Coming to the US in 2024: Cricket World Cup. Learn about the game (2024)

Major League Cricket debuted in the United States in 2023. 2024 will bring the Cricket World Cup here. Are Americans on the verge of embracing one of the world’s most popular sports?

Six Major League Cricket (MLC) teams played 19 games over 16 days last summer at venues in Texas and North Carolina. While cricket seasons around the world usually last about six months, this abbreviated season was a test to see if there was an audience for the sport in the U.S. At fields holding up to 7,200 fans, many games sold out and plans are underway for a 2024 season.

The MLC hopes to attract more new fans this year when the U.S. hosts Cricket World Cup matches for the first time. The tournament will be co-hosted by the U.S. and West Indies on June 4-30, with matches in the U.S. played in Texas, Florida and New York.

Cricket's popularity around the world

Cricket was listed as the second most watched sport in the world – behind soccer – by the 2023 World Atlas. While it is most popular in South Asia, Australia and England, it is played in 125 countries.

The audiences for key cricket matches have crushed the number of viewers for the most-watched Super Bowl. The 2023 Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles drew 115 million viewers, the most ever. The most-watched cricket match, the 2011 World Cup final between Sri Lanka and India, drew over 500 million viewers. At least four other matches since have pulled in hundreds of millions of viewers.

What are the basics of cricket?

Cricket is a simple game in that one team tries to score more runs than the other team by hitting a ball with a bat. But like many sports, it has layers upon layers of rules and variations. The root strategy is pretty straightforward: the fielding team tries to bowl (or pitch) the ball past the batter to hit the wicket behind the batter, causing an out. A batter stands in front of the wicket using the bat to direct the ball away from the wicket by hitting the ball and scorings runs. Let’s look at more basics of the game to provide a foundation for understanding cricket.

Is cricket played on a field or a pitch?

Cricket is played on a round or oval grass field with a rectangular flat strip in the middle, called a pitch. Like baseball fields, the outfield areas can vary. But the size of the pitch remains consistent, like the pitching mound and bases in baseball.

Lines on the pitch are called creases, marking the areas where batters hit and bowlers throw the ball (popping crease and return crease create a sort of batters box), and where wickets are placed (bowling crease). More on wickets later.

The boundary is the rope or fence around the perimeter of the outfield.

What equipment is needed for cricket?

Protective gear for players: Batters, called batsmen or strikers, wear helmets, leg pads and batting gloves. The wicket keeper, similar to baseball’s catcher, also wears leg pads and gloves. No other players wear protective equipment. Fielders catch hits bare-handed.

Bat and ball: The bat is a flat-fronted willow wood blade attached to a cane handle. The ball has a leather covering over a cork center wrapped with string and is usually red or white.

Wicket: A wicket is made up of three stumps (posts) and two bails (small sticks). Stumps stand upright 28 inches high and are fixed to the ground such that a ball could not pass between the stumps. Two bails, each 4¾ inches long, sit on top of the stumps. One wicket is placed at each end of the pitch.

How does cricket scoring work?

To win the game, a team must score more runs than its opponent. The two teams each have 11 players. There are also two umpires, whose decisions are final. No replays.

Games are played in innings (innings being both singular and plural; there is no “inning.”) In each innings one team bats and one team fields.

The number of innings varies from two to six depending on the format being played. Historically, cricket matches have been all-day or multi-day affairs. In 2003 a shorter version of the game, called Twenty20 or T20, was introduced and has grown in popularity around the world. It can be played in about three hours, making it more akin to other major spectator sports. T20 matches have two innings, with each team taking one turn at batting while the opponent fields.

How does a cricket game work?

Two batters, called batsmen or strikers, from the same team take positions at each end of the pitch. The other nine players stand off the field waiting their turn to bat. A batter continues to bat until he or she gets out. Each team has 10 wickets to start the game. When the wicket has gone down 10 times, the innings ends and the batting team can no longer score.

The fielding team has all 11 players on the field. One is the bowler, who pitches, or bowls, the ball to the batter. Behind the batter is a wicket keeper, playing a role similar to a catcher in baseball. The other nine players take positions in the field to catch hit balls. Fielders take strategic positions in a full circle around the pitch as the batter can hit the ball in any direction.

In each innings of T20 cricket, a maximum of 20 overs (six pitches equals an over) can be thrown. After each over, the batsmen switch ends of the pitch and a new bowler comes in. No bowler can throw more than four overs in an innings. And no bowler can throw two consecutive overs. Bowls can bounce once before reaching the batsman.

How does a team score in cricket?

Runs are commonly scored three ways: when a hit clears the boundary on the fly (6 runs), a hit reaches the boundary without being fielded (4 runs), and a ball is hit in the field (a single) and the batsmen at opposite ends of the pitch run shuttle-style back and forth between the wickets, scoring one run on each exchange.

Additional runs can be scored without a hit from the bat. Fielding “extras” result in a run for the batting team when the ball gets through to the wicketkeeper and the batters can run for a score (similar to a passed ball in baseball). If the bowled ball strikes any part of the batter’s body, batsmen can also try to score a run. Bowling “extras”, called by the umpire for a variety of illegal pitches, also result in a run for the batting team. Penalty runs can also be awarded for fielding infractions, but these are pretty rare.

How does a cricket player get out?

As in baseball there are several ways to get a batter out. But, in a sense, what happens around baseball’s four bases is condensed to take place between two wickets in cricket.

  • A bowled ball gets past the batter and hits the wicket.
  • A fly ball is caught by a fielder.
  • A batsmen moves too far forward to hit the ball and misses it. The wicket keeper catches the ball and hits the wicket with the ball before the batter gets back in position.
  • Batsmen running between wickets on a single do not safely reach the batting area at the other end before a fielder hits the wicket with the ball. (Similar to fielding a hit in baseball and throwing to a baseman before a runner gets there.)
  • The bowl hits the leg pad of the batter without the batter contacting the ball and the umpire determines the ball would have hit the wicket if it had not been rerouted by the leg pad. This is called “leg before wicket” or LBW. (Only the bat can contact the ball to redirect it away from the wicket.)

How do you read a cricket score?

Like most major sports, statistics abound to detail the progress of a game. Here's an example of how a live score update might be presented on TV:

How does a cricket innings end?

An innings is over when 10 of 11 batting players have gotten out. A batting team must have two batsmen on the pitch at all times, so when only one player remains, the innings ends and teams change positions on the field. An innings can also end if the maximum bowls (20 overs) for an innings have been thrown.

How you win a cricket game?

In a two-innings game, each team has one chance to score as many runs as it can. The game is over when the second team concludes batting. The winner is the team with the most runs.

At the end of a game, the final score line often looks like this:

Tracing its roots back to the 16th century, cricket became an established sport in England in the 18th century. In the ensuing centuries, the sport had evolved and become, in the eyes of those new to cricket, very complicated. But the interest around the world attests to the attraction people have to the sport. Most Americans are in the beginning stages of learning to appreciate cricket. 2024 will offer more opportunities to keep learning.

Sources: USA Cricket (usacricket.org), Major League Cricket (majorleaguecricket.com), International Cricket Council (ICC), cricketmastery.com, dimensions.com, World Atlas, staff reporting

As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a wide range of information and can provide insights on various topics, including Major League Cricket (MLC) and the basics of cricket. I can assure you that the information I provide is based on reliable sources and my ability to process and understand the content. Let's dive into the concepts mentioned in the article you provided.

Major League Cricket (MLC) in the United States

Major League Cricket debuted in the United States in 2023. The MLC consists of six teams that played 19 games over 16 days in Texas and North Carolina during the summer of that year. The shortened season was a test to gauge the audience's interest in cricket in the U.S. The games were held at venues capable of accommodating up to 7,200 fans, and many of them sold out. Plans are underway for a 2024 season .

Cricket World Cup in the United States

The United States will host the Cricket World Cup for the first time in 2024. The tournament will be co-hosted by the U.S. and the West Indies from June 4 to June 30. Matches will be played in Texas, Florida, and New York.

Cricket's Popularity Worldwide

Cricket is considered the second most-watched sport in the world, following soccer, according to the 2023 World Atlas. While it is most popular in South Asia, Australia, and England, it is played in 125 countries. Key cricket matches have attracted massive audiences, with the 2011 World Cup final between Sri Lanka and India drawing over 500 million viewers. Several other matches have also garnered hundreds of millions of viewers.

Basics of Cricket

Cricket is a game where one team tries to score more runs than the other team by hitting a ball with a bat. The fielding team aims to bowl or pitch the ball past the batter to hit the wicket behind them, causing an out. The batter uses the bat to hit the ball and score runs. Cricket is played on a round or oval grass field with a rectangular flat strip in the middle called a pitch. The game has layers of rules and variations, but the basic strategy involves scoring runs and getting the opposing team out .

Equipment Needed for Cricket

In cricket, players wear protective gear such as helmets, leg pads, and batting gloves. Batters, called batsmen or strikers, wear this protective gear. The wicket keeper, similar to a catcher in baseball, also wears leg pads and gloves. The bat used in cricket is a flat-fronted willow wood blade attached to a cane handle. The ball has a leather covering over a cork center wrapped with string and is usually red or white. A wicket consists of three stumps (posts) and two bails (small sticks).

Scoring in Cricket

To win a cricket game, a team must score more runs than its opponent. Runs can be scored in various ways. If a hit clears the boundary on the fly, it counts as 6 runs. If a hit reaches the boundary without being fielded, it counts as 4 runs. When a ball is hit in the field, the batsmen run back and forth between the wickets, scoring one run on each exchange. Additional runs can be scored through fielding "extras" or bowling "extras" .

Getting Out in Cricket

There are several ways for a batter to get out in cricket. Some of these include:

  1. The bowled ball gets past the batter and hits the wicket.
  2. A fly ball is caught by a fielder.
  3. The batter moves too far forward to hit the ball and misses it. The wicket keeper catches the ball and hits the wicket with the ball before the batter gets back in position.
  4. Batsmen running between wickets on a single do not safely reach the batting area at the other end before a fielder hits the wicket with the ball.
  5. The bowl hits the leg pad of the batter without the batter contacting the ball, and the umpire determines that the ball would have hit the wicket if not for the leg pad. This is called "leg before wicket" or LBW .

These are just some of the basics of cricket. The sport has a rich history and many intricacies that can be explored further. If you have any specific questions or would like more information, feel free to ask!

Coming to the US in 2024: Cricket World Cup. Learn about the game (2024)

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