International structure of cricket

International structure of cricket

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There was no formal structure of international cricket until the early twenty first century. It had long been traditional for countries, without any intervention from a body such as the International Cricket Council
International Cricket Council
The International Cricket Council is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa, renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.The...

 (ICC), to organize for themselves the various cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 matches. The ICC later committed the Test cricket
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 playing nations to play each other in a programme of matches over a period of 10 years. This system was set up to encourage some of the better-established countries to play the lesser nations more frequently.

General structure

Most Test matches and One-Day
One-day cricket
Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket and in a slightly different context as List A cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket in which a match is generally completed in one day, whereas Test and first-class matches can take up to five days to complete...

 series take place in the form of "tours". In a tour, one nation travels to another and plays warm-up matches, first-class
First-class cricket
First-class cricket is a class of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration, that are between two sides of eleven players and are officially adjudged first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams...

 matches against domestic teams such as county or state teams, a series of Test matches against the host nation, and either a series of one-day matches against the host nation or a tournament involving the host nation and another touring nation. The "triangular tournament" format is often used when one tour is about to conclude and the other has just begun or may include one team only for that tournament. In the tournament, the three teams play each other either two or three times. The two teams with the most points (usually two points for a win, one point for a no-result or tie, and no points for a loss) qualify for the one-game final. The bonus point system is also often used in a triangular tournament - if a team's run rate
Run rate
In cricket, the run rate , or runs per over is the number of runs a batsman scores in an over of 6 balls. It includes all runs, even the so-called extras awarded due to errors by the bowler. Without extras and overthrows, the maximum run rate is 36 – if every ball were struck for six and, as...

 is a fixed percentage higher than the opponent's (usually 33%), an extra bonus point is awarded to the winner. Examples of tournaments where the bonus point system is used include the VB Series
VB Series
The Australian Tri-Series refers to the one day international cricket tournament held between 1979-80 and 2007-08 between the home side and two touring teams, in the height of the Australian cricket season, i.e. during the summer months of December, January and February. Between 1979–80 and 1995–96...

 and the NatWest Series
NatWest Series
The NatWest Series is the name used for One Day International cricket tournaments held in England since 2000. The tournaments are sponsored by the National Westminster Bank.-2000 to 2005: triangular series:...


The Test series can last from two matches to six matches. Six-match series were common around 1980, and the Ashes
The Ashes
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. It is one of the most celebrated rivalries in international cricket and dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in the United Kingdom and Australia. Cricket being a summer sport, and the venues...

 Test series in England was a six-match series from 1981
1981 English cricket season
In the 1981 English cricket season a change of sponsorship ended the Gillette Cup's 18-year tenure as a household name and the knockout competition was renamed the NatWest Trophy, which lasted for twenty years....

 to 1997
1997 English cricket season
The 1997 English cricket season centred on the six Test Ashes series against Australia. England won the first, at Edgbaston, by the decisive margin of nine wickets, and the rain-affected second Test at Lord's was drawn, but any English optimism was short-lived...

 (but five matches in Australia). The last six-match series was held in 1997-98 between the West Indies and England
English cricket team
The England and Wales cricket team is a cricket team which represents England and Wales. Until 1992 it also represented Scotland. Since 1 January 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board , having been previously governed by Marylebone Cricket Club from 1903 until the end...

. The most important series last five matches, while the less important ones last two to four matches. The length of the series is based on the home country's attitude towards One Day Internationals; traditional nations such as England and Australia usually organize five-match series, while nations where one-day cricket is very popular (such as India
Indian cricket team
The Indian cricket team is the national cricket team of India. Governed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India , it is a full member of the International Cricket Council with Test and One Day International status....

 and Pakistan) favour three-match series. At most, a perpetual trophy is awarded to the winning team, or to the winner of the previous series in the case of a drawn series. The Ashes
The Ashes
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. It is one of the most celebrated rivalries in international cricket and dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in the United Kingdom and Australia. Cricket being a summer sport, and the venues...

 (for England versus Australia) is the most famous perpetual trophy. Other perpetual trophies include:
  • Frank Worrell Trophy
    Frank Worrell Trophy
    The Frank Worrell Trophy is awarded for the winner of the West Indies - Australia Test match series in cricket.The trophy is named after the former West Indies captain Sir Frank Worrell, and was first awarded at the end of the 1960-61 series...

     (Australia-West Indies)
  • Trans Tasman Trophy
    Trans Tasman Trophy
    The Trans Tasman Trophy is a trophy played for by Australia and New Zealand in the sport of cricket. The trophy is awarded to the team that wins a Test series, or one-off Test match, between the two nations. If the series is a draw, the holder keeps the trophy. It was first competed for in the...

     (Australia-New Zealand)
    • (The ODI trophy between these two nations is the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy
      Chappell-Hadlee Trophy
      The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in cricket is an annual ODI series between Australia and New Zealand. It is named after legendary cricketing families from the two countries, the Chappell brothers of Australia and Walter Hadlee and his three sons, , of New Zealand.The trophy is currently held by...

  • Border-Gavaskar Trophy
    Border-Gavaskar Trophy
    The Border–Gavaskar Trophy is a Test cricket series, played between India and Australia. It has witnessed some of the most competitive Test series played in recent years, with results usually either being a narrow win for one of the sides or a closely fought draw...

  • Wisden Trophy
    Wisden Trophy
    The Wisden Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Test cricket series played between England and the West Indies. It was first awarded in 1963 to commemorate the hundredth edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Series are played in accordance with the International Cricket Council's future tours...

     (England-West Indies)
  • Warne-Muralidaran Trophy
    Warne-Muralidaran Trophy
    The Warne-Muralidaran Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Australia – Sri Lanka Test cricket series from 2007/08 season onwards. The trophy is named after the two leading wicket takers in Test cricket, Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan and Australia's Shane Warne...

     (Australia-Sri Lanka)

The One-day series lasts from three to seven matches. Usually, the shorter one-day series are played at the same time as longer Test series - although the one-day matches and Test matches are usually played in groups. These days, it is rare that a Test series is interrupted by One Day Internationals. In addition to tours, nations may organize one-day matches at neutral venues. The Sahara Cup
Sahara Cup
The Sahara Cup was a bilateral ODI cricket series between Pakistan and India, which was held annually in Canada. It was staged from 1996 to 1998 at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club. The series consisted of 5 ODIs, and all the matches were played in daylight.Pakistan won the first...

 was a one-day series played annually between India and Pakistan
Pakistani cricket team
The Pakistan cricket team is the national cricket team of Pakistan. Pakistan, represented by the Pakistan Cricket Board , is a full member of the International Cricket Council, and thus participates in , and cricket matches....

 in Toronto, until the Indian government ordered the suspension of all cricketing ties with Pakistan, which were revived in 2004. Similarly, a semiannual Triangular Tournament was organized at Sharjah
Sharjah (city)
Sharjah is the third largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. It is located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.Sharjah is the seat of government of the emirate of Sharjah...

, in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. The tournament almost always involved the traditional rivals India and Pakistan. However, the tournament has lost its luster because the overwhelming number of cricket matches has spoiled the pitch. In contrast to the one-dayers, Tests are almost never held in neutral venues. A triangular Test tournament
1912 Triangular Tournament
The 1912 Triangular Tournament was a Test cricket competition played between Australia, England and South Africa, the only Test-playing nations at the time....

 was held in England in 1912, requiring South Africa to play Australia in Manchester
Old Trafford (cricket)
Old Trafford is a cricket ground situated on Talbot Road in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester. It has been the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club since its foundation in 1864, having been the ground of Manchester Cricket Club from 1857...

, London
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board , the European Cricket Council and, until August 2005, the...

 and Nottingham
Trent Bridge
Trent Bridge is a Test, One-day international and County cricket ground located in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England and is also the headquarters of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. As well as International cricket and Nottinghamshire's home games, the ground has hosted the Finals Day of...

. One notable recent exception occurred when Pakistan played some Test matches in Sharjah; many other nations had decided to boycott Pakistani grounds due to violence, including bombings, that had occurred during a tour by the New Zealand cricket team.

Security implications have also affected tours to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, and tours to Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 are currently being questioned due to the political situation in that country. In the 2003 World Cup tournament, New Zealand forfeited its game scheduled in Kenya.

In addition to the one-day series and tournaments organized by the nations themselves, the ICC organizes two tournaments. The World Cup
Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is the premier international championship of men's One Day International cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council , with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament which is held every four years...

 is held every four years; it involves all the Test-playing nations and a number of teams advancing from the immediately preceding ICC World Cup Qualifier. The ICC Champions Trophy
ICC Champions Trophy
The ICC Champions Trophy is a One Day International cricket tournament, second in importance only to the Cricket World Cup. It was inaugurated as the ICC Knock Out tournament in 1998 and has been played every two years since, changing its name to the Champions Trophy in 2002...

, previously known as the ICC Knockout Cup, is held every two years in between World Cups. In the Champions Trophy, a single loss is not good.6kklt

ICC Ten Year Plan

This is a plan designed to make all countries play each other for Test cricket over a period of ten years, and was approved in February 2001 by the ICC member countries. Starting from 2002 and running until 2011, it ensures that each Test country will play the other nine home and away over a period of ten years, in addition to any matches the individual cricket boards organise on their own. Thus, India and Pakistan played 12 ODIs and 6 Tests against each other in their respective countries (not including neutral ground ODI tournaments such as the Asia Cup
Asia Cup
The ACC Asia Cup is an international men's One Day International cricket tournament. It was established in 1983 when the Asian Cricket Council was founded as a measure to promote goodwill between Asian countries. It was originally scheduled to be held every two years...

) from 2004 to April 2005, and played a further series of 3 Tests and 5 ODIs in the winter of 2006. However, because of the rigorous schedule of the Ten Year Plan, there is hardly any time left over to schedule other series, and there have been voices criticising the amount of international cricket that is played, with the risk of injury and player burnout as reasons for why this amount should be reduced. The ICC have defended their policy, citing the number of international players in English county cricket as a sign that there is not too much cricket for the players.

Test Championship

The ICC instituted the Test Championship table to permit fans to compare all the Test teams. The Table is a running one, that is, whoever is on top at a certain time will formally hold the Test trophy. (The Table is not like a league standings table, where the top team at the end of a certain period of time becomes Champion.)Currently England is on the top of the table.

ODI Championship

The ODI (One-Day International) championship was created for reasons similar to the Test one, and it has a similar structure. The championship does not replace the World Cup; the latter still carries much more significance to most cricket fans.

See also

  • International cricket in 2004
    International cricket in 2004
    -Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe:-Bangladesh in the West Indies:-New Zealand in England:-Australia in Zimbabwe:-Natwest Series:-Sri Lanka in Australia:-West Indies in England:-South Africa in Sri Lanka:-India in England:...

  • International cricket in 2004-05
    International cricket in 2004-05
    International cricket in the 2004–05 cricket season is defined by major statisticians, such as CricketArchive and Wisden, as those matches played on tours that started between September 2004 and April 2005. There were no major tournaments played during this time...

  • International cricket in 2005
    International cricket in 2005
    This article discusses International cricket in the 2005 season. For the purposes of this article the 2005 cricket season is taken to be the whole of the English cricket season, plus those series defined to belong to the 2005 season by Cricinfo...

  • International cricket in 2005-06
  • International cricket in 2006
    International cricket in 2006
    International cricket played in the 2006 cricket season is defined as matches scheduled between May and August 2006 in all cricketing countries, as well as all international matches scheduled for the 2006 English cricket season...

  • International cricket in 2006-07
    International cricket in 2006-07
    International cricket in the 2006–07 cricket season is defined by major statisticians, such as CricketArchive and Wisden, as those matches played on tours that started between September 2006 and April 2007. Two major ICC tournaments are scheduled for this season, with the Champions Trophy played in...

  • International cricket in 2007
    International cricket in 2007
    The 2007 international cricket season is defined as international matches and tours during the 2007 English cricket season, between April and September. However, due to the 2007 Cricket World Cup, there were no other international cricket matches being played during April, meaning the international...

  • International cricket in 2007-08
    International cricket in 2007-08
    International cricket in the 2007-08 cricket season is defined by major statisticians, such as CricketArchive and Wisden, as those matches played on tours that started between September 2007 and April 2008.-ICC Championship Tables At Start of 2007-08 Season:...

  • International cricket in 2008
    International cricket in 2008
    The International cricket in 2008 is defined as the season of international cricket between April and August 2008 in all cricket playing countries, as well as all international matches scheduled for the 2008 English Cricket Season...

  • International cricket in 2008-09
    International cricket in 2008-09
    The International cricket in 2008–09 is defined as the season of international cricket between September 2008 and March 2009 in all cricket playing countries...

  • International cricket in 2009
    International cricket in 2009
    International cricket in 2009 is defined as the season of international cricket between May and August 2009 in all cricket playing countries, as well as all international matches scheduled for the 2009 English cricket season...

  • International cricket in 2009-10
  • Association of Cricket Officials
    Association of Cricket Officials
    The Association of Cricket Officials was set up in order to represent cricket officials around the world - especially umpires and scorers. It operates under the auspices of the England and Wales Cricket Board...

External links