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About cricket

A bowler delivers the ball to a batsman during a game of cricket
A bowler delivers the ball to a batsman
during a game of cricket.

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on an oval-shaped field, usually between 150 and 200 yards in diameter, at the centre of which lies a 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible, while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the runs scored by the batting team. A run is scored by the striking batsman hitting the ball with his bat, running to the opposite end of the pitch and touching the crease there without being dismissed. The teams switch between batting and fielding at the end of an innings. In professional cricket, the length of a game ranges from 20 overs of six bowling deliveries per side to Test cricket played over five days. The Laws of Cricket are maintained by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) with additional Standard Playing Conditions for Test matches ("Tests") and One Day Internationals (ODIs).

Cricket was first played in southern England in the 16th century. By the end of the 18th century, it had developed into the national sport of England. The expansion of the British Empire led to cricket being played overseas and by the mid-19th century the first international matches were being held. The ICC, the game's governing body, has ten full members. The game is popular in Australasia, the Indian subcontinent, the West Indies, Southern Africa and England.

 More about cricket – its laws, history, statistics and international structure.
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Bernard Bosanquet

Bernard Bosanquet (1877–1936) was an English cricketer best known for inventing the googly, a delivery designed to deceive the batsman. He played first-class cricket for Middlesex County Cricket Club and appeared in seven Test matches for England as an all-rounder. While playing a tabletop game, Bosanquet devised a new technique for delivering a ball, later named the "googly", which he practised while attending Oriel College, Oxford. He first used it in cricket matches around 1900, but it was not until 1903, when he had a successful season as a bowler, that his new delivery began to attract attention. He was selected in 1903–04 to tour Australia with England and made his Test debut. Although his batting was unsuccessful, he performed well as a bowler and troubled all the opposing batsmen. His career with the ball peaked when he bowled England to victory in the first Test against Australia in 1905, but he remained an inconsistent performer. In subsequent years, he bowled infrequently and played little first-class cricket.

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A man wearing white cricket clothes and maroon helmet plays a shot. He is standing on a cricket pitch, and the seating area of the ground is visible in the background.

Brian Lara is a former cricketer and captain of the West Indies cricket team. He was a skilled batsman, and was known for his ability to bat for long and high-scoring innings. From his debut in international cricket in 1990 to his retirement in 2007, Lara scored 11,953 runs in Tests and 10,405 in One Day Internationals (ODI), accumulating a total of 53 centuries. His accomplishments with the bat saw him chosen as the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year in 1994, as well as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1995.

Lara scored a Test century for the first time in his fifth Test match in 1993 against Australia. His score of 277 in that match is the fourth-highest maiden century in Test history. The 375 he made against England in 1994 was the highest individual Test score for nine years, until Matthew Hayden surpassed it in 2003. Lara regained the world record in 2004 when he made an unbeaten 400, once again against England. It is also the only quadruple century in Test cricket. The unbeaten 153 he scored against Australia in 1999 was rated as the second-best Test innings of all time by the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 2001. He has scored more than 200 runs on nine occasions, the highest after Donald Bradman. Alongside Bradman and Virender Sehwag, he is one of three batsmen who have scored triple centuries on two occasions. Lara scored 34 centuries during his Test career, the highest number by a West Indian player. He is ranked fifth for the highest number of centuries in a career along with Sunil Gavaskar, and behind Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, and Sachin Tendulkar.

Lara's first ODI century came more than two years after his debut match, when he scored 128 against Pakistan. His career best is 169 runs made against Sri Lanka in 1995. It is also the third highest individual score by a West Indian batsman. The 117 he made against Bangladesh in 1999 is the third fastest century in ODI cricket. It was made in 45 balls at a strike rate of 188.70, reaching the boundary on eighteen occasions and clearing it on four. During his career, he scored more than 150 runs on three occasions. By the time of his retirement, he had scored 19 centuries in ODI matches. This is the highest number of centuries scored by a single batsman for the West Indies, a record that Lara shares with Chris Gayle. (Full list...)

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A batsman is bowled.
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ICC Rankings

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the international governing body of cricket, and produces team rankings for the various forms of cricket played internationally.

Test cricket is the longest form of cricket, played up to a maximum of five days with two innings per side.

One Day International cricket is played over 50 overs, with one innings per side.

Twenty20 International cricket is played over 20 overs, with one innings per side.

ICC Test Championship
Rank Team Matches Points Rating
1  India 44 5,313 121
2  South Africa 44 5,154 117
3  New Zealand 38 3,886 102
4  Australia 45 4,599 102
5  England 52 5,029 97
6  Sri Lanka 46 4,374 95
7  Pakistan 34 2,988 88
8  West Indies 36 2,606 72
9  Bangladesh 26 1,833 71
10  Zimbabwe 14 12 1
Reference: ICC Rankings, 3 April 2018
"Matches" is no. matches + no. series played in the 12–24 months since the May before last, plus half the number in the 24 months before that.
ICC ODI Rankings
Rank Team Matches Points Rating
1  India 62 7,595 123
2  South Africa 59 6,912 117
3  England 64 7,496 117
4  New Zealand 62 7,081 114
5  Australia 57 6,376 112
6  Pakistan 51 4,877 96
7  Bangladesh 39 3,518 90
8  Sri Lanka 72 6,063 84
9  West Indies 47 3,467 74
10  Afghanistan 42 2,445 58
11  Zimbabwe 53 2,716 51
12  Ireland 31 1,273 41
Reference: ICC Rankings, 25 March 2018
"Matches" is the no. matches played in the 12-24 months since the May before last, plus half the number in the 24 months before that.
ICC T20I Championship
Rank Team Matches Points Rating
1  Pakistan 29 3,763 130
2  Australia 20 2,513 126
3  India 36 4,341 121
4  New Zealand 26 3,013 116
5  England 21 2,402 114
6  South Africa 23 2,551 111
7  West Indies 25 2,770 111
8  Sri Lanka 33 2,921 89
9  Afghanistan 27 2,385 88
10  Bangladesh 24 1,846 77
11  Scotland 11 737 67
12  Zimbabwe 15 915 61
13  United Arab Emirates 16 827 52
14  Netherlands 9 441 49
15  Hong Kong 13 599 46
16  Papua New Guinea 6 235 39
17  Oman 9 345 38
18  Ireland 15 534 36
Reference: ICC rankings for Tests, ODIs, Twenty20 & Women, 03 April 2018
"Matches" is the number of matches played in the 12-24 months since the May before last, plus half the number in the 24 months before that.


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