The Washington Post

Understanding cricket, in 200 words

It has a history in the United States. It includes a bat and a ball. And 11 men try their hardest to strike out the guy with the bat.

No, it’s not baseball.

It’s cricket, arguably the most popular game in the world (after what everyone but Americans calls football).

The game is played between two teams, each with 11 players. The goal of the team that bats is to score runs. You score one run for running the length of the pitch, four runs if you hit the ball and reaches the boundary, and six runs if you hit it out of the field in the air. In the meantime, the goal of the team that bowls and fields is to get rid of the batsmen with as few runs as possible.

The most popular form of cricket is the one-day game. (The other form of the game, called test cricket, is a whole different story, with a match lasting five days.)

From its beginnings in Tudor England, the game spread with the British Empire and has thrived since the empire’s collapse. Today’s world powerhouses include Australia, South Africa, England, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.



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