Cricket has been around for centuries, originating in a part of Britain and then being exported around the world, mostly to former colonies that punished England appropriately by then beating them at it constantly. Cricket is the parent of rounders and baseball, as well as still being a very popular sport in its own right. Matches between nations take entire days, while even a regular game can take a full day to play.
Cricket has one of the great advantages in Britain of being a sport that is very popular with people whose families have been there for centuries as well as those whose families came more recently from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and beyond. This means it is very common to see players of color appearing in local clubs all over Britain, even in areas that are still overwhelmingly white - and, of course, people who play together become friends, meaning cricket is a terrific way for people to bond.
Cricket is also very cheap to play - you need one bat, one ball, and a couple sticks, which makes it very democratic. It is played from the slums of Kolkata to the prestigious home of cricket itself, Lord's Cricket Ground in St John's Wood, London, where the top players on the planet come together to compete for the Ashes, Test matches, and the World Cup itself.
A wicket is also called "the stump" and is the wooden totem-like piece the batter protects. If the two little wooden pieces fall off when the bowler hits the stump, the batter is out.
It's the same as baseball - or rather, since cricket came first, baseball borrowed the idea of a run.
A bowler may legally rub the ball to make one side smoother which means it spins in a less predictable way.
Six means the batter hit the ball out of bounds and scored six runs
A century means one batter scores 100 runs on his own in a single game
Cricket is the most popular sport in India, which has a population of more than 1 billion people and the highest number of professional cricket teams.
The Ashes are those of a wicket burned to symbolize the death of English cricket. Every year, Australia and England play for them and much honor is at stake.
Imran Khan is a Pakistani national hero and former captain who then went into politics, which cost him much of his popularity.
You get four points if the ball goes out of bounds after touching the ground.
It's 50 points scored by a single player in a single game.
Strawberries are the staple food of cricket matches as they are in season at the right time
It's like summer, but not as an American would know it, with pleasant temperatures of about 60 degrees F to 74 degrees F. It's rainy, sure, but otherwise very nice.
It's also called a cricket pitch, but it should be called a field.
Players play in white. The ball is therefore red to ensure that it is visible against the players.
A cricket bat is flat at the front and swung vertically, while a baseball bat is round and is swung horizontally.
Yep, 100.2 mph, which is faster than the eye can see. As a cricket pitch bounces before it is hit, however, it sometimes loses some momentum and the batter has a fighting chance.
The bowler really was named Holding and the batsman really was named Willey, and Johnston waited all season for them to be lined up and playing against each other while he was commentating - so that he could say this hilarious quote.
French cricket is a garden party sport in which you have a cricket bat (or a tennis racket if you are a child or otherwise less able to play) and must stand still. The goal is to defend your legs below the knee from the other players, who bowl to try to hit you there - and as they bowl from wherever the ball lands, you can't simply avoid hitting it, since then they will be very close and will definitely beat you. Whoever catches you out, takes your turn. Playing this with a cricket ball is enormously painful, which is why it is recommended to use a tennis ball.
Cricket may have been around longer than this, but history has it first recorded in 1646, making it older than almost any other professional sport.
Since England and Scotland did not join into the U.K. until 1646, cricket was invented in England. Britain is technically the name for the island they're both on (along with Wales), and is not the entirety of the U.K.
This game simply wouldn't end! In cricket, the game doesn't end until everyone on a single team is out, so as long as you keep scoring or at least not being caught out, you're in!
The fellow who referees the game is called an umpire. There are two on the pitch and one on the sidelines.
Fielders are the ones on the bowler's team who try to catch the batter out.
Sachin Tendulkar is probably the best player in history.
The Wisden 100 is an annual list of the top cricketers in the sport in various areas like bowling, batting, etc.
Nations with Test status as conferred by the International Cricket Council or ICC play Test matches. These are international games that typically last five days and are the pinnacle of the sport.
One throw of the ball from bowler to batsman is a ball, as in, "The bowler has thrown 50 balls."
India won its first World Cup in 1983 and its second in 2011, and it also won its first Test at Lord's in 1986 and 2014.
Rhodes played from 1899 to 1930, an astonishingly long time in any professional sport.
Yes, this fellow was an honest to goodness Maharajah, which is a kind of Indian prince - so a knighthood was a step down, really.
Australia beat England by 45 runs.
Since in cricket you bat with a partner, you can't bat solo. So once your last teammate has been bowled out, you're left standing on your own, and are thus called "not out" at the end of the game.
A run is 22 yards so you score one by running back and forth that distance.
A single is when you score one run, perhaps by hitting the ball far enough that you managed to run the 22 yards but then didn't get any further.
The Hitchhiker series included a planet called Krikkit which launched the bloodiest war in the history of the galaxy. Earth was considered to be a place in very poor taste for having made a joke of it.