What About Cricket?
By Humera Gul
Live Wire Intern
What about cricket? It’s an extremely popular game, yet no one in America seems to know anything about it.
Cricket is one of the oldest games in the world. It originated in the 16th century and international matches began being played in 1844. There are no official documents that can prove when Cricket began and where it started, but much of the information that is available states that Cricket was seen during the Saxon or Norman times by children lining in the wheel. In 1877, the practice matches began; during this time Cricket developed in England. Cricket is also the 2nd biggest game after soccer, which people around the world love to watch. An estimated 2.5 billion people watch Cricket from the Asian, Australian, and United Kingdom regions.
Cricket matches involve two teams. Each team has 11 players. At the center of the field there is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. There are two main goals in Cricket; one team is the batting side, and the other is the pitching or rather the balling side. First, the batting side scores as many goals as possible, until all of the team’s players are out, or the team runs out of overs. Similar to baseball, an “over” is like an inning, however, an over consists of six pitches. To score, the batsman must hit the ball with the bat and run to the other side of the wickets. Wickets are three standing sticks, which are placed behind both the batsman and pitcher on each side. Also, the batsman can hit the ball past the boundary rope. If batsman hits the ball past the boundary, then the team would get four to six runs. This is crickets version of a homerun. Second, balling is the action of sending the ball towards the wickets that are defended by a batsman. The pitcher delivers the ball in sets of six, called overs. In professional cricket, it takes around 20 overs per side until the game is over. Who ever has more overs by the end of the game wins.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is an international governing body of Cricket, which was founded as the Imperial Cricket Council in 1990. The ICC Cricket World Cup is the international championship of One Day International (ODI) cricket. The tournament is one of the most viewed sporting events, and it’s also considered the “flagship event of the international cricket calendar” by the ICC. The eleventh ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 started on February 14. Australia and New Zealand hosted the World Cup this year. In cricket, Australia is considered the best team because they won the ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments five times. They won in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and this years 2015 world cup. The West Indies won two times in 1975, and 1979. India also won twice in 1983, and 2011. Pakistan won in 1992 as well as Sri Lanka won in 1996. Fourteen teams participated and played 49 matches. The teams that participated this year in the Cricket World Cup were Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, West Indies, and Zimbabwe.
Like any sport, there are teams which are fierce rivals. For instance, if Pakistan and India are in a cricket match, it’s more like a war. These neighboring countries have fought three wars against each other, and have been rivals since the partition of India in 1947. Around one billion people in Pakistan and India watch this game, and their emotions are extremely high when their teams are performing on the cricket field. It’s similar to the rivalry of Yankees and Red Sox, only worse.
During the summer people love to play this game, even in America, usually in baseball fields. All you need is a bat and ball. It’s the second biggest sport in the world, so why not give cricket a try?