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Cricket - The Gentleman's Game
Cricket is described a bat and a ball sport between two teams each having eleven players. Usually, during play, each team takes their turns to bat while trying to score the runs. Each turn is termed as an innings. Often, the bowler delivers the ball to the batsman who is required to hit the ball as far away as possible. Each batsman continues to bat until the specified number of overs is reached or a total of 10 batsmen are made out. After this, the rival team switches positions and the fielding team takes the bating role. The length of the game may vary on the type of match – A 20-20 match is with twenty overs each innings, a one day international match is with 50 overs per innings and a test match is usually played for over five days. All international cricket match should adhere to the laws and rules set forth by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
In cricket, scoring is referred to as runs. The objective is usually to score as much runs as possible. During the game, each match is often divided into innings (both plural and singular). In a given innings, one team bats while the other team bowls. Usually, the aim of the batting team is to score as much as runs possible. Other objectives alongside bating may include setting a total or even chasing the target set by the opponents. The bowling opponents try as much as possible to limit the runs scoring while trying to get the batting opposition out. In a test cricket, each participating team is usually awarded two innings that are played for about five or more days. In twenty 20 or one day matches, each team is awarded one innings each.
At the edge of the pitch (22 yards long and 10 feet wide), three wooden poles (stumps) are hammered into the ground to make stumps. At the top of these stumps are the bails linking each to the successive stumps. The set of three stumps together with the two bails make up a Wicket. One end where the batsman stands is designated as the batting end and the other is referred to as the bowling end.
In any cricket match, every team consists of 11 players, and based on a player’s ability, the player can be classified as either a specialist bowler or specialist batsman. A successful player in both batting and bowling is usually known as an all-rounder. Wicket-keeper is a highly specialized fielding position and one of the bowling players takes this positions. Every innings is divided into overs. An over consists of six consecutive deliveries by the same bowler. A bowler is never allowed to do consecutive overs. He/she shifts position from one end of the wicket to the other end, whenever his/her deliveries are over. In one day cricket, an innings consist of fifty consecutive overs totaling to two hundred and ten minutes. In the twenty 20 Cricket, an innings consist of 20 overs and the total time amounts to at least one hour and fifteen minutes.
During the match, there are usually two on-field umpires who oversee the continuity of the game. One umpire stand behind the bowler facing the batsman. The other umpire, known as the square-leg umpire stands at the square leg fielding position, strategically placed to offer a side view of batting end stumps. The umpire who stands behind the bowler is accountable for almost all of the decisions in the field. The two on-field referees may sometimes seek the help of a third umpire or TV-umpire who often takes the assistance of television replays before giving his verdict. Beside the three umpires, there is “Match Referee”. The primary work of the Match Referee is to ensure that the cricket match is played as per the stipulated rules as required.