A somewhat vague and not nescessarily accurate beginners guide to Cricket, somewhat more or less aimed at Americans. So, G'day :)
Cricket is a sport played primarily by Commonwealth (as in, 'once was the English Empire') nations.
Why can Cricket be so confusing (especially to Americans?)
In cricket, like most sports, you score points by some method to win.
In most sports which are not cricket, the points are scored by the player/team who is 'attacking'. In fact, the purpose of the attack is to score points. Players/teams on the defence tend not to score points. For example, in Football (soccer), the goalkeeper defends the goals from the opposition players who as a team score points by attacking the net. The rest of the goalies team may be on attack or defence simply as a matter of possession.
In cricket however... it's all backwards. At a player/action level, the bowler is the attacker, whilst the batsman is the defender. The batsman's primary purpose is to defend his wicket. And in fact, that's how the terminology of the game works: The bowler attacks the wicket to dismiss the bowler (get him out). Yet the batsman (defender) is the one to score runs (points) which are needed for the win!
So in cricket, runs are scored by the defender when he defends particularly well! The bowlers intent in dismissing the batsman (an attacking gesture at a player-level) is to limit the opposing teams runscoring ability (a defensive gesture at a team-level)
All that is at the basic theory level.
What about at the team level? Larger tactical story arcs, and so on?
Well, at a team level either side can be defending or attacking in either role of being the batting or the bowling side - due to the tactics/players involved, etc. For example, bowlers can bowl to 'defend against runs being scored' rather than trying to attack the wicket, batsmen may play to score runs (ie, "attack the bowling") as their prime objective rather than to defend their wicket - which tends to then make it a more interesting spectator sport.
Indeed, the development of 'short forms' of cricket (one-day, and 20-20) can be attributed to finding ways in which the team tactics are biased as much as possible towards the 'batsmen must score runs' strategy. Being shorter in length, they are naturally also more TV friendly :)
- Cricket is a game of hitting the ball, punctuated with the occasional 'out', each of which is a big event and potentially a game changer
- Baseball is a game of outs, punctuated with the occasional big hit, each of which is a big event...
New statistics idea
Chase the link: Cricket Statistics
Game Idea: Merging Baseball and Cricket: BaseCricket
Follow the link: BaseCricket
Direct comparisons of Baseball and Cricket
- Baseball vs Cricket - An attempt to objectively compare the sports with statistics.
- MLB vs BBL - an attempt to take an objective/statistical look at the sports in the USA vs Australia