By Dr. Clifford Molefe


Today’s edition will focus on the cricket match and the measurements of the pitch.

The match: A match is played between two teams consisting of 11 players per side, including the captain. The captain has to nominate his or her players before the toss, which marks the start of the game.

He or she cannot change those nominated players without the permission of the opposing team’s captain. You can, however, field a substitute if one of your players is ill or injured, provided the umpires are satisfied, but your substitute is not all to bat or bowl.


The Pitch: The pitch is the area between the bowling, popping, and return creases. It is 22 yards (20.12m) in length and 10 feet (3.05m) wide; it is 5 feet (1.52m) wide on either side of an imaginary line joining the centre of the two middle stumps.

The Return Crease: The inside edge of the return crease marking is the crease. It is at each end of the bowling crease and at the right angles to it. It is marked to a minimum of 8ft/2.44m from the popping crease and is of unlimited length (at least 4ft/1.22m) from the bowling crease. The distance of the return creases must be 4 feet 4 inches (1.32 m) on either side of the middle stump.

The Bowling Crease: The bowling crease is marked in line with the stumps at each end. It is 8 feet 8 inches (2.64) long, and the stumps are in the centre.

The Popping Crease: The popping crease (which is again at the back edge of the crease marking) is placed in front of and parallel to the bowling crease. The back edge of the crease marking is 4 feet (1.22 metres) from the centre of the stumps and must extend to a maximum of 6 feet (1.83 metres) either side of the line of the wicket, but can be unlimited in length. Thus, the popping crease should have a minimum length of 12 feet (3.66).

The Wickets: There are two sets of wickets, consisting of three wooden stumps each with two sets of wooden bails on top. The wickets should be 9 inches (22.86cm) wide and pitched opposite and parallel to one another, 22 yards (20.12m) apart.

The Stumps: The height of the stumps should be 28 inches (71.1cm) above the ground and be of equal size. The top of the stumps has grooves for the bails to fit in.

The Ball: The following specifications shall apply to the cricket ball:

  • Men’s Cricket: The ball must weigh not less than 51/2 oz (155.9g) when new and no more than 53/4 oz (163g). It must be between 83/4in (22.4cm) and 9in (22.9cm) in circumference.
  • Women’s Cricket: The weight must be between 415/16 oz (140g) and 51/16 oz (144g), while the circumference must be 87/8in (22cm) in circumference.
  • Junior Cricket (U/13): Here the weight may vary from 411/16 oz (135g) to 51/16 oz (151 g), while the circumference must be from 81/16 in (20.5cm) to 811/16 in (22cm) in circumference.
  • The Bat: The length of the bat shall not be more than 38 inches (96.5cm), while the blade itself, which must be made of wood, must be no wider than 41/4 inches (10.8).

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