Cricket (game)

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Australia vs India, Sydney Cricket Ground, January 2004. Note how the pitch being used is merely one of many that can be in various stages of preparation.

Cricket is a bat and ball game played between two teams of eleven (with a "12th man" on hand in case of injury), normally in the local summer season. At international level, it is played primarily in three forms: Test cricket (played over five days), One-Day International (ODI) cricket (a shortened form of the game, with each team batting one innings of up to 50 overs), and "Twenty20" (T20) cricket (20 overs per side; this version allows a match to finish in roughly 3–4 hours making it suitable for media broadcast).

Cricket is also played at state, provincial and county levels, and traditional matches between club, village and public house teams are still played in summer on the village greens of England and the playing fields, parks, school grounds and even, on a less formal level, the streets, backyards and beaches of cricket playing nations (see also: backyard cricket).

International Game

The International Cricket Council (ICC) governs the game internationally, and recognizes the national cricket administrations of each country.

On a global scale cricket is only surpassed by soccer in terms of popularity; it is the primary spectator sport in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies, and of major importance in England, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and in many other places that were historically affected by British colonial influence. Cricket has a low profile in the United States, where baseball is the dominant bat and ball sport, but it is played in various regions. (As of March 2007, the ICC rejected the recognition of the USA Cricket Association until it adopted a viable constitution and rules, and created a workable administration.)

Code of Laws

Marylebone Cricket Club in London, which operates The Lord's ground, was formed in 1787. A year later, it composed a Code of Laws that were adopted throughout the game. The MCC remains the custodian and arbiter of Laws relating to cricket around the world.

The Pitch

Cricket is played on a pitch which is a dry grass playing field steamrolled flat. It is 22 yards (66 feet or 1 chain or 20.12 m) long and 10 feet wide.

The pitch is marked with various lines or 'creases', and is double-ended so that alternate 'overs' are played from both ends:

  • One 'bowling crease' is drawn at each end of the pitch to mark the ends of the pitch. The three stumps in the set of stumps at that end of the pitch are along this crease. The bowling creases may be used to determine whether there is a 'no ball' because a fieldsman has encroached on the pitch or the wicket keeper has moved in front of the wicket before he is permitted to do so.
  • One 'popping crease' is drawn at each end of the pitch in front of each of the two sets of stumps, 4 feet (1.22 m) in front of and parallel to the bowling crease. The popping crease is used in one test of whether the bowler has bowled a 'no ball'. To avoid a no ball, some part of the bowler's front foot in the delivery stride (that is, the stride when he releases the ball) must be behind the popping crease (although the bowler's front foot does not have to be grounded).
  • A return crease is drawn on each side of each set of the stumps, 4 feet 4 inches (1.32 m) either side of and parallel to the imaginary line joining the centres of the two middle stumps. The return creases are primarily used to determine whether the bowler has bowled a no ball. To avoid a no ball, some part of the bowler's back foot in the delivery stride must land within and not touching the return crease.

As imperfections in the playing surface may affect the behavior of the ball, the pitch is considered high-maintenance as it has to be regularly rolled, watered and cut to ensure suitability for play. A groundskeeper is usually employed for this purpose.

An ideal pitch has fine grass growing in the turf to retain the consistency of the pitch and to prevent cracking, yet its grass has been cut so that the underlying ground is fully exposed.

An innovation in recent years has been the 'drop-in pitch', which is prepared and tended away from the field of play and then dropped into a specially constructed slot in the ground in place of normal turf. Final preparation is done after the pitch is in place.

Alternatives to the grass pitch are:

  • Concrete topped with plastic 'grass' carpet, matting, or rubber (crushed or granulated, or a section of rubber conveyor belt);
  • Concrete pitch (often with green pigment, or painted green);
  • Clay surface, watered and rolled;
  • A vulcanized rubber surface (introduced to England's famous Gloucester Cricket Ground in response to the floods of summer 2007);


Cricket balls are made from cork with a leather cover, and are traditionally red, but white balls in limited over cricket (ODI's and Twenty20's). Bats are willow treated with linseed oil.

The normal clothing for cricketers is white, or it may coloured for limited over matches:

  • long trousers;
  • long sleeves shirt (may be short sleeved for night matches);
  • stud soled shoes; and
  • cap or hat.

A normal cricketer's cap has a small beak at the front. Members of national teams are 'capped' (given their own team cap) when they are picked for their team. In recent times, it is normal to have cricketers optionally wearing a soft, canvas, broad-brimmed hat (often colloquially called a "floppy"

In recent years, team member's shirts often bear a number embroidered below the national or team crest. This number is their 'cap' ranking, their number in the players who have been selected to play, since the national, state, or county first played (perhaps as early as the 1800s.) For example: former Australian team captain, Ricky Rexona Ponting, wore number 366 in the national side and 123 for Australia's One Day International team.[1]

The batsman uses pads (shin, arm and body guards), padded gloves, a 'box' (a protection for the groin), and protective headgear in response to the hazards of modern fast-bowling techniques.

The wicketkeeper is the only fielder allowed to wear gloves, which are made of soft leather with rubber palms to help grip the ball.


Two umpires take to the field for major matches. The umpire at the bowler's end stands behind the stumps and watches the delivery stride of the bowler, the flight of the ball to adjudicate 'wide' or 'no ball' deliveries, and where it might strike the batsman or his bat.

The 'leg' umpire normally stands behind the batsman (on the 'leg' side of the field) and watches the flight of the ball and any deflection from the bat, in order to assist the other umpire in making a decision about a 'wide' or 'no ball' or a catch behind the stumps.

A 'third umpire' has been instituted for test and some state/county matches in recent years to decide close decisions for stumpings and run-outs, using video equipment and slow speed replays.

The captain of the fielding side is also considered an umpire for the specific circumstance where he believes a batsman has been unfairly been give 'out' by the other umpires. He may call the batsman back to continue his innings at bat. The captain is often fielding closer to the batsman than the umpires, and may have seen or heard the circumstances more clearly. This prerogative is rarely exercised, but shows high levels of sportsmanship as it effectively counters the wishes of other members of his team.

The scorers are considered to be officials. The field umpires use a system of hand and body gestures to indicate runs scored and other matters to the scorers, who are off the field.

In major games, such as international tests and national competitions, a referee is appointed by the convening body. This person does not go on the field of play, but watches from the stands. In hierarchy above the umpires, he can independently decide or be appealed to for decisions on matters of gamesmanship, etiquette, or cricket rules.

Test (First Class) cricket - an overview

Test cricket is played between the national teams of two countries. Most test series are 'best of' three or five matches. Typically, various limited over matches are also played as part of the 'season', including several 'warm-up' matches to assist the visiting team to become familiar with local conditions. As each major city in a country has a premier ground, a season normally involves matches in various cities.

A day's play consists of 90 overs of 6 balls (540 'legal' balls), usually divided into three 2 hour sessions with breaks for lunch and tea.

The Ground

The size of the field of play varies widely between cricket grounds, but the pitch in the centre is always 22 yards long and 10 feet wide. At either end of this pitch are two sets of wickets, consisting of three wooden posts (stumps) upon which rest two wooden bails. While most 'international' grounds are of generally similar size, most matches are now played with a boundary rope at a standard distance from the pitch around the edge of the field inside the white picket fence fence.

Getting Out

A batsman can be dismissed (given out) in a number of different ways. These are:

  • Bowled – the ball hits the stumps (wicket) and removes the bails direct from the bowler's delivery, or after hitting only the bat or the batsman's hands (gloves) which are on the bat handle.
  • Caught – the batsman hits the ball and it is caught by the fielding side before it touches the ground.
  • LBW (leg before wicket) – the batsman fails to hit the ball and it strikes him in such a way that the umpire judges it would have gone on to hit the stumps. Note: This mode of dismissal depends on a number of other factors.
  • Stumped – This is a particular case of 'run out' when the wicket keeper takes the ball immediately after delivery and breaks the stumps while the batsman has been attempting a shot while ahead of his crease.
  • Run out – The fielding team get the ball to the wickets and 'breaks' the bails from the stumps while the batsman is outside the crease.
  • Hit wicket - The batsman hits the stumps with his bat, or steps on the stumps while rearing back from a ball, breaking the bails.
  • Handled the ball - The batsman touches the ball without the permission of the fielding side.
  • Hit the ball twice - The batsman hits the ball twice without the intent of guarding his wicket. Tapping the ball from rolling onto your stumps is legal while hitting a throw away is an out.
  • Obstructing the field - The batsman stops a fielder from fielding. This does not include unintentional bumping or running between the ball and a fielder.
  • Timed out - If the batsman takes more than three minutes to get onto the pitch he is declared out. If the delay is even longer, the umpire may decide the batting team has forfeited.
  • Retired hurt - The batsman loses the will to bat/keep batting or is too seriously injured. In the case of an injury sustained during the present game, the batsman may return to the crease at a later date if his injury is repaired.

Win, Draw, or Tie

In order to win, a team must dismiss the opposition twice (that is, take 20 wickets) and have scored more runs, within the five days. A match is a 'draw' if either team fails to dismiss the other twice, irrespective of how many runs may have been scored. A 'tie' is when the scores are level at the end of all sessions of play; no extra play is normally used to break a tie in a test match, but extra overs are played in some limited over matches.

Batting and fielding

The batting side must always have two batsmen operating in partnership, and each member of the batting team is allowed to bat once and only once in an innings (the term is both singular and plural). Thus, although they have eleven players, once ten wickets have fallen they are all out and their innings is over. The batting and fielding sides then swap roles and this cycle is repeated so that both teams have two opportunities to bat.

The game begins with the toss of a coin between the two captains, supervised by the field umpires. The winning captain then elects to bat or field.

Two batsmen (the openers) take to the field accompanied by the entire fielding side and two umpires. The batsman who is to receive the first ball is on strike and takes guard in front of his wicket. His non-striking partner waits at the other end of the pitch.

The fielding side nominates a bowler, who has six balls (six balls = one over) with which to dismiss the batsman. Bowlers normally bowl overarm, and must not straighten the elbow during the delivery of the ball. (Underarm delivery, similar to that used in Softball, was at one time the only form of delivery. It is now banned. A famous case of its use in an Australia-New Zealand test match resulted in derision for the Australian captain who asked a bowler to use this technique in order to stop the batting side from making a necessary run to win.)

Typically, bowlers take a run up before delivering a ball. A bowler may not bowl consecutive overs, so that typically two bowlers will bowl alternative overs until the captain decides to make a switch. In theory any player may bowl, but in practice no more than five or six of the eleven will usually participate. One other member of the fielding side acts as the wicket-keeper, standing directly behind the wicket to catch any missed balls, or any balls where the batsman managed only a faint touch. The remaining members of the fielding side (who are specialist batsmen) spend the entire innings fielding.

Batting theory

Batsmen may be either left or right handed: The bat is the same for each.

The batsmen can run any number of runs at any time, even if the ball has not been struck.

The batsman aims to hit the ball in such a way that he and his fellow batsman can run safely to the other end and ground his bat, or a piece of his body (foot, hand, etc.), within the popping crease before the fielding side can effect a run out. Hitting the ball well into the outfield causes the fielding side to chase the ball and throw it back to the wicket keeper or another player who 'backs up' at the bowling end of the pitch.

Long hits to poorly defended parts of the ground may allow the batsmen to run four, or the ball may get to the fence for four.

At certain times the ball is deemed to be 'dead' and the batsmen can wander safely on the pitch between the creases, for example to converse on tactics.

A good batsman in the top order (batting at positions 1-6) is normally capable of getting 20-50 runs and possibly 100 or many more. The 'lower order' batsmen in a good team, normally the specialist bowlers, may be able to 'slash' 20 runs on a good day.

Bowling theory

The bowler has two goals, which are not mutually exclusive:

  • get the batsmen out, as they can no longer score in that innings; and
  • prevent the batsman from scoring.

It may seem that the bowler should always aim at the batsman's legs, which are in front of the stumps. This is normally easily defended and easy to score from. Hence, bowlers normally bowl a range of balls away from the stumps hoping to lure the batsman into playing a rash or mis-timed shot that goes to a catch or allows the fielders to create a run out.

Bowlers come in three types: Quick, Medium, and Slow (or 'spin'). A top-level team will normally have a bowling attack with two or three quick bowlers, one specialist slow (spin) bowler, and several general players capable of medium pace bowling.

Quick or fast bowlers may be delivering balls travelling at 136 to 150 kmh (85 to 95 mph). The ball is intended to either:

  • hit the pitch on the seam (between the two halves of the leather) and thereby to bounce (un)predictably, or
  • swing in the air towards or away from the bat.
  • intimidate the batsman into making an error out of fear. Note that in cricket, unlike in baseball it is considered a legitimate tactic to attempt to injure the batsman by striking him with the ball in the head or other parts of the body. With the advent of helmets and other protective devices there are far fewer serious injuries now than there were as recently as 20 years ago.

Medium pace bowlers use similar tactics to fast bowlers but aim to create more diversity within the speed of their bowling so as to trick the batsman's timing of his swing at the ball.

Slow (or spin) bowlers use either wrist or finger spinning techniques to get the ball to swing in the air, or bounce markedly off the pitch in either direction, and thereby snick the bat and be caught or bounce behind the batsman's guard into the stumps.

Normally, the quick bowlers will open the attack, and bowl for about two hours (or to the end of the first session.) The bowling will then be mixed up, with medium and slow, or quick-medium. At any time in between overs, the captain may call for a change of bowling to 'mix up' the batsmen and seek to induce lax shots that can obtain a wicket.

Over versus around

Whether the bowler is right or left handed, they have two options for approaching the pitch to bowl the ball.

  • Over the wicket: The bowler's bowling arm is nearer the stumps. (A right handed bowler passes to the left of the stumps.)
  • Around the wicket: The bowler typically crosses in front of the umpire who is standing back slightly, and the bowler's bowling arm is away from the stumps. (A right handed bowler crosses the mid-line of the wicket and passes the stumps to the left and behind him.)

Bowlers will often change delivery direction in order land the ball in a patch of rough or cracked turf. The irregular or uneven bounce that results is intended to reduce the scoring rate or induce desperate or intemperate shots by the batsman.

By changing his distance away from the stumps (while remaining within the delivery crease), the bowler can achieve a range of approach angles which, when combined with spin and delivery speed, offers the attacking side a broad range of options.

While it is possible for the bowler to change deliveries at each ball, typically a whole over will be bowled using one or the other of these possible delivery methods. In any case, before the delivery, the bowler must inform the umpire who will in turn inform the batsman.

Grip and concealment

The bowlers are under no obligation to inform the batsman about their particular technique for delivering the ball. Bowlers have certain grips on the ball that, if the batsman is able to pick up the shape of the fist or the splay of the fingers, will give a fraction of a second's advantage in determining what shot the batsman may use, or whether to take a step down or across the wicket.

Bowlers will often adopt strategies to prevent the batsman seeing the delivery hand, such as:

  • holding their 'off' hand over the delivery hand during their strides to the crease;
  • holding the ball in the 'off' hand until the last delivery stride;
  • cocking the hand so that the bowler sees the back of the hand and not the fingers (and their particular grip on the ball);
  • striding in with the delivery arm behind their body.

Fielding positions

The fielding team has eleven players on the field. One is the bowler, and one the wicket-keeper, leaving nine players to be distributed around the field in such a way as to maximise the fielding team's chances of preventing runs being scored and/or taking a wicket. Different situations call for different distributions, and part of the tactical and strategic skill of cricket (sometimes referred to as its chess-like nature) is to position the fielders to maximum advantage. Each position has a name, and some of the names (such as "silly mid off" and "short fine leg") can seem amusing to non-cricketers. Only the wicket-keeper is permitted to wear gloves, though some of the close in fieldsman will often wear other protective equipment such as helmets or leg pads.[2]


The batsman's aim is to score runs whilst protecting his wicket. Generally speaking, in order to score a run, he must first hit the ball. He and his partner must then decide whether or not they can run to each other's end of the pitch before the fielding side have time to break either wicket with the ball. They may run as many times as they are able per hit and the on strike batsman scores one run for his team each time they do so.

If the ball reaches the boundary rope, the batsman automatically scores four runs. If it clears the rope without first touching the ground, it scores six runs. (If a fielder is in contact with the ball when they touch the fence/rope then it is counted as a four or six depending on whether the ball has previously touched the ground or would have carried over the fence/rope.)

A 'no ball' may be called by an umpire according to various infractions by a bowler. The batting team gets one run counted to its score, and the ball is rebowled. A batsman can not be caught (out) on a no ball. Bowling infractions may include overstepping the popping crease, or delivering a ball that goes outside the return crease at the batsman's end or over the batsman's head (a wild delivery).

A 'bye' is a run scored when the ball is not hit. This may occur when the ball hits the batsman's apparel (clothes or protective equipment) and is deflected off into the field of play, or when a bowler delivers a ball that the wicket keeper fails to gather up. Batsmen may either 'run' or, if the ball goes to the boundary, a 'four' may be awarded even if the batsmen have run fewer.

The notation for scoring leads to a particular term, 'dot ball', as in the scoring sheet a ball that does not get a run is noted with a dot. Accordingly, an over with a single, dot, no ball, dot, three, dot, single, would be marked 1.nb.3.1 (six 'legal' deliveries) and the score has increased by 6 runs including one for the no ball. Also a batsman who is not out at the end of the innings has his score marked with an asterisk (e.g. 112*).

Example of Match Scoring

The scoring of matches, and especially the way results are presented, can sometimes be confusing. As an example, let us imagine that, at the end of the first day's play, Sri Lanka have scored 286 runs and have lost 5 wickets. This would be written as 286-5.

Playing Australia, the match pans out as follows:

  • Sri Lanka – 1st innings: 431
  • Australia – 1st innings: 390
  • Sri Lanka – 2nd innings: 360

Australia now need 402 runs to win. At the end of the 4th day, they find themselves 100-3 in their 2nd innings. Thus, they require 302 more runs to win on the final day with 7 wickets in hand.

If Australia are bowled out for a 2nd innings total of 300, then they would have fallen short by 102. Sri Lanka would be said to have won by 101 runs (if Australia had scored exactly 401, the game would have been a tie).

If, however, Australia reached their target only having lost another three wickets (402-6), they would be said to have won by 4 wickets.

If at the end of the fifth day's play Australia were 350-8, they would not yet have reached their target, and Sri Lanka would not yet have taken 10 wickets. In this instance both teams would have failed to win and the game would be declared a draw. This occurrence is not uncommon.

Test playing nations

Only countries approved by the International Cricket Council may compete in test cricket. The following ten teams currently have that status:

  • England (since 1877)
  • Australia (1877)
  • South Africa (1889)
  • West Indies (1928)
  • New Zealand (1930)
  • India (1932)
  • Pakistan (1952)
  • Sri Lanka (1982)
  • Zimbabwe (1992)
  • Bangladesh (2000)
  • Ireland (2018)
  • Afghanistan (2018)

NOTES: The England team includes Wales, the Ireland team includes Northern Ireland, and the West Indies are a group of 15 Caribbean countries and territories.

Not all these teams have had continuous tenure among the test playing nations. South Africa, for example, were excluded in response to their apartheid policy. Ireland have recently expressed the desire to become full ICC members and get to test status.

Other aspects of the game

Other formats

In addition to the traditional format there are also the following formats:

  • One Day International (ODI), each team has one innings consisting of 50 overs
  • Twenty20 (T20), each team has one innings consisting of 20 overs; this format has become popular as it can be completed within the traditional three-hour window slotted for a sporting event (major T20 leagues include the Indian Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League)
  • T10, each team has one innings consisting of 10 overs


Grounds in different parts of one country, let along different parts of the world, play differently: Wickets in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, are renowned for being 'hard'; English wickets are 'green' (have grass obvious in the playing surface); the ground in Perth, Western Australia has a daily sea breeze in the afternoon.

Then, there are oddities:

  • The "Lord's" ground, the home of the Marylebone Cricket Club (established 1787) in London, has a slant of about 2.5m (8 feet) from one side of the ground to the other, so a shot made 'down the hill' typically goes further into the field than a shot made 'up the hill'.
  • Grounds in the West Indies and India often have hundreds of people sitting in or hanging from trees in order to get an unobstructed view.
  • "The Gabba" ground (at Woolloongabba in Brisbane, Queensland) has cantilevered spectator stands that protrude over the surrounding streets.[3]
  • The cricket ground at Scarborough in Yorkshire is inside the walls of the town's medieval castle, and this leads to a number of "local" rules; for example, if a ball is caught by a spectator the batsman is given out if he is batting at the "town" end of the ground, but is awarded six runs of he is at the "sea" end.

Day and Night

Play is normally during the day, but an innovation since the 1970s has been the introduction of light towers at cricket grounds that allow play to continue through dusk and into the night. This is only for "One-day" (50 overs a side or shorter matches.) As yet, Test cricket is limited to the daylight hours.

Sight Screen

At each end of a major cricket ground is a 'sight screen', which is of a contrasting colour to the ball; white screen for a red 'day' ball; black screen for a white 'night' ball. The screen is moved so as to be behind the bowler from the perspective of the batsman. The ball thus stands out from the background and assists the batsman in making decisions about his shot.


High sportsmanship is shown when a batsman 'walks' from the field, conceding his wicket, when he knows that he has been 'out' by the rules of the game, but was not given out by the umpires. The fielding side may not even have 'appealed' to the umpire. For instance, this may occur when he feels the ball 'nick' his gloves or the bat and the ball is then caught by the wicket keeper.

Conversely, a batsman does not have to walk unless the umpire gives him 'out'. He may know that he was out by the rules of the game (for example, he felt a nick) but, after the fielding side has 'appealed' for the wicket (out), the umpire decides that it was 'not out'; and, the batsman is within his rights to 'stand his ground' based on the umpires decision.


Cricket grounds are generally of a size that allows them to be marked out during winter for playing football: soccer, Rugby, Rugby Union, or Australian Rules Football.

Women's Cricket

A strong international competition exists for women playing cricket. This is based on national competitions at various levels (state/county, regional and local).

Blind Cricket

People with vision impairment, along with fully sighted people, can play Blind Cricket. (Sighted people are fitted with special spectacles that distort their vision.)

The ball is normally a white plastic ball of similar size to a cricket ball or softball, and has inside it a bell or metal pieces that make a noise as the ball moves.

The bowler calls out to the batsman, "Are you ready?", which allows the batsman to line up for the delivery. Similarly, the batsman's reply, or a call from the wicket keeper, allows the bowler to line up.

The batsman can be got 'out' in the same ways as for sighted cricket, except that catching is not permitted.

Duckworth-Lewis scoring

In the event that a limited over match is affected by rain or other stops to play, a system of score amendment is used developed by statisticians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis. This allows the umpires to calculate a new score target to win for the second side batting for any given amount of time remaining for normal play, less an allowance for the ratio of runs scored to wickets remaining, corrected for the number of minutes remaining until sunset. If a game may be rain affected, it is in the interests of the first side batting to score at a rapid and even rate, so that a revised target is difficult for the following side to achieve. The Duckworth-Lewis system is also used in Twenty20, however due to the short nature of the game the required targets are almost always a major point of confusion.

Famous Cricketers


  • Dr W.G. Grace (1848-1915), English - "the best-known Englishman of his time"
  • Sir Donald Bradman (1908-2001), Australian, "The Don" - "the greatest batsman of all time" (test match average of 99.94 runs; top score 334; 29 100s & 13 50s; 6,996 runs in 52 matches; first class average 95.14)[4]
  • Sachin Tendulkar (1973-), Indian - "the greatest One-Day International cricketer of all time" (Tests: ~12,000 @ 55 av; ODI: ~16,000 @ 44 av; First Class: ~20,000 @ 59 av; List A: ~19,000 @ 45 av; still playing)[5] Tendulkar now holds the records for the most runs scored in Tests and One Day Internationals, as well as the records for the most individual centuries scored by batsman in both Tests and One Day Internationals.
  • Sir Garry Sobers (1936-), Barbadian - "the greatest all-rounder of all time". The first player to hit six sixes in one over of first-class cricket.[6]
  • Sir Viv Richards (1952-), Antigua, West Indies - "the greatest ODI batsman of all time" until Tendulkar (Tests: 8,540 runs @ 50.23 av; ODI: 6721 @ 47.00 av; First Class: 36,212 @ 49.40 av; List A: 16,995 @ 41.96 av)[7]
  • Sanath Jayasuriya (1969-), Sri Lankan- "The Matara Mauler" (Batting - Tests: 6,973 runs @ 40.07 av; ODI: 12,785 runs @32.69. Bowling - Tests: 98 wickets @ 34.34; ODIs: 310 wickets @ 36.55)[8]
  • Jacques Kallis (1975-), South Africa. (Batting - Tests: ~9,700 runs @ 55.46; ODI: ~9,600 runs @ 44.69. Bowling - Tests: 240 wickets @ 31.22, ODI: 243 wickets @ 31.38). Still playing [9]
  • Brendon McCullum - captain of the New Zealand cricket team
  • Brian Lara, West Indies - holds records for individual highest score in first-class cricket (501*), Test cricket (400*; he also held a previous record of 375), and most runs in a single over in a Test match (28).


  • Shane Warne (1969-), Australian - spin bowler, one of the five Wisden "cricketers of the century" (Tests: 17,995 runs for 708 wickets @ 25.41 runs/wicket; ODI: 7,541 for 293 @ 25.73 ave; First Class: 34,449 for 1,319 @ 26.11 av; List A: 11,642 for 473 @ 24.61 ave; retired in 2007)[10]
  • Muttiah Muralitharan (1972-), Sri Lankan - spin bowler, "the greatest non-Christian Test match bowler ever" (still playing; as at September 2008 - Tests: 16,604 runs for 756 wickets @ 21.96 runs/wicket; ODI: 11,030 for 479 @ 23.02 av; First Class: 25,421 for 1,330 @ 19.11 ave; List A: 13,471 for 602 @ 22.37 av)[11]
  • Glenn McGrath (1970-), Australian - quick bowler, "holds the world record for the highest number of Test wickets by a fast bowler" (Retired from test cricket in 2007; and all cricket in 2008) Tests: 12,186 runs for 563 wickets @ 21.64 runs/wicket; ODI: 8,391 for 381 @ 22.02 ave; First Class: 17,414 for 835 @ 20.85 ave; List A: 9,943 for 458 @ 21.70 ave)[12]

Dream Team

According to Richie Benaud, former Captain of the Australian Cricket Team and since then known internationally as "The Voice of Cricket" (commentator, both ball-by-ball and expert opinion):

The Opening Batsmen:

1. Sir John Berry 'Jack' Hobbs (1882-1963) (England) - The Greatest Opener, and the first English cricket player to be knighted (1953)

2. Sunil Gavaskar (India) - The Most Difficult Batsman to Dismiss, and a Fine Opener

Middle Order Batsmen:

3. Sir Don Bradman (Australia) - The Best Batsman to Walk the Earth, and the first cricket player to be knighted (1949)

4. Sir Viv Richards (West Indies) - The Master Blaster

5. Sachin Tendulkar (India) - The Greatest ODI Batsman


6. Sir Gary Sobers (West Indies) - The Greatest Allrounder Ever

7. Imran Khan Naizi (Pakistan) - the finest Cricketer/Captain to emerge from Pakistan; picked ahead of Kapil Dev, Ian Botham & Richard Hadlee

Wicket Keeper:

8. Adam Gilchrist (Australia) - The Finest Wicketkeeper-batsman the world has seen


9. Shane Warne (Australia) - The Finest Leg spin Bowler of All time

Fast Bowlers:

10. Dennis Lillee (Australia) - A Great Australian Fast Bowler

11. Sydney Barnes (England) - A Fast-bowling Legend

See also


External links