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How to Play Cricket: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide


Cricket is one of the oldest and most popular sports in the world. It is played by millions of people around the globe, and it has a long and rich history that dates back hundreds of. Cricket can be an incredibly game to learn, but with some guidance and practice, anyone can get up to speed on how to play cricket. This guide will provide an overview of the rules, scoring system, important aspects of play, as well as some helpful tips for beginners looking to start playing this fun sport.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is simple: score more runs than your opponent. Runs are scored by hitting a ball with a bat and running around two sets of wickets, which are sets of three stumps and two bails. The batting team sends two players out to bat at a time and attempts to score as many runs as possible off each bowler before being dismissed (out). When 10 batsmen are out, that team’s innings ends. The other team then takes their turn to bat until both teams have had their innings completed.

Cricket Rules

Cricket is a game governed by rules and regulations that must be adhered to during play. These rules are designed to ensure fair play and the safety of the players involved.

In cricket, each team consists of 11 players with two batsmen in play at one time. The innings (turns) are divided into overs, which consist of six legal deliveries bowled alternately by two bowlers. A delivery is when a bowler throws the ball towards the batsman’s wicket. If the batsman hits it, they can try and score runs while avoiding being out. If they do not hit it or miss it altogether, then no runs are scored and their turn will end after three balls have been thrown without making contact.

The two teams usually alternate batting and fielding, with the fielding team trying to get the batsmen out by hitting their wickets or catching a ball that has been hit into the air. If the batsman is out in this way, they are dismissed from play. The team with the highest score after both sides have completed their innings will be declared the winner.

Scoring in Cricket

Cricket is a game of numbers and runs are scored by running around two sets of wickets or stumps placed 22 yards apart. When a batsman hits the ball with his bat, he can attempt to run between these sets of wickets as often as he wants until he is either dismissed or the over ends (six balls have been delivered).

If the batsman hits the ball, he earns a certain number of runs depending on how far the ball is hit and where it lands. If it goes over the boundary, then runs are added to the score; if it does go over the boundary but reaches or passes it, then two runs will be awarded. A run can also be scored by hitting a single from one end of the stumps to another, known as a ‘single’. Any other type of running between wickets is known as ‘extras’ and these do not count towards a team’s total score.

What You’ll Need to Play

Cricket Bat

This is the most important piece of equipment for any cricket player. The bat should be the right size and weight for the individual, as it needs to be able to handle both power and accuracy when hitting the ball.

Cricket Ball

The cricket ball is the most important part of any match as it needs to be able to take a beating and still stay firm. It also needs to be correctly balanced so that it can travel through the air in an accurate manner when being bowled by the bowlers.


These are three wooden posts with two bails on top which form the wicket. The batsman must hit the ball between these stumps in order to score runs, while the bowler’s aim is to knock down one or both of these bails in order to dismiss a batsman from play.


Protective equipment such as gloves and pads should be worn by all players taking part in a game, including batsmen, bowlers and fielders. This equipment should be chosen to suit the individual player’s needs for both comfort and safety.


This is an optional piece of equipment for cricket, but it is recommended for safety reasons. It provides protection from the ball and other potential hazards that may be encountered on the field.

Cricket Equipment Image With Names

Ground and Pitch

The ground should be large enough to accommodate two teams of 11 players each and be able to fit the 22-yard long cricket pitch. The pitch is the area where play takes place and should be perfectly flat with no irregularities such as bumps or divots. It should also have a smooth surface that allows for easy bowling and batting.

Important Aspects for Playing Cricket


Cricket is a team sport and each side needs to have the right combination of players in order to be successful. The batting, bowling and fielding teams should be chosen carefully and strategically in order to give each team member their best chance at success.

Batting Order

In cricket, the batting order refers to the sequence in which batsmen from a team come out to bat during an innings. The batting order is strategically planned to optimize the team’s chances of scoring runs and achieving a competitive total against the opposition. Here’s some information about the batting order in cricket:

  1. Opening Batsmen: The first pair of batsmen in the batting order are known as the opening batsmen. They face the new ball and start the innings. The primary role of the openers is to provide a solid foundation by negotiating the early swing and seam movement of the ball. They need to have a good technique, patience, and the ability to see off the new ball.
  2. Top-Order Batsmen: After the opening batsmen, the top-order batsmen follow. They usually occupy positions 3, 4, and 5 in the batting order. These batsmen are expected to build partnerships, stabilize the innings, and score runs at a good pace. They are typically more skilled and experienced, capable of handling both pace and spin bowling effectively.
  3. Middle-Order Batsmen: The middle-order batsmen come after the top-order and occupy positions 5 to 7 in the batting order. They play a crucial role in consolidating the innings, especially if early wickets have fallen. Middle-order batsmen are often skilled in rotating the strike, building partnerships, and accelerating the run-rate when required. They must have a good mix of defensive and attacking strokes.
  4. Lower-Order Batsmen: The lower-order batsmen usually occupy positions 8 to 11 in the batting order. They are primarily considered as bowling all-rounders or tailenders. While their primary focus is on their bowling skills, they are expected to contribute with the bat as well. Their role is often to add valuable runs towards the end of the innings and support the established batsmen.
  5. The Wicketkeeper: In cricket, the wicketkeeper is responsible for taking catches, stumping batsmen, and providing additional depth to the batting lineup. The wicketkeeper is usually positioned in the lower-middle order and is expected to contribute runs while also fulfilling their primary responsibilities as a wicketkeeper.

It’s important to note that the batting order can vary depending on the team’s strategy, match situation, and the playing conditions. Captains and coaches often make adjustments to the order based on the strengths and weaknesses of the players and the demands of the game.

Bowling Types

Bowling in cricket involves different types of deliveries that a bowler can use to outwit the batsman and take wickets. Each bowling type has its unique characteristics, variations, and strategies:

  1. Fast Bowling: Fast bowling involves delivering the ball at high speeds, typically above 130 km/h (80 mph). Fast bowlers generate pace and aim to intimidate batsmen with their speed and bounce. They use a run-up to build momentum and employ various techniques like swing, seam movement, and bounce to trouble the batsman. Fast bowlers are crucial in exploiting the new ball, creating pressure, and taking early wickets.
  2. Swing Bowling: Swing bowling relies on the movement of the ball in the air to deceive the batsman. It involves imparting lateral movement to the ball, either towards or away from the batsman. Swing can be achieved through conventional swing, where the shiny side of the ball is used to generate movement, or reverse swing, where the old ball is used to produce late movement. Skilled swing bowlers can swing the ball late, making it difficult for batsmen to judge and play their shots accurately.
  3. Seam Bowling: Seam bowling focuses on exploiting the irregularities on the pitch to create movement off the surface. Bowlers aim to land the ball on or around the seam to make it deviate after pitching. Seam movement can be in the form of bounce, lateral movement, or a combination of both. Bowlers use variations in seam position, release point, and cutters to deceive batsmen. Seam bowling is effective on pitches with uneven bounce or when the ball is relatively older.
  4. Spin Bowling: Spin bowling involves delivering the ball with a spinning action to deceive the batsman. Spinners primarily rely on the grip and revolutions imparted on the ball to generate turn and variation off the pitch. There are two main types of spin bowling:
  • Finger Spin: Finger spinners, or off-spinners, use their fingers to impart sidespin on the ball, making it turn from the off side to the leg side for a right-handed batsman (vice versa for a left-handed batsman).
  • Wrist Spin: Wrist spinners, comprising leg-spinners and left-arm unorthodox spinners, use their wrists to impart topspin or sidespin on the ball. This results in the ball spinning in the opposite direction to finger spin, making it turn from leg to off for a right-handed batsman (vice versa for a left-handed batsman).

Also Bowlers often employ variations to surprise the batsmen and keep them guessing. Some common variations include:

  • Yorkers: A delivery aimed at the base of the stumps, hitting the pitch near the batsman’s feet.
  • Bouncers: Short-pitched deliveries that rise towards the batsman’s head, designed to force them into an uncomfortable position.
  • Slower Balls: Deliveries bowled with a reduced pace by varying the grip and release, deceiving the batsman’s timing.
  • Googly: A leg-spinner’s variation that spins in the opposite direction to the batsman’s expectation, often confusing them.

Bowlers strategically mix these bowling types, variations, and their own unique styles to create pressure, take wickets, and control the game. The choice of bowling type depends on factors such as pitch conditions, the batsman’s strengths and weaknesses, and the match situation. Skilled bowlers are adept at using their variations effectively to trouble batsmen and contribute to their team’s success.

Fielding Positions

Fielding positions in cricket are strategically placed areas on the field where players are positioned to maximize their ability to catch the ball, stop runs, and take wickets. Each fielding position has a specific role and is named based on its location on the field:

  1. Slip: Slips are fielders positioned behind the batsman on the off side, typically to catch edges of the bat. Slip fielders stand close together, usually in a line, and are assigned numerical designations (e.g., first slip, second slip, etc.) based on their position from the wicketkeeper.
  2. Gully: Gully is a position on the off side, adjacent to the slip cordon. It is slightly wider and deeper than the slips, and its primary role is to catch edges that travel between the slip fielders.
  3. Point: Point is located on the off side, behind and slightly square of the batsman. The fielder at point covers a region between gully and cover and aims to stop runs and take catches from cuts and drives played by the batsman.
  4. Cover: Cover is positioned on the off side, slightly forward of point. The cover fielder aims to stop runs and take catches from shots played toward the off side, such as cover drives.
  5. Mid-off: Mid-off is situated on the off side, between the bowler and the straight boundary. The fielder at mid-off tries to stop straight drives played by the batsman and can also provide support to the bowler.
  6. Mid-on: Mid-on is located on the on side, opposite mid-off. The fielder at mid-on aims to stop straight shots played by the batsman and provides support to the bowler.
  7. Mid-wicket: Mid-wicket is positioned on the on side, between mid-on and square leg. This fielder covers the region where the batsman plays shots towards mid-on and mid-wicket.
  8. Square Leg: Square leg is situated on the on side, behind the batsman and square of the wicket. The fielder at square leg covers the area between mid-wicket and fine leg and aims to stop runs and take catches from shots played in that region.
  9. Fine Leg: Fine leg is positioned on the leg side, behind the batsman and fine of the wicket. The fielder at fine leg primarily defends the boundary and stops runs from shots played towards the leg side.
  10. Third Man: Third man is located on the off side, behind the batsman and fine of the wicket. The fielder at third man defends the boundary and stops runs from edges or deflections towards the off side.
  11. Long On, Long Off, Deep Mid-wicket, Deep Square Leg, etc.: These positions refer to fielders placed near the boundary, usually for big hits. They aim to stop the ball from crossing the boundary and are often positioned strategically based on the batsman’s strengths and the bowling tactics.

These are just a few of the many fielding positions in cricket. The positioning of fielders can vary depending on the match situation, the bowling strategy, and the strengths and weaknesses of the batsmen. Captains and coaches strategically assign players to different fielding positions to optimize their chances of taking wickets, restricting runs, and maintaining control over the game.

cricket fielding positions

Ways a Batsman Can Get Out

In cricket, a batsman can be dismissed or get out in several ways. When a batsman gets out, a new batsman replaces them until all the players in the batting lineup have been dismissed. Here are the common ways a batsman can get out:

  1. Bowled: A batsman is bowled out when the ball delivered by the bowler hits the stumps and dislodges at least one bail. If the ball hits any part of the batsman’s body and then hits the stumps, the batsman is still considered out, as long as the bail is dislodged.
  2. Caught: A batsman is caught out when a fielder catches the ball on the full after it has been hit by the batsman without the ball touching the ground. If the ball is caught after touching a fielder’s helmet, another fielder can complete the catch. However, if the ball is touched by a fielder but eventually lands on the ground, the batsman is not out.
  3. LBW (Leg Before Wicket): LBW is a dismissal where the ball hits the batsman’s leg (or any part of the body in line with the stumps) in front of the wicket, and the umpire determines that the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps. However, certain criteria need to be met for an LBW dismissal, including the ball not pitching outside the leg stump and the batsman not offering a shot.
  4. Run Out: A run out occurs when a fielder dislodges the bails with the ball while the batsman is outside the crease and not grounded behind the crease. This can happen when the batsmen are attempting to complete a run and the fielder hits the stumps directly with the ball or when the fielder catches the ball and dislodges the bails before the batsman can make it back to the crease.
  5. Stumped: Stumping is a dismissal that happens when the wicketkeeper removes the bails while the batsman is outside the crease and not grounded behind the crease. This occurs when the batsman comes out of the crease to play a delivery, misses the ball, and the wicketkeeper collects the ball and dislodges the bails.
  6. Hit Wicket: A batsman is out hit wicket if they hit their own stumps with the bat or any part of their body while attempting to play a shot or take a run. The dislodging of the bails can be accidental or deliberate.
  7. Handled the Ball: If a batsman intentionally touches the ball with their hand without the permission of the fielding side, they can be given out for handling the ball. However, unintentional touches while playing a shot or avoiding injury are not considered out.
  8. Obstructing the Field: If a batsman deliberately obstructs a fielder’s attempt to run them out, catch the ball, or affect a run-out, they can be given out for obstructing the field. The obstruction can be through actions like changing the direction while running or blocking the fielder’s view intentionally.
  9. Timed Out: If a new batsman takes more than three minutes to arrive at the crease after the dismissal of the previous batsman, they can be given out as timed out.

These are the main ways a batsman can be dismissed in cricket. Each dismissal has its specific criteria and is subject to the umpire’s judgment based on the Laws of Cricket. The type of dismissal can have a significant impact on the flow and outcome of the game.


Umpires in cricket play a crucial role in officiating matches, enforcing the laws of the game, making decisions, and ensuring fair play:

  1. On-Field Umpires: In every cricket match, there are two on-field umpires who are responsible for making decisions on the field. They have the authority to judge and determine whether a batsman is out, whether a delivery is legal, and other aspects of the game. The on-field umpires work in close coordination with each other to ensure accurate decision-making.
  2. Decision-Making: Umpires have the final say on various aspects of the game, such as run-outs, boundaries, catches, wides, no balls, and dismissals. They make decisions based on their judgment, knowledge of the game’s laws, and the assistance of technology like TV replays and ball-tracking systems in certain matches.
  3. Fair Play and Sportsmanship: Umpires are responsible for upholding the spirit of the game and ensuring fair play. They monitor the actions and conduct of players, intervening when necessary to prevent unsporting behavior, such as excessive appealing, sledging, or deliberate time-wasting.
  4. Signals: Umpires use a set of hand signals to communicate their decisions and important information to the players, scorers, and spectators. These signals include signaling dismissals, wides, no balls, byes, boundaries, change of ends, and powerplays. Umpire signals provide clarity and transparency in the game.
  5. Third Umpire: In matches with TV umpire review technology, there is a third umpire who assists the on-field umpires in making decisions on specific incidents, such as run-outs, catches, and disputed boundaries. The third umpire reviews the TV replays and conveys their decision to the on-field umpires.
  6. Match Officials: Umpires may be supported by match officials, such as a match referee, who oversees the conduct of the game and ensures compliance with the rules and regulations. The match referee addresses disciplinary matters, reviews reports from umpires, and maintains the overall integrity of the match.
  7. Umpire Development: Umpires undergo training, certification, and development programs to enhance their knowledge, skills, and decision-making abilities. They receive guidance from experienced umpires, attend workshops, and stay updated with the latest changes in the laws and regulations of the game.

Umpires in cricket hold significant responsibility in maintaining the integrity of the game and ensuring a fair contest between teams. Their decisions and judgments play a crucial role in the outcome of matches, and they are instrumental in upholding the principles of cricket.

Umpire Signals in Cricket

Umpire signals in cricket are hand gestures used by the on-field umpires to convey decisions and communicate important information to the players, scorers, and spectators. These signals play a crucial role in ensuring clarity and transparency in the game. Here’s some information about the common umpire signals in cricket:

  1. Out: When a batsman is dismissed, the umpire raises their index finger above their head to signal that the batsman is out. This signal indicates that the batsman has been bowled, caught, stumped, run out, or dismissed by any other means.
  2. Wide: If the bowler delivers a ball that is too wide and outside the batsman’s reach, the umpire extends both arms horizontally to signal a wide. This means that an extra run is awarded to the batting team, and the ball is re-bowled.
  3. No Ball: If the bowler’s delivery is illegal due to overstepping the popping crease or other technical infringements, the umpire extends their non-dominant arm horizontally to signal a no ball. This indicates that an extra run is awarded to the batting team, and the ball is re-bowled.
  4. Bye and Leg Bye: If the batsman misses the ball, and the ball goes past the wicketkeeper, the umpire signals a bye by extending one arm laterally, indicating that the batsmen can take a run. If the ball deflects off the batsman’s body or equipment, the umpire signals a leg bye by tapping their thigh with one hand.
  5. Four and Six: When a batsman hits the ball to the boundary without it touching the ground, the umpire signals a four by extending one arm horizontally towards the leg side. For a six, when the ball clears the boundary directly, the umpire raises both arms above their head.
  6. Short Run: If the batsman fails to ground the bat or any part of their body behind the popping crease while completing a run, the umpire touches their shoulder with one hand to indicate a short run. In this case, the batsman is not awarded the run they were attempting to score.
  7. Dead Ball: The umpire indicates a dead ball by crossing and uncrossing their wrists in front of their waist. This signal is used to halt play temporarily, usually due to an unforeseen interruption, such as a hindrance on the field or an injury to a player.
  8. Change of End: When the batsmen decide to switch ends and take runs, the umpire points their arm towards the opposite end to signal a change of end.
  9. Powerplay: In limited-overs cricket, the umpire forms a circle with their arms above their head to signal the powerplay. This indicates that a specific period of the match, usually the first few overs, has restrictions on field placements.

These are some of the common umpire signals used in cricket. Umpires are responsible for making accurate decisions and relaying them through these signals, ensuring fair play and maintaining the integrity of the game. The players and spectators rely on these signals to understand the on-field proceedings and the state of the game.

umpire signals explained


Captains of cricket teams are responsible for the performance of their team. They have to make strategic decisions, motivate players, and guide them through difficult situations during a match. A captain also has set field placements, decide on bowling changes, communicate with the umpire and opposing captain, and handle any disputes that may arise during a game.

How to Play Your First Cricket Game: Simple and Easy Steps

1. Get the right equipment: The basic cricket kit includes a bat, ball, pads, helmet and gloves. You can either buy it or borrow it from another player.

2. Learn the rules: Make sure you understand all the rules of cricket before you start playing your first game. This will help you to play with confidence and avoid any confusion in the middle of the match.

3. Choose a side: The two sides in a cricket game are known as batting side (the team that bats) and fielding side (the team that bowls and fields). Decide which one you want to be part of before starting the game.

4. Set up your batting positions: This is an important step as it helps to maintain the flow of the game. Place your players at the right positions to give them a better chance of scoring runs.

5. Start bowling: The bowling side has an important role in cricket as only they can take wickets and restrict the batting side from scoring. Make sure that you bowl according to the rules and follow all safety precautions while doing so.

6. Take wickets: Taking wickets is one of the most exciting aspects of cricket, as it helps to keep up pressure on the opposing team and also brings some excitement into the game! Make sure that you are aware of all your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses so that you can capitalize on those weaknesses when taking wickets.

7. Score runs: This is a critical part of the game as it not only helps you to win the match but also builds your team’s confidence. Encourage your to score quickly and regularly in to increase the chances of success.

8. Celebrate: After a successful match, celebrate with your teammates! High-fives or hugs should do the trick!

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Cricket is an exciting sport that requires skill, strategy and teamwork. It is important for players to understand all the rules and regulations before playing their first game, so they can gain a better understanding of how the game works. Captains have an important role in cricket as they have to make strategic decisions and motivate their team throughout the match. With practice and discipline, anyone can become an expert cricketer!


What are the basic rules of cricket?

The basic rules of cricket are that two teams compete against each other in an attempt to score more runs their opponent. The team batting first must face a certain number of deliveries (usually six) before switching roles with the fielding side.

What equipment do I need to play cricket?

You will need a bat, ball, helmet, pads and gloves for playing cricket. You can either buy or borrow these items from another player.

How many players are on each team in cricket?

Each team in cricket has 11 players – 10 fielders and one batsman. The fielding side can also have a substitute fielder, if necessary.

How long does a game of cricket usually last?

A game of cricket usually lasts around 4-5 hours, depending on the number of overs and the speed of play.

How do you score runs in cricket?

Runs are scored in cricket when the batsman hits the ball and runs between the wickets. Each run is worth one point, though some runs can be worth more depending on how they were scored.

How do you bowl in cricket?

To bowl in cricket, the bowler must hold the ball in their hand and then take a run-up before delivering it towards the batsman. The ball must be delivered overarm and above waist height to be considered legal.

What is the difference between test cricket and limited-overs cricket?

Test cricket is a longer form of the game that usually lasts up to five days. Limited-overs cricket, on the other hand, consists of shorter matches that last for a maximum of one day.

Rudra Chanda