Play cricket

The Cricket
1. Cricket is a bat and ball game played between two teams of 11 players each on a field at the centre of which is a rectangular 22 yard long pitch. Each team takes its turn to bat, attempting to score runs, while the other team fields. Each turn is known as an innings.
The bowler delivers the ball to the batsman who attempts to hit the ball with his bat away from the fielders so he can run to the other end of the pitch and score a run. Each batsman continues batting until he is out. The batting team continues batting until ten batsmen are out, or a specified number of overs of six balls have been bowled, at which point the teams switch roles and the fielding team comes in to bat.

In professional cricket the length of a game ranges from 20 overs per side to Test cricket played over five days. The Laws of Cricket are maintained by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) with additional Standard Playing Conditions for Test matches and One Day Internationals.
Cricket was first played in southern England in the 16th century. By the end of the 18th century, it had developed to be the national sport of England. The expansion of the British Empire led to cricket being played overseas and by the mid 19th century the first international match was held. ICC, the game s governing body, has 10 full members. The game is most popular in Australasia, England, the Indian subcontinent, the West Indies and Southern Africa. .....
The players
2. A cricket team consists of eleven players, including a captain. Outside of official competitions, teams can agree to play more than elevenaside, though no more than eleven players may field. .....
Substitutes
3. In cricket, a substitute may be brought on for an injured fielder. However, a substitute may not bat, bowl, keep wicket or act as captain. The original player may return if he has recovered. A batsman who becomes unable to run may have a runner, who completes the runs while the batsman continues batting. Alternatively, a batsman may retire hurt or ill, and may return later to resume his innings if he recovers. .....
The umpires
4. There are two umpires, who apply the Laws, make all necessary decisions, and relay the decisions to the scorers. While not required under the laws of cricket, in higher level cricket a third umpire (located off the ground and available to assist the onfield umpires) may be used under the specific playing conditions of a particular match or tournament. .....
The scorers
5. There are two scorers who respond to the umpires signals and keep the score. .....
The ball
6. A cricket ball is between 8 13/16 and 9 inches (22.4 cm and 22.9 cm) in circumference, and weighs between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces (155.9g and 163g). Only one ball is used at a time, unless it is lost, when it is replaced with a ball of similar wear. It is also replaced at the start of each innings, and may, at the request of the fielding side, be replaced with a new ball, after a certain number of overs have been bowled (80 in Test matches, 34 in ODIs). The gradual degradation of the ball through the innings is an important aspect of the game. .....
The bat
7. The bat is no more than 38 inches (97 cm) in length, and no more than 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) wide. The hand or glove holding the bat is considered part of the bat. Ever since the Heavy Metal incident, a highly publicised marketing attempt by Dennis Lillee, who brought out an aluminium bat during an international game, the laws have provided that the blade of the bat must be made of wood (and in practice, they are made from White Willow wood). .....
The pitch
8. The pitch is a rectangular area of the ground 22 yards (20 m) long and 10 ft (3.0 m) wide. The Ground Authority selects and prepares the pitch, but once the game has started, the umpires control what happens to the pitch. The umpires are also the arbiters of whether the pitch is fit for play, and if they deem it unfit, with the consent of both captains can change the pitch. Professional cricket is almost always played on a grass surface. However, in the event a nonturf pitch is used, the artificial surface must have a minimum length of 58 ft (18 m) and a minimum width of 6 ft (1.8 m). .....
The wickets
9. The wicket consists of three wooden stumps that are 28 inches (71 cm) tall. The stumps are placed along the batting crease with equal distances between each stump. They are positioned so they are 9 inches (23 cm) wide. Two wooden bails are placed on top of the stumps. The bails must not project more than 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) above the stumps, and must, for mens cricket, be 4 5?16 inches (10.95 cm) long. There are also specified lengths for the barrel and spigots of the bail. There are different specifications for the wickets and bails for junior cricket. The umpires may dispense with the bails if conditions are unfit (i.e. it is windy so they might fall off by themselves). Further details on the specifications of the wickets are contained in Appendix A to the laws. .....
Bowling
10. popping, and return creases. This law sets out the dimensions and locations of the creases. The bowling crease, which is the line the stumps are in the middle of, is drawn at each end of the pitch so that the three stumps in the set of stumps at that end of the pitch fall on it (and consequently it is perpendicular to the imaginary line joining the centres of both middle stumps). Each bowling crease should be 8 feet 8 inches (2.64 m) in length, centred on the middle stump at each end, and each bowling crease terminates at one of the return creases. The popping crease, which determines whether a batsman is in his ground or not, and which is used in determining frontfoot no balls (see law 24), is drawn at each end of the pitch in front of each of the two sets of stumps. The popping crease must be 4 feet (1.2 m) in front of and parallel to the bowling crease. Although it is considered to have unlimited length, the popping crease must be marked to at least 6 feet (1.8 m) on either side of the imaginary line joining the centres of the middle stumps. The return creases, which are the lines a bowler must be within when making a delivery, are drawn on each side of each set of the stumps, along each sides of the pitch (so there are four return creases in all, one on either side of both sets of stumps). The return creases lie perpendicular to the popping crease and the bowling crease, 4 feet 4 inches (1.32 m) either side of and parallel to the imaginary line joining the centres of the two middle stumps. Each return crease terminates at one end at the popping crease but the other end is considered to be unlimited in length and must be marked to a minimum of 8 feet (2.4 m) from the popping crease. .....
Preparation and maintenance of the playing area
11. When a cricket ball is bowled it almost always bounces on the pitch, and the behaviour of the ball is greatly influenced by the condition of the pitch. As a consequence, detailed rules on the management of the pitch are necessary. This law contains the rules governing how pitches should be prepared, mown, rolled, and maintained. .....
Covering the pitch
12. The pitch is said to be covered when the groundsmen have placed covers on it to protect it against rain or dew. The laws stipulate that the regulations on covering the pitch shall be agreed by both captains in advance. The decision concerning whether to cover the pitch greatly affects how the ball will react to the pitch surface, as a ball bounces differently on wet ground as compared to dry ground. The area beyond the pitch where a bowler runs so as to deliver the ball (the runup) should ideally be kept dry so as to avoid injury through slipping and falling, and the Laws also require these to be covered wherever possible when there is wet weather. .....
Innings
13. Before the game, the teams agree whether it is to be over one or two innings, and whether either or both innings are to be limited by time or by overs. In practice, these decisions are likely to be laid down by Competition Regulations, rather than pregame agreement. In twoinnings games, the sides bat alternately unless the followon (law 13) is enforced. An innings is closed once all batsmen are dismissed, no further batsmen are fit to play, the innings is declared or forfeited by the batting captain, or any agreed time or over limit is reached. The captain winning the toss of a coin decides whether to bat or to bowl first. .....
The follow on
14. In a two innings match, if the side batting second scores substantially fewer runs than the side batting first, the side that batted first can force their opponents to bat again immediately. The side that enforced the followon risks not getting to bat again and thus the chance of winning. For a game of five or more days, the side batting first must be at least 200 runs ahead to enforce the followon; for a three or fourday game, 150 runs; for a twoday game, 100 runs; for a oneday game, 75 runs. The length of the game is determined by the number of scheduled days play left when the game actually begins. .....
Declaration and forfeiture
15. The batting captain can declare an innings closed at any time when the ball is dead. He may also forfeit his innings before it has started. .....
Intervals
16. There are intervals between each days play, a tenminute interval between innings, and lunch, tea and drinks intervals. The timing and length of the intervals must be agreed before the match begins. There are also provisions for moving the intervals and interval lengths in certain situations, most notably the provision that if nine wickets are down, the tea interval is delayed to the earlier of the fall of the next wicket and 30 minutes elapsing. .....
Start of play or cessation of play
17. Play after an interval commences with the umpires call of Play, and at the end of a session by Time. The last hour of a match must contain at least 20 overs, being extended in time so as to include 20 overs if necessary. .....
Practice on the field
18. There may be no batting or bowling practice on the pitch except before the days play starts and after the days play has ended. Bowlers may only have trial runups if the umpires are of the view that it would waste no time .....
Scoring runs
19. Runs are scored when the two batsmen run to each others end of the pitch. Several runs can be scored from one ball. .....
Boundaries
20. A boundary is marked round the edge of the field of play. If the ball is hit into or past this boundary, four runs are scored, or six runs if the ball didnt hit the ground before crossing the boundary. .....
Lost ball
21. If a ball in play is lost or cannot be recovered, the fielding side can call lost ball. The batting side keeps any penalty runs (such as noballs and wides) and scores the higher of six runs and the number of runs actually run. .....
The result
22. The side which scores the most runs wins the match. If both sides score the same number of runs, the match is tied. However, the match may run out of time before the innings have all been completed. In this case, the match is drawn. .....
The over
23. An over consists of six balls bowled, excluding wides and no balls. Consecutive overs are delivered from opposite ends of the pitch. A bowler may not bowl two consecutive overs. .....
Dead ball
24. The ball comes into play when the bowler begins his run up, and becomes dead when all the action from that ball is over. Once the ball is dead, no runs can be scored and no batsmen can be dismissed. The ball becomes dead for a number of reasons, most commonly when a batsman is dismissed, when a boundary is hit, or when the ball has finally settled with the bowler or wicketkeeper. .....
No ball
25. A ball can be a no ball for several reasons: if the bowler bowls from the wrong place; or if he straightens his elbow during the delivery; or if the bowling is dangerous; or if the ball bounces more than twice or rolls along the ground before reaching the batsman; or if the fielders are standing in illegal places. A no ball adds one run to the batting teams score, in addition to any other runs which are scored off it, and the batsman cant be dismissed off a no ball except by being run out, or by handling the ball, hitting the ball twice, or obstructing the field. .....
Wide ball
26. An umpire calls a ball wide if, in his or her opinion, the batsman did not have a reasonable opportunity to score off the ball. A ball is called wide when the bowler bowls a bouncer that goes over the head of the batsman. A wide adds one run to the batting teams score, in addition to any other runs which are scored off it, and the batsman cant be dismissed off a wide except by being run out or stumped, or by handling the ball, hitting his wicket, or obstructing the field. .....
Bye and Leg bye
27. If a ball that is not a no ball or wide passes the striker and runs are scored, they are called byes. If a ball that is not a no ball hits the striker but not the bat and runs are scored, they are called legbyes. However, legbyes cannot be scored if the striker is neither attempting a stroke nor trying to avoid being hit. Byes and legbyes are credited to the teams but not the batsmans total. .....
Appeals If the fielders believe a batsman is out
28. they may ask the umpire Hows That?, commonly shouted emphatically with arms raised, before the next ball is bowled. The umpire then decides whether the batsman is out. Strictly speaking, the fielding side must appeal for all dismissals, including obvious ones such as bowled. However, a batsman who is obviously out will normally leave the pitch without waiting for an appeal or a decision from the umpire. .....
The wicket is down
29. Several methods of being out occur when the wicket is put down. This means that the wicket is hit by the ball, or the batsman, or the hand in which a fielder is holding the ball, and at least one bail is removed. .....
Batsman out of his ground
30. The batsmen can be run out or stumped if they are out of their ground. A batsman is in his ground if any part of him or his bat is on the ground behind the popping crease. If both batsman are in the middle of the pitch when a wicket is put down, the batsman closer to that end is out. .....
Bowled
31. A batsman is out if his wicket is put down by a ball delivered by the bowler. It is irrelevant whether the ball has touched the bat, glove, or any part of the batsman before going on to put down the wicket, though it may not touch another player or an umpire before doing so. .....
Timed out
32. An incoming batsman must be ready to face a ball (or be at the crease with his partner ready to face a ball) within 3 minutes of the outgoing batsman being dismissed, otherwise the incoming batsman will be out. .....
Caught
33. If a ball hits the bat or the hand holding the bat and is then caught by the opposition within the field of play before the ball bounces, then the batsman is out. .....
Handled the ball
34. If a batsman wilfully handles the ball with a hand that is not touching the bat without the consent of the opposition, he is out. .....
Hit the ball twice
35. If a batsman hits the ball twice, other than for the sole purpose of protecting his wicket or with the consent of the opposition, he is out. .....
Hit wicket
36. If, after the bowler has entered his delivery stride and while the ball is in play, a batsman puts his wicket down by his bat or his body he is out. The striker is also out hit wicket if he puts his wicket down by his bat or his body in setting off for a first run. Body includes the clothes and equipment of the batsman. .....
Leg before wicket
37. If the ball hits the batsman without first hitting the bat, but would have hit the wicket if the batsman was not there, and the ball does not pitch on the leg side of the wicket, the batsman will be out. However, if the ball strikes the batsman outside the line of the offstump, and the batsman was attempting to play a stroke, he is not out. .....
Obstructing the field
38. If a batsman wilfully obstructs the opposition by word or action, he is out. .....
Run out
39. A batsman is out if at any time while the ball is in play no part of his bat or person is grounded behind the popping crease and his wicket is fairly put down by the opposing side. .....
Stumped
40. A batsman is out when the wicketkeeper (see Rules 40) puts down the wicket, while the batsman is out of his crease and not attempting a run. .....
The wicket keeper
41. The keeper is a designated man from the bowling side allowed to stand behind the stumps of the batsman. He is the only player from his side allowed to wear gloves and external leg guards. .....
The fielder
42. A fielder is any of the eleven cricketers from the bowling side. Fielders are positioned to field the ball, to stop runs and boundaries, and to get batsmen out by catching or running them out. .....
Fair and unfair play
43. Rule 42 of theRulesof the sport of cricket covers fair and unfair play. This law has developed and expanded over time as various incidents of real life unfair play have been legislated against.The first section of law 42 makes clear that the captains of the two teams have the responsibility for ensuring that play is conducted according to the spirit and traditions of the game, as well as within its Laws. This leads to a statement that the umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. It contains an override of the laws of cricket: if either umpire considers an action that is not covered by the laws to be unfair, he can intervene and call the ball dead. .....
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