When you mention the word cricket with no context, anyone that hears you will not know whether you are talking about the insect or the sport. We are going to give a bit of information about both.
What Exactly is a Cricket?
Believe it or not, but there are actually around 900 species of crickets in the world. In fact, you can find crickets on every continent except for Antarctica. They vary in length, with some being as small as 0.12 inches and others being as large as 2 inches. They have small antennae for sensing and back legs that enable them to jump large distances (when compared to their body size). They also have wings that enable them to fly short distances.
When you are sitting on your porch at night at can hear chirping, what you are hearing are male crickets trying to entice a female to join them. When the weather is hotter, you will hear more singing.
In many places, this insect is seen as a sign of good luck, meaning that harming or killing one will bring misfortune upon you and your family. In Asia, many people keep male crickets in boxes because they enjoy listening to their songs.
Crickets are the scourge of farmers as these insects will eat absolutely anything. There have been many a farmer that has woken up one morning to find that his whole crop of lettuces is now only half a crop of lettuces. When there is no plant matter around, they will happily munch on other insects. If food is in complete short supply, they will also have no issue with eating weaker members of their colony.
What Exactly is Cricket?
Cricket is a sport that involves a bat and a ball and is played between two teams of eleven members on a 22-yard yard pitch that has three stumps (sticks) at either end with two bails sitting on top. There is a chalk outline that is drawn just in front of the stumps that is known as the crease. Two umpires help to ref the game, while another is the television match official, known as the TMO.
Each team is made up of players that specialize in batting, players that specialize in bowling, those that can do both, and a wicket-keeper, whose job it is to catch the ball once it has gone past the batsman.
The aim for the team that is batting is to score as many runs as possible before the team that is bowling has dismissed them. Once that has happened, the roles are swapped.
Runs can be scored by the batting pair running between the wickets once the bowler has bowled a ball. If the batsman hits the ball along the ground to boundary that marks the playing area, then their team will be given four runs. If the batsman hits the ball in the air over the boundary that marks the playing area, then their team will be rewarded with 6 runs.
A batman is dismissed if he misses the ball and it dislodges the bails on the stumps (bowled), if he hits the ball in the air and it is caught by a fielder (caught), if the ball hits his leg pads and the umpire deems that they ball would have crashed into one of the stumps (Leg Before Wicket or LBW), if he goes beyond the crease and the wicket-keeper takes the bails off before the batsman gets no body part or his bat back beyond the line. Either of the batsman will be run-out if they are running between the wickets and the ball hits the stumps before they manage to get beyond the crease.
There are three different formats of this sport: Test Cricket, 50-over cricket, and 20-over cricket. Test cricket is played over the course of five days, with both teams batting and bowling twice. In the 50-over format, both teams get to bat for 50 overs (300 balls), while in 20-over cricket they get to bat for 20 overs (120 balls).
This sport was invented in England and it is now highly popular in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the West Indies. It is also popular in Ireland, the Netherlands, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Scotland.
Similarities between the Insect and the Sport
Although one is an insect and one is a sport, there are actually some similarities between the two. For example, as we mentioned, the insect can be found on every continent apart from Antarctica, which is actually the same for the sport. Okay, it is not as popular in places such as North America and South America, but you will still find some cricket teams there.
Furthermore, crickets also take part in sports. This is because in places such as China, cricket fighting is popular and seen as a sport. People will place down quite a sum of money on the cricket that they think will win. Don’t worry though, unlike with cockfighting and bullfighting, no serious injury usually comes to the crickets.