The top 10 cricket rules for beginners

Cricket is a beloved sport played by millions of people around the world, but it can also be a bit confusing for those who are new to the game. Whether you are a beginner looking to learn the basics or a more experienced player looking to improve your understanding of the sport, this guide is the perfect resource.  

10 of the most significant rules in cricket

here are 10 of the most significant rules in cricket, along with a brief description of each: 

  • The game is played on a large oval-shaped field with a rectangular 22-yard-long strip in the center called the pitch. 
  • Two teams of 11 players each take turns batting and fielding. The team that scores the most runs wins. 
  • While the batting team seeks to score runs, the fielding team tries to stop the batting team from doing so. 
  • The fielding team bowls (throws) the ball at the wicket (a set of stumps and bails) at the end of the pitch, trying to dismiss the batter (the player facing the bowler). 
  • The batter tries to defend the wicket and score runs by hitting the ball with their bat. 
  • A run is scored each time the batter hits the ball and runs back and forth between the wickets, located at opposite ends of the pitch. 
  • A dismissal occurs when the ball is caught by a fielder without it bouncing, or when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails (bowled), when the batter hits his wicket with his bat or his body (run out), or the fielding side appeal to the umpire for certain type of illegal actions by batter (Leg Before Wicket, Stumped, Hit Wicket) 
  • The fielding team can also dismiss the batter by catching the ball after it bounces (called a catch) or by getting the ball to hit the stumps while the batter is outside of the crease (stumped). 
  • The game is divided into innings, with each team getting a chance to bat and field. 
  • A bowler can bowl a maximum of 6 legal deliveries in an over, and there are multiple variations within it, as per the format of cricket being played. 
  • Cricket is a sport with a rich history and a wide variety of rules and regulations. These are just a few of the most significant rules that govern the game, but there are many more that players, coaches, and fans should be familiar with to fully understand and appreciate the sport. 

Cricket rules by format (Test, ODI, T20)  

1. Test cricket

 In Test cricket, the matches are played over a period of five days, with each team given two innings. The objective of the game is for one team to score more runs than the other, and if the match is a draw, it is considered a tie. The teams can play for an unlimited number of overs in each inning.

It allows players to be consistent and have a better chance to come back in the game, as sometimes a team can have a poor start but recover in the next innings and make a comeback. The format also allows for more tactical options, such as “Declarations” where a team can choose to end their batting innings early and try to take wickets and win by making the opposite team follow on. 

2.One Day International (ODI)

One Day International (ODI) is a limited-overs format, with each team facing a maximum of 50 overs. The goal is still to score more runs than the opposing team, and the game can be decided in a tie and via Duckworth Lewis method in case of interruption by rain or other factors. The fielding restrictions are also different from Test cricket, with fielders only allowed to be placed in certain positions for a certain number of overs. The limited overs and fielding restrictions put pressure on teams to score runs quickly, which often results in a more aggressive style of play. 

3. Twenty20 (T20)

Twenty20 (T20) is the newest format of cricket, and it is also a limited-overs format. Each team faces a maximum of 20 overs, and the objective is the same as in ODIs, to score more runs than the opposing team. The fielding restrictions are like ODIs, and matches are usually completed within three hours. This format encourages an even more aggressive style of play, with teams looking to score as many runs as possible in the shortest amount of time. This format has been a great success in attracting a younger audience to the game and promoting it globally. 

Each of these formats requires a diverse set of skills and strategies. While Test cricket requires important levels of concentration, patience and endurance, the shorter formats of ODI and T20 require a more aggressive approach with an emphasis on fast scoring. This format has also produced many innovative shots, which were rarely seen in the other formats. The rules also change with the formats, so a player who excels in one format may not necessarily perform well in the others. 

In addition, the number of players allowed on the field also differs, as per the format. In Test cricket and ODI, teams can play with 11 players, while in T20, teams can play with only 10 players on the field. 

In summary, cricket is a sport that has evolved over time, and each of the three formats has its own unique characteristics. Understanding the nuances of each format can help players, coaches and fans appreciate the game better and know what to expect in different situations. 


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Gayani Karunaratne
Gayani Karunaratne
Gayani Karunaratne is Graduated as BA (Special) in Environmental Management. She also reading MSc in Climate Change and Environmental Management. She is working as an Lecturer of Australian Management School and Co-Founder of RedRown PLC.


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