Learning to Play Cricket: A Beginners’ Guide
Cricket can be a very exciting game, especially for secondary school students. Imagine your dad coming to watch you win the cricket championship at your school. That would be such an experience. But for that to happen, you need to learn how to play cricket.
Many people love cricket, but not everyone knows how to play the game. Some just do not understand some of the terms and rules. And since cricket is such a widely loved sport in Maidstone schools, you wouldn’t want to be the odd one out.
If any of this refers to you, come along, and you’ll be a skilled cricketer ready for your first game in no time.
Equipment you’ll need
Here is the vital equipment you’ll need to play cricket:
- Cricket ball – as a beginner, you may practice with a tennis ball as a cricket ball can feel too heavy.
- Cricket bat – the stick used to hit the ball. You might want to use a lighter one to practice.
- Stumps – wooden sticks beaten into the ground. Two bails are placed atop them to form a wicket. The stumps should be 28 inches tall and 9 inches wide.
- Ground & pitch – The ground is the area (like a field) where you play cricket, and it’s spherical. The pitch is where the batsman stands, and it’s rectangular, measuring 20m x 3m. Place the wickets at both ends of the pitch.
When starting, do not worry so much about the ground. Just find a good spot in your neighborhood. But be sure to get a cricket ball and cricket bat Maidstone. These are essential for you to start learning cricket at home. Let’s now proceed to the basic mechanics of the sport.
Important aspects of playing cricket
Just like football, cricket is a team sport. International cricket requires 11 players on both sides. In the beginning, the umpire will toss a coin, and the team who wins the toss gets to choose whether to bat or bowl first.
The act of hitting the ball to score runs is known as batting. As I said, it would be advisable to get a light bat to practice handling before moving on to pro bats. The aim is to score as many runs as you can to beat the opposing team. One batter bats, and then the other team takes over until no one is left.
The idea is to hit the ball as far as possible so you can get runs. But it would help if you didn’t hit every ball as it can “get you out” by being caught or bowled (explained below).
The fielding team bowls the overs while trying to prevent the batting team from scoring runs. An over is a set of deliveries the bowler bowls. Each set is made up of 6 legal deliveries.
If you’re a bowler, then your job is to get wickets by “getting the batsman out.” You can do this through different techniques.
A one-day match has 50 overs, but you don’t have to play that much starting out. You can begin with 10, which can take roughly 40 minutes. This is enough time for both the bowlers and batters to get enough turns.
Ways to get a batter out
Caught – The batsman gets caught and out when the fielder catches the batted ball without touching the ground.
Bowled – The batsman is out if the bowler hits the stumps with the ball, dislodging the bails.
Timed out – Once a batsman leaves the crease, their partner must get there within 3 minutes or be timed out.
Run out – The fielder hits the stumps, and the batsman fails to complete their run.
Stumped – This occurs when the batsman misses the ball, and it hits the stumps, dislodging the bail.
Hitting the ball twice – The batsman is out if he hits the ball twice.
Handled the ball – this is like a handball in football.
Obstructing the field – If the batsman obstructs play by action or words, he is out.
Hit wicket – The batsman is out if he hits and scatters his own stumps, knowingly or unknowingly.
Retired hurt – The batsman is retired out if he gets injured but can resume play if he gets better quickly.
Leg before wicket – The bowl touches the batsman’s legs.
Fielding, preventing the ball from going out of the field when hit, is arguably the most important aspect of cricket. The bowling team is also the fielding team. There are nine fielders, and the team’s success as a whole depends on how well they can prevent the ball from going out. That means they have to be very athletic.
As a fielder, don’t stand too close to the batsman as it can be dangerous, especially when you aren’t wearing a helmet. The key is to keep your eyes on the ball and try to catch it before it bounces.
The umpire will indicate a lot of things by making gestures. Here are some umpire gestures you need to be familiar with to start playing cricket
Batsman Out – the umpire raises his index finger.
Dead ball – the umpire crosses and uncrosses both hands below the waist.
Cancel – the umpire crosses both hands and touches the shoulders, indicating a re-bowl.
Penalty runs – when there is misconduct, the umpire may touch the shoulder to award a penalty to the bowling side or tap their hand to award it to the batting side.
The captain makes all the calls for the team during play. They are just like the coach when the game’s in play.
Playing your first cricket game in your yard
- Ensure all your equipment are ready
- Get your friends and form two teams of equal numbers. It doesn’t matter how many.
- Toss a coin to decide who gets to bowl or bat first.
- If you win the toss, it may be great to choose batting as that’s more like the most enjoyable.
- Steady yourself, raise the bat behind your head, and hit the ball when it’s bowled.
- Make as many runs as possible.
- When it’s time to bowl, prevent your opponent from making more runs.
If you’re not tired after the first game, then start all over again.
Congrats! You’ve successfully graduated from the beginners’ level. Now, take courage and join that cricket team you’ve always wanted to join!