Cricket

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player (so they are "out"). Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground. When ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches. They communicate with two off-field scorers who record the match's statistical information.

There are various formats ranging from Twenty20, played over a few hours with each team batting for a single innings of 20 overs, to Test matches, played over five days with unlimited overs and the teams each batting for two innings of unlimited length. Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. In addition to the basic kit, some players wear protective gear to prevent injury caused by the ball, which is a hard, solid spheroid made of compressed leather with a slightly raised sewn seam enclosing a cork core which is layered with tightly wound string.

Historically, cricket's origins are uncertain and the earliest definite reference is in south-east England in the middle of the 16th century. It spread globally with the expansion of the British Empire, leading to the first international matches in the second half of the 19th century. The game's governing body is the International Cricket Council (ICC), which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches. The game's rules are held in a code called the Laws of Cricket which is owned and maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. The sport is followed primarily in the Indian subcontinent, Australasia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, southern Africa and the West Indies, its globalisation occurring during the expansion of the British Empire and remaining popular into the 21st century.[1] Women's cricket, which is organised and played separately, has also achieved international standard. The most successful side playing international cricket is Australia, having won seven One Day International trophies, including five World Cups, more than any other country, and having been the top-rated Test side more than any other country.

Cricket
Eden Gardens under floodlights during a match
Highest governing bodyInternational Cricket Council
First played16th century; South-East England
Characteristics
Contactno
Team members11 players per side (substitutes permitted in some circumstances)
Mixed genderyes, separate competitions
TypeTeam sport, Bat-and-Ball
EquipmentCricket Ball, Cricket Bat, Wicket (Stumps, Bails), Various protective equipment
VenueCricket Field
GlossaryGlossary of cricket terms
Presence
Country or regionWorldwide but most prominent in the Indian Sub-Continent, Australia, British Isles, Southern Africa, West Indies
Olympicno (1900 Summer Olympics only)

History

Origins

Cricket is one of many games in the "club ball" sphere that basically involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement; others are baseball, golf, hockey, tennis, squash, badminton, and table tennis.[2] In cricket's case, a key difference is the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket (originally, it is thought, a "wicket gate" through which sheep were herded), that the batsman must defend.[3] The cricket historian Harry Altham identified three "groups" of "club ball" games: the "hockey group", in which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets (the goals); the "golf group", in which the ball is driven towards an undefended target (the hole); and the "cricket group", in which "the ball is aimed at a mark (the wicket) and driven away from it".[4]

It is generally believed that cricket originated as a children's game in the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the medieval period.[3] Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597 (Julian calendar; equating to 30 January 1598 in the Gregorian calendar). The case concerned ownership of a certain plot of land and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that:[5][6][7]

"Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies".

Given Derrick's age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school and so it is certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in Surrey.[7] The view that it was originally a children's game is reinforced by Randle Cotgrave's 1611 English-French dictionary in which he defined the noun "crosse" as "the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket" and the verb form "crosser" as "to play at cricket".[8][9]

One possible source for the sport's name is the Old English word "cryce" (or "cricc") meaning a crutch or staff. In Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, he derived cricket from "cryce, Saxon, a stick".[5] In Old French, the word "criquet" seems to have meant a kind of club or stick.[10] Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch (in use in Flanders at the time) "krick"(-e), meaning a stick (crook).[10] Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word "krickstoel", meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket.[11] According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of Bonn University, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for hockey, met de (krik ket)sen (i.e., "with the stick chase").[12] Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but also the sport itself may be of Flemish origin.[12]

Growth of amateur and professional cricket in England

Historical cricket bat art
Evolution of the cricket bat. The original "hockey stick" (left) evolved into the straight bat from c. 1760 when pitched delivery bowling began.

Although the main object of the game has always been to score the most runs, the early form of cricket differed from the modern game in certain key technical aspects. The ball was bowled underarm by the bowler and all along the ground towards a batsman armed with a bat that, in shape, resembled a hockey stick; the batsman defended a low, two-stump wicket; and runs were called "notches" because the scorers recorded them by notching tally sticks.[13][14][15]

In 1611, the year Cotgrave's dictionary was published, ecclesiastical court records at Sidlesham in Sussex state that two parishioners, Bartholomew Wyatt and Richard Latter, failed to attend church on Easter Sunday because they were playing cricket. They were fined 12d each and ordered to do penance.[16] This is the earliest mention of adult participation in cricket and it was around the same time that the earliest known organised inter-parish or village match was played – at Chevening, Kent.[5][17] In 1624, a player called Jasper Vinall died after he was accidentally struck on the head during a match between two parish teams in Sussex.[18]

Cricket remained a low-key local pursuit for much of the century.[9] It is known, through numerous references found in the records of ecclesiastical court cases, to have been proscribed at times by the Puritans before and during the Commonwealth.[19][20] The problem was nearly always the issue of Sunday play as the Puritans considered cricket to be "profane" if played on the Sabbath, especially if large crowds and/or gambling were involved.[21][22]

According to the social historian Derek Birley, there was a "great upsurge of sport after the Restoration" in 1660.[23] Gambling on sport became a problem significant enough for Parliament to pass the 1664 Gambling Act, limiting stakes to £100 which was in any case a colossal sum exceeding the annual income of 99% of the population.[23] Along with prizefighting, horse racing and blood sports, cricket was perceived to be a gambling sport.[24] Rich patrons made matches for high stakes, forming teams in which they engaged the first professional players.[25] By the end of the century, cricket had developed into a major sport which was spreading throughout England and was already being taken abroad by English mariners and colonisers – the earliest reference to cricket overseas is dated 1676.[26] A 1697 newspaper report survives of "a great cricket match" played in Sussex "for fifty guineas apiece" – this is the earliest known match that is generally considered top-class.[27][28]

The patrons, and other players from the social class known as the "gentry", began to classify themselves as "amateurs"[fn 1] to establish a clear distinction vis-à-vis the professionals, who were invariably members of the working class, even to the point of having separate changing and dining facilities.[29] The gentry, including such high-ranking nobles as the Dukes of Richmond, exerted their honour code of noblesse oblige to claim rights of leadership in any sporting contests they took part in, especially as it was necessary for them to play alongside their "social inferiors" if they were to win their bets.[30] In time, a perception took hold that the typical amateur who played in first-class cricket, until 1962 when amateurism was abolished, was someone with a public school education who had then gone to one of Cambridge or Oxford University – society insisted that such people were "officers and gentlemen" whose destiny was to provide leadership.[31] In a purely financial sense, the cricketing amateur would theoretically claim expenses for playing while his professional counterpart played under contract and was paid a wage or match fee; in practice, many amateurs claimed somewhat more than actual expenditure and the derisive term "shamateur" was coined to describe the syndrome.[32][33]

English cricket in the 18th and 19th centuries

Francis Cotes - The young cricketer (1768)
Francis Cotes, The Young Cricketer, 1768

The game underwent major development in the 18th century to become England's national sport. Its success was underwritten by the twin necessities of patronage and betting.[34] Cricket was prominent in London as early as 1707 and, in the middle years of the century, large crowds flocked to matches on the Artillery Ground in Finsbury. The single wicket form of the sport attracted huge crowds and wagers to match, its popularity peaking in the 1748 season.[35] Bowling underwent an evolution around 1760 when bowlers began to pitch the ball instead of rolling or skimming it towards the batsman. This caused a revolution in bat design because, to deal with the bouncing ball, it was necessary to introduce the modern straight bat in place of the old "hockey stick" shape.[36]

The Hambledon Club was founded in the 1760s and, for the next twenty years until the formation of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the opening of Lord's Old Ground in 1787, Hambledon was both the game's greatest club and its focal point. MCC quickly became the sport's premier club and the custodian of the Laws of Cricket. New Laws introduced in the latter part of the 18th century included the three stump wicket and leg before wicket (lbw).[37]

The 19th century saw underarm bowling superseded by first roundarm and then overarm bowling. Both developments were controversial.[38] Organisation of the game at county level led to the creation of the county clubs, starting with Sussex in 1839.[39] In December 1889, the eight leading county clubs formed the official County Championship, which began in 1890.[40]

The most famous player of the 19th century was W. G. Grace, who started his long and influential career in 1865. It was especially during the career of Grace that the distinction between amateurs and professionals became blurred by the existence of players like him who were nominally amateur but, in terms of their financial gain, de facto professional. Grace himself was said to have been paid more money for playing cricket than any professional.

The last two decades before the First World War have been called the "Golden Age of cricket". It is a nostalgic name prompted by the collective sense of loss resulting from the war, but the period did produce some great players and memorable matches, especially as organised competition at county and Test level developed.[41]

Cricket becomes an international sport

England in North America 1859
The first English team to tour overseas, on board ship to North America, 1859

Meanwhile, the British Empire had been instrumental in spreading the game overseas and by the middle of the 19th century it had become well established in Australia, the Caribbean, India, New Zealand, North America and South Africa.[42] In 1844, the first-ever international match took place between the United States and Canada.[43] In 1859, a team of English players went to North America on the first overseas tour.[44]

In 1862, an English team made the first tour of Australia.[45] The first Australian team to travel overseas consisted of Aboriginal stockmen who toured England in 1868.[46]

In 1876–77, an England team took part in what was retrospectively recognised as the first-ever Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Australia.[47] The rivalry between England and Australia gave birth to The Ashes in 1882 and this has remained Test cricket's most famous contest.[48] Test cricket began to expand in 1888–89 when South Africa played England.

World cricket in the 20th century

Bradman&Bat
Don Bradman of Australia had a record Test batting average of 99.94.

The inter-war years were dominated by Australia's Don Bradman, statistically the greatest Test batsman of all time. Test cricket continued to expand during the 20th century with the addition of the West Indies (1928), New Zealand (1930) and India (1932) before the Second World War and then Pakistan (1952), Sri Lanka (1982), Zimbabwe (1992) and Bangladesh (2000) in the post-war period.[49][50] South Africa was banned from international cricket from 1970 to 1992 as part of the apartheid boycott.[51]

The rise of limited overs cricket

Cricket entered a new era in 1963 when English counties introduced the limited overs variant.[52] As it was sure to produce a result, limited overs cricket was lucrative and the number of matches increased.[53] The first Limited Overs International was played in 1971 and the governing International Cricket Council (ICC), seeing its potential, staged the first limited overs Cricket World Cup in 1975.[54] In the 21st century, a new limited overs form, Twenty20, made an immediate impact. On 22 June 2017, Afghanistan and Ireland became the 11th and 12th ICC full members, enabling them to play Test cricket.[55][56]

Laws and gameplay

Cricket field parts
A typical cricket field.

In cricket, the rules of the game are specified in a code called The Laws of Cricket (hereinafter called "the Laws") which has a global remit. There are 42 Laws (always written with a capital "L"). The earliest known version of the code was drafted in 1744 and, since 1788, it has been owned and maintained by its custodian, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London.[57]

Playing area

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played on a cricket field (see image, right) between two teams of eleven players each.[58] The field is usually circular or oval in shape and the edge of the playing area is marked by a boundary, which may be a fence, part of the stands, a rope, a painted line or a combination of these; the boundary must if possible be marked along its entire length.[59]

In the approximate centre of the field is a rectangular pitch (see image, below) on which a wooden target called a wicket is sited at each end; the wickets are placed 22 yards (20 m) apart.[60] The pitch is a flat surface 3 metres (9.8 ft) wide, with very short grass that tends to be worn away as the game progresses (cricket can also be played on artificial surfaces, notably matting). Each wicket is made of three wooden stumps topped by two bails.[61]

Cricket pitch
Cricket pitch and creases

As illustrated above, the pitch is marked at each end with four white painted lines: a bowling crease, a popping crease and two return creases. The three stumps are aligned centrally on the bowling crease, which is eight feet eight inches long. The popping crease is drawn four feet in front of the bowling crease and parallel to it; although it is drawn as a twelve-foot line (six feet either side of the wicket), it is in fact unlimited in length. The return creases are drawn at right angles to the popping crease so that they intersect the ends of the bowling crease; each return crease is drawn as an eight-foot line, so that it extends four feet behind the bowling crease, but is also in fact unlimited in length.[62]

Match structure and closure

A modern Cricket bat (back view)
A modern SG cricket bat (back view).

Before a match begins, the team captains (who are also players) toss a coin to decide which team will bat first and so take the first innings.[63] Innings is the term used for each phase of play in the match.[63] In each innings, one team bats, attempting to score runs, while the other team bowls and fields the ball, attempting to restrict the scoring and dismiss the batsmen.[64][65] When the first innings ends, the teams change roles; there can be two to four innings depending upon the type of match. A match with four scheduled innings is played over three to five days; a match with two scheduled innings is usually completed in a single day.[63] During an innings, all eleven members of the fielding team take the field, but only two members of the batting team are on the field at any given time.[63] The order of batsmen is usually announced just before the match, but it can be varied.[58]

The main objective of each team is to score more runs than their opponents but, in some forms of cricket, it is also necessary to dismiss all of the opposition batsmen in their final innings in order to win the match, which would otherwise be drawn.[66] If the team batting last is all out having scored fewer runs than their opponents, they are said to have "lost by n runs" (where n is the difference between the aggregate number of runs scored by the teams). If the team that bats last scores enough runs to win, it is said to have "won by n wickets", where n is the number of wickets left to fall. For example, a team that passes its opponents' total having lost six wickets (i.e., six of their batsmen have been dismissed) have won the match "by four wickets".[66]

In a two-innings-a-side match, one team's combined first and second innings total may be less than the other side's first innings total. The team with the greater score is then said to have "won by an innings and n runs", and does not need to bat again: n is the difference between the two teams' aggregate scores. If the team batting last is all out, and both sides have scored the same number of runs, then the match is a tie; this result is quite rare in matches of two innings a side with only 62 happening in first-class matches from the earliest known instance in 1741 until January 2017. In the traditional form of the game, if the time allotted for the match expires before either side can win, then the game is declared a draw.[66]

If the match has only a single innings per side, then a maximum number of overs applies to each innings. Such a match is called a "limited overs" or "one-day" match, and the side scoring more runs wins regardless of the number of wickets lost, so that a draw cannot occur. If this kind of match is temporarily interrupted by bad weather, then a complex mathematical formula, known as the Duckworth-Lewis method after its developers, is often used to recalculate a new target score. A one-day match can also be declared a "no-result" if fewer than a previously agreed number of overs have been bowled by either team, in circumstances that make normal resumption of play impossible; for example, wet weather.[66]

In all forms of cricket, the umpires can abandon the match if bad light or rain makes it impossible to continue.[67] There have been instances of entire matches, even Test matches scheduled to be played over five days, being lost to bad weather without a ball being bowled: for example, the third Test of the 1970/71 series in Australia.[68]

Bat and ball

Two different types of cricket balls, both of the same size:

i) A used white ball. White balls are mainly used in limited overs cricket, especially in matches played at night, under floodlights (left).

ii) A used red ball. Red balls are used in Test cricket and first-class cricket and some other forms of cricket (right).

White ball 2 (cropped)
Used cricket ball (cropped)

The essence of the sport is that a bowler delivers (i.e., bowls) the ball from his end of the pitch towards the batsman who, armed with a bat is "on strike" at the other end (see next sub-section: Basic gameplay).

The bat is made of wood, usually salix alba (white willow), and has the shape of a blade topped by a cylindrical handle. The blade must not be more than four and one quarter inches (108 mm) wide and the total length of the bat not more than 38 inches (965 mm). There is no standard for the weight which is usually between 2 lb 7 oz and 3 lb (1.1 and 1.4 kg).[69][70]

The ball is a hard leather-seamed spheroid, with a circumference of 22.9 centimetres (9.0 in). The ball has a "seam": six rows of stitches attaching the leather shell of the ball to the string and cork interior. The seam on a new ball is prominent, and helps the bowler propel it in a less predictable manner. During matches, the quality of the ball deteriorates to a point where it is no longer usable, and during the course of this deterioration its behaviour in flight will change and can influence the outcome of the match. Players will therefore attempt to modify the ball's behaviour by modifying its physical properties. Polishing the ball and wetting it with sweat or saliva is legal, even when the polishing is deliberately done on one side only to increase the ball's swing through the air, but the acts of rubbing other substances into the ball, scratching the surface or picking at the seam is illegal ball tampering.[71]

Basic gameplay: bowler to batsman

During normal play, thirteen players and two umpires are on the field. Two of the players are batsmen and the rest are all eleven members of the fielding team. The other nine players in the batting team are off the field in the pavilion. The image with overlay below shows what is happening when a ball is being bowled and which of the personnel are on or close to the pitch. The photo was taken during an international match between Australia and Sri Lanka; Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka is bowling to Australian batsman Adam Gilchrist.

Umpire
Wicket
Non-striking batsman
Bowler
Ball
Pitch
Popping crease
Striking batsman
Wicket
Wicket-keeper
First slip
Return crease

In the photo, the two batsmen (3 & 8; wearing yellow) have taken position at each end of the pitch (6). Three members of the fielding team (4, 10 & 11; wearing dark blue) are in shot. One of the two umpires (1; wearing white hat) is stationed behind the wicket (2) at the bowler's (4) end of the pitch. The bowler (4) is bowling the ball (5) from his end of the pitch to the batsman (8) at the other end who is called the "striker". The other batsman (3) at the bowling end is called the "non-striker". The wicket-keeper (10), who is a specialist, is positioned behind the striker's wicket (9) and behind him stands one of the fielders in a position called "first slip" (11). While the bowler and the first slip are wearing conventional kit only, the two batsmen and the wicket-keeper are wearing protective gear including safety helmets, padded gloves and leg guards (pads).

While the umpire (1) in shot stands at the bowler's end of the pitch, his colleague stands in the outfield, usually in or near the fielding position called "square leg", so that he is in line with the popping crease (7) at the striker's end of the pitch. The bowling crease (not numbered) is the one on which the wicket is located between the return creases (12). The bowler (4) intends to hit the wicket (9) with the ball (5) or, at least, to prevent the striker (8) from scoring runs. The striker (8) intends, by using his bat, to defend his wicket and, if possible, to hit the ball away from the pitch in order to score runs.

Some players are skilled in both batting and bowling so are termed all-rounders. Adam Gilchrist, pictured above, was a wicket-keeper/batsman, another type of all-rounder. Bowlers are also classified according to their style, generally as fast bowlers, medium pace seam bowlers or, like Muttiah Muralitharan pictured above, spinners. Batsmen are classified according to whether they are right-handed or left-handed.

Fielding

Cricket fielding positions2
Fielding positions in cricket for a right-handed batsman

Of the eleven fielders, three are in shot in the image above. The other eight are elsewhere on the field, their positions determined on a tactical basis by the captain or the bowler. Fielders often change position between deliveries, again as directed by the captain or bowler.[72]

If a fielder is injured or becomes ill during a match, a substitute is allowed to field instead of him, but the substitute cannot bowl or act as a captain. The substitute leaves the field when the injured player is fit to return.[73] The Laws of Cricket were updated in 2017 to allow substitutes to act as wicket-keepers,[74] a situation that first occurred when Mumbai Indians' wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan was injured in a match on 18 April 2018.[75]

Specialist roles

The captain is often the most experienced player in the team, certainly the most tactically astute, and can possess any of the main skillsets as a batsman, a bowler or a wicket-keeper. Within the Laws, the captain has certain responsibilities in terms of nominating his players to the umpires before the match and ensuring that his players conduct themselves "within the spirit and traditions of the game as well as within the Laws".[58]

The wicket-keeper (sometimes called simply the "keeper") is a specialist fielder subject to various rules within the Laws about his equipment and demeanour. He is the only member of the fielding side who can effect a stumping and is the only one permitted to wear gloves and external leg guards.[76] Depending on their primary skills, the other ten players in the team tend to be classified as specialist batsmen or specialist bowlers. Generally, a team will include five or six specialist batsmen and four or five specialist bowlers, plus the wicket-keeper.[77][78]

Clothing and equipment

WGGrace
English cricketer W. G. Grace "taking guard" in 1883. His pads and bat are very similar to those used today. The gloves have evolved somewhat. Many modern players utilise more defensive equipment than was available to Grace, notably helmets and arm guards.

The wicket-keeper and the batsmen wear protective gear because of the hardness of the ball, which can be delivered at speeds of more than 145 kilometres per hour (90 mph) and presents a major health and safety concern. Protective clothing includes pads (designed to protect the knees and shins), batting gloves or wicket-keeper's gloves for the hands, a safety helmet for the head and a box inside the trousers (to protect the crotch area).[79] Some batsmen wear additional padding inside their shirts and trousers such as thigh pads, arm pads, rib protectors and shoulder pads. The only fielders allowed to wear protective gear are those in positions very close to the batsman (i.e., if they are alongside or in front of him), but they cannot wear gloves or external leg guards.[72]

Subject to certain variations, on-field clothing generally includes a collared shirt with short or long sleeves; long trousers; woollen pullover (if needed); cricket cap (for fielding) or a safety helmet; and spiked shoes or boots to increase traction. The kit is traditionally all white and this remains the case in Test and first-class cricket but, in limited overs cricket, team colours are worn instead.[80]

Innings

The innings (ending with 's' in both singular and plural form) is the term used for each phase of play during a match. Depending on the type of match being played, each team has either one or two innings. Sometimes all eleven members of the batting side take a turn to bat but, for various reasons, an innings can end before they have all done so. The innings terminates if the batting team is "all out", a term defined by the Laws: "at the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batsman, further balls remain to be bowled but no further batsman is available to come in".[63] In this situation, one of the batsman has not been dismissed and is termed not out; this is because he has no partners left and there must always be two active batsmen while the innings is in progress.

An innings may end early while there are still two not out batsmen:[63]

  • the batting team's captain may declare the innings closed even though some of his players have not had a turn to bat: this is a tactical decision by the captain, usually because he believes his team have scored sufficient runs and need time to dismiss the opposition in their innings
  • the set number of overs (i.e., in a limited overs match) have been bowled
  • the match has ended prematurely due to bad weather or running out of time
  • in the final innings of the match, the batting side has reached its target and won the game.

Overs

The Laws state that, throughout an innings, "the ball shall be bowled from each end alternately in overs of 6 balls".[81] The name "over" came about because the umpire calls "Over!" when six balls have been bowled. At this point, another bowler is deployed at the other end, and the fielding side changes ends while the batsmen do not. A bowler cannot bowl two successive overs, although a bowler can (and usually does) bowl alternate overs, from the same end, for several overs which are termed a "spell". The batsmen do not change ends at the end of the over, and so the one who was non-striker is now the striker and vice-versa. The umpires also change positions so that the one who was at "square leg" now stands behind the wicket at the non-striker's end and vice-versa.[81]

Umpires and scorers

Cricket Umpire
An umpire signals a decision to the scorers

The game on the field is regulated by the two umpires, one of whom stands behind the wicket at the bowler's end, the other in a position called "square leg" which is about 15–20 metres away from the batsman on strike and in line with the popping crease on which he is taking guard. The umpires have several responsibilities including adjudication on whether a ball has been correctly bowled (i.e., not a no-ball or a wide); when a run is scored; whether a batsman is out (the fielding side must first appeal to the umpire, usually with the phrase "How's that?" or "Owzat?"); when intervals start and end; and the suitability of the pitch, field and weather for playing the game. The umpires are authorised to interrupt or even abandon a match due to circumstances likely to endanger the players, such as a damp pitch or deterioration of the light.[67]

Off the field in televised matches, there is usually a third umpire who can make decisions on certain incidents with the aid of video evidence. The third umpire is mandatory under the playing conditions for Test and Limited Overs International matches played between two ICC full member countries. These matches also have a match referee whose job is to ensure that play is within the Laws and the spirit of the game.[67]

The match details, including runs and dismissals, are recorded by two official scorers, one representing each team. The scorers are directed by the hand signals of an umpire (see image, right). For example, the umpire raises a forefinger to signal that the batsman is out (has been dismissed); he raises both arms above his head if the batsman has hit the ball for six runs. The scorers are required by the Laws to record all runs scored, wickets taken and overs bowled; in practice, they also note significant amounts of additional data relating to the game.[82]

A match's statistics are summarised on a scorecard. Prior to the popularisation of scorecards, most scoring was done by men sitting on vantage points cuttings notches on tally sticks and runs were originally called notches.[83] According to Rowland Bowen, the earliest known scorecard templates were introduced in 1776 by T. Pratt of Sevenoaks and soon came into general use.[84] It is believed that scorecards were printed and sold at Lord's for the first time in 1846.[85]

Spirit of the Game

Besides observing the Laws, cricketers must respect the "Spirit of Cricket," which is the "Preamble to the Laws," first published in the 2000 code, and updated in 2017, and now opens with this statement:[86]

"Cricket owes much of its appeal and enjoyment to the fact that it should be played not only according to the Laws, but also within the Spirit of Cricket".

The Preamble is a short statement that emphasises the "Positive behaviours that make cricket an exciting game that encourages leadership,friendship and teamwork."[87]

The major responsibility for ensuring fair play is placed firmly on the captains, but extends to all players, umpires, teachers, coaches and parents involved.

The umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play. They are required under the Laws to intervene in case of dangerous or unfair play or in cases of unacceptable conduct by a player.

Previous versions of the Spirit identified actions that were deemed contrary (for example, appealing knowing that the batsman is not out) but all specifics are now covered in the Laws of Cricket, the relevant governing playing regulations and disciplinary codes, or left to the judgement of the umpires, captains, their clubs and governing bodies. The terse expression of the Spirit of Cricket now avoids the diversity of cultural conventions that exist on the detail of sportsmanship – or its absence.

Bowling and dismissal

Glenn McGrath 01 crop 2
Glenn McGrath of Australia holds the world record for most wickets in the Cricket World Cup.[88]

Most bowlers are considered specialists in that they are selected for the team because of their skill as a bowler, although some are all-rounders and even specialist batsmen bowl occasionally. The specialist bowlers are active multiple times during an innings, but may not bowl two overs consecutively. If the captain wants a bowler to "change ends", another bowler must temporarily fill in so that the change is not immediate.[81]

A bowler reaches his delivery stride by means of a "run-up" and an over is deemed to have begun when the bowler starts his run-up for the first delivery of that over, the ball then being "in play".[81] Fast bowlers, needing momentum, take a lengthy run up while bowlers with a slow delivery take no more than a couple of steps before bowling. The fastest bowlers can deliver the ball at a speed of over 145 kilometres per hour (90 mph) and they sometimes rely on sheer speed to try and defeat the batsman, who is forced to react very quickly.[89] Other fast bowlers rely on a mixture of speed and guile by making the ball seam or swing (i.e. curve) in flight. This type of delivery can deceive a batsman into miscuing his shot, for example, so that the ball just touches the edge of the bat and can then be "caught behind" by the wicket-keeper or a slip fielder.[89] At the other end of the bowling scale is the spin bowler who bowls at a relatively slow pace and relies entirely on guile to deceive the batsman. A spinner will often "buy his wicket" by "tossing one up" (in a slower, steeper parabolic path) to lure the batsman into making a poor shot. The batsman has to be very wary of such deliveries as they are often "flighted" or spun so that the ball will not behave quite as he expects and he could be "trapped" into getting himself out.[90] In between the pacemen and the spinners are the medium paced seamers who rely on persistent accuracy to try and contain the rate of scoring and wear down the batsman's concentration.[89]

There are ten ways in which a batsman can be dismissed: five relatively common and five extremely rare. The common forms of dismissal are bowled,[91] caught,[92] leg before wicket (lbw),[93] run out[94] and stumped.[95] Rare methods are hit wicket,[96] hit the ball twice,[97] obstructing the field,[98] handled the ball[99] and timed out.[100] The Laws state that the fielding team, usually the bowler in practice, must appeal for a dismissal before the umpire can give his decision. If the batsman is out, the umpire raises a forefinger and says "Out!"; otherwise, he will shake his head and say "Not out".[101] There is, effectively, an eleventh method of dismissal, retired out, which is not an on-field dismissal as such but rather a retrospective one for which no fielder is credited.[102]

Batting, runs and extras

Cricket shots
The directions in which a right-handed batsman, facing down the page, intends to send the ball when playing various cricketing shots. The diagram for a left-handed batsman is a mirror image of this one.

Batsmen take turns to bat via a batting order which is decided beforehand by the team captain and presented to the umpires, though the order remains flexible when the captain officially nominates the team.[58] Substitute batsmen are not allowed.[73]

A skilled batsman can use a wide array of "shots" or "strokes" in both defensive and attacking mode. The idea is to hit the ball to best effect with the flat surface of the bat's blade. If the ball touches the side of the bat it is called an "edge". The batsman does not have to play a shot and can allow the ball to go through to the wicketkeeper. Equally, he does not have to attempt a run when he hits the ball with his bat. Batsmen do not always seek to hit the ball as hard as possible, and a good player can score runs just by making a deft stroke with a turn of the wrists or by simply "blocking" the ball but directing it away from fielders so that he has time to take a run. A wide variety of shots are played, the batsman's repertoire including strokes named according to the style of swing and the direction aimed: e.g., "cut", "drive", "hook", "pull".[103]

The batsman on strike (i.e. the "striker") must prevent the ball hitting the wicket, and try to score runs by hitting the ball with his bat so that he and his partner have time to run from one end of the pitch to the other before the fielding side can return the ball. To register a run, both runners must touch the ground behind the popping crease with either their bats or their bodies (the batsmen carry their bats as they run). Each completed run increments the score of both the team and the striker.[104]

Master Blaster at work
Sachin Tendulkar is the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries

The decision to attempt a run is ideally made by the batsman who has the better view of the ball's progress, and this is communicated by calling: usually "yes", "no" or "wait". More than one run can be scored from a single hit: hits worth one to three runs are common, but the size of the field is such that it is usually difficult to run four or more.[104] To compensate for this, hits that reach the boundary of the field are automatically awarded four runs if the ball touches the ground en route to the boundary or six runs if the ball clears the boundary without touching the ground within the boundary. In these cases the batsmen do not need to run.[105] Hits for five are unusual and generally rely on the help of "overthrows" by a fielder returning the ball. If an odd number of runs is scored by the striker, the two batsmen have changed ends, and the one who was non-striker is now the striker. Only the striker can score individual runs, but all runs are added to the team's total.[104]

Additional runs can be gained by the batting team as extras (called "sundries" in Australia) due to errors made by the fielding side. This is achieved in four ways: no-ball, a penalty of one extra conceded by the bowler if he breaks the rules;[106] wide, a penalty of one extra conceded by the bowler if he bowls so that the ball is out of the batsman's reach;[107] bye, an extra awarded if the batsman misses the ball and it goes past the wicket-keeper and gives the batsmen time to run in the conventional way;[108] leg bye, as for a bye except that the ball has hit the batsman's body, though not his bat.[108] If the bowler has conceded a no-ball or a wide, his team incurs an additional penalty because that ball (i.e., delivery) has to be bowled again and hence the batting side has the opportunity to score more runs from this extra ball.[106][107]

Women's cricket

Mithali Raj Truro 2012
Mithali Raj of India, is the only player to surpass the 6,000 run mark in Women's One Day International cricket.

Women's cricket was first recorded in Surrey in 1745.[109] International development began at the start of the 20th century and the first Test Match was played between Australia and England in December 1934.[110] The following year, New Zealand women joined them, and in 2007 Netherlands women became the tenth women's Test nation when they made their debut against South Africa women. In 1958, the International Women's Cricket Council was founded (it merged with the ICC in 2005).[110] In 1973, the first Cricket World Cup of any kind took place when a Women's World Cup was held in England.[110] In 2005, the International Women's Cricket Council was merged with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to form one unified body to help manage and develop cricket. The ICC Women's Rankings were launched on 1 October 2015 covering all three formats of women's cricket. In October 2018 following the ICC's decision to award T20 International status to all members, the Women's rankings were split into separate ODI (for Full Members) and T20I lists.[111]

Governance

ICC-cricket-member-nations
ICC member nations. The (highest level) Test playing nations are shown in orange; the associate member nations are shown in yellow; the affiliate member nations are shown in purple.

The International Cricket Council (ICC), which has its headquarters in Dubai, is the global governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.[110] The ICC in 2017 has 105 member nations, twelve of which hold full membership and can play Test cricket.[112] The ICC is responsible for the organisation and governance of cricket's major international tournaments, notably the men's and women's versions of the Cricket World Cup. It also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, Limited Overs Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals.

Each member nation has a national cricket board which regulates cricket matches played in its country, selects the national squad, and organises home and away tours for the national team.[113] In the West Indies, which for cricket purposes is a federation of nations, these matters are addressed by Cricket West Indies.[114]

The table below lists the ICC full members and their national cricket boards:[115]

Nation Governing body Member since[116]
 Afghanistan Afghanistan Cricket Board 22 June 2017
 Australia Cricket Australia 15 July 1909
 Bangladesh Bangladesh Cricket Board 26 June 2000
 England England and Wales Cricket Board 15 July 1909
 India Board of Control for Cricket in India 31 May 1926
 Ireland Cricket Ireland 22 June 2017
 New Zealand New Zealand Cricket 31 May 1926
 Pakistan Pakistan Cricket Board 28 July 1953
 South Africa Cricket South Africa 15 July 1909
 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Cricket 21 July 1981
 West Indies Cricket West Indies 31 May 1926
 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Cricket 6 July 1992

Types of match

England vs South Africa
A Test match between South Africa and England in January 2005. The men wearing black trousers are the umpires. Teams in Test cricket, first-class cricket and club cricket wear traditional white uniforms and use red cricket balls.

Cricket is a multi-faceted sport with multiple formats that can effectively be divided into first-class cricket, limited overs cricket and, historically, single wicket cricket. The highest standard is Test cricket (always written with a capital "T") which is in effect the international version of first-class cricket and is restricted to teams representing the twelve countries that are full members of the ICC (see above). Although the term "Test match" was not coined until much later, Test cricket is deemed to have begun with two matches between Australia and England in the 1876–77 Australian season; since 1882, most Test series between England and Australia have been played for a trophy known as The Ashes. The term "first-class", in general usage, is applied to top-level domestic cricket. Test matches are played over five days and first-class over three to four days; in all of these matches, the teams are allotted two innings each and the draw is a valid result.[117]

Limited overs cricket is always scheduled for completion in a single day. There are two types: List A which normally allows fifty overs per team; and Twenty20 in which the teams have twenty overs each. Both of the limited overs forms are played internationally as Limited Overs Internationals (LOI) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20I). List A was introduced in England in the 1963 season as a knockout cup contested by the first-class county clubs. In 1969, a national league competition was established. The concept was gradually introduced to the other leading cricket countries and the first limited overs international was played in 1971. In 1975, the first Cricket World Cup took place in England. Twenty20 is a new variant of limited overs itself with the purpose being to complete the match within about three hours, usually in an evening session. The first Twenty20 World Championship was held in 2007. Limited overs matches cannot be drawn, although a tie is possible and an unfinished match is a "no result".[118][119]

Single wicket was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries and its matches were generally considered top-class. In this form, although each team may have from one to six players, there is only one batsman in at a time and he must face every delivery bowled while his innings lasts. Single wicket has rarely been played since limited overs cricket began. Matches tended to have two innings per team like a full first-class one and they could end in a draw.[120]

International competitions

Most international matches are played as parts of 'tours', when one nation travels to another for a number of weeks or months, and plays a number of matches of various sorts against the host nation. Sometimes a perpetual trophy is awarded to the winner of the Test series, the most famous of which is The Ashes.

The ICC also organises competitions that are for several countries at once, including the Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy. A league competition for Test matches played as part of normal tours, the ICC World Test Championship, has been proposed several times, and is currently planned to begin in 2019. A league competition for ODIs, the 2020–22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, is planned to begin in 2020. The ICC maintains Test rankings, ODI rankings and T20 rankings systems for the countries which play these forms of cricket.

Competitions for member nations of the ICC with Associate status include the ICC Intercontinental Cup, for first-class cricket matches, and the World Cricket League for one-day matches, the final matches of which now also serve as the ICC World Cup Qualifier.

National competitions

Yorkshire-CCC-1895
Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1895. The team first won the County Championship in 1893.

First-class

First-class cricket in England is played for the most part by the 18 county clubs which contest the County Championship. The concept of a champion county has existed since the 18th century but the official competition was not established until 1890.[40] The most successful club has been Yorkshire, who had won 32 official titles (plus one shared) as of 2018.[121]

Australia established its national first-class championship in 1892–93 when the Sheffield Shield was introduced. In Australia, the first-class teams represent the various states.[122] New South Wales has the highest number of titles.

The other ICC full members have national championship trophies called the Ahmad Shah Abdali 4-day Tournament (Afghanistan); the National Cricket League (Bangladesh); the Ranji Trophy (India); the Inter-Provincial Championship (Ireland); the Plunket Shield (New Zealand); the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (Pakistan); the Currie Cup (South Africa); the Premier Trophy (Sri Lanka); the Shell Shield (West Indies); and the Logan Cup (Zimbabwe).

Other

Club and school cricket

The world's earliest known cricket match was a village cricket meeting in Kent which has been deduced from a 1640 court case recording a "cricketing" of "the Weald and the Upland" versus "the Chalk Hill" at Chevening "about thirty years since" (i.e., c. 1611). Inter-parish contests became popular in the first half of the 17th century and continued to develop through the 18th with the first local leagues being founded in the second half of the 19th.[17]

At the grassroots level, local club cricket is essentially an amateur pastime for those involved but still usually involves teams playing in competitions at weekends or in the evening. Schools cricket, first known in southern England in the 17th century, has a similar scenario and both are widely played in the countries where cricket is popular.[123] Although there can be variations in game format, compared with professional cricket, the Laws are always observed and club/school matches are therefore formal and competitive events.[124] The sport has numerous informal variants such as French cricket.[125]

Culture

Influence on everyday life

Cricket has had a broad impact on popular culture, both in the Commonwealth of Nations and elsewhere. It has, for example, influenced the lexicon of these nations, especially the English language, with various phrases such as "that's not cricket" (that's unfair), "had a good innings" (lived a long life) and "sticky wicket". "On a sticky wicket" (aka "sticky dog" or "glue pot")[126] is a metaphor[127] used to describe a difficult circumstance. It originated as a term for difficult batting conditions in cricket, caused by a damp and soft pitch.[128]

In the arts and popular culture

Cricket is the subject of works by noted English poets, including William Blake and Lord Byron.[129] Beyond a Boundary (1963), written by Trinidadian C. L. R. James, is often named the best book on any sport ever written.[130]

William Handcock Tom Wills
Tom Wills, cricketer and co-founder of Australian football

In the visual arts, notable cricket paintings include Albert Chevallier Tayler's Kent vs Lancashire at Canterbury (1907) and Russell Drysdale's The Cricketers (1948), which has been called "possibly the most famous Australian painting of the 20th century."[131] French impressionist Camille Pissarro painted cricket on a visit to England in the 1890s.[129] Francis Bacon, an avid cricket fan, captured a batsman in motion.[129] Caribbean artist Wendy Nanan's cricket images[132] are featured in a limited edition first day cover for Royal Mail's "World of Invention" stamp issue, which celebrated the London Cricket Conference 1–3 March 2007, first international workshop of its kind and part of the celebrations leading up to the 2007 Cricket World Cup.[133]

Influence on other sports

Cricket has close historical ties with Australian rules football and many players have competed at top levels in both sports.[134] In 1858, prominent Australian cricketer Tom Wills called for the formation of a "foot-ball club" with "a code of laws" to keep cricketers fit during the off-season. The Melbourne Football Club was founded the following year, and Wills and three other members codified the first laws of the game.[135] It is typically played on modified cricket fields.[136]

In England, a number of association football clubs owe their origins to cricketers who sought to play football as a means of keeping fit during the winter months. Derby County was founded as a branch of the Derbyshire County Cricket Club in 1884;[137] Aston Villa (1874) and Everton (1876) were both founded by members of church cricket teams.[138] Sheffield United's Bramall Lane ground was, from 1854, the home of the Sheffield Cricket Club, and then of Yorkshire; it was not used for football until 1862 and was shared by Yorkshire and Sheffield United from 1889 to 1973.[139]

In the late 19th century, a former cricketer, English-born Henry Chadwick of Brooklyn, New York, was credited with devising the baseball box score[140] (which he adapted from the cricket scorecard) for reporting game events. The first box score appeared in an 1859 issue of the Clipper.[141] The statistical record is so central to the game's "historical essence" that Chadwick is sometimes referred to as "the Father of Baseball" because he facilitated the popularity of the sport in its early days.[142]

See also

Related sports

Footnotes

  1. ^ The term "amateur" in this context does not mean someone who played cricket in his spare time. Many amateurs in first-class cricket were full-time players during the cricket season. Some of the game's greatest players, including W. G. Grace, held amateur status.

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  140. ^ His Hall of Fame plaque states, in part: "Inventor of the box score. Author of the first rule-book ... Chairman of rules committee in first nationwide baseball organization." Lederer, Rich. By the Numbers: Computer technology has deepened fans' passion with the game's statistics. Memories and Dreams (Vol. 33, No. 6; Winter 2011[–2012], pp. 32–34). National Baseball Hall of Fame official magazine.
  141. ^ Pesca, Mike (July 30, 2009). "The Man Who Made Baseball's Box Score A Hit". National Public Radio. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  142. ^ Arango, Tim (November 12, 2010). "Myth of baseball's creation endures, with a prominent fan". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2014.

Sources

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  • Barclays (1986). Swanton, E. W., ed. Barclays World of Cricket. London: Willow Books. ISBN 0-00-218193-2.
  • Birley, Derek (1999). A Social History of English Cricket. London: Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN 1-85410-710-0.
  • Bowen, Rowland (1970). Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode. ISBN 0-413-27860-3.
  • Goldstein, Dan (2000). The Rough Guide to English Football (2000–2001). London: Rough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-557-7.
  • Harte, Chris (1993). A History of Australian Cricket. London: Andre Deutsch. p. 175. ISBN 0-233-98825-4.
  • Haygarth, Arthur (1862). Frederick Lillywhite's Cricket Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744–1826). London: Frederick Lillywhite.
  • Major, John (2007). More Than A Game. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-718364-7.
  • McCann, Tim (2004). Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century. Lewes: Sussex Record Society. ISBN 0-85445-055-6.
  • Nyren, John (1998) [First published 1833]. Ashley Mote, ed. The Cricketers of my Time. London: Robson Books. ISBN 1-86105-168-9.
  • Underdown, David (2000). Start of Play. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 0-713-99330-8.
  • Webber, Roy (1960). The Phoenix History of Cricket. London: Phoenix House Ltd.
  • Williams, Charles (2012). Gentlemen & Players – The Death of Amateurism in Cricket. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-7538-2927-1.

Further reading

  • Guha, Ramachandra (2002). A Corner of a Foreign Field – The Indian History of a British Sport. London: Picador. ISBN 0-330-49117-2.

External links

Organisations and competitions

Statistics and records

News and other resources

2015 Cricket World Cup

The 2015 Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Cricket World Cup 2015) was the 11th Cricket World Cup, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March 2015. Australia defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets to win their fifth ICC Cricket World Cup. Fourteen teams played 49 matches in 14 venues, with Australia staging 26 games at grounds in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney while New Zealand hosted 23 games in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson and Wellington.The hosting rights were awarded at the same time as those of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, which Australia and New Zealand had originally bid to host, and the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which was awarded to England. The 2011 tournament was awarded to the four Asian Test cricket playing countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (Pakistan later lost the co-hosting rights due to a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team). The International Cricket Council were sufficiently impressed with the trans-Tasman bid that it was decided to award the next World Cup to Australia and New Zealand. This was the second time the tournament was held in Australia and New Zealand, with the first being the 1992 Cricket World Cup.

India were the defending champions, having won the tournament in 2011. Tickets for the Pool B match between India and Pakistan, played on 15 February 2015, reportedly sold out within 12 minutes of going on sale.The final match of the tournament took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between co-hosts New Zealand and Australia in front of a record crowd of 93,013 while the average attendance throughout the tournament was 21,175 resulting from the cumulative tournament attendance of 1,016,420 and a washed out game between Australia and Bangladesh in Brisbane for which no attendance-figures were available.The 2015 Cricket World Cup is estimated to have been watched by over 1.5 billion people. The most widely watched match during the tournament was India vs. Pakistan, which is estimated to have drawn over 1 billion viewers.

2019 Cricket World Cup

The 2019 Cricket World Cup (officially ICC Cricket World Cup 2019) is the 12th edition of the Cricket World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by England and Wales, from 30 May to 14 July 2019.The hosting rights were awarded in April 2006, after England and Wales withdrew from the bidding to host the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, which was held in Australia and New Zealand. The first match will be played at The Oval while the final will be played at Lord's. It is the fifth time that the Cricket World Cup will be held in England and Wales, following the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 World Cups.

The format for the tournament will be a single group of ten teams, with each team playing the other nine teams, and the top four teams progressing to a knockout stage of semi-finals and a final. The ten team tournament has gained criticism due to the lack of Associate teams in the tournament. Given the increase of the Test playing nations from 10 to 12, with the admission of Ireland and Afghanistan in June 2017, it will be the first World Cup to be contested without all of the Test playing nations being present, and after the elimination of all the Associate teams at the qualifying tournament, this will be also be the first World Cup to feature no Associate members.

Australia national cricket team

The Australia national cricket team is the joint oldest team in Test cricket history, having played in the first ever Test match in 1877. The team also plays One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket, participating in both the first ODI, against England in the 1970–71 season and the first T20I, against New Zealand in the 2004–05 season, winning both games. The team draws its players from teams playing in the Australian domestic competitions – the Sheffield Shield, the Australian domestic limited-overs cricket tournament and the Big Bash League.

The national team has played 818 Test matches, winning 384, losing 222, drawing 210 and tying 2. Australia is ranked the number-one team overall in Test cricket in terms of overall wins, win-loss ratio and wins percentage. As of December 2018, Australia is ranked fifth in the ICC Test Championship on 102 rating points.The Australian cricket team has played 919 ODI matches, winning 557, losing 319, tying 9 and with 34 ending in a no-result. They are currently placed sixth in the ICC ODI Championship, though have been ranked first for 141 of 185 months since its introduction in 2002. Australia have made a record seven World Cup final appearances (1975,1987, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015) and have won the World Cup a record five times in total; 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015. Australia is the first team to appear in four consecutive World Cup finals (1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007), surpassing the old record of three consecutive World Cup appearances by the West Indies (1975, 1979 and 1983) and the first team to win 3 consecutive World Cups (1999, 2003 and 2007). It is also the second team to win a World Cup (2015) on home soil, after India (2011).

The team was undefeated in 34 consecutive World Cup matches until 19 March at the 2011 Cricket World Cup where Pakistan beat them by 4 wickets. Australia have also won the ICC Champions Trophy twice – in 2006 and in 2009 – making them the first and the only team to become back to back winners in the Champions Trophy tournaments. Additionally, the team made the final of the 2010 ICC World Twenty20, in which they lost to England. As of December 2018, Australia has played 114 Twenty20 International matches, winning 58, losing 52, tying 2 and with 2 ending in a no-result.On 12 January 2019, Australia won the first ODI against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground by 34 runs, to record their 1,000th win in international cricket.

Cricket World Cup

The ICC Cricket World Cup is the international championship of One Day International (ODI) cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), every four years, with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament. The tournament is one of the world's most viewed sporting events and is considered the "flagship event of the international cricket calendar" by the ICC.The first World Cup was organised in England in June 1975, with the first ODI cricket match having been played only four years earlier. However, a separate Women's Cricket World Cup had been held two years before the first men's tournament, and a tournament involving multiple international teams had been held as early as 1912, when a triangular tournament of Test matches was played between Australia, England and South Africa. The first three World Cups were held in England. From the 1987 tournament onwards, hosting has been shared between countries under an unofficial rotation system, with fourteen ICC members having hosted at least one match in the tournament.

The World Cup is open to all members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), although the highest-ranking teams receive automatic qualification. The remaining teams are determined via the World Cricket League and the ICC World Cup Qualifier. A total of twenty teams have competed in the eleven editions of the tournament, with fourteen competing in the latest edition in 2015; the next edition in 2019 will have only ten teams. Australia has won the tournament five times, with the West Indies, India (twice each), Pakistan and Sri Lanka (once each) also having won the tournament. The best performance by a non-full-member team came when Kenya made the semi-finals of the 2003 tournament.

ESPNcricinfo

ESPNcricinfo (formerly known as Cricinfo or CricInfo) is a sports news website exclusively for the game of cricket. The site features news, articles, live coverage of cricket matches (including liveblogs and scorecards), and StatsGuru, a database of historical matches and players from the 18th century to the present. As of March 2018, Sambit Bal was the editor.

The site, originally conceived in a pre-World Wide Web form in 1993 by Dr Simon King, was acquired in 2002 by the Wisden Group—publishers of several notable cricket magazines and the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. As part of an eventual breakup of the Wisden Group, it was sold to ESPN, jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation, in 2007.

England cricket team

The England cricket team represents England and Wales in international cricket. Since 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), having been previously governed by Marylebone Cricket Club (the MCC) from 1903 until the end of 1996. Until 1992, Scotland was also included in the England team. England, as a founding nation, is a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status.

England and Australia were the first teams to play a Test match (between 15–19 March 1877), and these two countries together with South Africa formed the Imperial Cricket Conference (predecessor to today's International Cricket Council) on 15 June 1909. England and Australia also played the first ODI on 5 January 1971. England's first T20I was played on 13 June 2005, once more against Australia.

As of 13 February 2019, England has played 1010 Test matches, winning 365 and losing 300 (with 345 draws). The team has won The Ashes on 32 occasions. England has played 721 ODIs, winning 360, and its record in major ODI tournaments includes finishing as runners-up in three Cricket World Cups (1979, 1987 and 1992), and in two ICC Champions Trophys (2004 and 2013). England has also played 105 T20Is, winning 50. They won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010, and were runners-up in 2016.

As of 13 February 2019, England are ranked fifth in Tests, first in ODIs and fourth in T20Is by the ICC. Though the team and coaching staff faced heavy criticism after their Group Stage exit in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, it has since adopted a more aggressive and modern playing style in ODI cricket, under the leadership of captain Eoin Morgan and head coach Trevor Bayliss.

First-class cricket

First-class cricket is an official classification of the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to be worthy of the status by virtue of the standard of the competing teams. Matches must allow for the teams to play two innings each although, in practice, a team might play only one innings or none at all.

First-class cricket (which for this purpose includes all "important matches" played before 1895), along with historical single-wicket and the modern limited-overs forms of List A and Twenty20, is one of the highest-standard forms of cricket. The origin of the term "first-class cricket" is unknown but it was used loosely before it acquired an official status, effective in 1895, following a meeting of leading English clubs in May 1894. Subsequently, at a meeting of the Imperial Cricket Conference (ICC) in May 1947, it was formally defined on a global basis. A significant omission of the ICC ruling was any attempt to define first-class cricket retrospectively. This has left historians, and especially statisticians, with the problem of how to categorise earlier matches, especially those played before 1895 in Great Britain. The solution put forward by the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians (ACS) is to classify all pre-1895 matches of a high standard as important matches.

Test cricket, the highest standard of cricket, is statistically a form of first-class cricket, though the term "first-class" is mainly used to refer to domestic competition. A player's first-class statistics include any performances in Test matches.

India national cricket team

The India national cricket team, also known as Team India and Men in Blue, is governed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and is a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status.

Although cricket was introduced to India by European merchant sailors in the 18th century, and the first cricket club was established in Calcutta (currently known as Kolkata) in 1792, India's national cricket team did not play its first Test match until 25 June 1932 at Lord's, becoming the sixth team to be granted Test cricket status. In its first fifty years of international cricket, India was one of the weaker teams, winning only 35 of the first 196 Test matches it played. From 1932 India had to wait until 1952, almost 20 years for its first Test victory. The team, however, gained strength in the 1970s with the emergence of players such as batsmen Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath, all-rounder Kapil Dev and the Indian spin quartet of Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar

and Bishen Singh Bedi.

Traditionally much stronger at home than abroad, the Indian team has improved its overseas form, especially in limited-overs cricket, since the start of the 21st century, winning Test matches in Australia, England and South Africa. It has won the Cricket World Cup twice – in 1983 under the captaincy of Kapil Dev and in 2011 under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. After winning the 2011 World Cup, India became only the third team after West Indies and Australia to have won the World Cup more than once, and the first cricket team to win the World Cup at home. It also won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. It was also the joint champions of 2002 ICC Champions Trophy, along with Sri Lanka.

As of 19 October 2018, India is ranked first in Tests, second in ODIs and second in T20Is by the ICC. Virat Kohli is the current captain of the team across all formats, while the head coach is Ravi Shastri. The Indian cricket team has rivalries with other Test-playing nations, most notably with Pakistan, the political arch-rival of India. However, in recent times, rivalries with nations like Australia, South Africa and England have also gained prominence.

International Cricket Council

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the global governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from Australia, England and South Africa. It was renamed as the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.

The ICC has 105 members: 12 Full Members that play Test matches and 93 Associate Members. The ICC is responsible for the organisation and governance of cricket's major international tournaments, most notably the Cricket World Cup. It also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals. It promulgates the ICC Code of Conduct, which sets professional standards of discipline for international cricket, and also co-ordinates action against corruption and match-fixing through its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

The ICC does not control bilateral fixtures between member countries (which include all Test matches), it does not govern domestic cricket in member countries, and it does not make the laws of the game, which remain under the control of the Marylebone Cricket Club.The Chairman heads the board of directors and on 26 June 2014, N.Srinivasan, the former president of BCCI, was announced as the first chairman of the council. The role of ICC president has become a largely honorary position since the establishment of the chairman role and other changes were made to the ICC constitution in 2014. It has been claimed that the 2014 changes have handed control to the so-called 'Big Three' nations of England, India and Australia. The last ICC president was Zaheer Abbas, who was appointed in June 2015 following the resignation of Mustafa Kamal in April 2015. The post of ICC president was abolished in April 2016 and Shashank Manohar who replaced Mr. Srinivasan in October 2015 became the first independent chairman of the ICC since then. The current CEO is Manu Sawhney,the former CEO of Singapore Sports Hub and Managing Director of ESPN Star Sports (ESS) who succeeded David Richardson.

MS Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (pronunciation ; commonly known as MS Dhoni; born July 7, 1981) is an Indian international cricketer who captained the Indian national team in limited-overs formats from 2007 to 2016 and in Test cricket from 2008 to 2014. An attacking right-handed middle-order batsman and wicket-keeper, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest finishers in limited-overs cricket. He is also regarded as one of the best wicket-keepers in world cricket. He made his One Day International (ODI) debut in December 2004 against Bangladesh, and played his first Test a year later against Sri Lanka.

Dhoni has been the recipient of many awards, including the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009 (the first player to win the award twice), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007, the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour, in 2009 and the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour, in 2018. He was named as the captain of the ICC World Test XI in 2009, 2010 and 2013. He has also been selected a record 8 times in ICC World ODI XI teams, 5 times as captain. The Indian Territorial Army conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel to Dhoni on 1 November 2011. He is the second Indian cricketer after Kapil Dev to receive this honour.

Dhoni also holds numerous captaincy records such as the most wins by an Indian captain in Tests, ODIs and T20Is, and most back-to-back wins by an Indian captain in ODIs. He took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007 and led the team to its first-ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, 2007–08 Commonwealth Bank Series, the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. In the final of the 2011 World Cup, Dhoni scored 91 not out off 79 balls handing India the victory for which he was awarded the Man of the Match. In June 2013, when India defeated England in the final of the Champions Trophy in England, Dhoni became the first captain to win all three ICC limited-overs trophies (World Cup, Champions Trophy and the World Twenty20). After taking up the Test captaincy in 2008, he led the team to series wins in New Zealand and the West Indies, and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2008, 2010 and 2013. In 2009, Dhoni also led the Indian team to number one position for the first time in the ICC Test rankings. In 2013, under his captaincy, India became the first team in more than 40 years to whitewash Australia in a Test series. In the Indian Premier League, he captained the Chennai Super Kings to victory at the 2010, 2011 and 2018 seasons, along with wins in the 2010 and 2014 editions of Champions League Twenty20. He announced his retirement from Tests on 30 December 2014.In 2011, Time magazine included Dhoni in its annual Time 100 list as one of the "Most Influential People in the World." In 2012, SportsPro rated Dhoni as the sixteenth most marketable athlete in the world. In June 2015, Forbes ranked Dhoni at 23rd in the list of highest paid athletes in the world, estimating his earnings at US$31 million. In 2016, a biopic M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story was made about him.

Dhoni holds the post of Vice-President of India Cements Ltd., after resigning from Air India. India Cements is the owner of the IPL team Chennai Super Kings, and Dhoni has been its captain since the first IPL season. Dhoni is the co-owner of Indian Super League team Chennaiyin FC.

New Zealand national cricket team

The New Zealand national cricket team, nicknamed the Black Caps, played their first Test in 1930 against England in Christchurch, becoming the fifth country to play Test cricket. From 1930 New Zealand had to wait until 1956, more than 26 years, for its first Test victory, against the West Indies at Eden Park in Auckland. They played their first ODI in the 1972–73 season against Pakistan in Christchurch.

The current Test, One-day and Twenty20 captain is Kane Williamson, who replaced Brendon McCullum who announced his retirement in late December, 2015. The national team is organised by New Zealand Cricket.

The New Zealand cricket team became known as the Black Caps in January 1998, after its sponsor at the time, Clear Communications, held a competition to choose a name for the team. Official New Zealand Cricket sources typeset the nickname as BLACKCAPS. This is one of many national team nicknames related to the All Blacks.

As of 10 February 2019, New Zealand have played 1304 Internationals, winning 491, losing 594, tying 11 and drawing 165 matches while 43 matches ended yeilding no result.

The team is ranked 3rd in Tests, 4th in ODIs and 6th in T20Is by the ICC. New Zealand reached the final match in the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time in its history, after beating South Africa in the semi-final in 2015.

One Day International

A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket, played between two teams with international status, in which each team faces a fixed number of overs, usually 50. The Cricket World Cup is played in this format, which is generally held every four years. One Day International matches are also called Limited Overs Internationals (LOI), although this generic term may also refer to Twenty20 International matches. They are major matches and considered the highest standard of List A, limited overs competition.

The international one-day game is a late-twentieth-century development. The first ODI was played on 5 January 1971 between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. When the first three days of the third Test were washed out officials decided to abandon the match and, instead, play a one-off one-day game consisting of 40 eight-ball overs per side. Australia won the game by 5 wickets. ODIs were played in white kits with a red ball.In the late 1970s, Kerry Packer established the rival World Series Cricket competition, and it introduced many of the features of One Day International cricket that are now commonplace, including coloured uniforms, matches played at night under floodlights with a white ball and dark sight screens, and, for television broadcasts, multiple camera angles, effects microphones to capture sounds from the players on the pitch, and on-screen graphics. The first of the matches with coloured uniforms was the WSC Australians in wattle gold versus WSC West Indians in coral pink, played at VFL Park in Melbourne on 17 January 1979. This led not only to Packer's Channel 9 getting the TV rights to cricket in Australia but also led to players worldwide being paid to play, and becoming international professionals, no longer needing jobs outside cricket. Matches played with coloured kits and a white ball became more commonplace over time, and the use of white flannels and a red ball in ODIs ended in 2001.

Pakistan Super League

Pakistan Super League (Urdu: پاکستان سپر لیگ‬‎; PSL) is a Twenty20 cricket league, founded in Lahore on 9 September 2015 with five teams and now comprises six teams. Instead of operating as an association of independently owned teams, the league is a single entity in which each franchise is owned and controlled by investors.

The commercial rights to the initial franchises were sold for US$93 million for a span of 10 years in December 2015. The market value of PSL in 2017 was up to US$300 million, according to Arif Habib.The PSL season runs between the months of February and March, with each team playing matches in double round robin format; the top four teams with the best record qualify for the playoffs and culminates in the championship game, the PSL Cup Final. The league is directed out of the Pakistan Cricket Board head office in Lahore. Due to security reasons, the first season was played entirely in the United Arab Emirates. The inaugural champions were Islamabad United. Peshawar Zalmi were the 2017 PSL Champions, having defeated Quetta Gladiators in Lahore on 5 March 2017. The current champions are Islamabad United, who won the title on 25 March 2018 in Karachi.

Pakistan national cricket team

The Pakistan Men's National Cricket Team (Urdu: پاکستان قومی کرکٹ ٹیم‬‎), popularly referred to as the Shaheens (Urdu: شاہین‬‎, lit. Falcons), Green Shirts and Men in Green, is administered by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The team is a Full Member of the International Cricket Council, and participates in Test, ODI and Twenty20 International cricket matches.

Pakistan has played 423 Test matches, winning 136, losing 128 and drawing 159. Pakistan was given Test status on 28 July 1952, following a recommendation by India, and made its Test debut against India at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi, in October 1952, with India winning by an innings and 70 runs. In the 1930s and 40s, several Pakistani Test players had played Test cricket for the Indian cricket team before the creation of Pakistan in 1947.

The team has played 907 ODIs, winning 479, losing 401, tying 8 with 19 ending in no-result. Pakistan was the 1992 World Cup champion, and was the runner-up in the 1999 tournament. Pakistan, in conjunction with other countries in South Asia, has hosted the 1987 and 1996 World Cups, with the 1996 final being hosted at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The team has also played 140 Twenty20 Internationals, the most of any team, winning 89 losing 48 and tying 3. Pakistan won the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and were runners-up in the inaugural tournament in 2007. Pakistan also won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy for the first time, defeating India. Pakistan has the distinct achievement of having won each of the major ICC international cricket tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty20, and ICC Champions Trophy; as well as the ICC Test Championship.As of 14 January 2019, the Pakistani cricket team is ranked seventh in Tests, fifth in ODIs and first in T20Is by the ICC.In the past, Pakistan has suffered a lot from terrorism which prevented foreign teams from visiting Pakistan primarily due to the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team. As a result, their home matches have been mostly held in the United Arab Emirates since then. However, due to a massive decrease in terrorism in Pakistan over the past few years, as well as a sharp increase in security, many teams have toured Pakistan since 2015 and the situation appears to be getting better. These teams include Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and the ICC World XI made of mostly South African and Australian players.

Ranji Trophy

The Ranji Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between teams representing regional and state cricket associations. The competition currently consists of 37 teams, with all 29 states in India and two of the seven union territories having at least one representation. The competition is named after first Indian cricketer who played international cricket, Ranjitsinhji, who was also known as 'Ranji'.

The current Ranji Trophy championship is held by Vidarbha, which won against Saurashtra by 78 runs in the final match of the 2018–19 season held at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur.

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar ( (listen); born 24 April 1973) is a former Indian international cricketer and a former captain of the Indian national team, regarded as one of the greatest batsman of all time. He is the highest run scorer of all time in International cricket. Tendulkar took up cricket at the age of eleven, made his Test debut on 15 November 1989 against Pakistan in Karachi at the age of sixteen, and went on to represent Mumbai domestically and India internationally for close to twenty-four years. He is the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, the first batsman to score a double century in a ODI, the holder of the record for the most number of runs in both Test and ODI, and the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket. He is colloquially known as Little Master or Master Blaster, and often referred to as the God of Cricket by Indian cricket followers.

In 2001, Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to complete 10,000 ODI runs in his 259 innings. In 2002, halfway through his career, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack ranked him the second greatest Test batsman of all time, behind Don Bradman, and the second greatest ODI batsman of all time, behind Viv Richards. Later in his career, Tendulkar was a part of the Indian team that won the 2011 World Cup, his first win in six World Cup appearances for India. He had previously been named "Player of the Tournament" at the 2003 edition of the tournament, held in South Africa. In 2013, he was the only Indian cricketer included in an all-time Test World XI named to mark the 150th anniversary of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.Tendulkar received the Arjuna Award in 1994 for his outstanding sporting achievement, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1997, India's highest sporting honour, and the Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan awards in 1999 and 2008, respectively, India's fourth and second highest civilian awards. After a few hours of his final match on 16 November 2013, the Prime Minister's Office announced the decision to award him the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award. He is the youngest recipient to date and the first ever sportsperson to receive the award. He also won the 2010 Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for cricketer of the year at the ICC awards. In 2012, Tendulkar was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India. He was also the first sportsperson and the first person without an aviation background to be awarded the honorary rank of group captain by the Indian Air Force. In 2012, he was named an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia.In 2010, Time magazine included Sachin in its annual Time 100 list as one of the "Most Influential People in the World".

In December 2012, Tendulkar announced his retirement from ODIs. He retired from Twenty20 cricket in October 2013 and subsequently retired from all forms of cricket on 16 November 2013 after playing his 200th Test match, against the West Indies in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium. Tendulkar played 664 international cricket matches in total, scoring 34,357 runs.

Test cricket

Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket and is considered its highest standard. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined and conferred by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The two teams of 11 players each play a four-innings match, which may last up to five days (or longer in some historical cases). It is generally considered the most complete examination of teams' playing ability and endurance. The name Test stems from the long, gruelling match being both mentally and physically testing.The first officially recognised Test match took place on 15–19 March 1877 and was played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), where Australia won by 45 runs. A Test match to celebrate 100 years of Test cricket was held in Melbourne on 12–17 March 1977, in which Australia beat England by 45 runs—the same margin as that first Test.In October 2012, the ICC recast the playing conditions for Test matches, permitting day/night Test matches. The first day/night game took place between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, on 27 November–1 December 2015.The equivalent for women is women's Test cricket, which is played over four days with slight differences in format from men's Tests.

Twenty20

Twenty20 cricket, sometimes written Twenty-20, and often abbreviated to T20, is a short form of cricket. At the professional level, it was originally introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 for the inter-county competition in England and Wales. In a Twenty20 game the two teams have a single innings each, which is restricted to a maximum of 20 overs. Together with first-class and List A cricket, Twenty20 is one of the three current forms of cricket recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as being at the highest international or domestic level.

A typical Twenty20 game is completed in about three hours, with each innings lasting around 90 minutes and an official 10 minute break between the innings. This is much shorter than previously-existing forms of the game, and is closer to the timespan of other popular team sports. It was introduced to create a fast-paced form of the game which would be attractive to spectators at the ground and viewers on television.

The game has succeeded in spreading around the cricket world. On most international tours there is at least one Twenty20 match and all Test-playing nations have a domestic cup competition. The inaugural ICC World Twenty20 was played in South Africa in 2007 with India winning by five runs against Pakistan in the final. Pakistan won the second tournament in 2009, and England won the title in the West Indies 2010. West Indies won in 2012, with Sri Lanka winning the 2014 tournament. West Indies are the reigning champions, winning the 2016 competition, and in doing so, became the first nation to win the tournament twice.

West Indies cricket team

The West Indies cricket team, colloquially known as and (since June 2017) officially branded as the Windies, is a multi-national cricket team representing the Anglophone Caribbean region and administered by Cricket West Indies. A composite team, players are selected from a chain of 15 Caribbean territories, most of which are English-speaking Caribbean, which comprise several countries and dependencies. As of 24 June 2018, the West Indian cricket team is ranked ninth in the world in Tests, ninth in ODIs and seventh in T20Is in the official ICC rankings.From the mid-late 1970s to the early 1990s, the West Indies team was the strongest in the world in both Test and One Day International cricket. A number of cricketers who were considered among the best in the world have hailed from the West Indies: Sir Garfield Sobers, Lance Gibbs, George Headley, Brian Lara, Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall, Sir Andy Roberts, Rohan Kanhai, Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Curtly Ambrose, Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh, Joel Garner, Sir Viv Richards and Sir Wes Hall have all been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.The West Indies have won the ICC Cricket World Cup twice, in 1975 and 1979, the ICC World Twenty20 twice, in 2012 and 2016, the ICC Champions Trophy once, in 2004, the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup once, in 2016, and were runners-up in the Cricket World Cup in 1983, the Under 19 Cricket World Cup in 2004, and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2006. The West Indies were the first team to win back-to-back World Cups (1975 and 1979), and appeared in three consecutive World Cup finals (1975, 1979 and 1983).

The West Indies has hosted the 2007 Cricket World Cup and the 2010 ICC World Twenty20.

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