Many people say cricket is a rather confusing sport.
This, however, is a popular misconception.
The following article, written by Ed Conrad, makes understanding
the game SO SIMPLE that even a second- or third-grader can easily
God bless Ed Conrad who will be interviewed by Piers Morgan on
CNN at 9 p.m. Monday. The last 15 minutes will be Piers' exclusive
interview with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.
We begin this BRIEF lesson with a map of a cricket field showing
where the players play (as well as what these players are called).
--------------------------------- 1 wicket
/ \ 2 first
/ e h \ 3 second
/ \ 4 third
/ \ 5 gully
/ \ 6 point
/ \ 7 cover
/ 2 j \ 8 extra
| 43 1 d | 9 mid-off
| 5 | a mid-on
| 6 # i c | b mid-
| # | c square
| 7 # b | d leg slip
| 8 | e third
| | f long
\ 9 a / g long on
\ / h fine
\ / i bat-
\ / + deep
\ / * silly
\ f g / ~ backward
\ / eg.
--------------------------------- j deep backward
Other modifiers used to qualify positions:
< KEEP IT SIMPLE
SQUARE: close to a line perpendicular to the pitch, through the
FINE: close to a line straight along the pitch;
SHORT: close to the batsman.
One-day cricket differs significantly from first class cricket. A
day match is played on a single day. Either a red or a white cricket
ball may be used, and play under artificial lighting is common.
Each team gets only one innings, and that innings is restricted to a
maximum number of overs. Usual choices for the number of overs are
55, or 60. Recently, an abbreviated form of the games has been
developed called Twenty20, with a maximum of 20 overs per innings.
Each innings is complete at the end of the stipulated number of
no matter how many batsmen are out. If ten batsmen are out before the
full number of overs are bowled, the innings is also over. If the
first team's innings ends in this manner, the second team still has
its full number of overs to score the required runs. The timing of
innings and the break between them are not regulated.
Whichever team scores the most runs wins. A tied score stands. There
is no draw result. If the match is washed out, so that the innings
not played, the game is declared a no-result.
In each innings, each bowler is restricted to bowling a maximum
of overs equal to one fifth of the total number of overs in the
innings. Either a single new ball is used for each innings, or two
balls which are alternated between overs. (This is often done with
white balls because they wear much faster than red balls.) New balls
are never taken during an innings, but replacements for lost or
damaged balls are taken as in first class matches.
In case of rain interruption to the first innings, the number of
for each innings is recalculated so that they will be the same. If
rain interrupts the second innings, making it impossible for an equal
number of overs to be bowled, the number of runs scored by the first
team is adjusted to compensate. The standard adjustment formula now
used is the "Duckworth-Lewis method", which is arcane even for
aficionados and too complicated to describe here. There is also a
predetermined number of overs that must be bowled in each innings for
any result to be considered valid; if this limit is not reached the
game is a no-result.
Because of the emphasis on scoring runs quickly, wide balls and high
balls (called as no ball) are enforced much more strictly in one-day
One-day competitions are played either as Series between pairs of
international teams, round-robin competitions among groups of
international teams, or round-robins among domestic teams. A World
one-day competition is played between all the Test nations every four
STRATEGIES, TACTICS AND TRIVIA
All of the rules of cricket have been described above, as well as
other information which is not "rules", such as names of fielding
positions. The rest of this file concerns other information that is
useful to know, but not actually "rules".
There are two basic approaches to bowling: fast and spin. A fast
bowler bowls the ball as fast as practicable, attempting to defeat
batsman with its pace. If the ball also swings in the air, or seams
(moves sideways) off the pitch because of bouncing on the seam, it
be very difficult to play. A spin bowler has a more ambling run-up
uses wrist or finger motion to impart a spin to the ball. The ball
then spins to one side when it bounces on the pitch, thus also
hopefully causing it to be hard to hit. Fast bowlers are generally
used with a new ball, while spin bowlers get more spin with a worn
ball. There is also medium pace bowling, which concentrates more on
swing and seam than pace.
A swing bowler will hold the seam of the ball at a certain angle and
attempt to release the ball so that it spins with the seam at a
constant angle. With one side of the ball polished and the other
rough, differential air pressure will cause it to swing in the air.
A seam bowler attempts to keep the seam vertical, so that the ball
hits the seam when it bounces on the pitch and deflects in its path
either to the right or left.
A fast bowler can also pull his fingers down one side of the ball as
he lets it go, imparting a small amount of sideways spin to the ball.
This can cause the ball to move sideways off the pitch. Such a
delivery is called a leg-cutter if the ball moves from the leg side
the off side of a right-handed batsman, or an off-cutter if moves
the off to the leg. A specialist spin bowler can get a lot more spin
that a fast bowler bowling cutters, however.
There are two types of spin bowling: off-spin, and leg-spin. Imagine
holding a ball in your right hand and, for simplicity's sake,
it. If you twist your hand in a clockwise direction on release, then
the spin on the ball will be such that when it bounces it will spin
your right. This is essentially off-spin bowling (so called because,
to a right-handed batsman, the ball spins from the off side to the
side). The off-spin delivery itself is called either an off-spinner
an off-break. An off-spin bowler will sometimes not spin the ball so
much, putting more pace on the delivery. Such a delivery is called an
Now imagine twisting the ball anticlockwise and releasing it from the
palm so that it 'rolls' over the base of the little finger. This
the ball spin in the opposite direction, so it spins left when it
bounces. This is basic leg-spin (because to a right-handed batsman it
spins from leg to off). The basic leg-spin delivery is called a leg-
spinner or leg-break.
The interesting thing about leg-spin is that if you*** your wrist
various angles you can in fact, with the same basic bowling action,
produce spin in different directions. With the wrist***ed a little
towards the inside of the arm, you can produce top-spinners. Go
further and you actually end up producing spin in the same direction
as an off-spinner. A ball bowled in this way by a leg-spin bowler is
called a wrong 'un, or sometimes a googly . Probably trickiest of all
is a ball bowled with the hand in the same position as a top-spinner,
but released from under the hand, thereby gaining back-spin. This
is called a flipper.
(A flipper is actually bowled from the back of the hand like a normal
leg-spinner, but with the forearm twisted outwards, so the ball spins
about a vertical axis. I'm not sure which of these is correct.)
IU also have kindly supplied a graphic which attempts to show the arm
and wrist action of the different leg-spin deliveries. Sorry for
with only ASCII browsers, but this is too difficult to show in ASCII!
For those of you with graphical browsers, the following diagram shows
a view of a (right-handed) leg-spinner's arm, from in front (i.e.,
batsman's point of view). The rotation of the ball out of the hand is
the same in each case, with the ball spinning with the seam as an
So right handed spinners fall into two classes: off-spinners, with
their simple off-spin and arm-ball deliveries; and leg-spinners, with
their leg-spinners, top-spinners, wrong 'uns, and flippers. Leg-
spinners are naturally much more difficult to bat against, because of
the great ...
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