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Cricket vs. Baseball: Origins, Gameplay, Global Status

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  • Cricket vs. Baseball: Origins, Gameplay, Global Status

    Eh we'll stick this in this forum.

    Cricket is baseball's cousin. The British counterpart is played in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. Baseball is played mostly in America, central Latin American countries, Japan, and parts of the southeast Asia. I'm hoping to stimulate intelligent discussion on the basics of each sport in aspects like gameplays and history. We can compare it to our national pastime to learn more about it and maybe even appreciate the similar strategies needed to play it.

    Both sports originated as a professional sport in the 1800s. The highest class of baseball is considered major league, whereas the highest standard of cricket is First-Class cricket, the most notable being Test cricket. There are other cricket leagues like the One Day International (ODI) league which pits national teams against each other in more time limited matches. Part of the appeal of baseball for myself is the defined league structures that avoid internationality. I hate international sports because they are a mess of leagues with no clear levels of skill to classify the teams, of which are too many. This leads to a mess of players (that can't be followed due to sheer size) who don't compete with others on a level playing field. The leaders become "the most ____ by a person using ____ rules in ____ league." Comparing them becomes apples and oranges. MLB is just how I like it: the best (not too many) playing by one standard in one league. Those who don't perform well fall to very designated minor leagues: AAA, AA, A, Rookie. The day baseball becomes international (other than exhibition or tournaments) is a sad one for me indeed.

    The precise origins of both bat-and-ball sports are fuzzy and going into them takes a skilled historian. In general, cricket popped up sometime in the 1500s in England. Test cricket was formed in 1877. Subsequent British colonies adopted it. Baseball came about from bat-and-ball games like three cat, stools, and rounders of various degrees from America's pre-Revolution colonies. They in turn had taken the games with them from England. Who actually shaped baseball remains disputed (see John Thorn's Baseball in the Garden of Eden), but the MLB came about in 1871 (or 1876 if one doesn't accept the National Association as a major league).

    Baseball involves a pitcher pitching the ball to a batter, who attempts to hit it and reach each base safely until he gets back to home to score a run. Fielders try to get him out by catching the ball on the fly, tagging a runner out, or forcing him out at a base. We know how to play, I'm not getting into it further.

    Cricket involves a bowler bowling the ball to a striker (or batsman), who attempts to hit it (usually on a bounce) to prevent the ball from knocking down the setup behind him called the wicket. This action occurs on a dirt stretch known as the pitch. When the ball is struck, the striker and an accompanying running mate run from end to end of the pitch. Each time they successfully reach the ends, known as the creases, a run is scored. Meanwhile, fielders are trying to return the hit ball as quickly as possible to the wicket. Once the wicket is knocked down by the ball (whether its thrown or used as a tool), all play ceases. Runners not on a crease are dismissed. Unlike baseball, the entire side (usually) of a team hits in an innings (yes that is the singular) before turning it over to the opposing team.

    Bowling is similar to pitching in that bowlers are known for different deliveries of differently moving balls. In Test cricket, bowlers have an over consisting of six legally thrown balls per striker (like four balls per batter). From Wikipedia: "After six deliveries, the umpire calls 'over'; the fielding team switches ends, and a different bowler is selected to bowl an over from the opposite end of the pitch, while the batsmen do not change ends. The captain of the fielding team decides which bowler will bowl any given over, and no bowler may bowl two overs in succession."

    Bowlers may use the first few to throw off the striker. Unlike baseball, cricket is played in a circular field. Strikers also use a flat bat instead of a round one.

    ***Note that I'm still a novice in cricket play. These are the very basics I know and they could be incorrect. Corrections are appreciated.

    Here is some cricket terminology which I compare to its closest baseball counterpart:
    Wicket keeper (or just "keeper")=== catcher
    Pitch===pitching mound. Cricket's "pitch" refers to a dirt stretch where the bowler throws to the striker.
    Over===Balls and strikes
    First-class cricket=="major league" status
    All-rounder==utility. Someone who excels at both batting and bowling.
    Wicket==Home plate. The wicket is the setup of three stumps topped with two bails (discs) behind the batsman. However, the term can refer to other things.
    Batting Average==batting average. Cricket BA is the number of runs scored per innings by a batter.
    Chin music==chin music. Actually, this one is from baseball.
    Crease==bases/pitching rubber. Lines in the pitch designated for where the bowler can throw and runners can reach.
    Dimissal==out. Both sports have various ways of retiring hitters.
    Innings==inning. Length of which a team spends batting. In cricket, it normally involves the whole side getting a chance for every innings. Thus, cricket games are played to two or three innings.
    Length==pitch location. As baseball can have poor pitch locations (down the middle), a cricket bowler can bounce the ball in poor locations before reaching the batter (see here)

    Cricket Fielders vs Baseball Fielders:
    -Wicket keeper is like the catcher.
    -The slip, gully, point, cover, mid-off, mid-off, mid-wicket, and square leg are like the infielders.
    -The third man, fine leg, long off, and long on are like the outfielders.
    -Cricket has eleven fielders
    -Fielding strategy is much more intricate than baseball (see here)

    Bowling vs. Pitching
    -Baseball pitches are thrown overhand, underhand, sidearm, three quarters, submarine, and tornado (Luis Tiant, Dontrelle Willis). There's fastballs, seamers, knuckleballs, curves, sliders, splitters.
    -Cricket is simialr in that there are different delivery methods and different ball breaks (see here; click on side tabs to see animations of the different breaks).

    Please feel free to add any input of any size. I'd like to compile a final writing comparing the two sports for anyone who wants to learn cricket, especially newcomers to this site. I realize this is a baseball site, so try not to deviate too much from the topic because I don't want this to be closed. As passionate baseball fans, I think it's important that we learn a bit about the "other" bat-and-ball game layed on the global stage.
    Last edited by Tyrus4189Cobb; 11-29-2012, 03:04 PM.
    "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article

  • #2
    Not to make this thread redundant but there has been a thread here about cricket if you want to have a browse through this first.

    RIP - HGF [1937-2009]


    • #3
      Originally posted by brewcrew82 View Post
      Not to make this thread redundant but there has been a thread here about cricket if you want to have a browse through this first.
      It's pretty old and got way off topic
      "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


      • #4
        True, but it is a reasonably good primer for cricket if someone needs one.
        RIP - HGF [1937-2009]


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