The Other World Cup

Learn all about the recently completed T20 World Cup!

On October 23rd, India and Pakistan had their first match in the T20 World Cup, a cricket competition where teams around the world play short cricket matches limited to 20 overs (120 balls) of gameplay, a match which India went on to win. Both teams eventually made it to the semifinals with Pakistan duking it out against New Zealand, and India facing off with England, which were held November 9th and 10th. The final was then set between Pakistan and England, which England went on to handily win. Even though Pakistan and India did not compete in the finals, nor win the match, it certainly reminded me of my enthusiasm towards cricket.
As a kid, I remember the entire mohalla (neighborhood) in my hometown gathering around to watch India and Pakistan battle it out on the field – the cricket field, of course. The elderly would sit with their grandchildren explaining why this match was so important for both countries. The parents would argue about which team was going to win and what the score would be. The kids would run around in complete chaos, yet it would be harmonious. Even though these experiences were hectic, it was in these situations that my love for cricket began.
Cricket is played by two teams of 11, with one side taking a turn to bat the ball and score runs, while the other team bowls and fields the ball to restrict the opposition from scoring. The main objective in cricket is to score as many runs as possible, with a limited number of balls, against the opponent. The batsmen try to hit the ball after it is bowled and then switch positions by running to the opposite ends of the pitch (the big yellow rectangle in the middle of the field) without getting out to score. There is more than one way to get out in cricket. Three of the most common ways are: if a ball is hit and then caught (like baseball), if the wickets behind the batsman are hit (three stumps behind the batsmen), as well as if the fielding team hits the wickets when the batsmen are in between areas of the pitch (called a run out).
At all times, the fielding team has all 11 players on the field, whereas the batting team has two. Cricket is played on a large, oval-shaped field. Areas of the pitch are divided into segments by lines called “creases.” There are four creases. The popping crease marks the boundary beyond which the batter is no longer safe from being run out.
Cricket was introduced to India and Pakistan, when Pakistan was still a part of British India, by Britain and its East India Company. The British brought cricket to India in the early 1700s, and the country played its first cricket match in 1721. In 1848, the Parsi community in Bombay formed the Oriental Cricket Club, the first cricket club to be established by Indians. The English eventually invited the Parsis to play a match in 1877. The team was not strong in their batting at this point and went on to lose the match by 158 runs. The Indian team continued to improve throughout the 1930s and ’40s but did not achieve an international victory during this period. In 1911, the Indian national team, captained by Bhupinder Singh, went on to play in the British Isles, but only played English county teams and not the England national team because India was still a colony under Britain’s rule. So far, cricket was a way to put India on the map. India recorded their first Test, a five-day-long match being a “test” of the relative strengths of the two sides, victory, in their 24th match against England at Madras in 1952. Later in the same year, they won their first Test series, which was against Pakistan.
Unfortunately, after the separation of India and Pakistan in 1947, cricket became a sport used to measure the superiority of one country. Territorial disputes over the Kashmir region sparked two of the three major Indo-Pakistani wars in 1947 and 1965, and a limited war in 1999. Although both countries have maintained a fragile cease-fire since 2003, they regularly exchange fire across the contested border, known as the Line of Control. Even after the cease-fire India and Pakistan are still battling to this day on the cricket field.

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How to Play Cricket - wikiHow