Friday, March 20, 2009

The Wonderful World of Cricket!

I mentioned Cricket in my last post, so i have decided to make you guys who have no idea what it is aware of exactly what this great sport entails. The rules, the history and what it means to English people will be covered in this post and will hopeful answer the questions, i know you have all been eager to hear. Cricket started way back in the 16th century, with international matches played since 1844, During this time, the game developed from its origins in England into a game which is now played professionally in most of the commonwealth of nations. Just like soccer, (football) England is the home of cricket and is widely popular throughout the country. Cricket is a team sport for two teams of eleven players each. A formal game of cricket can last anything from an afternoon to several days. Although the game play and rules are very different, the basic concept of cricket is similar to that of baseball. Teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs, while the opposing team fields and attempts to bring an end to the batting team's innings. After each team has batted an equal number of innings (either one or two, depending on conditions chosen before the game), the team with the most runs wins.
Equipment plays a big role in the game of cricket and here is a run through of what is needed to play.

Cricket ball
- Hard, cork and string ball, covered with leather. A bit like a baseball (in size and hardness), but the leather covering is thicker and joined onc two sides,the stitching is raised slightly. The ball weighs between 156 and 163 grams (5.5 to 5.75 ounces). Traditionally the ball is dyed red, with the stitching left white. Nowadays white balls are also used, for visibility in games played at night under flood lighting. Cricket Bat- The bat is made of willow, flat on one side, humped on the other for strength, attached to a sturdy cane handle. It is a similar size to a baseball bat.Wickets- There are two . Stumps- Three wooden posts, 32 inches high and barely wide. They have have spikes at the bottom so they can be hammered into the ground in an evenly spaced row. This means they are just close enough together that a cricket ball cannot pass between them. Protective Gear- Pads, gloves, helmet, etc for batsmen to wear to prevent injury when struck by the ball. Shoes- Trainers usually with spiked soles for grip on the grass, a bit like golf shoes. Clothing- For games played with a red ball, the clothing must be white or cream. With a white ball, players usually wear uniforms in solid team colours. My team, Yorkshire play there matches with a white ball in blue. Cricket still remains a major world sport in terms of participants, spectators and media interest.The ICC (international cricket corporation) has expanded its Development Program with the goal of producing more national teams capable of competing at an international level. The United States are one of the nations targeted expand the game of cricket.

Above: the England cricket captain, Andrew Strauss.

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