The bowler delivers the ball to the batsman who attempts to hit the ball with his bat far enough for him to run to the other end of the pitch and score a run. Each batsman continues batting until he is out. The batting team continues batting until ten batsmen are out, at which point the teams switch roles and the fielding team comes in to bat.
In professional cricket the length of a game ranges from 20 overs of six bowling deliveries per side to Test cricket played over five days. The Laws of Cricket are maintained by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) with additional Standard Playing Conditions for Test matches and One Day Internationals.
Cricket was first played in southern England in the 16th century. By the end of the 18th century, it had developed into the national sport of England. The expansion of the British Empire led to cricket being played overseas and by the mid-19th century the first international matches were being held. The ICC, the game's governing body, has 10 full members. The game is most popular in Australasia, England, the Indian subcontinent, the West Indies and Southern Africa.
Cricket is played on a grassy field. The Laws of Cricket do not specify the size or shape of the field,but it is often oval. In the centre of the field is a rectangular strip, known as the pitch.
The pitch is a flat surface 10 feet (3.0 m) wide, with very short grass that tends to be worn away as the game progresses. At either end of the pitch, 22 yards (20 m) apart, are placed wooden targets, known as thewickets. These serve as a target for the bowling (also known as the fielding) side and are defended by thebatting side, which seeks to