Cricket is often described as ‘like baseball,” but it is not a good comparison. It is only similar with the use of ball and bat. The rules and the fields used in the games are completely different. It’s nice to know these differences to appreciate the game better.
Before we go further, let’s have a brief history of cricket. The exact place where the game originated is unknown but the name of the match, “creckett,” was recorded in a 1597 court case in England. The game was said to thrive during The Restoration in 1660. It had become associated with gambling when wealthy patrons started to form teams and let the public bet on them. The rules of the game called “Laws of Cricket” was formally established in 1744. It was later amended in 1774 to include the innovations made in the game such as leg before wicket (lbw), maximum bat width, and middle stump.
Now, let us discuss some of the differences between cricket and baseball so that we can once and for all say that they are distinct from each other.
Bat and Ball
This is the first difference that you will notice. The baseball bat is round with a tapered handle while the cricket bat is wooden and flat with a tapered handle. The cricket bat looks like a paddle in some way because of that flat wooden portion.
The ball used is also different. The ball used in baseball is made of cork or rubber and layered, while the ball used for cricket is made of cork and strings covered with red leather. The cricket ball is slightly heavier than the baseball ball.
The noticeable difference is the field shape. The baseball field has a diamond shape to it while the cricket field is elliptical with a rectangular pitch in the middle. The boundary of the field is marked by a fence or wall for baseball while a rope is used to set the boundary in cricket.
The distance between the pitcher and batter in baseball is approximately 15.8m. In cricket, the distance between the bowler and batsman is around 17.7m.
Players and Referees
There are usually four umpires in a baseball match. However, it could vary from one to six umpires depending on the league. There are two teams competing with nine or ten players on each team depending on the rules of the league.
In cricket, the officiators of the game consist of one match referee, two on field umpires and three outside the field umpires. There are two teams competing with a total of 11 players for each team.
There are a lot of rules, but we will just cover some of it in this comparison. The first one is the number of pitches allowed for each batsman. In baseball, there is no limit as long as the batter is not struck out. However, in cricket, the limit is based on the number of bowls designated in the match.
The batting order in a baseball match is pre-determined while it is flexible in the game of cricket.
A baseball game is typically nine innings, but it can be shortened to 4.5 if the match is suspended due to inclement weather. Extra innings can be allowed to break a tie in the score.
In cricket, there are three types, and they are One-day International lasting for 7 hours, Twenty-20 which lasts for three hours and Test Matches that could last for five days running at 7 hours per day. The test match is truly a test of endurance!
Now that you know the fundamental differences, you can better appreciate cricket by watching it instead of just reading about it. Watch and enjoy the games!