Cricket is played between two teams of eleven players using a cricket bat and ball. The Cricket field is circular with a pitch in the center that is 22 yards long (or 20 meters) with a wicket at either end. A wicket is three sticks stuck into the ground, each with two bails (small sticks) balanced on top of them.
The game of Cricket is played by the Cricket ball being bowled and a batter, who attempts to hit the ball. The Cricket ball must be bounced against the ground during a bowl to be a legal throw. The batter tries to hit the ball and run back and forth between the wickets to score runs. If the batter stops on the opposite wicket from the batting wicket, another batter comes to bat and the two run back and forth between the wickets to score runs. The opposing side, the fielding team, attempts to out, or eliminate, the opposing batters by: catching the ball in the air, before it hits the ground (caught), if the wicket is knocked over by a bowled ball (bowled), if the bowled ball would hit the wicket but instead hits the batter (leg before wicket), if the wicket-keeper knocks over the wicket with the ball while the batter is out of the batting crease (stumped), or if the wicket is knocked over by a player with the ball while the batter is running between the wickets (run out). This continues until 10 of the 11 batters are outed, then teams change sides.
There are multiple ways to score in Cricket. Firstly, a team can score by running between the wickets. If a batter hits the ball and it is not stopped by the fielding teams before it crosses the boundary line, the batting team is awarded four runs. If the ball crosses the boundary line without touching the ground first, the batting team is awarded six runs instead of four. Runs can also be awarded via extra or penalty runs, which have more specific guidelines under which they occur. There is no run limit in Cricket and the game ends after both teams have batted. The team with the highest score wins.
The origins of Cricket, unlike many sports, are quite uncertain. The earliest reference of a game resembling Cricket is from 16th-century England. The game began to spread alongside the British Empire and the first international games occurred in the second half of the 19th-century. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the sports governing body. The sport is most popular in India, Australia, South Africa, and Pakistan, but is played all around the world.