Ahead of the League Final in St Gallen: This is how cricket works

On Thursday 4th October 2018 an article appeared in German in the St Galler Tagblatt (paper & online editions) attempting to explain the principles governing the game of cricket to the uniformed Swiss masses ahead of the CSPL Final in St Gallen.
You can read Cricket Switzerland's English translation of the article below (by special permission of the St Galler Tagblatt), along with a link to the original article.

Tim Frei, Tagblatt.ch, 04.10.2018

On Sunday afternoon the St. Gallen Cricket Club meet Olten in the Cricket Switzerland Premier League Final in the small town of Gründenmoos. The British national sport can be traced right back to the 13th century. In this country the sport has quite a future.

A batsman from St. Gallen Cricket Club defends the wooden wicket by knocking the ball away (the wicket keeper behind him). (Image: Urs Bucher)
A batsman from St. Gallen Cricket Club defends the wooden wicket by knocking the ball away (the wicket keeper behind him). (Image: Urs Bucher)

Typically, most are not interest in less known sports, mainly because we do not know the rules. A good example of this is cricket. The British national sport is actually not as complicated as many think.


In cricket, two teams each with eleven players compete against each other. In the process, they alternate as field and batting teams. First, a team bowls the ball at the opposing batsman for one round. Subsequently, the roles are exchanged. The ball is thrown in the middle of the field, on the pitch. At both ends of the approximately 20 meters long and 3 meters wide pitch there is a wooden structure, the so-called wicket.

Batter defends Wicket

The goal of the bowler is to hit the wicket. The batsman, on the other hand, must prevent this by defending the wicket with a wooden bat. If he does not succeed, he will be eliminated. If this happens to all eleven batsmen, the innings is prematurely ended. For protection the batsman wears special equipment. The number and duration of the innings depends on the cricket format
(see second paragraph).

Only two players in the batting team are on the field at the same time, while the fielding team has all eleven. The goal of the batsman is to score as many points as possible before he is out. Finally, the team that scores the most points in their innings wins.

One to six points per stroke possible

Points are scored in three ways: Six, and therefore the most points, when the cricket ball is hit over the boundary, as in baseball - without being caught in the air by the opposing team and without hitting the ground. The playing field has a diameter of around 137 to 150 meters. If the ball touches the ground before boundary, there are four points.

A scorer notes every successful side change of the batsmen: As soon as the ball is hit, the two batsmen run in opposite directions on the pitch. The goal is that both touch the base line in front of the wicket. If they succeed before the opposing team hits the wicket, there is a point. Otherwise, the batsman is out.


Also, if a fielding team player catches the ball straight out of the air, the batsman is out. The same applies if the batsman fends off a ball that is going to hit the wicket with his foot.

Cricket introduction videos
On the homepage of the International Cricket Federation there is a video explaining the sport in a simple way.
Tim Frei

The two formats "test cricket" and "limited over"

There are basically two formats in cricket: "test cricket" and "limited over". They differ in the number of innings and number of overs as well as the playing time. An over corresponds to six throws. Test cricket takes place over five consecutive days, the other format takes several hours. There are two rounds per team for the test cricket and one for the limited over. The over-number is unlimited in the test cricket, not in the other format. In the Swiss final, both teams play 40 overs. That means there are 240 deliveries - except if all batsmen are dismissed before. Not one athlete alone may throw all 40 overs, but at least five players must be involved. Each bowler has a maximum of eight overs. He must never bowl two consecutive overs. (Tm)


The final will take place on Sunday 7th October from 11am to 5pm at the Stadion Gründenmoos in St. Gallen.

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This article originally appeared in German on St Galler Tagblatt.ch and has been translated into English for the Cricket Switzerland website.