game and in 1728, written rules as ‘Articles of Agreement’ came into force. In 1787, MCC became the custodian of the laws of the sport.

After 1760, bowlers began to pitch the ball instead of rolling it on the ground. Following it, from 1772 organizers began to use scorecards.

Many county clubs emerged in the early 18th century, and the most famous one is Hambledon in Hampshire.

The sport survived the Napoleonic wars and began its recovery in 1815.

In 1846, William Clarke created the traveling All-England Eleven, which popularised the sport.

The development of railways assisted the growth of cricket. Teams and spectators began to travel long distances, and the sport spread to all parts of the British empire.

In 1864, the overarm bowling got its legality. Then, the widely known Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack was first published in the same year.

One important event to mention is that the famous cricketer W. G. Grace started his career who was instrumental in popularising the game with his innovations and new techniques.

After that, the US and Canada played the first international cricket match. The countries played the match in the year 1844 at the grounds of St George’s Cricket Club in New York.

In the first-ever overseas tour, a team of English professionals traveled to North America in 1859. In 1862, the first English team toured Australia, and in 1868, the Australian team toured England.

Moreover, the exciting finish of Australia vs. England test match at the Oval in 1882, laid the foundation for The Ashes.

Subsequently, in 1889, South Africa became the third test nation.

With the introduction of the county championship in 1890 in England, national championship tournaments began in other countries. Consequently, countries like India, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand participated.

People started to play the game with only four balls per over. In 1889 it was five balls per over that became a norm. After that, from 1900, six balls per over, came into use as per the rules.

In 1922, organizers tried eight balls per over. And countries like Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa followed it. After that, the 1947 Laws of Cricket allowed six or eight balls per over.

Six balls per over became a norm after the 1979/80 Australian and New Zealand seasons. Later, the version of the Laws in 2000 only permits six-ball overs.

In 1909, England, Australia, and South Africa became the founder members of the Imperial Cricket Conference. Then, West Indies joined in 1928. Consequently, New Zealand became a member in 1930, followed by India in 1932. After the world war, Pakistan joined in 1952. The latest additions are Ireland and Afghanistan; both became members in 2018.

Cricket Ground

cricket ground which is like temple for ardent fans

TV channels present a spectacular view of the cricket ground and the stadium. What else does it require to pull the complete attention of a diehard cricket fan?!

The green flat oval grounds instantly transfer the spirit of the game. Though every cricket ground has its unique history with tons of statistics, grounds like MCG stands out.

Most of the cricket grounds are oval while some are in perfect circles. Grounds with irregular, non- symmetrical shapes are also in use but not many in numbers. However, all the grounds have curved boundaries.

Grounds are of many sizes. By rules, the cricket ground has no fixed size, but the diameter varies from 450 ft to 500ft.

Famous Cricket Grounds

By the name it holds, by the fame it is known and by the history it is cherished, some cricket grounds around the world remain as favorite venues of ardent fans. Not only the fans, but the players also seek the right opportunity to play on some grounds.

Here is the list of top cricket grounds in the world

Lords:

famous lords cricket ground
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The most famous cricket venue got its name from the founder Thomas Lord. It is located in St.John’s Wood in London, and Marylebone Cricket Club – the old and well-known cricket club owns it.

The venue is the home of England Cricket Board, from where ICC moved out in 2005.

The seating capacity is approximately 30,000, and it is not big. What distinguishes the ground is its history. The most famous Marylebone Cricket Club founded it in 1814. Even now, this prestigious sporting venue continues to shine with the Victorian Era glory.

Many test playing nations played their first test here. Most importantly, it hosted four world cups so far and more than 130 test matches. It’s a dream destination for every cricket player and watching a cricket match here makes it a part of history.

The first test match at Lord’s was between England and Australia in 1884 and England won the match. Australia won the test in 1888.

Don Bradman who scored 254 runs here in 1930 and the record remained unbreakable for the next sixty years. In 1990, the English player Graham Gooch hit 333 runs against India.

It’s always exciting to watch out for the next player who hits a ton or who takes five wickets to get named in the honors board in the dressing room.

Moreover, the world’s oldest sporting museum – the MCC Museum in the Lord’s contains the most celebrated memorabilia, including The Ashes.

Melbourne Cricket Ground:

Melbourne cricket ground in Australia
Image Source: www.escapehere.com

The Melbourne Cricket Ground was built in 1853 in Yarra Park, Melbourne, Victoria. It’s the biggest house in the cricketing world, and the seating capacity of MCG is over 100,000.

MCG conducts Cricket, Rugby and Australian Rules Football regularly. Above all, it also hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The locals called the MCG as ‘The G.’ Here at the MCG; the Test match format was born on March 15, 1877, when Australia and England met for a timeless match.

In 1971, England and Australia agreed to play a 40-overs a side match. And it happened when rain affected the three days of the fixed test match. Consequently, it became the origin of one-day internationals.

A huge mass of people in celebration mood gathers here every year for the boxing day match.

Great Southern Stand, MCC Members’ Reserve, Olympic Stand and Ponsford Stand are the four stands that cover the 171m x 146m field.

On February 11, 1984, the ODI between West Indies and Australia ended up in a tie. And the teams made 222.

To sum up, people refer to it as the ‘Spiritual Home of Australian Sport’.

The MCG has the tallest light towers for any sporting venue in the world.

The infamous underarm delivery happened here at MCG on Feb 1, 1981. Then, the Australian captain, Greg Chappell asked the bowler Trevor Chappell to bowl underarm. It was the last ball of the match. Most importantly, New Zealand needed six runs to tie the one day match!

Old Trafford

Image Source: https://www.thecrazytourist.com/

In 1857, the place was first used as a cricket ground. After the Roses match in 1875 and after the bringing in of Gloucestershire in 1878 by W.G.Grace, the spectator strength increased.

In 1884, it hosted the test match between England and Australia which was the first test match on this venue.

In 1902, Australia won the test match by three runs, and it remains as the third-closest test result.

The wickets here are along the East-West axis. It is unique for a test match venue and causes problems for the players during sunset.

Most importantly, the ‘Victory Test’ between England and Australia was very popular and attended by over 75,000 spectators.

Above all, Jim Laker took all the ten wickets in the year 1956 in the match against Australia. He ended the match with 19 wickets for 90 runs which remains unbeatable to this day.

After that, in 1972, Australia and England played the first one day match at this venue.

In 1981 Ian Botham hit 118 which included six sixes which he has called “one of the three innings I would like to tell my grandchildren about.”

Moreover, Sachin Tendulkar scored his first Test hundred in 1990. He was only 17 then and became the second-youngest centurion. With his innings, India managed to draw the match.

Subsequently, in 1993, Shane Warne bowled the “Ball of the Century.” He bowled the batsman Mike Gatting around the legs and astonished all the players and the spectators.

In 2005, the third test between Australia and England in the Ashes series ended in a nail-biting draw. Nearly 10,000 fans didn’t get the entry as they couldn’t get the tickets. In the end, England regained the Ashes title after 20 years.

SCG, Sydney:

Image Source: www.sydneypoint.com.au

When opened in February 1854, the name of the ground was Garrison Ground.

People view Test matches, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 cricket, as well as Australian rules football, rugby league football, rugby union, and association football here.

In 1851, the British Army got a part of the Sydney Common south of Victoria Barracks to use as a garden and cricket ground for the soldiers.

In due course, the teams from Victoria Barracks combined and formed the Garrison Club. The ground known as the Garrison Ground was first opened in February 1854.

The soil and foundation of the ground are of Buli soil from New South Wales, and therefore the ground is one of the spin-friendly international venues in Australia.

In the first match played here in 1854, between Garrison Club and the Royal Victoria Club, Garrison club won the match. In 1878–79 season, when England team toured Australia, a decision by the umpire sparked a riot, and about 2000 spectators invaded the ground. However, one of the umpires Edmund Barton later became the Prime Minister of Australia.

Between 17 February and 21 February in 1882 Australia and England played a test match. It was the first test match in the venue, and Australia won the match.

Most importantly, Englishman Reg “Tip” Foster, scored 287 in an Australia-England match in 1903 and it remained as the highest score in this ground for more than a century.

Moreover, India and Australia played the 100th test match of this venue in January 2012.

In 1928 – 29, Bradman scored the highest ever first-class innings of 452 at the SCG for New South Wales against Queensland.

Hanif Mohammad surpassed it when he scored 499 run out. Then West Indian Brian Lara went to score 501 in 1994.

The 1928–29 season was a big one for cricket. On 15 December, the largest ever crowd to attend a cricket match at the SCG, 58,446, saw Australia and England play. With changes to the ground seating, the record would hold forever.

Shane Warne played his first and final test here.

SCG is the traditional ground for hosting New Year’s Day tests, as well as the traditional final match of the Australian Ashes Series.

On 25 November 2014, in a domestic match, a bouncer from Sean Abbott struck Phillip Hughes’s neck. He not regained his consciousness and later died in the hospital.

SGC is the venue where David Warner scored three consecutive test centuries in 2015 – 17.

On 12 January 2019, Australia won the first ODI against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground by 34 runs, to record their 1,000th win in international cricket.

Eden Gardens:

Image Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/

It was established in 1864 and got its name from the name of the nearby park which is one of the oldest parks in Kolkata.

Initially, the name was ‘Auckland Circus Gardens’ which later became Eden Gardens.

England and India played the first test match of this venue in 1934. The first one day international held here was between India and Pakistan in the year 1987.

In 2011, India and England played the first T20 international in this ground. The first day/night match held here was the hero cup semi-final match.

The Cricket Association of Bengal functions from here. The ground also hosts domestic Indian cricket matches apart from the International matches. It’s the home venue for the T20 fame Kolkata Knight Riders.

Once the seating capacity was 40,000 only, and after the world cup in 1987, the stadium underwent a major renovation to include nearly a lack of people. The stadium witnessed the full, more than one lakh spectators in 6 times.

In 2011, the stadium underwent renovation to meet the standards set by ICC for the 2011 world cup.

The stadium hosted three scheduled World Cup 2011 Matches on 15, 18 and 20 March 2011. In the match between Kenya vs. Zimbabwe, the stadium had the minimal ticket-purchasing crowd in its recorded history with 15 spectators having bought tickets.

Two stands were named after Indian cricketers Sourav Ganguly, and Pankaj Roy and two other stands were named after cricket administrators BN Dutt and Jagmohan Dalmiya.

Notably, four stands were named after Indian soldiers Colonel Neelakantan Jayachandran Nair, Havildar Hangman Dada, Lieutenant Colonel Dhan Singh Thapa, and Subedar Joginder Singh Sahnan.

Eden Gardens is a favorite ground for many players who enjoy the support of the electrifying ground. The former Australian captain Steve Waugh considers the ground as “Lords of the Subcontinent’.

In 2016, a bell was hung in the stadium. It is here to mark the start of the matches, and Kapil Dev was the first person who rang the bell first in 2016, to mark the starting of the match between India and New Zealand.

Newlands, Cape Town:

Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town is a South African cricket ground. The cricket ground was opened in 1888.

Newlands is one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the world. It has Table Mountain as its incredible backdrop and is overlooked by Devil’s Peak.

Newlands Cricket Ground is the home of the Cape Cobras and is also a venue for Test matches, ODIs and T20Is.

In 1845, Jacob Letterstedt, a brewer, presented the land to his daughter, Lydia Corrina, as a wedding present for her marriage with Vicomte de Montmort.

In 1887, the Western Province Cricket Club got the land for rent of £50

The first match was between Mother Country and Colonial Born. Then it became a regular feature.

The Australian team arrived in 1902, and before their arrival, oak trees replaced the large pine tree enclosure. Nearly 10,000 people arrived to see the test match, which was a record then.

An extensive renovation was carried out between 1991 and 1997, and the seating capacity was increased to 25,000.

England and South Africa played the first test match of this venue On 24 March 1889. In that match, England defeated South Africa by an innings and 202 runs.

On 7 December 1992, India and South Africa played the first one-day international of this ground. And South Africa beat India by six wickets in the match.

Most of the grounds in South Africa favor pacemen or batsmen, but this ground supports spinners.

Wanderers, Johannesburg

The stadium was built in 1956, and the seating capacity is 34,000. It is in the place, south of Sandton in Illovo, Johannesburg in Gauteng Province, South Africa.

It got its renovation after the readmission of South Africa into the world of cricket in 1991. In 1996, five new floodlight masts replaced the old shorter masts. ‘Bullring’ is the nickname of the stadium. It is because of the imposing structure and the bullying atmosphere.

Fire destroyed it on 1 October 2004. The old name was Liberty Life Wanderer. The BIDVest group took up the sponsorship in 2008/09. Then the name became BIDVest Wanderers Stadium

The 2003 Cricket World Cup final was held at the Wanderers Stadium.

In 2006, this stadium hosted one of the greatest One-day international matches in which Australia scored 434 runs. South Africa chased the score and won the match.

It also hosted matches of the 2007 ICC World T20 championship.

On 11 January 2015, West Indies chased a world record score of 236 against South Africa in aT20 cricket match.

On 18 January 2015, the Wanderers stadium saw South Africa’s AB de Villiers made the fastest half-century by hitting 50 in 16 balls. He went on to make the quickest century by hitting 100 in 31 balls.

Kensington Oval, Barbados:

It is the oldest and largest ground in Barbados, West Indies. Most importantly, it is the home ground for one of the best cricketers ever, Sir Garfield Sobers. It came into use in the year 1882.

The Kensington Oval stadium is located to the west of the capital city Bridgetown on the island of Barbados.

Local people call it “The Mecca” of cricket. Though it is an eminent sporting facility, it is primarily a venue for cricket.

The history goes back to 120 years, and the stadium hosted many local, national and international matches.

The Pickwick Cricket Club became the formal owner of the ground and cricket began here in 1882.

In 1895 first international match was played here and the first test match between England and West Indies was held here in 1930.

For the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the stadium underwent a major renovation with US$ 45 Million.

The Kensington Oval also hosted many other sports and events other than cricket. It hosted matches of the Barbados national football team, other hockey matches, inter-school athletic events, some pageants, and concerts.

In 2007, Sri Lanka and Australia played the world cup final here in which Australia emerged as the champion.

In the final match of the 2010 ICC T20 international match held here, England and Australia competed for the trophy. England won the match.

Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand:

Image Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz

The famous century-old ground was established in the year 1868 and is located in Mount Cook, Wellington, New Zealand.

The ground is located two kilometers south of Wellington, at the foot of Mount Victoria. The Mount Victoria tunnel was built in 1931, which is located at the eastern end of the basin, increased the flow of traffic around the basin.

The New Zealand Cricket Museum houses cricket memorabilia and a reference library.

The Mount Cook Barracks, the National War Memorial, several colleges and high schools, the Caledonian Hotel and the former Dominion Museum are located around the basin.

A fire station is located near the ground, and the occupants use the siren to celebrate wicket-taking by New Zealand players or for hitting a 50 or 100.

The Basin Reserve was originally a lake. The massive 1855 Wairarapa earthquake which by the estimation of historians was 8 in magnitude, uplifted the area nearly 5.9 ft and turned the lake into a swamp.

With a council meeting on 11 December 1866, the Basin Reserve became Wellington’s official cricket ground. On 11 January 1868, the first game of cricket was played here.

The pavilion is a registered historic place since 1982, and the entire Basin Reserve has the preserved historical place status since 1998.

The first event at the Basin Reserve was a one-day cricket match on 11 January 1868. Wellington Volunteers and the crew of HMS Falcon played the match.

New Zealand and England played the first test match of this venue, which began on 24 January 1930.

The famous New Zealander Sir Richard Hadlee took his 300th Test wicket here, and Martin Crowe scored his brilliant 299. In 1975, he took seven wickets against India, conceding only 23 runs.

The well-known hitter of the ball, Brendon McCullum scored his highest score of 302 against India in 2014 at this venue.

Basin Reserve has a capacity of 11,600 and hosted 61 Test matches, and 29 ODIs. The organizers of the games also conduct Rugby, football and Australian – rules football matches at this venue.

Cricket Pitch

The pitch is the rectangular area with very short grass at the center of the ground. It is the play area, and the rules prescribe certain standards and dimensions.

An individual’s skill in the sport decides the outcome of the match. But the role of the pitch is not insignificant, and it is evident from the extensive data of the available pitch reports.

Cricket Pitch dimensions

The pitch

The size of the field varies from the ground to ground, but the pitch is always a rectangular area of 22 yards (20.12m) in length and 10ft (3.05m) in width.

The popping (batting) crease is at 1.22m in front of the stumps at either end, with the stumps along the bowling crease.

The return creases are at right angles to the popping and bowling creases and have a dimension of 1.32m either side of the middle stumps.

The two sets of wickets at opposite ends of the pitch stand 71.1cm high, and three stumps measure 22.86 cm wide in total.

How are cricket pitches made? What is the whole process?

It’s a dedicated engineering process and let’s explore some vital points here.

A good pitch doesn’t deteriorate quickly and thus maintains the right playing conditions.

The pitch should not lose its firmness in due course of the match, and the bouncing of the ball should not vary considerably.

Generally, the grass on the pitch is of a very thin layer, and for good playing conditions, the thickness should be even to aid the even bounce of the ball.

The playing condition should also help the spinners in turning the ball.

The condition of the pitch varies with the soil used, and it is impossible to maintain uniform conditions in all pitches. The main ingredient, the soil varies, and the climatic conditions which affect the surface of the soil also differ from place to place.

Black soil / Clay soil has good binding qualities but doesn’t dry easily.

Red soil has low binding quality but due to the high porosity, dries easily.

Morrum Soil which is yellowish in color has good binding properties.

Preparation of a New Pitch

The base of the pitch should be hard and firm.

After marking the measurement of the pitch, the soil is taken out, and then the ground is watered and rolled with a heavy roller to make it firm. Ballast stones and soil are filled back up to 9’’ and rolled with a heavy roller to make it firm and heavy.

Then two layers of brick up to 9” thickness are laid.

A very thin layer of charcoal and fine sand are used to fill the gaps between the bricks which also will help in quick drying of the pitch during raining.

A soil mixture of Black/Clay soil, red earth, and morrum soil, is spread over the bricklayer for the next 9” thickness.

Watering the pitch and rolling is carried out daily to maintain the firmness of the pitch. Care is taken to maintain the prescribed thickness of the grass while rolling.

The type of grass on the pitch aids the pace and evenness of the bounce. It should be of a fine and strong texture and is selected by the curator of the ground.

Preparation of the pitch prior to a match

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No heavy roller is used on the pitch, leaving 8 or 10 days to the match. A medium-weight roller of one ton is used, the use of which also be gradually reduced nearer the date of the match.

The watering of the pitch is also gradually reduced and stopped a day before the starting of the match.

On the match day, the pitch should be in a dry condition not only on the surface, and it should not have the dampness to the depth of 3 to 4 inches.

Renovation of the pitch after the match

Image Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/

The Maintaining of good playing conditions of the pitch after a match is vital to keep the game on the right track.

The patches, the spots, the bowler’s foothold and any other weathering of the pitch should not affect the smooth finishing of the ongoing match.

State of the pitch

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The pitch with longer grass and more moisture is termed as a green pitch. The playing conditions become difficult, particularly for the batsmen as predicting the movements of the ball is difficult in green pitches.

A sticky wicket is a waterlogged pitch, which is drying. Playing is difficult, and the condition favors the bowlers. The spinners get more turn and bounce, which makes it tough to play for the batsmen.

A pitch with normal playing conditions also deteriorates when the play goes on and mainly affects the play in test matches. The rules don’t allow watering and reconditioning the pitch is not and the captains elect to bat or bowl as per the nature of the pitch.

Rolling the pitch during or before the starting of the play should follow specific rules.

Sweeping, mowing and clearing the foot holes should follow certain rules and with the right supervision.

Every pitch has its peculiar character and plays an integral part in the outcome of the result. Pitches also influence the selection of a team. For example, the dry pitches in the Indian subcontinent are conducive for the spinners while the Australian pitches help the pace bowlers.

Cricket Rules

Let’s know some basic rules of the popular game. ICC documents are available online for your reference to know the rules completely.

A typical cricket field

Cricket is a bat and ball game played between two teams and each team has 11 players per side.

Each team has to score runs when putting to bat and should take wickets when putting to bowl.

A test match runs for five days, whereas a one day match for a day and a T20 match is still a shorter version, where each team gets only 20 overs to play.

Player: Official Cricket Rules

Every team reserves the 12th man, and he is useful when a player has to leave the field due to injury. He can’t bowl, bat or keeping wicket. He can only act as a substitute fielder.

Two umpires watch the game and are part of the matches to ensure the correct implementation of the rules. They make decisions and conduct the matches as per the rules.

In situations where decision making is hard, the field umpires refer the decision to the third umpire. He uses slow-motion videos and announces his decision.

Game Structure

Test cricket runs for five days, and it has two innings to play. One team has to bowl out the opponent team twice and should score more runs to win the match.

There is no limit to the length of the innings in test cricket. In one day matches, there is a limit of 50 overs per side and in T20 matches the limit is 20 overs per innings.

In the test match the captain who won the toss elect to bat or field first. The bowling team should take all the ten wickets to end the innings. Then only the bowling team could start its batting. The batting team which gets high score could declare the innings though it doesn’t lose all wickets.

Once the second team loses all the wickets, the first team begins the batting for its second innings.

If the first team has scored 200 runs more than the second team, the first team has the option of asking the second team to continue its batting for the second innings. In cricket terms, we call it ‘follow on’.

A team should lose all wickets twice, and the opponent team should score more runs to come out as a winner. In case, a team doesn’t lose all wickets in the second innings on the fifth day and doesn’t score the winning runs; then the match will become a ‘draw.’

To avoid drawing the matches and to make the chances of winning, captains of the team stop the batting innings and calls the opponent for batting. We call it ‘declaring’ the match.

Ways to score runs

The batsmen should run and reach each other’s end to make one run. In a single shot, they could score many runs.

The batsmen also score runs by hitting boundaries. The batsman gets four runs when the ball passes the boundary line after hitting the ground, and he gets six runs when the ball crosses the boundary line by not touching the ground before the passing.

When runs come through boundaries, runs getting by physical running don’t add to the score.

For no balls, wides, byes and leg byes the batting side gets the run, but not the batsman.

The bowler should not cross the line and should not bowl from the wrong place. He/She should not bounce the ball over a certain height, twice in an over and should not bowl full over a certain height. The ball should not roll on the ground before reaching the batsman, and the fielders should not be placed in the wrong positions. The umpire will call it a no-ball if the bowler violates any of the above conditions.

The batsman can score runs in a no-ball. And the team gets one run for the no-ball. The batsman doesn’t get out as it’s a no-ball but getting out the batsman by; ‘run out’ is legal. The rules don’t allow hitting the ball twice, handling the ball or obstructing the field.

The ball which goes wide of the crease and if the umpires feel that the width is wider than the standard delivery, the ball would be declared as a wide ball. In one day matches and T20 matches, the umpires are strict about the ‘ length of the wide’ in wide balls than in test matches.

When the ball passes the batsman without the touch of the bat, he can go for runs, if it’s not wide or not a no-ball. The rules call it a ‘Bye.’

Like ‘Bye,’ “leg Byes’ are the runs get by the batsman when the ball hits the batsman and not the bat. The ball should not be a wide or no-ball. And the batsman should’ve attempted to hit the ball.

How batsman gets ‘out’ as per the rules

Image Source: http://fsclcricket.org/

A batsman gets out in many ways, and it keeps the matches alive. The bowler gets the wicket when he gets the batsman out.

Bowled – If the ball hits the wicket of the batsman and at least dislodges one bail, the batsman will get the ‘out’ signal.

The touching of the ball in gloves, hands, pads, or any other parts of the batsman, does not matter. But the ball should not hit any other person before hitting the wickets.

Caught – When any of the fielders, the wicketkeeper or the bowler catches the ball, he will get out. The ball should not have touched the ground, and the players should catch the ball within the boundary lines.

Leg Before Wicket (LBW) – If the ball hits the batsman directly without touching the bat, he would be given out provided, some conditions are met.

The ball would’ve hit the wickets if the batsman was not there.

The bowler should not pitch the ball on the leg side of the wicket.

The ball should not be pitched outside the off stump.

Stumped – A batsman will get the ‘out’ signal, when he is standing out of the crease and when the wicketkeeper hits the stumps. The batsman should not have attempted for a run.

Run Out – If no part of the body or the bat of the batsman is behind the popping line while the ball is in play and if the fielding side hits the stumps, the batsman will be given out.

Hit Wicket – The batsman should not hit the wicket down by his body or bat when the bowler is in action, or the ball is in play. Doing so will get the batsman out.

Handled The Ball – The rules allow umpires to give ‘out’ for a batsman if he handles the ball with his hand which not touches the bat.

Timed Out – The incoming batsman should be at the playing pitch, within three minutes from the time the outgoing batsman has been dismissed. Otherwise, he will get the ‘out’ signal from the umpire.

Obstructing The Field – The batsman should not obstruct the opposition by his word or action. If he does it willingly, he could be given out.

Cricket Equipments

Bat

English willow or Kasmir willow is the tree useful in making the standard cricket bat. The naturally fibrous and lightweight of the wood makes it suitable for making the bat.

The blade, the handle, and the grip are three parts of the cricket bat.

The flat blade is the area with which the batsman hits the ball. It has a conical handle. The grip is the rubber covering on the handle.

The prescribed length of the bat is 96.5 centimeters, and the width is 10.8 centimeters. Though there is no specified weight, the weight usually is up to 1.4 kilograms.

Ball

Image Source:https://www.rnz.co.nz/

The cricket ball is made of cork and covered with leather. Two pieces of leather-covered the ball and the stitching at the center keeps the leather portions intact, and it gives the bowler the grip while bowling.

The balls are hard and can cause substantial injuries when they hit the body. In a few incidents, it proved fatal also.

The color of the ball is red for test matches, and it is white for one-day matches and T20 matches.

The ball weighs between 155.9 grams to 163 grams, and the circumference is between 22.4cm to 22.9 cm. It’s the specification for men’s cricket.

The weight should be between 139.976 grams, and 143.519 grams and the circumference is between 21.082 cm to 22.606 cm for women’s cricket.

In the early 90s, Orange balls were tried, but the result was not a satisfactory one. The ICC is trialing the use of Pink balls for the day/night series.

Keeper Glove

Wicketkeeper catches the ball, and he/she is the one who faces the balls with full speed. So, the gloves are necessary to protect the fingers and the hands.

The gloves are made of cloth and leather, and it is in the form of hands. It fits exactly with the hands and protects the fingers and the hands.

The inner side of the glove has gaps at the fingertips area, and corks give more protection to the fingers

Wicketkeeper gloves have a web between the thumb and forefinger. Keepers also wear a pair of cotton inner under the main gloves.

Keeper/Batsman Pads

Pads protect the lower limbs of the batsman and the keeper.

Cloth and leather are used in making the pads. Plastics or wood sticks beneath the front portion make the part which faces outward very hard. The rear portion of the pad which touches the limbs is soft and spongy to give comfort to the legs.

Wicketkeeper pads are a little shorter than the ones used by a batsman.

Helmet

It’s an important lifeguarding headgear used by the batsman and the wicketkeeper.

It’s made up of metal and hard plastic. The metallic grill provided at the front protects the face from the beaming ball.

Stumps

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Stumps are cylindrical sticks with a spearheaded end, which goes into the ground. The other end has a groove to place the bails.

Bails

Bails are the small pieces of wood that are placed on the stumps.

The bails are placed on the groove on the stumps, and two bails are placed on the three stumps.

It helps the umpire in making his decisions easy.

How to play cricket

Two bats, six stumps, four bails, and one ball are the minimum requirement to start playing street cricket. But the professional cricket needs more safeguarding equipment and everything, including attire with the prescribed standards.

The keeper wears a webbed glove as the catcher wear in baseball, and he wears helmet and chin guards. No other player in the fielding side except the one, who stands close to the batsman wear helmet and chin guard.

The pitch at the center of the ground is the main playing area. Mark popping crease, two return creases and bowling crease with the standard measurements and set up wickets at both ends of the pitch.

The goal of the game is to score runs by hitting the ball. The fielding side with all the eleven players try to get the batsman out, and the challenge is scoring runs without giving a chance to get out.

Each team has 11 players and a twelfth player in reserve. When two players from the batting side, one who faces the ball is the striker, and the other batsman at the opposite end is called the non-striker, are on the field, all the eleven players from the opponent’s bowling team will be in the field.

The person who bowls the ball is called a bowler, and the person behind the wicket is called as wicketkeeper. All positions in the field where the fielders stand have a specific name and field placements need discussions, and strategies in professional cricket

As per the format of the game, whether it is a One day game, T-20 match or a Test match, the number of innings per side varies between 1 and 2. Each innings has specified number of ‘overs,’ and in each over, a bowler has to bowl six balls.

When a bowler completes six balls, another bowler takes from the other side of the pitch, and the same bowler can’t bowl consecutive overs.

The batsmen, the striker, and the non-striker change positions depending on the runs they get. If a batsman has been declared out, he has to clear the field, and the next batsman from his side enters.

If the fielding team gets ten outs in an innings, the innings comes to an end as there will be no more batsman to continue the innings. In the short format of the cricket, the innings comes to an end with the prescribed number of overs, though the bowling side could not be able to get all the wickets.

With the end of the innings of one side, the reversal of role takes place, and the other team continues to bat in this innings.

Knocking one or two of the bails, or knocking one or all the three stumps get the batsman out and is called as breaking the wicket.

If the bowler hit the stumps when he bowls, the striker is said to be out as bowled.

If a batsman is out of either popping crease and when the ball is on, either the bowler or anyone from the fielding side can hit the stumps with the ball or with the ball in their hand. Then the batsman is said to be ‘run out.’

The non-striker should not stand out of the popping crease when the bowler is about to bowl. Then, the bowler can stop to the bowl and can dislodge the stumps. The non-striker will get the out signal for staying out of the crease.

If the striker misses the ball when tries to hit it and when he stands out of the popping crease, the wicketkeeper can break the stumps and getting the batsman out by this method is known as stumping.

The striker missing the ball and blocks the ball by any of his body parts from hitting the stump is out by ‘Leg before wicket.’ The pitching of the ball, the height, and the direction of the ball are the factors in giving out the batsman by LBW.

The striker should not hit the wicket on his own by the bat or by any of his body parts, while he faces the ball or while he is in action to make the runs. Then it will be ‘hit wicket’

When the striker hits the ball and if the ball hits the non-striker wicket, he will get the ‘out’ signal, provided the non-striker stands outside of the popping crease, and the bowler touches the ball.

If the striker hits the ball in the air, and if any member of the fielding team catches the ball before it hits the ground, the batsman will be declared ‘caught out.’ The batsman scores six runs if the catcher steps over the boundary line at the edge with the ball in his hand.

Field positions in Cricket

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The On and Offside fielding :

The original names were ‘Offside’ and ‘Nearside.’ When the player plays away from his legs it is ‘offside’, and when it is nearer to his legs, it is ‘leg side’ or ‘on side’.

Slips:

It’s the position next to the wicket-keeper to take any ‘slip’ from the batsman.

Point:

The position ‘point’ denotes ‘near the point of the bar.’ Today, we see ‘point’ at the edge of the circle, but as the name suggests, it was a position closer in earlier days.

Gully:

Gully means ‘narrow channel.’ This meaning applies well to the position, which is between slip and point. The gully fielder has to seal the narrow gap through which ball passes.

Third Man:

With the slip and point guard the offside behind the square area, a third fielder is in need to close the gap. The third man is the position at a slightly farther distance.

Covers:

One theory says that it is the position where fieldsmen usually placed the pitch covers after the match. But ‘Covers’ is the position which covers point and midwicket.

Mid-on & Mid-off :

Initially the ‘Middle wicket’’ was the position on the offside between the extra cover and the bowler and we called it ‘Mid-off.’ Subsequently, the need for the position on the leg side formed the placement ‘Mid-on.’

Long on and long off are the same field positions that are farther away from the batsman and nearer to the boundary.

Mid- Wicket:

It is the field position on the leg side between square leg and mid-on and is roughly between 45 to 60 degrees from the bat.

Fine-leg & Square-leg

The term ‘fine’ means straight, and the position denotes the straight line drawn from the stumps of the striker’s or non-striker’s end. If the fielder stands nearer to the batsman, we call the placement as ‘square leg.’

The other terms in the fielding positions like deep, short, and forward denote the direction, distance, and orientation of the fielders.

Batting Techniques in Cricket

Gripping the Cricket Bat

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For both right-handers and left-handers, the grip principles are the same. For a right-hander, the left hand should be at the top of the handle, and for the left-hander, it is his right hand.

You should hold the bat close at the top of the handle, and both hands should be closer. The bottom hand should form the “ V ” between thumb and forefinger while gripping the bat and the upper hand rests comfortably on the top.

Batting Stance

On either side or, on the popping crease, the feet should be one foot apart. The weight of the batsman should be on the balls of the feet and slightly bending the knees give the easy forward or backward movement according to the length of the ball.

Looking the bowler straight over the shoulder, not tilting the head, resting the toe of the bat behind the feet near the wicket and resting the top hand inside the thigh which faces the bowler make your stance perfect and comfortable.

Back Lift

Back lifting is the raising of the bat backward to face the ball. The batsman has to backlift the bat with respect to the length of the ball. The back lifting and moving towards the ball helps the batsman to play the proper shot.

In back lifting, batsman moves the bat back towards the stumps, and at the top of the back lifting, the face of the bat should open towards the second slip. The batsman should keep his head as straight as possible, and the front shoulder should get down while lifting the bat.

The batsman should keep the hands close to the back hip to aid keeping the toe of the bat at around shoulder height. He should complete the forward or backward movement before the downswing of the bat begins

Types of Shots in Cricket

The line, length, and speed of the ball decide the type of shot the batsman has to choose. The batsman loses his wicket because of poor shot selection, and facing the balls is not easy. It needs right shot selection and proper techniques.

There are three lines, which are ‘line of deliveries’ to note while bowling the ball.

The lines are – Off stump and outside, middle stump, and leg stump and outside.

As per the variation in the lengths of the deliveries, there are five types of lengths in bowling

The lengths are – Short length, Full length, Good length, Full Toss, and Bouncer

There are approximately 12 types of shots are available for the batsman to play on either side of the wicket according to the line, length, and speed of the ball.

Back Foot Strokes

The batsman has to move back to face short length deliveries.

Hook Shot: When the ball delivered is up to the height of the head or the shoulder, the batsman has to move backward and swing his bat to the leg side to play the shot. Players generally play the hook shot against fast bowlers, and the intention of the batsman is to keep the ball on the ground while playing the hook shot.

Pull Shot: When the ball delivered is up to the height of the waist, the batsman plays the pull shot. It is played both on the front foot, and back foot and the batsman uses the cross bat to pull the ball to the boundary. This attacking shot is played against both fast bowling and spin bowling.

Square Cut: This back foot shot, which batsmen play in the front foot against slower deliveries, is usually played against the short-pitched, wide of the off-stump deliveries. It is a cross-batted shot that is hit near to 90 degrees from the wicket to the off-side. The batsman makes contact and uses the pace of the ball to deflect it and makes no effort to hit the ball.

Backward Defense: The backward defensive shot is played to stop the fastball which bounces up to the height of the waist. If the batsman doesn’t want to take risks when the ball delivered was just short of the right length, he moves backward and meets the ball on the top of its bounce, in backward defense shot. The front elbow should be in a high position, in line with the ball while the next hand should hold the bat in a relaxed way

Leg Glance: When the ball is bowled slightly on the leg side, ‘leg glance’ is played, and it is a straight-batted shot. The batsman uses the wrist work to flick the ball and deflects the ball towards the square leg or fine leg area. The batsman usually deflects the ball at the last moment while keeping his head and body inside the line of the ball.

Drive: Hitting the ball along the ground by swinging the bat in the vertical line of the ball is known as a drive. It’s a straight-batted shot and the ball moves in front of the batsman along the ground. Depending on the direction the ball travels, we call it as a cover drive, off – drive, straight drive, on- drive or square drive.

Front Foot Strokes:

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To face the full length, half-volley or good length deliveries, the batsman has to move forward to avoid unexpected movements like a bounce or lateral swing.

It helps the batsman to make contact with a ball that either keeps low or bounces higher than expected and is particularly important when the ball is on to the stumps. The strokes played while facing these balls are known as front foot strokes.

Off drive, Straight drive, Cover drive, On- drive, Sweep shot and Forward defense are front foot strokes. We’ve already seen what a drive is. Let’s see about forward defense and Sweep shots.

Forward Defense

When the ball is a good length delivery, the batsman tries to play forward defense. Being in the early stages of the innings or the unpredictable nature of the pitch would tempt the player to play this defensive shot. The good length of the ball also keeps the batsman in check and forces him to play the forward defensive shot.

To face the ball, the batsman moves his foot slightly inside the line of the ball, and he has to transfer his body weight to the front foot by bending the front knee. Simultaneously, his head also moves down over the ball.

Keeping his eye on the ball and his head still, the batsman rotates his shoulder vertically and let the ball to make contact with the full face of the angled bat. The bat will be in a position close, in front of the pad.

Sweep Shot

With his front foot bent and the back foot knee touching the ground, when the batsman swings the bat closer to the ground, it appears like ‘sweeping broom’ and hence the name ‘sweep shot.’

Most players play sweep shot against slow spin bowling, and the intention of the batsman is to hit along the ground for a boundary. Another variation of the sweep shot is ‘slog-sweep,’ in which the batsman hits the ball to get six runs.

Bowling Techniques in Cricket

The action of throwing the ball towards the wicket, with the prescribed hand action, towards the wicket to get out the batsman is bowling.

It is a skill to achieve with intense practice, and there are many types of bowling.

The fast bowlers rely on the pace of the ball, the swing or seam bowlers deflects the ball in the air or after pitching the ball, thus making it difficult for the batsman to play, and the spin bowlers who bowl slowly but with the techniques to turn the ball at an angle, are the main types of bowlers.

The right bowling action with the proper biomechanical technique helps in endurance and long time playing the game without the interruptions by injuries. The efficiency of techniques yields power, spin or swing as the bowler desire.

Pace Bowling

The run-up plays a vital role in fast bowling, and it should be smooth and accelerating. The power of the bowler and the efficiency of the technique decide the pace bowling and the bowler should have the potential to vary the line, length, and speed of the ball as the situation demands. It’s the key to get wickets and contain runs.

As the run-up contributes more than 20% to the velocity of the ball, there should be more emphasis on the proper run-up. The run-up, delivery, and follow-through are the vital parts of bowling with run-up being the most important.

Practicing and adapting the right run-up at an earlier age is the better option as it would be difficult to alter it after the 20s. The run-up places the bowler in a balanced position and avoids the need to put a high physical load when they get to the crease.

The stability of the legs, the compactness of the arms to generate all forces towards the target, the alignment of all body parts with the shoulders and an injury-free technique constitutes the vital parts in the pace bowling.

The bowler’s run-up and foot placement should be in line with the target. The stability in landing the back foot, the direction of the front elbow and the position of the hand and body produce the right delivery.

Spin Bowling

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Spin bowlers bowl the ball with the rapid rotation of the ball. When the ball pitches on the pitch, it doesn’t travel straight and deflects the direction as per the rotation. It would be hard for the batsman to judge and play the ball.

The speed of the spin delivery ranges between 70-90 Km/h, which is significantly slower than the fast bowling.

Wrist spin and finger spin are two biomechanical techniques, and spin bowling has four different categories. The categories are Off -break, left-arm orthodox spin, leg-break and left-arm unorthodox spin.

The spin bowler uses either his/her wrist or fingers to make the ball spin around a horizontal axis which is at an oblique angle to the length of the pitch. The spinning ball also deviates in the air, which is called drift. The combination of spin and drift changes the trajectory of the ball.

Spin bowlers usually get the chance to bowl at the later part of the innings as the worn-out ball gets more grip with the ground and spins well.

Flight, Turn, bounce, drift, and dip are the terms which describe the different trajectories with which spinners bowl to get complex line and length of the ball.

Swing Bowling

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Instead of bowling straight, every bowler wants to change the direction of the ball and make it unpredictable for the batsman. In swing bowling, the direction of the ball changes midair and move sideways as the ball moves towards the batsman. The shining and the state of wear and tear of the ball, the speed of the ball and the bowler’s action are the factors that decide the swing and the effectiveness of it.

Conventional Swing in cricket

Cricket ball swing easily, when it is new and having no wear and tear. The prominent seam and one shiny side aid the swing of the ball.

The bowler has to grip the ball with his middle and index finger on either side of the seam, with the thumb and the third finger holding at the bottom of the ball and should give the needed grip. The shiny side of the ball should face the batsman.

The bowler should release the ball with the seam pointing in the direction of the swing. To get an inswing, he/she has to move the ball from the leg side towards offside and in the reverse direction to get an outswing.

To get the inswing, the bowler has to release the ball with the seam at about 20 degrees inclination towards fine leg. Similarly, to get the outswing, the seam should be at about 20 degrees inclination facing the direction of the slip. The speed which produces better swing is between 30 and 70 mph.

Reverse Sing in cricket

When the ball gets wear and tear, and when it has been bowled for 30 or 40 overs, aerodynamics that works during bowling changes and the ball begins to swing in the opposite direction of the seam and towards the shining side.

The reverse swing works best when the shining side is more smooth, and when the rough side of the ball is rougher. It’s a usual practice that players rub the ball on their pants to make the surface more shining.

The bowler has to grip the ball with the middle and index finger. The fingers should be on either side of the seam with the ball resting on the thumb and the third finger. The bowler should keep the rough side of the ball towards the direction of the swing.

In reverse swing, the side of the ball is reversed from the conventional swing. The shiny side of the ball should face away from the batsman. For bowling an inswing, the seam of the ball should be pointed at about 20 degrees towards the slip fielders, and for the outswing, it should be pointed towards the fine leg.

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Famous Players

Sir Donald Bradman

Cricket player Don Bradman
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Donald George Bradman was born on Aug 27 in 1908, in Cootamundra, New South Wales, Australia. He is always remembered for his 99.94 batting average in test cricket. At the age of 19, he made his first-class debut at the Adelaide Oval. He scored 118 in the match and exhibited fast footwork, calm confidence and rapid scoring which later became his trademarks. He made his first test debut against England at Brisbane. In the third test in the series, he scored his first century and became the youngest centurion.

He scored 6996 runs in his 52 -test career and remains as the fastest to reach each 1000 runs mark. He batted 80 times in total in test cricket to achieve an incredible average of 99.94. In 1930 tour of England he scored 974 runs which still stands as the record. In his final test in Oval, he was dismissed for a duck and missed the 100% average just by four runs. He died on February 25, 2001, Kensington Park, Adelaide, South Australia (aged 92 years 182 days)

Sachin Tendulkar

Cricket Player Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was born on 24th April 1973. Mr.Ramesh Tendulkar and Mrs.Rajini Tendulakar are his parents. During school days he attended MRF Pace Foundation to become a fast bowler. But Dennis Lillee, the famous Australian cricketer who was the coach then advised him to concentrate on his batting. Mr.Ramakant Achrekar was his coach in his school days. He is an aggressive batsman with perfect footwork. He scored a high number of runs in school leagues and domestic cricket. Moreover, it paved the way to enter the national team.

Sachin made 583 runs in 1988-89 Ranji Trophy, and he was the highest run-getter. He made his international debut at the age of 16 in the year 1989 against Pakistan. In 1990 he scored a test century against England in Old Trafford. He not only saved the team from defeat but also became the second-youngest centurion. In the history of batting, he touched almost all milestones and holds many records. He is the only player who scored more than 30,000 runs in international cricket. Moreover, he is the only player who scored 100 centuries. Then he also became the first batsman to score a double ton in ODI. In 2013, he retired from cricket in his home ground Wankhede Stadium.

Want to know more about the Maestro? Read Sachin Tendulkar

Wasim Akram

Cricket player wasim akram
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Wasim Akram was born on 3 June 1966. He is one of the fast bowlers who contributed a lot to the game of cricket. He is popularly known as the Sultan of Swing. This left-arm fast bowler is an all-rounder, and he played some vital innings with his bat and earned victories for his team. He was the first bowler to take 500 ODI wickets and still holds the record for most wickets by a seamer. His performance in the trails matches convinced Javed Miandad, and he included Wasim in the national team without much domestic experience.

Akram made his international debut against New Zealand on 23rd November 1984, in the second ODI. In 1985-86 Austral-Asia Cup final, he played an important role to win the close contest match against India. He gained the attention when he claimed five wickets against Australia in his 3rd ODI. Pakistan won the 1992 world cup and in the final Akram hit 33 of 18 balls and his bowling figure was 3/49. He got 17 four-wicket hauls in his career and won 22 Man of the Match awards. Akram won Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1993 for his sporting achievements. He is the first bowler to take more than 400 wickets in both ODI and Tests in international cricket. Akram is the only bowler who got four hat-tricks. He also scored unbeaten 257 runs in 363 balls in a test match against Zimbabwe.

Steve Waugh

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Steve Waugh, was born on 2nd July 1965 in Canterbury, Sydney. He was a middle-order, right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium pacer. To start with, his score of 187 that waugh made in the U19 test series for Australia at Melbourne helped him to get a place in New South Wales state squad in the 1984-85 season. Subsequently, he made his debut against India in 1985 at Melbourne. He rose to fame in the 1987 ICC World Cup where his tight overs at the end resulted in victories against India, Zimbabwe and New Zealand. Moreover, Steve made 167 runs and took 11 wickets, and Australia won the tournament for the first time.

In the 1989 Ashes series, he made 506 runs. In 1995 he made 231 in partnership with Mark Waugh and helped Australia to end the 15 years winning streak of West Indies. He became captain of the team in 1999-00 season, and under his captaincy, Australia won 41 out of 57 test matches and 67 out of 106 ODIs. The consecutive 16 winnings of test matches remain a record. In the 1999 world cup, he scored 120 against South Africa which helped Australia to reach the semi-finals and won the world cup at the end. The National Trust of Australia included him as one of the hundred Australian Living Treasures. In 2003 he got the Order of Australia and entered into the list of ICC Hall of fame in 2010.

Brian Lara

Cricket player Brian Lara

Brian Charles Lara was born on 2 May 1969, in Santa Cruz, Trinidad & Tobago. Crossing the borders and nations he has many ardent fans for his batting style including players and professionals. At the age of 14, he made 745 runs and selected for Trinidad’s Under -16 team. Then he got into the Under-19 team and later became the youngest captain of Trinidad and Tobago. Moreover, his international debut was against Pakistan.

In January 1993, he scored 277 runs against Australia in Sydney, and West Indies won the series 2-1. Most importantly, he holds many records in scoring three digits runs. He scored 501 runs against Warwickshire in first-class cricket and 375 runs against England. Similarly, Lara is the only player who scored 400 in test cricket, and he scored nine double centuries. Moreover, in 1999, in the test series against Australia, he scored three hundred consecutively in three matches. As the captain of the West Indies team, he earned many victories. On 21st April 2007, Lara played his final match against England and retired from playing cricket.

Muttiah Muralitharan

Cricket player Muthiah Muralitharan

Muttiah Muralitharan was born on April 17, 1972. He is one of the best test cricketers, and he is a right-arm off-break bowler. With the unique bowling techniques, he made several records and served the Sri Lankan team for 19 years. He started his off-spin bowling when he was 14, and he got a place in the school team by exhibiting his performance. Furthermore, he got a hundred wickets in the final two years of his schooling. In the school days itself, he performed splendidly as an allrounder, and he earned ‘Bata School Boy Cricketer of The Year’ in 1990.

As a consequence, he made his test debut against Australia in the home series in 1992. His contribution gave the relatively new Srilankan team a two-match victory in the five-match series. Above all, in his international cricket career, he took 800 test wickets in 230 innings and 534 ODI wickets in 341 innings. The record still holds as the highest wicket-taker. His expertise in performance increases with years, and from the year 2000 to the year 2008, he took 539 wickets in 76 matches at an average of just 19.76 runs per wicket. Most amusingly, he picked his 800th wicket in the last ball he bowled in his career.

Jacques Kallis

Cricket Player Jacques Kallis

The South African cricketer was born on 16th October in 1975 in Cape Town. He attended Wynberg Boy’s School and played cricket for the school. When playing for Netherfield CC in Northern England, he proved himself as a great all-rounder, and his scoring average was 98.97. Subsequently, his test debut happened, and it was against England in 1995, and his career was a slow start. He made an impact when he scored 61 against Pakistan in 1997.

Kallis began to perform consistently well and during the years 1998 – 2002, he was one of the leading all-rounders, and he was the reason behind winning the ICC champions trophy in 1998 by getting two ‘Man of matches’ and player of the series awards. Moreover, he scored five consecutive test centuries and was one among the names in ICC World XI, continuously. He played for Kolkotta Night Riders in IPL, and his teammates called him as the most effective player. Most importantly, his distinguished feat was getting more than 10,000 runs and over 250 wickets in both the format of the game, and he got 131 ODI catches also. His last match was against Sri Lanka, and he retired in 2014.

Chris Gayle

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Christopher Henry Gayle was born on September 21, 1979. The Jamaican Cricketer has made many records not only in ODIs and T20s but also in test cricket too. He plays for Jamaica in the domestic cricket and is also a part of the Royal Challengers team in IPL and Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League. To start with, Gayle made his ODI debut at the age of 19 and played against Zimbabwe in his first international test match. In 2002 he scored three centuries against India, and he scored 1000 runs in a calendar year in the season.

He made 317 against South Africa which saved the match in 2005. Moreover, in 2006 ICC Champions trophy Gayle got the man of the tournament award, and West Indies retained the cup. He scored 474 runs and took eight wickets. Moreover, he scored a massive 215 in 147 balls against Zimbabwe in the 2015 ICC World Cup and became the first person to score a double century in the history of the world cup. In the IPL, he scored a century with a strike rate of 200 for Royal Challengers, Bangalore in his debut. In 2013 IPL he hit 175 in 66 balls and holds the record for the highest individual score. Similarly, he is the first who hit 100 sixes in T20 matches.

Shane Warne

Cricket player Shane Warne
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Shane Keith Warne was born on 13 September 1969 in Upper Ferntree Gully, a suburb of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. Most importantly, he is the greatest leg spinner ever played international cricket. Moreover, Warne breathed new life into leg-spin, which was waning from cricket, and he is the main reason for making it an integral part of the game. He will ever be remembered for the one delivery which completely deceived the English player Mike Gating. His international debut was on 2nd January 1990 at Sydney, in a test match against India.

However, the team management dropped him because of the initial poor performances. But, when recalled later in the series, he took the match-winning 7/52. Most importantly, in 1994 he took 12 wickets in the second test match against South Africa and earned a prominent place in the team. In 1996 World Cup, he took four wickets against the West Indies and his figure 4/36 was instrumental in winning the semi-final. He signed as the captain of Rajasthan Royals in IPL matches and guided the team to the title in 2008. He announced his retirement from international cricket in 2007.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Cricket player Dhoni

He was born on 7th July in 1981 in Ranchi, Bihar, India. In 1999 -2000, for Cooch -Bihar trophy, he played for the Bihar U19 team. Then in the year 2004, he went to Nairobi on an India A tour of Kenya. In the tournament, he made two centuries in the triangular tournament which paved the way for his selection in the national team. Subsequently, he made his ODI debut in 2004 against Bangladesh, and his test debut was in 2005 against SriLanka. In the second test, he made a quick 51, which helped the team to win the match.

Most importantly his 148 runs in 123 balls against Pakistan and 183 runs in 145 balls against Sri Lanka, rose him to fame. He continued his match-winning knocks. After the poor show in the 2007 ICC world cup match, he regained his composure and continued his form. He played a vital part in winning the 2011 ICC World Cup for India. Similarly, as a captain, he was very successful and won all ICC titles. In 2018 Dhoni became the first wicket-keeper to effect 400 dismissals in ODI cricket, and he is the only wicketkeeper in ODI to have 100 stumpings to his name.

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