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The Cricket Portal

About cricket

A bowler delivers the ball to a batsman during a game of cricket
A bowler delivers the ball to a batsman
during a game of cricket.

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on an oval-shaped field, usually between 150 and 200 yards in diameter, at the centre of which lies a 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible, while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the runs scored by the batting team. A run is scored by the striking batsman hitting the ball with his bat, running to the opposite end of the pitch and touching the crease there without being dismissed. The teams switch between batting and fielding at the end of an innings. In professional cricket, the length of a game ranges from 20 overs of six bowling deliveries per side to Test cricket played over five days. The Laws of Cricket are maintained by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) with additional Standard Playing Conditions for Test matches ("Tests") and One Day Internationals (ODIs).

Cricket was first played in southern England in the 16th century. By the end of the 18th century, it had developed into the national sport of England. The expansion of the British Empire led to cricket being played overseas and by the mid-19th century the first international matches were being held. The ICC, the game's governing body, has ten full members. The game is popular in Australasia, the Indian subcontinent, the West Indies, Southern Africa and England.

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Bert Oldfield is hit in the head by a Bodyline ball.

Bodyline, also known as fast leg theory, was a cricketing tactic devised by the English cricket team for their 1932–33 Ashes tour of Australia, specifically to combat the extraordinary batting skill of Australia's Don Bradman. A Bodyline bowler deliberately aimed the cricket ball at the body of the opposing batsman, in the hope of creating legside deflections that could be caught by one of several fielders in the quadrant of the field behind square leg.

The tactic led to ill feeling between the two national teams, with the controversy eventually spilling into the diplomatic arena. Over the next two decades, several of the Laws of Cricket were changed to prevent this tactic being repeated.

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Botham batting for England at Trent Bridge in 1983

Sir Ian Botham is a former international cricketer and captain of the England cricket team. He has claimed five-wicket hauls (taken five or more wickets in an innings) in Test cricket on 27 occasions, more than any other English cricketer. A five-wicket haul is regarded as a notable achievement, and fewer than 40 bowlers have taken more than 15 five-wicket hauls at international level in their cricketing careers. Botham is generally considered one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. He was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1978, and Indian Cricket Cricketer of the Year four years later. In 1992 he was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE), and he was knighted for his services to cricket and charity work in 2007. Two years later, he was honoured by the International Cricket Council, who named him as one of 55 initial inductees into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. He is sixth overall in all-time Test five-wicket haul takers.

He made his international debut for England on 26 August 1976 in a One Day International (ODI) against the West Indies. He made his Test cricket debut just under a year later against Australia, and it was during the first innings of this match that he claimed his first international five-wicket haul. It is against Australia that he has claimed the most five-wicket hauls, doing so on nine occasions. Three of these came during the 1981 Ashes series and, along with the two centuries he scored, saw the series dubbed "Botham's Ashes". He twice claimed eight wickets in an innings, playing at Lord's on each occasion, against Pakistan in 1978 and the West Indies in 1984. Including these performances, Botham has collected a five-wicket haul at Lord's eight times, more so than on any other ground.

Botham never managed to take five-wickets in an innings in ODI cricket, despite playing 116 matches and claiming 145 wickets, making him England's fourth highest wicket-taker in the format. His best return was four wickets, which he achieved on three occasions. (Full list...)

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Cricket fielding positions2.svg

Names of the various fielding positions in cricket.
Image credit: Miljoshi

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ICC Rankings

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the international governing body of cricket, and produces team rankings for the various forms of cricket played internationally.

Test cricket is the longest form of cricket, played up to a maximum of five days with two innings per side.

One Day International cricket is played over 50 overs, with one innings per side.

Twenty20 International cricket is played over 20 overs, with one innings per side.

ICC Test Championship
Rank Team Matches Points Rating
1  India 44 5,313 121
2  South Africa 39 4,484 115
3  Australia 40 4,174 104
4  New Zealand 35 3,489 100
5  England 49 4,829 99
6  Sri Lanka 46 4,374 95
7  Pakistan 34 2,988 88
8  West Indies 36 2,606 72
9  Bangladesh 26 1,833 71
10  Zimbabwe 14 12 1
Reference: ICC Rankings, 10 February 2018
"Matches" is no. matches + no. series played in the 12–24 months since the May before last, plus half the number in the 24 months before that.
ICC ODI Rankings
Rank Team Matches Points Rating
1  India 62 7,595 123
2  South Africa 59 6,912 117
3  England 59 6,871 116
4  New Zealand 57 6,550 115
5  Australia 57 6,376 112
6  Pakistan 51 4,875 96
7  Bangladesh 39 3,518 90
8  Sri Lanka 72 6,063 84
9  West Indies 43 3,260 76
10  Afghanistan 38 2,102 55
11  Zimbabwe 50 2,492 50
12  Ireland 28 1,240 44
Reference: ICC Rankings, 19 February 2018
"Matches" is the no. matches played in the 12-24 months since the May before last, plus half the number in the 24 months before that.
ICC T20I Championship
Rank Team Matches Points Rating
1  Pakistan 26 3,272 126
2  Australia 20 2,513 126
3  India 31 3,770 122
4  New Zealand 26 3,013 116
5  West Indies 22 2,538 115
6  England 21 2,402 114
7  South Africa 23 2,551 111
8  Sri Lanka 29 2,635 91
9  Afghanistan 27 2,385 88
10  Bangladesh 19 1,367 72
11  Scotland 11 737 67
12  Zimbabwe 15 915 61
13  United Arab Emirates 16 827 52
14  Netherlands 9 441 49
15  Hong Kong 13 599 46
16  Papua New Guinea 6 235 39
17  Oman 9 345 38
18  Ireland 15 534 36
Reference: ICC rankings for Tests, ODIs, Twenty20 & Women, 24 February 2018
"Matches" is the number of matches played in the 12-24 months since the May before last, plus half the number in the 24 months before that.


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