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A team sport played between two teams of 11 players each.

Cricket is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players each. It is a bat-and-ball game played on a roughly elliptical grass field, in the centre of which is a hard, flat strip of ground 22�yards (20.12�m) long, called the pitch.

At each end of the pitch stand a set of three wooden stakes called stumps (traditionally made from the wood of the ash tree), which along with two smaller wooden crosspieces called bails, form the wickets . A player from one team (the bowler) propels a hard, fist-sized ball (which has a cork core wrapped in worsted yarn, and a leather cover) from one wicket towards the other. A player from the opposing team (the batsman) attempts to defend the wicket from the ball with a wooden cricket bat, traditionally made of willow. Another (the non-striker) stands in an inactive role near the bowler's wicket.

If the batsman hits the ball with his bat, he may run to the other wicket, exchanging places with the non-striker. This scores a run. While the batting team attempts to score as many runs as it can, members of the bowling team gather the ball and return it to either wicket. If the ball strikes a wicket while the nearest batsman is still running, the batsman is out. Batsmen can also be out by other means, such as failing to defend the bowled ball from hitting the wicket, or hitting a catch to a fielder.

Once out, a batsman is replaced by the next batsman in the team. As there must always be two batsmen on the field, if and when the tenth batsman is out, the team's turn to bat or innings (always with a terminal "s" in cricket usage) is over, and the other team may bat while the first team takes the field. Depending on the specific rules of the match, one or two innings may be played, possibly with a fixed number of legally-bowled balls defining the end of an innings rather than ten batsmen having been dismissed. At the end of the match, the winner is the team that has scored the most runs. However, the game may run out of time before it is finished, in which case it is a draw, even if one team is overwhelmingly winning at that point. This is sometimes surprising to those not familiar with the game, but it does add interest to one-sided games by giving the inferior team the incentive to try to achieve a draw even if they cannot win.

Cricket has been an established team sport for several centuries. It originated in its modern form in England, and is popular mainly in the present and former members of the Commonwealth. In some countries in South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, cricket is by far the most popular sport. Cricket is also a major sport in England and Wales, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean, which are known in cricketing parlance as the West Indies. It is also a prominent minor sport in countries as diverse as the Netherlands, Israel, Nepal, and Argentina (see also: International Cricket Council).

The length of the game — a match can last six or more hours a day for up to five days in one form of the game — the numerous intervals for lunch and tea, and the rich terminology are notable aspects which can often confuse those not familiar with the sport. For its fans, the sport and the intense rivalries between top cricketing nations provide passionate entertainment and outstanding sporting achievements. It has even occasionally given rise to diplomatic outrage, the most infamous being the Bodyline series played between England and Australia.

Objective and summary

Cricket is a bat and ball sport. The objective of the game is to score more "runs" than the opposing team. A match is divided into innings during which one team bats and the other bowls.

If, in a two-innings match, the first team to bat is dismissed in their second innings with a combined first- and second-innings score less than the first-innings score of their opponents (a relatively rare occurrence), the match is concluded and they are said to have lost by "an innings and n runs", where "n" is the difference in score between the teams. If the team batting last is dismissed with the scores exactly equal, "i.e.", they are one run short of their target (an extremely rare occurrence) the match is a tie.

If the match has only a single innings per side, with a set number of deliveries, and the match is temporarily interrupted by bad weather, then a complex mathematical formula known as the Duckworth-Lewis method is often used to recalculate a new target score. A one-day match can be declared a "No-Result" if fewer than a previously agreed number of overs have been bowled by either team. This can occur if an interruption makes a resumption of play impossible, for example an extended period of bad weather or an unruly crowd.

Laws of cricket

The game is played in accordance with 42 laws of cricket, which have been developed by the Marylebone Cricket Club in discussion with the main cricketing nations. Teams may agree to alter some of the rules for particular games. Other rules supplement the main laws and change them to deal with different circumstances. In particular, there are a number of modifications to the playing structure and fielding position rules that apply to one innings games that are restricted to a set number of fair deliveries.

Source: Wikipedia

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