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Cricket Essay In Hindi Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Cricket is the most popular sport in India .[1] It is played in almost every street of India. [2]Almost every person is fond of playing Cricket or watching Cricket match. The Indian national cricket team won the 1983 Cricket World Cup, the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the 2011 Cricket World Cup, the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, and shared the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka. The Domestic competitions include the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy and the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy. In addition, BCCI conducts the Indian Premier League, a Twenty20 competition. Indian cricket team is also accredited with the honour of winning all the ICC tournaments under M.S. Dhoni's captaincy which itself is a world record.


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(July 2010)

To 1918[edit]

Main article: History_of_cricket_in_India_to_1918

The entire history of cricket in India and the sub-continent as a whole is based on the existence and development of the British Raj via the East India Company.

1918 to 1945[edit]

Main article: History of cricket in India from 1918–19 to 1945

India became a member of the 'elite club' joining Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand and the West Indies in June 1932. India's first match in Lords against England attracted a massive crowd of 24,000 people as well as the King of the United Kingdom.[3]

1945 to 1960[edit]

Main article: History of cricket in India from 1945–46 to 1960

The major and defining event in the history of Indian cricket during this period was the Partition of India following full independence from the British Raj in 1947.

An early casualty of change was the Bombay Quadrangular tournament, which had been a focal point of Indian cricket for over 50 years. The new India had no place for teams based on ethnic origin. As a result, the Ranji Trophy came into its own as the national championship. The last-ever Bombay Pentangular, as it had become, was won by the Hindus in 1945–46.

India also recorded its first Test victory in 1952, beating England by an innings in Madras.[3]

1960 to 1970[edit]

Main article: History of cricket in India from 1960–61 to 1970

One team totally dominated Indian cricket in the 1960s. As part of 15 consecutive victories in the Ranji Trophy from 1958–59 to 1972–73, Bombay won the title in all ten seasons of the period under review. Among its players were Farokh Engineer, Dilip Sardesai, Bapu Nadkarni, Ramakant Desai, Baloo Gupte, Ashok Mankad and Ajit Wadekar.

In the 1961–1962 season, the Duleep Trophy was inaugurated as a zonal competition. It was named after Ranji's nephew, Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji (1905–59). With Bombay in its catchment, it is not surprising that the West Zone won six of the first nine titles.

1970 to 1985[edit]

Main article: History of cricket in India from 1970–71 to 1985

Bombay continued to dominate Indian domestic cricket, with only Karnataka, Delhi, and a few other teams able to mount any kind of challenge during this period.

India enjoyed two international highlights. In 1971, they won a Test series in England for the first time ever, surprisingly defeating Ray Illingworth's Ashes winners. In 1983, again in England, India were surprise winners of the 1983 Cricket World Cup under the captaincy of Kapil Dev.

During the 1970s, the Indian cricket team began to see success overseas beating New Zealand, and holding Australia, South Africa and England to a draw. The backbone of the team were the Indian spin quartet – Bishen Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, BS Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan, giving rise to what would later be called the Golden Era of Indian cricket history. This decade also saw the emergence of two of India's best ever batsmen, Sunil Gawaskar and Gundappa Vishwanath responsible for the back-to-back series wins in 1971 in the West Indies and in England, under the captaincy of Ajit Wadekar.[4]

1985 to 2000[edit]

Main article: History of cricket in India from 1985–86 to 2000

(From the 1993–94 season, the Duleep Trophy was converted from a knockout competition to a league format.)

Several team names and spellings were altered during the 1990s when traditional Indian names were introduced to replace those that were associated with the British Raj. Most notably, Bombay became Mumbai and the famous venue of Madras became Chennai.

During the 1980s, India developed a more attack-focused batting line-up with talented batsmen such as Mohammad Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ravi Shastri prominent during this decade. (Despite India's victory in the Cricket World Cup in 1983, the team performed poorly in the Test arena, including 28 consecutive Test matches without a victory. However, India won the Asia Cup in 1984 and won the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985.) The 1987 Cricket World Cup was held in India.[4]

21st century[edit]

Main article: History of cricket in India from 2000–01

Since 2000, the Indian team underwent major improvements with the appointment of John Wright, India's first ever foreign coach. This appointment met success internationally as India maintained their unbeaten home record against Australia in Test series after defeating them in 2001 and won the inaugural ICC World T20 in 2007. India was also the first Sub-continental team to win at the WACA in January 2008 against Australia.[4]

India's victory against the Australians in 2001 marked the beginning of a dream era for the team under the captainship of Sourav Ganguly, winning Test matches in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies and England. India also shared a joint victory with Sri Lanka in the ICC Championship, and went on to the finals in the 2003 Cricket World Cup only to be beaten by Australia.[4]

In September 2007, India won the first ever Twenty20 World Cup held in South Africa, beating Pakistan by 5 runs in a thrilling final.[5]

India won the Cricket World Cup in 2011 under the captainship of Mahendra Singh Dhoni,[3] the first time since 1983 – they beat Sri Lanka in the final held in Mumbai.[6]

India played its 500th Test match against New Zealand at Kanpur from 22 September 2016. India won this match by 197 runs. This test was played under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.

Organisation of cricket in modern India[edit]

International cricket[edit]

Main articles: India national cricket team and India national women's cricket team

International cricket in India generally does not follow a fixed pattern. For example, the English schedule under which the nation tours other countries during winter and plays at home during the summer. Generally, there has recently been a tendency to play more one-day matches than Test matches. Cricket in India is managed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the richest cricket board in the cricket world, yet, average cricket fans cannot get hold of tickets to see matches, much of which are distributed as largesse.[7] Indian International Cricket Squad has also provided some of the greatest players to the world, the biggest example of which is Sachin Tendulkar. Indian cricket has a rich history. The Indian national team is currently ranked the No. 1 team in Test, ODI and but at 5th position in T20I, making it the best cricket team in the world.

First class competitions[edit]

  • Ranji Trophy – Founded as the 'Cricket Championship of India' at a meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in July 1934. The first Ranji Trophy fixtures took place in the 1934–35 season. Syed Mohammed Hadi of Hyderabad was the first batsman to score a century in the tournament. The Trophy was donated by H.H. Sir Bhupendra Singh Mahinder Baha-dur, Maharajah of Patiala in memory of His late Highness Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar, affectionately called as Ranjitsinhji. In the main, the Ranji Trophy is composed of teams representing the states that make up India. As the political states have multiplied, so have cricket teams, but not every state has a team. Some states have more than one cricket team, e.g. Maharashtra and Gujarat. There are also 'odd' teams like Railways, and Services representing the armed forces. The various teams used to be grouped into zones – North, West, East, Central and South – and the initial matches were played on a league basis within the zones. The top two (until 1991–92) and then top three teams (subsequent years) from each zone then played in a national knock-out competition. Starting with the 2002–03 season, the zonal system has been abandoned and a two-division structure has been adopted with two teams being promoted from the plate league and two relegated from the elite league. If the knockout matches are not finished they are decided on the first-innings lead.
  • Duleep Trophy – Named after Duleepsinhji, the Duleep Trophy competition, which is a first-class competition started by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1961–62 with the aim of providing a greater competitive edge in domestic cricket. Because apart from the knock-out stages of the Ranji Trophy, that competition proven to be highly predictable, with Bombay winning for the Ranji trophy for fifteen consecutive years. The Duleep Trophy was also meant to help the selectors to assessing form of top cricketers playing against each other. The original format had five teams, which were drawn from the five zones (i.e. North, South, East, West and central), play each other on a knock-out basis. From the 1993–94 season, the competition has been converted to a league format.
  • Irani Trophy – The Trophy tournament was conceived during the 1959–60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship and was named after the late Z.R. Irani, who was associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from its inception in 1928, till his death in 1970 and a keen patron of the game. The first match, played between the Ranji Trophy champions and the Rest of India was played in 1959–60. For the first few years, it was played at the fag end of the season. Realising the importance of the fixture, the BCCI moved it to the beginning of the season. Since 1965–66, it has traditionally heralded the start of the new domestic season. The Irani Trophy game ranks high in popularity and importance. It is one of the few domestic matches followed with keen interest by cricket lovers in the country. Leading players take part in the game, which has often been a sort of selection trial to pick the Indian team for foreign tours.

Limited overs competitions[edit]

  • Deodhar Trophy – Started in 1973–74 by Board of Control for Cricket in India, it is the current one-day cricket competition in Indian domestic cricket. 5 zonal teams – North zone, South zone, East zone, West zone and Central zone feature in the competition. North zone have won this competition 13 times. It is also called All-Star Series due to some big names representing their Zonal sides in the one-day fixtures.
  • NKP Salve Challenger Trophy – Started as the Challenger series by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1994–95 and later named as NKP Salve Challenger Trophy in 1998–99. This tournament features 3 teams: India senior, India A and India B playing each other in a round robin format. They were later renamed India Blue, India Red and India Green respectively. The tournament features the top 36 players from across India and is also the most popular domestic structure after IPL.
  • Vijay Hazare Trophy – Named after the prolific Indian cricketer Vijay Hazare, the Trophy was started in 2002–03 as an attempt to bring the limited-overs game among a greater audience. The competition involves state teams from the Ranji trophy plates battling out in a 50-over competition, much on the lines of Ford Ranger Cup of Australia and Friends Provident Trophy of England. Since its conception, Tamil Nadu and Mumbai have won the trophy twice each. It is also dubbed as the Premier Cup by BCCI. It now joins Deodhar Trophy as the second one-day competition of Indian domestic circuit.
  • BCCI Corporate Trophy – BCCI have set up a 12 team inter-corporate tournament in 2009 that involves all top Indian cricketers. The tournament involves 50-over-a-side matches with the winner picking up Rs 1 crore and the runner up getting Rs 50 lakh.

Twenty20 competitions[edit]

  • Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – To be played for the first time in the 2008–09 season, this is the first of its kind zonal T20 championship and the third overall in the Indian cricket season, which would see Ranji teams divided along zonal lines into two groups with the tournament culminating in the All India T20 final between the winners of the two groups for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Launched after the success of the IPL and the need of the BCCI to search for more talent in the growing regions of cricket.
  • Indian Premier League – In response to the rival ICL, the BCCI started the Twenty20 competition, Indian Premier League (known as the IPL), and is regarded as the brainchild of Lalit Modi. This League has been launched by BCCI in 2007-08 and it received support from all the other Cricket Boards and International Players. The Players were selected via the auctions and drafted into the City-based Franchises. The first IPL season was held from 18 April 2008 to 1 June 2008 where underdogs Rajasthan Royals, led by Shane Warne, won the first title at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai[8] Based on regional loyalties, the eight-team tournament brings a unique and popular team and player auction system hand-picking some of the best international players in the world and teaming them with Indian players, both domestic and international, in one arena. The total prize money for the IPL was $3 million.[8] The IPL is the most-attended cricket league in the world and ranks sixth among all sports leagues.
  • Inter-State T20 Championship – After India became another member of the ICC Twenty20 and played its first international T20 against South Africa, BCCI launched its own state structure in 2006–07 season, with 27 Ranji teams divided in 5 Zones. The final was played between Punjab and Tamil Nadu, which the latter won by 2 wickets and 2 balls remaining, thereby becoming the only ever winner of this series. In this series, Rohit Sharma also became the only ever Indian to register a T20 century for Mumbai against Gujarat. The competition was later replaced by a franchise-based IPL.

In Twenty20, crowd participation encouraged more strongly than in other forms of the game. It has been greatly acknowledged by people and has made huge profits.

Youth competitions[edit]

  • Vinoo Mankad Trophy – A trophy tournament for under 19, in memories of famous cricketer Vinoo Mankad.
  • Yagnik Trophy – A tournament for inter college, under the university level student, named after Dr. Yagnik, Gandhian and famous figure in Saurashtra.

Women's domestic competitions[edit]

  • Senior women's one day league – Started in season 2006–07, is the women's List-A cricket tournament. Railways women has been the most dominant team, winning 10 out of the 11 tournaments. It was played in round-robin format at zonal level and top performing team then playing in super league. The format was changed in season 2013–14, since then it is played in 2 tiers, with states being divided in 5 groups, 2 in elite group and 3 in plate group. Finalists in plate group, at the end of season are promoted to Elite group and 2 bottom most performing team in elite group are relegated to the plate group.
  • Inter State Women's Twenty20 Competition is the women'sTwenty20 competition. It is played between full members of BCCI. The inaugural tournament was held in the 2008-09 season. Since then it has taken place every year with 2015-16 being the 8th edition.[9]

Domestic cricket competition League List[edit]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]

Cricket is the staple game in India for people of all ages. Here young boys play cricket on morning in June.

Bowling, in cricket, is the action of propelling the ball toward the wicket defended by a batsman. A player skilled at bowling is called a bowler; a bowler who is also a competent batsman is known as an all-rounder. Bowling the ball is distinguished from throwing the ball by a strictly specified biomechanical definition, which restricts the angle of extension of the elbow. A single act of bowling the ball towards the batsman is called a ball or a delivery. Bowlers bowl deliveries in sets of six, called an over. Once a bowler has bowled an over, a teammate will bowl an over from the other end of the pitch. The Laws of Cricket govern how a ball must be bowled.[1] If a ball is bowled illegally, an umpire will rule it a no-ball.[2] If a ball is bowled too wide of the striker for the batsman to be able to play at it with a proper cricket shot, the bowler's end umpire will rule it a wide.[3]

There are different types of bowlers, from fast bowlers, whose primary weapon is pace, through swing and seam bowlers who try to make the ball deviate in its course through the air or when it bounces, to slow bowlers, who will attempt to deceive the batsmen with a variety of flight and spin. A spin bowler usually delivers the ball quite slowly and puts spin on the ball, causing it to turn at an angle while bouncing off the pitch.

History of bowling[edit]

Main article: History of cricket

In the early days of cricket, underarm bowling was the only method employed. Many theories exist about the origins of cricket. One suggests that the game began among shepherds hitting a stone or a ball of wool with their crooks and, at the same time, defending the wicket gate into the sheep-fold (from Anglo Saxon 'cricce', a crooked staff). A second theory suggests the name came from a low stool known as a 'cricket' in England, which from the side looked like the long, low wicket used in the early days of the game (originally from the Flemish 'krickstoel', a low stool on which parishioners knelt in church). There is also a reference to 'criquet' in North-East France in 1478 and evidence that the game evolved in South-East England in the Middle Ages.

In 1706 William Goldwyn published the first description of the game. He wrote that two teams were first seen carrying their curving bats to the venue, choosing a pitch and arguing over the rules to be played. They pitched two sets of wickets, each with a "milk-white" bail perched on two stumps; toss a coin for first knock, the umpire called "play" and the "leathern orb" was bowled. They had four-ball overs, the umpires leant on their staves (which the batters had to touch to complete a run), and the scorers sat on a mound making notches.

The first written "Laws of Cricket" were drawn up in 1744. They stated, "the principals shall choose from amongst the gentlemen present two umpires who shall absolutely decide all disputes. The stumps must be 22 inches high and the bail across them six inches. The ball must be between 5 & 6 ounces, and the two sets of stumps 22 yards apart". There were no limits on the shape or size of the bat. It appears that 40 notches was viewed as a very big score, probably due to the bowlers bowling quickly at shins unprotected by pads. The world's first cricket club was formed in Hambledon in the 1760s and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was founded in 1787.

During the 1760s and 1770s it became common to pitch the ball through the air, rather than roll it along the ground. This innovation gave bowlers the weapons of length, deception through the air, plus increased pace. It also opened new possibilities for spin and swerve. In response, batters had to master timing and shot selection. One immediate consequence was the replacement of the curving bat with the straight one. All of this raised the premium on skill and lessened the influence of rough ground and brute force. It was in the 1770s that the modern game began to take shape. The weight of the ball was limited to between five and a half and five and three-quarter ounces, and the width of the bat to four inches. The latter ruling followed an innings by a batter called Thomas "Daddy" White, who appeared with a bat the width of the wicket. In 1774, the first leg before law was published. Also around this time, a third stump became commonplace. By 1780, the duration of an important match was generally three days, and this year also saw the creation of the first six-seam cricket ball. In 1788, the MCC published its first revision of the laws, which prohibited charging down an opponent and also provided for mowing and covering the wicket in order to standardise conditions. The desire for standardisation reflected the massive increase in the popularity of cricket during the 18th century. Between 1730 and 1740, 150 cricket matches were recorded in the papers of the time. Between 1750 and 1760, this figure rose to 230, and between 1770 and 1790 over 500.

The 19th century saw a series of significant changes. Wide deliveries were outlawed in 1811. The circumference of the ball was specified for the first time in 1838 (its weight had been dictated 60 years earlier). Pads, made of cork, became available for the first time in 1841, and these were further developed following the invention of vulcanised rubber, which was also used to introduce protective gloves in 1848. In the 1870s, boundaries were introduced – previously, all hits had to be run; if the ball went into the crowd, the spectators would clear a way for the fieldsman to fetch it. The biggest change, however, was in how the ball was delivered by the bowler.

At the start of the century, all bowlers were still delivering the ball under-arm. However, so the story goes, John Willes became the first bowler to use a "round-arm" technique after practising with his sister Christina, who had used the technique, as she was unable to bowl underarm due to her wide dress impeding her delivery of the ball.[5]

The round-arm action came to be employed widely in matches but was quickly determined to be illegal and banned by the MCC, who stated that "the ball must be delivered underhand, not thrown or jerked, with the hand underneath the elbow at the time of delivering the ball".[6] When it was accepted the rules stated that the arm could not be raised above the shoulder. It was quickly found, however, that a raised arm imparted more accuracy and generated more bounce than the roundarm method. Again, the governing body banned the method. It was not until the method was finally accepted by the MCC in 1835[7] that it grew rapidly in popularity amongst all players. Underarm bowling hitherto had almost disappeared from the game.

Modern-day underarm bowling[edit]

An infamous "underarm bowling incident" occurred during a match in 1981, in which the Australian bowler, Trevor Chappell, took advantage of the fact that underarm bowling was still legal by rolling the ball along the ground. By doing so he avoided the possibility that the New Zealand batsman, Brian McKechnie, would score a six from the last ball to tie the match, as the bat would not be able to hit the ball high enough to score a six.[8]

As a result of this incident underarm bowling was subsequently made illegal in all grades of cricket, except by prior agreement of both teams, as it was not considered to be within the spirit of the game

The bowling action[edit]

Bowling the ball is distinguished from simply throwing the ball by a strictly specified biomechanical definition.

Originally, this definition said that the elbow joint must not straighten out during the bowling action. Bowlers generally hold their elbows fully extended and rotate the arm vertically about the shoulder joint to impart velocity to the ball, releasing it near the top of the arc. Flexion at the elbow is not allowed, but any extension of the elbow was deemed to be a throw and would be liable to be called a no-ball. This was thought to be possible only if the bowler's elbow was originally held in a slightly flexed position.

In 2005, this definition was deemed to be physically impossible by a scientific investigative commission. Biomechanical studies that showed that almost all bowlers extend their elbows somewhat throughout the bowling action, because the stress of swinging the arm around hyperextends the elbow joint. A guideline was introduced to allow extensions or hyperextensions of angles up to 15 degrees before deeming the ball illegally thrown.

Bowling actions are typically divided into side on and front on actions. In the side on action, the back foot lands parallel to the bowling crease and the bowler aims at the wicket by looking over his front shoulder. In the front on action, the back foot lands pointing down the pitch and the bowler aims at the wicket by looking inside the line of his front arm. Many bowlers operate with a mid-way action with the back foot landing at roughly 45 degrees and the upper body aligned somewhere between side on and front on. This is not to be confused with a mixed action, which mixes distinct elements of both side on and front on actions, and is generally discouraged amongst young bowlers as it can lead to problems in later life due to the twisting of the back inherent in the action.

Goals of bowling[edit]

In a game of cricket, the ultimate priority of the fielding side is to restrict the total number of runs scored by the batting side, and the actions of the bowlers will be fundamental to achieving this objective. The primary means of achieving this is by dismissing the batting side by getting all ten of the opposition wickets as quickly as possible. A secondary objective will be to keep the batting side's run rate as low as possible. In fact, in most forms of cricket, the twin aims of the fielding side are targeted concurrently, as the achievement of one aim tends to have a positive effect upon the other. Taking regular opposition wickets will remove the better batsmen from the crease, typically leading to a slowing of the scoring rate. Conversely, slowing the scoring rate can put additional pressure on the batsmen and force them into taking extra risks, which will often lead to wickets.

Depending upon the format of the match, these two strategies will be given different weights. In an unlimited, timed or declaration match, the main aim of the bowling attack will be to take wickets, so attacking bowling and fielding strategies will be used. In a limited overs match, this aim will also be supplemented by the secondary need to prevent the batting side from scoring quickly, so more defensive strategies will be used. In general, the shorter the number of overs per side, the more priority will be given to this secondary target of maintaining a low run-rate. It is also highly probable that the need for attacking or defensive strategies can switch frequently as a cricket match progresses. It is the sign of a good cricket captain to be able to tell which strategy is most appropriate in any set of circumstances and the best way of implementing it.

Bowling tactics[edit]

The simultaneous twin objectives of bowling are to take wickets and prevent run scoring opportunities. Both objectives are achieved through the underlying aim of bowling the ball in such a way that the batsman is unable to connect with the ball in the middle of the bat and control its movement after contact. There are three distinct means of achieving this aim: by bowling the ball on a good line and length, by bowling with sufficient pace that the batsman struggles to react to the delivery, or by bowling the ball in such a way that it has lateral movement as it approaches the batsman, either in the air or off the ground. A good bowler may be able to combine two of these skills, a truly great bowler may be able to combine all three.

Line and length[edit]

The fundamental skill of bowling on a good length incorporates the ability to pitch the ball such a distance from the batsman that he is unable to move forward and drive the ball on the half volley, and is also unable to step back and play the ball on the back foot. This removes many of the batsman's attacking options, and also increases the probability of him misjudging a delivery and losing his wicket. A good length delivery is one in which the ball has had sufficient time to move far enough off the pitch to beat the bat but the batsman has not had time to react to the movement and adjust his shot. The faster the bowler and the greater the movement he is able to generate, the larger the area of the pitch that can be designated an effective "good" length.

Other areas of the pitch may also often be used as a variation to a good length delivery. Primarily these are the yorker, in which the ball is bowled directly at the batsman's feet as a surprise delivery intended to dismiss the batsman bowled, and the bouncer in which the ball is bowled on such a short length that it rises towards the batsman's throat or head as a means of physical intimidation. But the height of an attempted yorker or full toss must not be higher than the batsman's waist, or else it will be called a no-ball beamer, which could have bowlers banned from the match.

The line a bowler chooses to bowl will depend on several factors: the movement he is generating on the ball, the shots the batsman is able to play, and the field the captain has set. The two most common tactics are to either bowl directly at the stumps, or to bowl 3 inches to 6 inches outside the line of off stump. Bowling at the stumps is an attacking tactic with the intention of dismissing the batsman bowled or lbw. It can also be used as a defensive tactic, as the batsman will feel less able to play risky shots knowing that he will be dismissed should he miss the ball. Bowling outside off stump is known as the corridor of uncertainty. When done well, this line may confuse the batsman into whether to defend the ball or leave it, and may tempt him to play away from his body with his head not in line with the ball. The main aim of this tactic is to dismiss the batman caught by the wicketkeeper or in the slips. Other bowling variations, such as bowling wide of off stump or bowling at leg stump are generally seen as negative and defensive tactics.

Some different types of bowling tactic:

Pace and movement[edit]

Other than the ability to land the ball on a strategically optimum line and length, the main weapons of the bowler are his ability to move the ball sideways as it approaches the batsman and his ability to deliver the ball at a high velocity.

The velocities of cricket bowlers vary between 40 and 100 mph (64 and 161 km/h). In professional cricket, a bowler in the 40–60 mph range would be said to be a slow bowler, in the 60–80 mph range a medium pace bowler, and a bowler 80 mph+ a fast bowler. In the amateur game, these distinctions would be approximately 10 mph slower. Many professional fast bowlers are able to reach speeds of over 85 mph, with a handful of bowlers in the world able to bowl at 95 mph+. The ability to react to a cricket ball travelling at 85 mph is a skill that only professional and high level amateur cricketers possess. The pace of a bowler not only challenges the reaction speed of the batsman, but also his physical courage. Fast bowlers are able to exploit this by bowling bouncers, either regularly or as an occasional surprise delivery.

Bowlers are also able to get the ball to move sideways by using either spin or swing. Adding a spin to a cricket ball will make it deviate due to the Magnus effect in its flight, and then produce sideways movement off the ground. Swing is obtained by using air pressure differences caused by angling the seam of the cricket ball to produce a lateral movement in the air. Fast bowlers will generally only use swing to obtain movement, but medium pace and slow bowlers will often use a combination of the two. The intention is that in creating movement in the delivery, the batsman will misjudge the line of the ball as it arrives, causing him to miss it entirely, in which case he may be dismissed bowled or lbw, or miss-hit it, in which case he may be out caught.

In order to prevent from becoming predictable, a bowler will typically bowl a variety of different deliveries with different combinations of pace and movement. A tactically astute bowler may be able to spot a potential weakness in a batsman that a particular delivery may be able to exploit. Bowlers will often also bowl deliveries in preplanned sets, with the intention of dismissing the batsman with the final delivery in the set. This is known as "setting a trap" for the batsman. Batsmen and bowlers will often also engage in a game of "cat and mouse", in which the bowler varies his tactics in order to try and trap and dismiss the batsman, but the batsman also keeps adjusting his tactics in response.

Limited overs[edit]

In limited overs cricket, there is a limitation on the number of overs each bowler can bowl. This number depends on the match length, and is usually 20% of the total overs in the innings. For example, the usual limit for twenty-over cricket is four overs per bowler, for forty-over cricket eight per bowler and for fifty-over cricket ten per bowler. There is, however, no limit on the number of overs each bowler may bowl in first-class cricket matches, except that no two overs can be bowled consecutively thus restricting any one bowler from a maximum of 50% (plus 1 over) of each innings total. The rule also applies in terms of breaks within a Test innings (Drinks, Lunch and Tea breaks, end of day and beginning of next day). The rule can only been broken if one finishes the end of the previous match starts the next match.

See also[edit]


The typical bowling action of a fast bowler.
Jim Allenby in midflight, illustrating the position of the body during a delivery at the end of a run up, prior to bowling the ball.