Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of, a 20-metre pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground; when ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches, they communicate with two off-field scorers. There are various formats ranging from Twenty20, played over a few hours with each team batting for a single innings of 20 overs, to Test matches, played over five days with unlimited overs and the teams each batting for two innings of unlimited length.
Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. In addition to the basic kit, some players wear protective gear to prevent injury caused by the ball, a hard, solid spheroid made of compressed leather with a raised sewn seam enclosing a cork core, layered with wound string. Cricket's origins are uncertain and the earliest definite reference is in south-east England in the middle of the 16th century, it spread globally with the expansion of the British Empire, leading to the first international matches in the second half of the 19th century. The game's governing body is the International Cricket Council, which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches; the game's rules are held in a code called the Laws of Cricket, owned and maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club in London. The sport is followed in the Indian subcontinent, the United Kingdom, southern Africa and the West Indies, its globalisation occurring during the expansion of the British Empire and remaining popular into the 21st century.
Women's cricket, organised and played separately, has achieved international standard. The most successful side playing international cricket is Australia, having won seven One Day International trophies, including five World Cups, more than any other country, having been the top-rated Test side more than any other country. Cricket is one of many games in the "club ball" sphere that involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement. In cricket's case, a key difference is the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket, that the batsman must defend; the cricket historian Harry Altham identified three "groups" of "club ball" games: the "hockey group", in which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets. It is believed that cricket originated as a children's game in the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the medieval period. Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597.
The case concerned ownership of a certain plot of land and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that: "Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies". Given Derrick's age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school and so it is certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in Surrey. The view that it was a children's game is reinforced by Randle Cotgrave's 1611 English-French dictionary in which he defined the noun "crosse" as "the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket" and the verb form "crosser" as "to play at cricket". One possible source for the sport's name is the Old English word "cryce" meaning a staff. In Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, he derived cricket from "cryce, Saxon, a stick". In Old French, the word "criquet" seems to have meant a kind of stick. Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch "krick", meaning a stick.
Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word "krickstoel", meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket. According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of Bonn University, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for hockey, met de sen. Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but the sport itself may be of Flemish origin. Although the main object of the game has always been to score the most runs, the early form of cricket differed from the modern game in certain key technical aspects; the ball was bowled underarm by the bowler and all along the ground towards a batsman armed with a bat that, in shape, resembled a hockey stick.
Graham Richard Napier is a former English cricketer. He is a right-handed batsman and a right-arm fast bowler, is capable of bowling 90+mph. Napier has played first-class cricket for his home county of Essex since the outset of his senior career in 1997. Between 1997 and 1999 Napier played in four Youth Test matches in England against Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia's respective under-19 teams, he was a member of the 1998 Under-19 Cricket World Cup winning squad. Napier was on the books of Ipswich Town as a goalkeeper and played for a season on loan at Felixstowe Town, he retired at the end of the 2016 season. Born in Colchester, Napier is a fast-medium bowler, whose stock delivery reaches between 85 mph-90 mph. Napier has displayed a slower ball in Twenty20 games; as a batsman, Napier can be among the most deadly not only in domestic cricket but in world cricket also. He has twice hit 16 sixes in an innings, once in a Twenty20 match, once in a County Championship match, his fielding has been known to be below par, but it can be put down to the fact that Napier is injury prone and he cannot afford to throw himself around.
Napier participated in the 2003, 2004 and 2006 Twenty20 Cups, in which he aided his Essex team to the 2004 quarter-finals. In a Twenty20 cup match against Sussex on 24 June 2008, Napier scored 152 not out from 58 balls; the innings set a number of records, notably the highest individual score in a T20 innings in England, in the domestic Twenty20 competition. It broke the record for most sixes in a domestic one-day innings, tied the record for most sixes in any domestic innings, tying the record set by Andrew Symonds, during a County Championship game in 1995. Graham Napier has the record for the highest T20 score when batting at number 3 position.. He's in second in the list for scoring the most number of boundaries in a T20 innings, and second in the list for hitting the most number of sixes in a T20 innings. He was signed by the Mumbai Indians for the 2009 IPL Season for an undisclosed amount. In March 2009, Napier was called up to the England Lions squad for the first time since 2004. Geoff Miller, one of the selectors, said "the selectors felt this was a good opportunity for us to have a closer look at him within the England set-up".
On 1 May 2009, Napier was confirmed as a member of the 15-man England squad for the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup on the same day as he made his first appearance for the Mumbai Indians. On 3 June 2013, Napier finished a YB40 match with figures of 7 wickets for 32 runs, including 3 maidens, taking 4 wickets in 4 balls as Essex beat Surrey by 178 runs. On 19 May 2011, Napier equalled, he hit 16 sixes as part of a 130-ball 196 for Essex. It was his first first-class innings for 11 months, after being sidelined with a back injury, he hit 103 runs from the last 29 balls of his innings. After his innings, Napier told BBC Essex that he considers himself as a bowler. On 22 June 2013, Napier took career best bowling figures of 7 wickets for 90 runs against Leicestershire. Graham Napier at CricketArchive Graham Napier at ESPNcricinfo Graham Napier's Official Website
Ravinder Singh "Ravi" Bopara is an English cricketer who plays for Essex and England in all three formats. A top-order batsman, his developing medium pace bowling has made him an all-rounder and he has the best bowling figures for England in a Twenty20 International. Bopara has played for Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League, Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League, Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League and Chittagong Vikings in the Bangladesh Premier League. Bopara was first called up to the England One Day International team in 2007, before a difficult Test debut in Sri Lanka saw him dropped in early 2008 after a string of three ducks, he regained his place for a Test against the West Indies in the winter of 2008–09. Despite this success, during the 2009 Ashes Bopara again struggled and was dropped for the final Test of the series. At the start of the 2016 season he took over the captaincy of the Essex one day team, he was born into a Sikh family, educated at Brampton Manor School, East Ham and Barking Abbey School, Bopara attended Frenford Clubs and represented Essex Boys and Girls Clubs in their representative U14 cricket team.
Bopara made his first-class debut for Essex in May 2002. In 2003 and 2004, he played several matches for England U-19s, including in the 2004 U-19 Cricket World Cup, he has bowled at Radio 1 DJ Greg James whilst playing for either Wanstead or Hainault and Clayhall Cricket club. In the 2005 season, he scored 880 first-class runs, including his first first-class century, he hit 135 in a non-first-class match against the touring Australians, putting on 270 for the second wicket with Alastair Cook, in 2006 he was selected for England A in their March tour of the West Indies, as well as their matches against the touring Sri Lankans and Pakistanis in the summer of that year. In July, he was selected in England's 30-man provisional squad for the 2006 Champions Trophy. In January 2007 Kevin Pietersen sustained a rib injury in England's first One Day International against Australia, keeping him out of the remainder of the series. Bopara was called up as his replacement, made his ODI debut on 2 February.
That month, he was named in the England squad for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, he played his second ODI in England's second match of that tournament. In England's match against Sri Lanka, Bopara was named man of the match for his 52 off 53 balls, which brought England to within three runs of victory from a hopeless position; the partnership for the seventh wicket was an English World Cup record and was the second record partnership made by Bopara in the tournament, following his record fifth wicket partnership with Paul Collingwood against Canada. In the first three games of the limited overs series against India Bopara was ineffectual, not batting in the first game and making just 27 runs in the next two games combined. On 30 August, in the fourth match of huge series, he featured in a prominent tail end partnership, this time with Stuart Broad as the pair added an unbeaten 99 for the 8th wicket to defeat India at Old Trafford. Bopara finished 43 not out, he could not continue his good form.
He made his Test debut in the tour to Sri Lanka in December 2007 but had a poor series, scoring only 42 runs in five innings including three ducks, taking only one wicket at an average of 81. One BBC commentator described him as "well out of his depth at Test level", Bopara was subsequently selected in the ODI squad but not the Test squad for the tour to New Zealand in early 2008. However, he returned to the Test squad for the fourth Test against South Africa in August 2008, following a good season for Essex in the County Championship. On 4 June 2008, Bopara recorded his highest List A score in the quarter finals of the Friends Provident Trophy, he scored an unbeaten 201 runs including 18 fours and 10 sixes. Bopara's score was just the eighth instance of a double hundred in the history of List A cricket and the highest for six years. On 9 September 2008 Bopara was named in England's 15-man squad for the inaugural Stanford Super Series in Antigua. There, England took on the Middlesex Crusaders and Trinidad and Tobago before facing the Stanford All-Stars on 1 November.
The winning players in that match would have earned $1million each, with a further $1million being shared between the four players left out of the side. This never came to fruition, however; the same day, Bopara was handed an Increment Contract by the ECB. Bopara made just three in the first ODI in New Zealand, he did not bowl in either matches. In the return series in England, Bopara got off to a slow start, making scores of 10 and 27 in his first two matches. However, in the fourth match of the series he made 58 although it wasn't enough to prevent a narrow defeat for England, he made 30 in the final match of the series, leaving him with over 100 runs in the matches he played in. He played in the first ODI against South Africa but was not required to bat, instead just bowling two overs and conceding 11 runs. England won the match by 20 runs, he made 54 not out in the first ODI against India as he continued to consolidate himself in the ODI side. In the third match he made 60. In the final match of the series he took figures of 1–42 as well as contributing 24 runs with the bat, although England again lost, this time by six wickets.
On 18 February 2009, along with Amjad Khan, was invited to join the England Test squad on their tour of the West Indies as cover for Andrew Flintoff, struggling with a hip injury. He scored 124
Sir Alastair Nathan Cook, is an English cricketer who plays for Essex County Cricket Club, for England in all international formats. A former captain of the England Test and One-Day International teams, he holds a number of English and international records, he is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen to play for England, is one of the most prolific batsmen of the modern era. Cook is the fifth highest Test run scorer of all time. Cook is England's most-capped player and has captained the team in an English record 59 Tests and 69 ODIs, he is the leading run-scorer in Test matches for England, the youngest player to complete 12,000 Test runs. Cook has scored a record 33 Test centuries for England and is the first England player to take part in 50 Test victories. A left-handed opening batsman, he fields at first slip. Cook played for Essex's Academy and made his debut for the first XI in 2003, he played in several of England's youth teams from 2000 until his call up to the Test side in 2006. While touring in the West Indies with the ECB National Academy, Cook was called up to the England national team in India as a last-minute replacement for Marcus Trescothick and debuted, aged 21, with a century.
He went on to score 1,000 runs in his maiden year and made centuries in his first Test matches against India, the West Indies and Bangladesh. Cook played a pivotal role in England winning the 2009 Ashes series, after deputising as Test captain in 2010 and taking ODI captaincy full-time, in retaining the Ashes in 2010-11, he was appointed captain of the Test team after fellow opener Andrew Strauss's retirement on 29 August 2012. Cook captained England to its first Test series victory in India since 1984–85. During the tour he became the first captain to score a century in each of his first five Tests in charge. On 30 May 2015, Cook became the leading run-scorer in Test matches for England, surpassing Graham Gooch. After England's 2016 tour of Bangladesh and India, he stepped down as Test captain. Cook was upgraded to CBE in 2016 for services to cricket. On 24 May 2018 during the first Test against Pakistan, Cook equalled Allan Border's record for appearing in the most number of consecutive Test matches, with 153, surpassing it a week in the second Test at Headingley.
On 3 September 2018, Cook announced that his twelve-year international career would end at the conclusion of the series against India on 11 September 2018. In the 2019 New Year Honours, Cook was made a Knight Bachelor. Born in Gloucester, Alastair Cook is one of several players of Anglo-Welsh heritage to play for England. Cook is a keen musician: by the age of eight he was learning the clarinet and joined St Paul's Cathedral School in London, an independent school connected to the cathedral, as a chorister, where he boarded under a rigorous schedule of rehearsals. Cook claimed the amount of focus and concentration required to keep practising while undergoing regular school hours helped with his batting; as a boy, his family lived in Wickham Bishops in Essex. During his summer holidays, Cook would play cricket for nearby Maldon Cricket Club, by the age of 11 he was playing in the adult Third XI, he played sporadically with an average of 168 in his final year. He is now an honorary life member of the club.
Cook's musical flair led to him joining, aged 13, Bedford School, an independent school for boys in the county town of Bedford, where he boarded. He "sang like an angel and played the clarinet to grade eight". While being educated in Bedford, he learned to play saxophone. However, music was soon eclipsed when the Marylebone Cricket Club came to play against the Bedford School XI; the visiting side were a man short and drafted the 14-year-old new boy to play against his school: Cook scored a century. Over the next four years, he hit 17 centuries and two double-hundreds to total 4,396 runs at an average of 87.90, captaining the cricket team in his final year under coach Jeremy'Boris' Farrell, as well as being President of the Music Society. He gained three A-Levels and nine GCSEs. In his final year at Bedford in 2003, he scored 1,287 runs for the school, including two unbeaten double-hundreds, averaging 160.87 to take the school record. After his international success, Cook returned for an Old Boys' match at Bedford in 2008, playing for the Head Master's Ultimate XI.
Having been a member of the Essex Academy since the age of 16, Cook was given his first-class debut for Essex against Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club on leaving school at the end of the 2003 season. Despite Essex's relegation being assured, Cook still battled away with an opening stand of 122 opposite Will Jefferson in the second innings of his second match, against Warwickshire. In the six innings in which he participated he racked up three half centuries at an average of 47.80. Having secured his place as opener in the county team, he made his maiden first-class century against Leicestershire in May 2004 with 126 opposite Jefferson's 128 for a 265 opening stand, Essex's third highest but the team failed to secure promotion, his exploits in his single season gained enough attention for him to be brought in as opening batsman for the MCC in 2005 season's opener against County Champions Warwickshire. With a century in the first innings and 97 in the second, Cook h