The three forms of Cricket
As with everything else in this ever changing world even the age old game of cricket has undergone metamorphosis. What started out as a gentleman's game in England has travelled the world and changed form to suit the local preferences and interests. Also it has tried to keep pace with the shorter attention span. This has lead to innovations in the traditional form of the game of cricket.
The original form of the game was test cricket. This had two teams of 11 players each competing against each other. There was a 12th player off the field who was a replacement in case any thing happened to the main players. Like an injury or some such unforeseen circumstances. The object of the game was to make more runs than the opposing side to win the game. Runs could be scored by running between the wickets, and by hitting boundaries. The players tried to score runs and not get out. You could get out by being bowled out, caught out or even if caught leg before the wicket.
An over is bowled by a bowler and consists of six balls. This number may increase if he bowls no balls or bouncers. One bouncer per over is allowed as per the new legislation governing the game of cricket. Most of this stays the same no matter which form of the game you play. The differences come in the duration of the game. In test cricket the teams play two innings each and this is spread over a period of five days. This was how the game was originally played in the cricket clubs in the country of its origin. The players were also dressed as gentlemen in white shirts and pants. These days white t-shirts have taken over as they are more comfortable.
The shorter form of the game first innovated was the one day international. In this the two teams played a limited over match of 50 overs and the higher run getter won. It brought about more excitement and with television broadcasting it to many more nations, the fans were able to live the match live. An ideal way to spend a holiday for a cricket fan. Still it did mean spending the whole day doing nothing but watching TV. Also people got busier and had less time to spare. Then came the latest innovation in the form of the game. It was also the shortest form called Twenty20.
As the name suggests the game is limited to a mere 20 overs. The excitement is great and the duration short enough to pause the day's jobs to watch the match. The players play the game in their nation's colours unlike test cricket which is played in whites. Even ODIs or one day internationals are played in the national colours. Much may change in the game of cricket but the craze will continue. There are enough fans in India to keep the games interesting enough even if its not a battle between nations but merely the IPL or Indian Premier League playing the game.
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