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I would like to give information about England’s national sport cricket.
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game which is similar to baseball. It’s roots come from England. This game dates back to the 16th century. It is played by 11 players on an oval-shaped field. The topics in my presentation are history, rules and game-play, equipment, types of matches, influence of weather, team structure, uniqueness of each field, cricket in Estonia, international structure, best teams and players. I chose this topic because it was related to sports and I have heard about it in Pealtnägija.
The first written evidence about this game are from year 1301 in which Prince Edward played a game called creag at Kent. Altough there is no evidence that it was a form of cricket. First definite reference to the game come from a court case which had creckett mentioned in its evidence.The date was 1598. During the 17th century the cricket grew largely. In the 18th century it became the national sport of England. During the 19th century many changes took place in that field of sport. In 1839 the first county championship took place and five years later the first international championship. It took place between the USA and Canada, even though neither of them are Test-playing countries. First ever Test match took place at Melbourne between England and Australia. During the same century cricket went international. In the 20th and 21th centuries some new forms of cricket have been made. Baseball was formed by a former cricket player Henry Chadwick.
Cricket is played between 2 teams of 11 players each. They play on a grassy field, which size is not set by the rules, but normally it is oval-shaped. The most important action takes place on the pitch, which is in the middle of the boundary. Two team captains have to toss a coin to decide which team will bowl or bat first. On the field there are 15 players: 2 umpires, 2 batsmen and 11 fielders (one of them is a bowler and another a wicketkeeper). Two umpires are judges in the game who regulate all on-field activity. Two batsmen are on the pitch, where one of them is a striker and another is a non-striker. The striker faces the bowler who is also on the pitch. A wicketkeeper is also on the pitch and is behind the wicket and the striker.
The most important equipment in cricket is a bat and a ball. The shape of the bat has changed during the years of development. Another important thing like in every other sport is a goal. In cricket it is known as the wicket. Wicket consists of stumps and bails. Stumps are three sticks that are standing on the ground and 2 bails are just sitting on them. If a bowler hits the wicket and scores the bails fall down from the stumps. Batsmen have kneepads for protection of their legs and wicket-keeper has gloves for better ball catching.
Cricket has many various types. Three main types are Test cricket, limited overs and national championships. Test cricket is the highest standard of first-class cricket. Only the Full Members of International Cricket Court compete in this type. Members are England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. In Test cricket a group of matches is called series. Matches can last up to 5 days and series usually consist of 3-5 matches. Limited overs consist of two types: one day match and Twenty20. One day match lasts for one day and has only one innings and limited number of overs. Twenty20 last only for 3 hours and it was made for workers to provide evening entertainment. In national championships teams can win important trophies. Trophies are Ranji Trophy, Plunket Shield, Currie Cup and Shell Shield.
Cricket matches can be cancelled due to wet weather. Dampness can effect the bounce of the ball on the wicket and is a risk to all players in-game. Many fields have facilities to cover the wicket but very few grounds have cover to outfield. The amount of light can disturb the batsmen to see the ball coming or in extreme cases the fielders. Some fields have floodlights that have no problem with light. The umpires always have the final decision on weather related issues.
Each team of 11 players have specialist batsmen and bowlers. Usually there are 5-6 specialist batsmen and 4-5 specialist bowlers in well-balanced teams. Every team is headed by a captain who is responsible for all tactical decisions. A player that is talented in both batting and bowling is known as all-rounder. There are few true all-rounders because most of the players focus on either batting or bowling.
Every field is different due to it’s shape, climate and altitude. The size of pitch and infield is always regulated but the field isn’t. The cover of pitch effects the bounce of the ball and the shape of field effect the roll of ball. These qualities make the field either batsman friendly or bowler friendly. There are many different pitch covers: hard pitch, dry pitch, damp pitch.
Cricket was first played at Tallinn in 1998. It was brought here by a businessman who came back from a trip and arranged a match between local Estonians and Indian restaurant staff. Estonia had many matches and in 2008 it became an affiliate member of ICC. The seasons are played from May to September and trainings are held in winter. Estonian Cricket Association teaches young people to play cricket for free.
The ICC was formed in 1909 by representitives from England, Australia and South Africa. It has had many different names: Imperial Cricket Council, International Cricket Conference and International Cricket Council nowadays. It has its headquarters in Dubai and is responsible for the organisation and goverance of cricket’s major international tournaments. It also appoints umpires and referees to the Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals. Each nation has its own cricket boards which regulate cricket matches played in its country. ICC has 104 member: 10 Full Members that play official Test matches, 34 Associate Members and 60 Affiliate Memebers. Estonia is a part of the Affiliate Members.
Three best cricket playing nations are India, South Africa and Sri Lanka. Best Estonian team is Pikk Hermann CC. Best batsman Sachin Tendulkar is from India and plays for Yorkshire. Best bowler Dale Steyn is from South Africa and plays for Deccan Chargers. Best all-rounder Jacques Kallis is also from South Africa and plays for Kolkata Knight Riders.