How to Play Cricket: A Beginner’s Guide to Cricket Rules

  • How to play cricket
  • What are the types of cricket
How to play Cricket
A beginner's guide - All you ever wanted to know about how to play cricket!

Intrigued by Cricket, yet don’t have the patience to understand it without getting frustrated? This will be a one-stop guide to all your queries regarding this nerve-wracking game, minus the frustration. When you are done, you will know how to play cricket.

Cricket essentially comprises of 2 teams, each consisting of 11 players, along with umpires who supervise the game. Each team takes a turn at batting and bowling. The batting side has to score as many runs in the given overs while the bowling side has to restrict the team from scoring. By the end of the game whichever team manages to secure the most runs, wins. 

Ranked as the second most popular games of all time, cricket has approximately 2.5 billion fans throughout the world. Originated in Southern England, Cricket is now a part of 4 continents with more than 20 teams competing internationally.

Keeping in mind the popularity of the sport, it is no surprise that cricket fans also like to indulge in cricket betting. Furthermore, online sportsbook in the UK has seen a remarkable increase in wagering culture.

How to Play Cricket 

How To Play Cricket - Equipment
Cricket equipment

First things first, to learn how to play cricket, you need to follow a comprehensive set of rules. For equipment, you will need:

  • Cricket Bat
  • Cricket Ball
  • Stumps

Cricket bats follow specific dimensions and are a little heavy; beginners would prefer to start off with a lighter one. Professional play requires hard leather-made balls. Beginners commonly use a tennis ball. Stumps, also commonly referred to as ‘wickets’, are 3 slender wooden sticks, balancing 2 bails at the top. The placement of the stumps is at both ends of the pitch.

A cricket ground is oval in shape, covered in grass, except for the pitch. The pitch is a hard and dry, rectangular zone in the center of the field. Creases on the pitch are important guidelines for the players. The umpires penalize any violation of these guidelines.

The mechanics of the game

Next step, breaking down the game into simple categories for better understanding:

  • Batting
  • Bowling
  • Fielding


The game starts with a coin toss between captains of both teams overseen by the umpire on the field. The team which wins the toss decides either to bat or bowl. Pre-selected batsmen (openers) start the game. Batting is the skill of hitting the ball to score runs while preventing the loss of one’s wicket. The further away they hit the ball, the better the chances of scoring a higher score. It is crucial for the batsman to be aware of the batting crease at all times.

A boundary is parallel to the outer edge of the ground. If a batsman manages to hit the ball past the boundary:

– 4 runs: ball touches the ground in between the hit and boundary line.

– 6 runs: the ball goes past the boundary line after a direct hit.

How to play Cricket Batting
Batting in action

To score, single or more runs, the two batsmen must run between the batting and bowling crease.


Bowling is the act of throwing the ball in order to take out the opposing team’s batsman. Bowlers have 6 deliveries per over, the general rule is that no bowler can bowl for more than 20% of the total overs. For instance, in an ODI (One Day Innings) which consists of 50 overs, each bowler will bowl a total of 10 overs. 

Rules of bowling

Bowling starts with the bowler accelerating towards the pitch, craftily placing his foot between the popping and bowling crease while releasing the ball. A no ball occurs when during a delivery the foot of the bowler crosses the popping crease. A free hit follows the no ball. During the free hit, the batsman will continue to play even if he is stumped, caught or bowled. On the contrary, the batsman will only be dismissed if they are run out. 

Wide ball is when a ball is too high or out of reach to be hit, thus making it illegal. As a penalty, the opposing team secures an extra run and a re-delivery.

How to dismiss a batsman

Bowled: During delivery, if the ball hits the stumps and bails are dislodged, it will be considered an out. 

Caught: If the ball hit by the batsman is caught by a fielder without touching the ground.

Run Out: While taking runs, if the bowling team manages to hit the stumps with the ball, it is considered a run out.

Stumped: During delivery, if a batsman steps out of his batting crease in order to hit the ball and misses, the wicket-keeper can hit his stumps and dismiss him.

Leg between Wicket (LBW): If the ball hits the leg of the batsman instead of the bat, and its path is aligned with the wicket, it will consider as an LBW. 

Hit Wicket: If the batsman himself dislodges his wicket during a delivery, intentionally or unintentionally.

Hitting the ball twice: If the batsman hits the ball twice with his bat after the ball has been delivered. 

Retired/Hurt: If the batsman gets hurt and can not continue they can be excused from the game. With the consent of the opposing team’s captain, the retired player may return upon feeling well.  


Fielding is an important part of cricket, the bowling team has to defend the boundaries and prevent their opposing team from scoring. The fielders spread across the field according to the captain’s directions.  

During a Powerplay in cricket (subjected to only matches with limited overs), there is a limit to the number of fielders who can stay outside the inner 30-yard circle, for the specific number of overs. 

How to play cricket matches? Here are the types of Cricket Matches

Test Match (5 Days)

Test cricket is a match that takes place between two teams. Each team plays 2 innings each (2 chances to bat and bowl) with at least 90 overs bowled per day. The team with the highest score is the winner, at the end of the innings. 

One Day Innings (ODIs) 

ODI is a one day match, where each team gets to play 1 inning each, with a total of 50 overs. 


T-20 is an exciting match to watch because of the urgency it induces. Each team gets to play a single inning with 20 overs.

International Cricket

International matches are played throughout the year, ICC Champions Trophy is the most anticipated one. The online sportsbook news in the UK reviewed an astonishing increase in the gambling market for the Cricket World Cup 2019.

Without exception, cricket is an intense game to watch. Learning how to play cricket makes you one step closer to appreciating the adrenaline rush this game generates.

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