Types of Cricket

Informal Cricket

Cricket is also played by children and adults in informal situations. There are countless variations.

Indoor Cricket

Indoor cricket is a modified form of the sport played in an indoor "court". The court is rectangular, 28 to 30 metres long, 10.5 to 12 metres wide, and roofed by flat netting at a height between 4 and 4.5 metres. The walls are also of flexible netting. The court contains a cricket pitch of standard dimensions, covered with artificial turf, with the striker's end close to one end of the court. An additional line is marked across the middle of the pitch, 11 metres from the striker's popping crease, and forms the non-striker's crease, behind which he is safe from being run out - the batsmen run only 11 metres to score runs instead of the full length of the pitch. Indoor cricket uses a softer ball than a regulation cricket ball.

The game is played between sides of 8 players each, each batting one innings of 16 overs. Each player on the fielding side must bowl two overs. Each player on the batting side bats with a partner for exactly four overs - if they get out they do not leave the field, rather they lose 5 runs. It is possible for players (and sides) to have a negative score. When one pair of batsmen has batted their four overs, they retire and the next pair bat.

Batsmen score runs in the usual way, by hitting the ball and taking runs without being run out. They also score additional "bonus" runs by hitting the ball into the netting surrounding the court:

Indoor cricket is played in organised amateur competitions and as a casual sport amongst groups of friends.

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Street Cricket

Street cricket is a form of cricket played informally, generally by children. A street (or school playground, or park) forms the pitch and playing area. Children generally play with a tennis ball instead of a cricket ball, and often use garbage bins or milk crates as wickets. Older children or adults may play with a tennis ball covered in plastic tape, to make it a bit harder, or even half-covered with tape, allowing the ball to swing.

Rather than play organised matches, the goal of street cricket is for everyone to be in on the action. Thus, two players will bat, while everyone else (any number of players!) fields. One player often bowls several balls in a row until someone else decides they want a bowl and the first bowler relinquishes control of the ball. Batsmen score runs in the usual way, with generally agreed areas counting as the boundary for fours and sixes, but only count their own individual scores rather than playing for any team. When one batsman gets out, the next player in a predetermined sequence takes his place from the field, and the out batsman begins fielding.

Several specific rules peculiar to this sort of informal cricket have developed:

Backyard Cricket

Backyard cricket is an even more informal form of cricket, usually played by adults during the early stages of a barbecue when the fire is just warming up. Many of the same rules of street cricket may apply, as well as some additional ones:

Beach Cricket

Beach cricket is essentially either street cricket or backyard cricket with the additional feature of a playing surface ideal for spectacular diving catches. Fielding in the surf is a coveted position on hot days.

Modified Cricket

Several forms of modified cricket have been developed to allow children to develop sporting skills.

Continuous Cricket

There are several forms of continuous cricket, all characterised by the rule that batsmen may not be run out, but the bowler may bowl the ball as soon as he is ready, without waiting for the batsmen to be ready, or even to have completed a run. It is also usual to have a "tip and run" rule, such that batsmen must run if the ball hits the bat at all. Also, if a batsman is out, the bowler does not need to wait for the new batsman to take his place - he may bowl as soon as he gets the ball back. This sort of cricket is usually played in a mad frenzy as children run around all over the place.

French Cricket

French cricket is played with just a single cricket bat and a tennis ball. There is no pitch and no wickets. The batsman must stand with his feet planted together on the ground and not move them - if the feet move or he falls over he is out. The aim of the fielders is to hit the batsman's legs - doing so results in him being out. The batsman uses his bat to defend his legs from being hit. The batsman can also be caught out. The fielders may bowl the ball (usually underam) from wherever they manage to field it, and the batsman can hit the ball in any direction. This often results in the ball being bowled from an inconvenient angle or even from directly behind the batsman - who must not move his feet to turn into a better position.

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