Beginner’s guide to cricket

If you’re new to the world of cricket and would like to learn more about our sport, read our beginner’s guide.

If you’re new to the world of cricket and would like to learn more about our sport, read our introduction below. You’ll be an expert in no time.

Basics of the game

  • Cricket is a team sport played by two competing sides usually formed of 11 players each. However, even If it’s just you and your mate in the park, you can still indulge in a game! You can play cricket anywhere – in the park, your garden, the street, the beach, a car park. The opportunities are endless
  • If you play club cricket, you will usually play at a cricket ground. A cricket ground is a large expanse of flat grass, quite often circular or oval in shape and surrounded by a boundary marker
  • The pitch is situated in the middle of the field
  • A coin toss decides the order in which the teams bat and field. The two team captains contest the toss with the winning captain choosing whether to bat or field first
  • Both teams take turns batting and fielding
  • Players on the batting side bat in pairs, with one situated at each end of the wicket
  • Wicket can refer to either the 22 yards between the stumps, the stumps themselves (with bails included) or a batsman’s dismissal from the game
  • Stumps are comprised of three upright wooden posts placed side by side in the ground, with two smaller sticks laid horizontally on top of the posts called bails to form the wicket
  • Players on the batting side score runs by running between the wickets
  • International teams play Twenty20 cricket, one-day fixtures and Test matches
  • Twenty20 and one-day matches are formed of limited overs. As the name suggests, teams playing a Twenty20 game bat for a total of 20 overs each, while in one-day cricket, the total number of overs each side bats for is 50.
  • Teams bat until they’ve either completed their overs or ten of their batsmen have been dismissed by the fielding side
  • An over consists of six balls (deliveries) by a bowler from the fielding team
  • The team with the highest number of runs at the end wins!

Play anywhere

You can adapt your game of cricket to suit any space – indoor or outdoor.
Here are a few suggestions for types of cricket you can play according to your space and number of players. These ideas are aimed at children but can be adapted to suit players of all ages and abilities: 
Find out more about the different formats you can play, whether you’re an adult or a child.
In addition, our club finder will help you locate your nearest club so you can get started.

Cricket equipment

If you’re looking to play hard-ball cricket, equipment such as bats, balls, helmets and pads is available in all major sports shops. In addition, our online cricket store will help you source everything you need.
If you’re playing a casual game of soft-ball cricket, all you need is comfortable clothing, energy and enthusiasm!

Did you know? Ten ways to be dismissed

If you’re batting in a game of cricket, there are ten ways you can be dismissed by the fielding team. Some might be familiar – others not so much:
  • Caught
  • Bowled
  • Out leg before wicket (lbw)
  • Run out
  • Stumped
  • Hit wicket
  • Handled/ling the ball
  • Double hit/hitting the ball twice
  • Obstructing the field
  • Timed out