Cricket Formats

Let’s talk about cricket formats. Did you know there are different kinds?

Lots, actually – more than 20 – between professional/major and minor formats.

Major Cricket Formats

Those include Test, ODI, Twenty20 and Single Wicket. These are used in first-class and List A cricket, and major Twenty20 competitions.

We have pages written on a couple of these already. Those include:

The Test format is the oldest, by far. Matches last the longest too – usually for 5 days.

The last two are known as limited overs cricket. Overs are limited to 40-60 (for List A cricket) for ODI matches. Twenty20 matches are limited to 1 inning per day and 20 overs.

With both formats matches are done within one day.

The last is Single Wicket. This format is even older than the Test format. These matches will be played with a single batsman, and with teams or a single player. Most have teams of 3-5 players though.

That’s the gist, anyway. These are the formats you’ll see in the ICC Cricket World Cup, World Twenty20, Champions Trophy and Women’s Cricket World Cup.

But there are tons of formats that go unheard of. More than a dozen.

These are known as ‘minor’ which (sometimes) implies the ‘minor leagues’ – matches not played on a professional level.

Heck, some of these aren’t even played outdoors, or on a field. Some are played at your kitchen table.

Let’s look at those now.

Minor Cricket Formats

The following is a list of minor formats and a summary of each one.

Short – Short matches are completed within 2-3 hours, which is 1/3 to 1/2 the time of a limited overs match.

Club – This is the widest form of cricket played. This is (sometimes) played with limited overs (30-50).

Declaration – This is the most traditional format. The rules come from the 16th and 17th century. Each game is played for one inning with a set time limit. To win the game a side must both score the highest total number of runs and take all ten of the other team’s wickets.

Indoor – This is designed to be played inside when playing outside is not an option. This is played with 6 players per side.

Double-Wicket – A format with two teams of two players pitched against each other for a limited number of overs.

Kwik Cricket – A high speed version of the game aimed at getting younger players to play.

Informal Amateur – This has several names including beach, street and backyard cricket. Rules are often ad hoc.

Garden – An informal variation of cricket played in gardens and recreational grounds around the UK. There’s no concept of runs as attacking shots are forbidden due to the lack of space.

French – The ball is bowled at the leg of the batsman. Since this is often played by kids a tennis ball is used. The rules can vary.

Tennis-ball – Popular in South Asia, the US and Canada. The number of overs range from 6 to 25.

Tape-ball – Popular in Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Asia and Europe. Usually a tennis ball is wrapped with insulation tape for a heavier ball (for more control). Games are limited to 4-12 overs.

Kilikiti – National game of Samoa. Also popular in New Zealand. A descendant of cricket brought to Samoa by British missionaries.

Over-60s – For people 60+. Founded in Australia.

Vigoro – Mainly played by women. Similar to baseball.

Placa / Plaquita – Played in countries like the Dominican Republic between couples.

Usually uses broomsticks and rubber or tennis balls. The first team to reach 100 or 200 runs wins.

Trobriand – Played in the Trobriand Islands, in Papua New Guinea.

Table – An indoor version played by physically challenged cricketers.

And that’s just the physical variations of the game.

Do some searching and you’ll come across armchair cricket (a card game) and book cricket (flipping books) which are played inside without your standard bats or balls.

But what else would you expect from a game that’s been played for 300+ years?

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