Cricket is the national game of the English. Of all outdoor games, it requires the most of the skill for playing. It is played in India also and has got so much interest that it has even well said it is worshipped as a new religion of Indians.
Cricket requires a very large ground covered with smooth, level, closely cut and well-rolled turf. It is played with a hard leather ball, bats made of willows wood fitted with one handle and wickets. There are two wickets, places twenty-two yards apart, each consisting of three short posts called stumps stuck upright in the ground and surmounted by two small wooden pegs called ‘bails’.
The players consist of batsmen, bowler and fielders. The essence of game is as follows. The bowler delivers the ball from one wicket to the batsman stationed at the opposite wicket. The object of the bowler is to get the batsman out by striking his wicket with the ball so that the bails are knocked off or by forcing him to strike the ball up in air so that it can be caught by one of the fielders before it touches the ground. In either case, the batsman is ‘out’ and another roof the same side must take his place.
The object of the batsman is to defend his wicket and get as many runs as he can. A run is taken when batsman strikes the ball to such a distance that he and his fellow batsman at the other end have time to run across to each other’s wicket. Every run counts a point and the side that gets the greatest number of runs before it is put out, wins the match. The business of fielders is to stop the ball when struck by the batsman and return it to the wicket keeper or bowler quickly so that the batsman gets no time to make a run.
Each match has two teams consisting of eleven players each. Cricket is a fine open-air exercise and also a good mental discipline for it trains the judgment and promotes good fellowship.