Cricket is a complex sport with a set of rules that govern how the game is played. Here are the basic rules of cricket:
1. Teams: Cricket is played between two teams, with each team consisting of 11 players.
2. Pitch: The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch, which has a rectangular area called the wicket at each end. The wickets consist of three vertical stumps with two bails balanced on top.
3. Innings: Each team gets a turn to bat and bowl. An innings is completed when 10 of the 11 batsmen are dismissed, or a set number of overs (a fixed number of deliveries) are bowled.
4. Batting: The aim of the batting team is to score runs. Two batsmen are present on the field at a time, and they try to score runs by hitting the ball with their bats and running between the wickets. If the ball is hit to the boundary without touching the ground, the batting team scores four runs. If it is hit over the boundary without touching the ground, the team scores six runs.
5. Bowling: The bowling team aims to dismiss the batsmen and restrict the scoring. The bowler delivers the ball towards the batsman, trying to get them out by hitting the wicket or inducing a catch by fielders.
6. Fielding: The fielding team tries to prevent the batting team from scoring runs by fielding the ball and attempting to dismiss the batsmen. Fielders can catch the ball in the air, hit the stumps to run out batsmen, or stump them if they are outside their crease.
7. Runs and Extras: Runs are scored by the batting team through hitting the ball and running between the wickets. Extras are runs awarded to the batting team without the batsman hitting the ball, such as wides (balls that are too wide for the batsman to hit) and no-balls (illegal deliveries).
8. Dismissals: Batsmen can be dismissed in various ways, including:
– Bowled: The ball hits the stumps, and the bails are dislodged.
– Caught: The ball is caught by a fielder without bouncing.
– LBW (Leg Before Wicket): The ball hits the batsman’s leg, and the umpire judges that it would have hit the stumps if the leg wasn’t in the way.
– Run Out: The fielding team hits the stumps with the ball while the batsman is outside their crease and not attempting a run.
– Stumped: The wicketkeeper removes the bails while the batsman is outside their crease and not attempting a run.
– Hit Wicket: The batsman accidentally hits the stumps with their bat or body while playing a shot.
– Timed Out: The incoming batsman fails to arrive on the field within a specific time after the dismissal of the previous batsman.
These are the fundamental rules of cricket, but the game has additional complexities and variations depending on the format (such as Test, One-Day International, or Twenty20) and specific regulations set by the governing bodies of cricket, such as the International Cricket Council (ICC).