Official Publication of the St Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association
Cricket for beginners
Cricket is a bat and ball game played between two teams of 11 players on a grassy field. In the centre of the field is a length of grass, (usually 22 yards long), called the wicket. At each end of the wicket, three stumps—wooden poles—are placed closely together so that the cricket ball cannot pass between them. The stumps are 28 inches high. Wooden bails, a little over 4 inches long lie in grooves on top of them. A chalk outline, a crease, is drawn in front of the stumps. The game is refereed by two umpires.
One team will bat first; the other side will bowl to them. Batsmen play in pairs, one at each end of the wicket. The bowler bowls from behind the crease, the rest of his team members are positioned around the field in positions with names such as silly mid on and silly mid off; square leg and backward short leg; slips and gully. Their job is to retrieve the ball as quickly as possible and prevent the batsmen from scoring.
The batting side must score the optimal number of runs or points before the bowling side dismisses them. The bowling side must dismiss the batsmen as quickly as possible and prevent them from scoring runs.
Runs are scored each time the batting pair runs between the wickets after a ball has been bowled and struck by one of the batsmen. If the ball travels outside of the pitch and it touches the ground prior to leaving the pitch, 4 runs are scored. If the ball remains airborne on its way out, 6 runs are scored.
Dismissal of batsmen occurs in a number of ways. The batsman facing the bowler is bowled out when the ball hits the stumps without him preventing it. If the batsman strikes the ball with the bat and it is caught by the bowler or one of the bowler's side fielding around the pitch before it hits the ground (on the fly), he is out. A batsman can also be out if his body obstructs the ball from hitting the wicket. This is called leg before wicket or l.b.w.
Batsmen can be run-out if the wicket towards which they are running is struck with the ball prior to their reaching the safety of the crease.
When all of the batsmen on the batting side are out, the bowling side comes into bat and the batting side bowls.
The game is won by the team that scores the highest number of runs.
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