One of the earliest forms of entertainment was a stick and ball game that was known by several different names in various parts of the world. The simplicity of gathering team members and equipment gave everyone an equal opportunity to play and develop hand/eye coordination, running speed, and overall endurance. Evidence can be seen across multiple cultures dating back to the 16th century. Since the game of Cricket was formally introduced in the beginning of the 18th century, it has intrigued players and sparked numerous spin off games in various countries all around the globe.
The teams take turn being at bat or in the field. Those players in the field are responsible for bowling and fielding the ball among their own team in an attempt to prevent the opposition from scoring. This requires quick response time, proactive thinking, and an almost constant adrenaline rush. When the innings change, so do the position of the teams. The team at bat then has to take turns going through each player, trying to hit the ball delivered to them by the bowler from the other team. Every member of the fielding team is on the field throughout the inning, while just two batsmen from the batting team are in the pitch zone at once.
One of the unique set of guidelines that make cricket a great exercise in physical fitness for all players is the precision it takes to keep the wickets, or wooden targets, intact throughout the inning. The wickets are positioned at each end of the narrow pitch, which is approximately 22 yards apart. Predetermined painted lines provide an even course for the wickets and the corresponding batting and bowling creases that are typically placed within four feet of the wicket. The wicket itself consists of three stacking vertical stumps that can be difficult for players to avoid hitting. If any of the stumps are dislodged, whether by the ball, a player, or some other piece of equipment, it is considered to be ‘down’. In some cases, the wicket will be hit and even moved, but not completely dislodged – and considered to be still in play.
The many different rules of modern day Cricket may seem complicated, but they are actually quite simple after a bit of practice. The important things to remember are to have fun, pay attention to every detail going on around the field, and take the opportunities to run away from the pitch as soon as the ball is struck. There is no room for hesitation because nearly one dozen fielders are waiting for any chance to get one of the batsmen out and have the game turned over to the favor of their own team. The game requires stamina, agility, and the ability to read potential moves in the other players.