Cricket is a thrill both to play the game and to watch it and its importance is no less than any sporting event. The game also encourages team spirit, fosters discipline, helps build up character and brings out the quality of leadership.
It fosters team-spirit. The game is played between two teams and not between two individuals. The game can be won only if all the members of the team put all their efforts in one direction.
The game of cricket is also a good specimen of division of work. Every player has a specific job to fulfill. The bowlers are expert in bowling. The batsman makes runs with his bat. The wicket-keeper knows well about his job. And, all the players that take to fielding try hard to save runs.
By playing cricket the grip gets stronger, the eye sight keener, the stamina developed and sturdiness of body and mind increases. Cricket is played in a field which has a well-rolled pitch in the centre. Pair of wickets is put up on the pitch twenty two yard apart and bails on top. A bowling crease and a Popping Crease are marked on either end. It is played between two sides, each having eleven players. The side which wins the toss usually bats first and the other side takes the field and places different players at different positions, namely, Third Man, Third Slip, Second Slip, First Slip, Long legs, Wicket Keeper, Point, Cover point, Mid-off and Mid-on, Gully, long on, log off. The batting side sends only two players to the wicket, one is the batsman and the other his running mate. Two umpires are engaged to watch over the game and control it. The bowler bowls the ball to the batsman at the other end of the pitch. If the latter hits it, runs to the other wicket and changes place with his mate, he scores one run. A boundary fetches four runs and an over-boundary six runs. The batsman loses the wicket if he hits the ball high and it is caught by the fielder. He also may lose the wicket by being “bowled out” and “run out” or “leg before wicket” or “hit wicket” or “stumped”. Once a batsman is out, his place is taken by another until the whole side is out. After that, the other side turns up for batting and the batting side takes to fielding. The side which scores more in two innings or by the end of fixed hours wins the game.
The game of cricket involved physical activities for a long period of time. It keeps the players healthy, strong and physically fit.
Huge planning is done before every match. The team is selected only after analyzing the strength and weakness of the opponent team. Hence, the game of cricket also promotes mental growth.
Cricket on the whole improves the feeling of co-operation, to work together in harmony. Professional players earn a lot of money by playing cricket. Many good players easily get jobs in offices. Hence, a good player has a fair chance of getting a job in these hard days.