Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played by two teams. This sport may not be as popular as football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, or ice hockey, but it has a large fan base. There are many tournaments, contests, and competitions worldwide, ranging from small local events to global international contests. In this article, we will take a look at the history of cricket, its rules, major tournaments, best teams, and betting options.
The earliest mention of cricket dates back to early 17th century England. Over the next century, the sport gained popularity in the south-eastern counties of England, and the cricket rules had been written. Cricket was introduced to North America in the 17th century; it spread to other regions of the globe during the 18th century.
County clubs emerged on the scene in the early 19th century, spreading the sport even further; the development of the railway network across England significantly increased cricket’s popularity. The first international cricket match took place in 1844 between the teams from the United States and Canada.
The first official cricket County Competition took place in 1890 in England; other countries established their events soon afterward. The era from 1890 to the outbreak of WWI was named the golden age of cricket. In 1909, the Imperial Cricket Conference was established, marking an important step towards international competitions in cricket.
Over the next few decades, many significant events took place: the suspension of South Africa, the introduction of the World Series Cricket, rules were added, modified, or removed, but the biggest changes in the sport occurred relatively recently. In the second half of the 20th century, a new variation of cricket was introduced - one-day cricket; this variation featured shorter matches and a fixed number of overs. In 2003, another version of cricket emerged - Twenty20 Cricket. Its matches are even shorter than the matches of One Day Cricket and the number of overs is capped at 20. The current governing body for cricket is the ICC - the International Cricket Council; it oversees the major international events for all three variants of cricket.
Cricket is a team-oriented game with different roles for players and many rules. In this part of the article, we will examine the main rules of cricket, but not all of them. There are many variations of cricket: test cricket, one-day, and Twenty20 cricket; we will list some of the common rules, as well as differences between the three.
- Each team has a maximum of 11 players on the field.
- A substitute player, called the twelfth player, can replace one of the players in the case of injury. However, the twelfth player can only substitute field players.
- There are several roles for players: the batter, the bowler, and the wicket-keeper. The batter (also known as batsman/batswoman) needs to hit the ball and get as many runs as possible. The bowler throws the ball at the wickets, and the wicket-keeper tries to protect the wickets.
- An over is a sequence of six consecutive deliveries from the bowler to the other end of the pitch.
- Three umpires supervise the game, making sure that the players follow the rules. Two of them are present on the field, while the third is off the field, making decisions on video.
- Each game lasts for four innings; this means that both teams get to be fielding and batting. The goal of the fielding/bowling team is to put out 10 batsmen; the goal of the batting team is to score the highest number of runs.
- The team with the higher number of runs wins.
- Test cricket is the most grueling and physically challenging variation of cricket; the matches can last up to five days.
- One Day International cricket is played between two teams with international status, and the matches last up to nine hours. It's one of the forms of limited-overs cricket; the number of overs for ODI is usually capped at 50. This variant is relatively new, originating in the late 20th century.
- Twenty20 International is a shortened version of cricket: the matches consist of only two innings, each of which is capped at 20 overs. T20 was introduced for the inter-county competition in 2003 by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Major Cricket Tournaments
Like all popular sports, cricket has its fair share of contests, competitions, cups, tournaments, and other competitive events of various popularity and scale. In this part of the article, we will give you an overview of the most prominent cricket events worldwide; due to cricket’s popularity in India, we will include the descriptions of several local events as well. Let us begin!
- The ICC Cricket World Cup. This is the biggest tournament in professional cricket worldwide. Held every four years by the International Cricket Council, the ICC Cricket World Cup is the most prestigious international competition, dating back to 1975. The qualification phase takes place over three years before each tournament. The next World Cup will take place in India in 2023. This event features the One Day International form of cricket with a limited number of overs (usually 50).
- The ICC Champions Trophy. The second biggest international cricket tournament, it takes place roughly every four years. Since its inception in 1998, the Champions Trophy was canceled and brought back several times; the latest tournament is scheduled for 2025. This event is sometimes referred to as the “Mini World Cup”. The Champions Trophy features the One Day International variation of cricket.
- The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Another competition organized by ICC, this tournament sees teams from 16 countries compete against each other in matches of Twenty20 International cricket. The T20 World Cup usually took place every two years, but due to COVID-19, the 2020 and 2021 iterations of the tournament were postponed. The tournaments will take place in November 2021 and October 2022, respectively.
- The Ashes. A Test cricket series played between England and Australia; this particular event started as a joke in a British newspaper about the loss of the English team in a match with Australia in 1872. The satirical obituary stated that the English team had died, and their ashes will be brought to Australia. Before the next series in Australia, the English captain swore to bring those ashes back. Since then, this series became known as the Ashes, with its unofficial trophy being a small urn said to contain the ashes of a cricket ball.
- The Indian Premier League. This professional Twenty20 cricket league is the most-attended cricket league in the world. There are ten teams in the IPL from different cities across the country. Unlike the ICC World Cup or the ICC Champions Trophy, the IPL takes place every year, and the next tournament will take place in 2022.
- The Border-Gavaskar Series. A Test cricket series played between India and Australia. The series takes place every two years, and it’s a part of the ICC’s future tours program. The Border-Gavaskar Series is named after two legendary team captains from Australia and India: Allan Border and Sunil Gavaskar.
- The ACC Asia Cup. This cricket tournament dates back to 1983 when the Asian Cricket Council was established. The event features both One Day International and Twenty20 International variations alternating every two years. This is the only major continental cricket competition worldwide. India is the most successful team in the tournament at the moment.
Best Domestic Cricket Tournaments
Cricket is a popular sport worldwide; aside from the international tournaments, there are many thrilling local events, particularly in the UK, Australia, and India. In this part of the article, we will give you a summary of the most prominent local championships.
- The County Championship (UK). The first-class domestic cricket competition in England and Wales, the County Championship is the biggest cricket tournament in the United Kingdom. The first official championship took place in 1890, but the unofficial iterations of this event date back to the middle of the 19th century. The County Championship includes 17 teams from England and one from Wales.
- The Sheffield Shield (Australia). Since its inception in 1892, this Australian tournament pits teams from the six Australian states competing against each other. This event bears the name of Lord Sheffield, who was a big supporter of cricket. The Sheffield Shield works on a double-robin round system, meaning that each team faces another team twice - at home and away.
Best Domestic Cricket Tournaments and Leagues in India
Cricket is the most popular sport in India, so it’s no wonder that there are so many local competitions all over this country. The number of high-caliber championships and tournaments is so high that we’ve decided to dedicate a separate section to the domestic competitions of India.
- The Deodhar Trophy. Named after Dinkar Balwant Deodhar, a prominent Indian cricket player, this one-day cricket competition has taken place every year since 1973. This tournament sees three national-level teams - India A, India B, and India C - compete for the title of champion.
- The Duleep Trophy. This Indian first-class cricket competition dates back to 1963. Originally, it had teams from different geographical zones of India compete against each other; recently the selection of teams was handed over to the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The Duleep Trophy is named after a renowned Indian cricketer Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji of Nawanagar, also known as “The Duleep”.
- The Ranji Trophy. A domestic first-class cricket tournament, the Ranji Trophy features teams from all 28 Indian states and 8 union territories. It takes its name from Ranjitsinhji (also known as “Ranji”), the first Indian cricketer to play in international cricket. The Ranji Trophy is an annual event; the next tournament will take place in the 2021-2022 season.
- The Z. R. Irani Cup. Formerly known as the Irani Trophy, this first-class cricket competition is played between the incumbent Ranji Trophy winners and the Rest of India team. The Rest of India team includes players from all over India. Named after the late Z. R. Irani, this event takes place after the Ranji Trophy final every year.
- The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (the BCCI), the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is named after the famous Indian cricketer Syed Mushtaq Ali. This tournament features the Twenty20 variation of cricket, and it includes all domestic teams of India.
- The Vijay Hazare Trophy. This one-day cricket tournament started life in the 2002-2003 season, and it is named after a legendary Indian cricket player, Vijay Hazare. The teams are divided into three elite groups and one plate group, based on the teams’ performance during the last three seasons.
Aside from the many local cricket tournaments, India has many domestic cricket leagues in different regions. Here are the most prestigious of the domestic leagues of India (excluding the Indian Premier League, since we’ve already covered it earlier):
- The Tamil Nadu Premier League. Established in 2016, this professional Twenty20 cricket league takes place every year in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL for short) features eight teams representing eight districts of the state. The reigning champions of the League (and the most successful team overall) are Chepauk Super Gillies.
- The Odisha Premier League. Organized by the Odisha Cricket Association, the ODL is a professional Twenty20 cricket tournament that takes place every year in the Indian state of Odisha. To participate in the tournament, the team must be worth at or above the base price established by the Odisha Cricket Association. The owners of the teams may purchase more than twenty players selected by the ODA; these players are separated into five grades (A to E) based on their experience and ranking.
- The Rajwada Cricket League. Hosted by the Kota District Cricket Association, the RCL is a professional Twenty20 cricket league that takes place annually in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The league features six teams, each representing a city in Rajasthan: Ajmer, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Kota, and Jaisalmer.
- The Karnataka Premier League. Established in 2009 by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), this professional Twenty20 cricket competition is modeled after the Indian Premier League. The event features seven teams from the state of Karnataka competing against each other. The current champions of the Karnataka Premier League are the Hubli Tigers.
- The T20 Mumbai League. This Mumbai-based event aims to identify, promote and develop talented cricketers at an early stage. The T20 Mumbai League features the Twenty20 variation of cricket, hence the name. Its organizer, the Mumbai Cricket Association, strives to provide stable foundations for future cricket superstars in Mumbai.
- The Saurashtra Premier League. Based in the Saurashtra region of India that is a part of the massive Gujarat state. Founded by the Saurashtra Cricket Association in 2019, this professional Twenty20 cricket tournament features five teams vying for supremacy. The victors of the last tournament were the Sorath Lions.
- The Celebrity Cricket League. This amateur men’s cricket league is somewhat different from its professional counterparts. In this tournament, the players are film actors from nine major regional film industries of India. This unorthodox tournament first appeared in 2011; since then, the CCL has been going strong for six seasons with the next season scheduled for 2021.
Best Cricket Teams
Over its long and storied history, cricket has spread to many countries and spawned a great number of professional teams. In this section, we will examine some of the best professional cricket teams for Test cricket, One Day cricket, and Twenty20 cricket.
The most physically demanding and challenging form of cricket (matches can last from two to five days), Test cricket is the highest standard of the sport. Currently, test cricket is the oldest widespread variant of cricket played internationally. According to the ICC’s 2021 Men’s Test Team Rankings, the leaders are New Zealand, India, Australia, England, and Pakistan.
One Day International Cricket
A shorter version of cricket, One Day International Cricket was introduced in 1971 in a match between Australia and England. The Cricket World Cup features this variant of cricket. The top five teams (according to the ICC’s Men’s ODI Team ranking for 2021) are New Zealand, England, Australia, India, and South Africa.
Twenty20 International Cricket
The shortest (and the most recent) form of cricket, Twenty20 Cricket is one of the three most popular types of cricket nowadays. T20 cricket matches last up to three hours, this is significantly less than the matches in test cricket or One Day cricket. The current ranking for the T20I cricket by ICC stands as follows: first place - England, second place - Pakistan, third place - India, fourth place - New Zealand, and fifth place - South Africa.
How to Bet on Cricket: Overview and Tips
Being one of the most popular sports on the planet, cricket enjoys widespread media coverage, a devoted fan base, and tons of associated merchandise. It’s no wonder that a robust betting industry has developed over the years.
With so many aspects of the sport to consider, placing bets on cricket matches for the first time can be a little overwhelming for newcomers. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this section of the article, we will give you a summary of the betting types available for cricket, along with some helpful tips and recommendations.
How Does Online Betting Work?
Online ckicket betting is identical to offline sports betting with one difference: you can place bets in the comfort of your home. Bets can broadly be separated into two categories: fractional odds bets and bets on the total.
Fractional odds bets include different odds for the likelihood of several events; for the most part, these are the bets on the outcome of the match. The rates are influenced by many things: the teams in question, their performance during the previous tournaments, the presence (or absence) of a particular player, and many other factors. Let’s take a look at an example - a cricket match between India and Namibia in the T20 World Cup. The rates for this match were taken from the Betmaster sportsbook.
The rates for this match are 1.01 for India and 15.0 for Namibia. This means that the victory of India is much more likely due to the higher level of skill, making them the favorites. In turn, this means that the Namibian team is the underdogs, so their chances of winning are significantly lower. However, if they win the match, the payoff will be much bigger due to the higher rate.
Bets on the total feature a fixed number set by the sportsbook - a total - and usually the options for this type of bet are lower than total and higher than total. Typically, bets on the total revolve around the final score for the match, as most of the sports are point-based (including cricket).
Types of Online Betting in Cricket
Betting for any kind of sport has a fair share of similarities when it comes to the types of bets available, but cricket has all of the other sports beat in terms of the sheer variety of bets on offer. Here, we will list the most popular types of bets for cricket and give you a rundown of what separates them from each other. Let’s go!
- Bets on the outcome of the match: it’s the most common type of bet present in all sports. In the case of cricket, there are three possible outcomes for the matches: Team A wins, Team B wins, or the match ends in a draw.
- Bets on a tie: similar to the previous betting type, all you have to do is pick if the match will end in a draw or not.
- Bets on the score: it’s another very popular type of bet, here you get to guess the final score of the match. Usually, sportsbooks give you a total (an average rate for the final score), and you bet if the result will be lower or higher than the total. This particular betting type is widespread among all sports that have a scoring system, including cricket.
- Live betting: this is a special subtype of betting that differs from others not by its structure but by its format: you make your bets during the match rather than in advance. Usually, live bets are either bets on the total or bets on the outcome of the match. Live betting gives you the benefit of better context, as you can change your opinion and place a different bet to your initial bet. Also, it’s much more exciting, and waiting for the result is shorter!
- Bets on the number of runs: this is a fairly straightforward bet; all you need to do is choose if the number of runs will be higher or lower than the total set by the sportsbook or a bookmaker.
- Bets on top bowler: here, you need to pick the best bowler out of both teams. This means that you bet on a player who you think will get the highest number of baskets in a match or a series. This is a more risky type of bet since the number of options is higher than in most bets, but the payoff is higher as well.
- Bets on top batsman: similar to the bet on the top bowler, you get to choose the best batter of the match, i.e., the player who scores most goals in a match or a series. You get to pick the player out of both teams’ rosters, and if you get it right, the reward will be bigger than in most bets.
- Bowler match bets: if the top bowler bets seem too unpredictable or risky for you, you can choose bowler match bets instead. With this bet, you only need to choose between two players instead of all of them, making this bet much safer than the top bowler bet.
- Batsman match bets: a safer alternative to the top batsman bet, you only need to choose between two players rather than the entire team. This bet is more reliable than the top batsman bet, which makes it more suitable for newcomers.
- Bets on the winner of the tournament: if you want to bet big, it doesn’t get bigger than placing a bet on which team will win the tournament. It’s a fairly straightforward process: you choose the team that you think will prevail above all others in the competition.
- Bets on the series winner: one of the unusual things about cricket is the fact that teams often play several matches in a row; this is called a series. With this type of bet, you need to pick a winner between two teams. Note that you pick the winner for the series for the entire series, not just for a match.
- Bets on Odd/Even Runs: this is another score-based type of bet, but here you don’t bet on the specific number, but if the score will be an odd or even number. A rather simple bet, with only two options to choose from.
- Bets on Man of the Match/Player of the Series: a common practice in cricket is to name a player the Man of the Match or a Player of the Series. With this bet, you get to choose which player you think it will be. This type of bet is less common than other types, so don’t be alarmed if you can’t find it on an online sportsbook.
Online Cricket Betting Tips
Now that you have a good understanding of how online betting on cricket matches works, and you know the most ubiquitous types of bets, we will give you some tips about online cricket betting app to help you start.
- Check if it’s legal to bet on sports in your country. Before you rush to the online sportsbook, it’s a good idea to check if you’re allowed to make bets on sports in your country. Let’s take a look at India, the homeland of one of the finest cricket teams in the world. Is betting on cricket legal in India? No, it isn’t, only betting on horses is allowed. However, due to the popularity of the sport, there is a flourishing underground betting industry that operates outside the law. If betting is illegal in your country, it’s best to avoid it.
- Read up on the sport. To make the most informed and well-thought-out decision, you need to know many things: rules of the game, best teams, their playstyle, top players and their behavior on the field, and so on. There are many wonderful articles online that will help you gain more insight into the amazing world of cricket.
- Pick your sportsbook carefully. There are countless sportsbooks online that are eager to offer their services to you, but you need to be certain that you can trust them with your money to get the most out of the exciting betting experience. Critical thinking and thorough research will help you find the best sportsbook for you; luckily, there are many websites with reviews on various online sportsbooks.
- Try to get free bets. Many sportsbooks offer a welcome bonus of some kind to their newest customers; sometimes it takes the form of a free bet that allows you to place a bet on a fixed sum without depositing money. This is a good way to learn the ropes and get your eye in without potentially losing your money in the process.
- Don’t make bets with large amounts of money. Sports betting is a hobby, a form of entertainment, it’s not a way to make money. Therefore, it’s best to bet small amounts of money to avoid potential financial problems in the future, especially if you’re a newcomer to the enormous industry of sports betting.
- Make bets responsibly. As we’ve said in the previous entry, betting is a hobby, and it’s your responsibility to keep your inner gambler under control. It’s easy to get swept up in the rush of the moment and bet large, but you need to be aware that gambling can be extremely addictive. Keeping an eye on your betting expenses and knowing when to take a break are useful habits that will make your betting experience pleasant and comfortable.