So you want to know about cricket?

Brad Haddin

AP Photo

Australian batsman Brad Haddin plays a side shot during a Test match against South Africa in November 2011.

You've heard of this sport. It's really old and really strange and really confusing. And they don't really play it professionally in the U.S., but the rest of the world seems fairly enamored. It's one of the most popular sports in the world, according to some.

And, oddly enough, it's called cricket. Like a bug.

Chances are if you're American, you have no idea what cricket really is — only an estimated 30,000 people play or watch it in the United States, the Smithsonian reported in 2006 — but maybe you've heard of it at least once. Hopefully you want to learn more about it, but you're probably confused.

"All of it confuses me!" said Ashlea Andrews, a student from Alabama.

Well, you may have heard that cricket is "like baseball. That's both correct and confusing. The two sports have enough similarities that baseball ran cricket out of the U.S. in the 1800s.

"What are those wooden things behind batters?" asked a Bollywood blogger from Oregon. It's a wicket, but it's only one definition of wicket. (And the answer to "what is a wicket?" is in fact so confusing that it needed its own separate page.)

"Why do you need to wear shin guards to play a form of baseball?" asked Wes Duplantier, a student in Missouri. The answer lies in differences in the ball and what you can do with it.

"Why do cricket games go on for days?" Duplantier also asked, a common question. The answer is that not all cricket matches do, and complex rules are the reasons that some do. And yes, the matches that last for days have breaks for lunch and tea.

You may also be wondering how cricket players score.

If you have any of these questions — or you just don't want to sound like the dumb American talking about cricket — you've come to the right place because this is An American's Guide to Cricket.

About this site

If you're an American looking to understand the sport cricket (sometimes called baseball's lost twin), this is the website for you. From a fellow American who was once as confused as you are, you can learn the sport's basics, terminology, relation to baseball and a brief history.

Cricket websites

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