Cricket

How popular is cricket in Britain?
According to the Government’s 2013 Active People survey, around 189,400 adults play cricket at least once a week.

England's dominance over Australia in the recent Ashes series along with increasing interest in the women's Ashes, plus the successes of the recent ICC World Cup and ICC World Twenty20 tournaments, have helped boost the popularity of the sport across the country.

Health benefits of cricket
Although there is some standing around, cricket also involves short bursts of sprinting and throwing. The game can help improve endurance and stamina, physical fitness, and hand-eye co-ordination.

What's the aim of the game?
The aim of the game is to score more runs than the opposition.

Two teams, both with 11 players, take it in turns to bat and bowl. The batter stands in front of a set of wooden posts called stumps. The bowler tries to hit the stumps with the ball to knock the batter out. The batter defends the stumps and tries to hit the ball as far away as possible.

When the batter has hit the ball, he starts running to another set of stumps at the end of a 22-yard area, called a wicket, to score a run.

Training tips for cricket
Warm up before a game of cricket and cool down properly afterwards. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after training and playing games. Use training nets to practise batting. Carry out fielding drills and play mini games.

Advice on getting started in cricket
The ECB has set up a website called Play-Cricket to help you find a local club. Children can get started by playing a simplified version of the game called Kwik cricket. This is played with a plastic bat and ball. For more information on children's cricket, see ECB's cricket for kids.

What equipment do I need?
For playground cricket, all you need are Kwik cricket stumps and bats, and a soft ball. For hard ball cricket, you need a helmet, pads, gloves, a bat and a red leather ball. When you play at a club, these are generally provided, but if you keep playing you may want to invest in your own bat and protective gear.

Advice on getting into competitive cricket
Start by looking for clubs near you. Check out Play-Cricket, the ECB’s online cricket network for all clubs, leagues, cup competitions and county boards. You can also get club information from your local council.

Clubs train through the winter at indoor nets, and most clubs enter indoor leagues, so cricket is not just played in the summertime. If you're interested in playing for a team in a competitive league, go along to a training session.

Page last reviewed: 02/07/2013

Next review due: 02/07/2015

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