Cricket is a high scoring bat and ball sport played between two teams, usually of 11 players each. A cricket match is played on an oval grass field, in the centre of which is a flat strip of ground called a pitch. At each end of the pitch is a set of three parallel wooden stakes (known as stumps) driven into the ground, with two small crosspieces (known as bails) laid on top of them. This wooden structure is called a wicket.
A turf pitch is 20.12m long and 3.05m wide. A non-turf pitch is a minimum length of 17.68m and a minimum of 1.83m wide. A pitch is bounded at either end by the bowling creases and a set of wickets in the centre of the bowling crease.
In the case of a turf pitch, the slope of the pitch should not exceed 1 per cent and follow the slope pattern of the oval. If the oval is centre sloped, the pitch square should also slope from the centre.
The amount of fall should therefore not exceed 30mm across a 3.05m strip or 200mm along its length, being as flat as possible at the centre.
The pitch square should be about 75mm above the level of the outfield to allow for surface drainage off the pitch.
The bowling crease
The bowling crease is the line through the centre of the three stumps at the relevant end. It is 2.64m in length with stumps in the centre.
The popping crease
The popping crease is in front of and parallel to the bowling crease. It is 1.22m wide from the bowling crease. The popping crease is marked to a minimum of 1.83m on either side of the centre of the middle stumps and is unlimited in length.
The return crease
The return crease is at right angles to the popping crease at a distance of 1.32m either side from the middle of the stumps. The return crease is 2.44m behind the popping crease and unlimited in length.
A cricket field is a large circular or oval shaped grassy ground. There are no fixed dimensions for the field but its diameter varies between 137m and 150m. On most grounds, a rope demarcates the perimeter of the field and is called the boundary.
Ideally, the oval should fall in all directions from the centre, but failing this, should have a single phase slope of one per cent in any convenient direction. If the oval is on a very well drained soil, no slope is required.
A painted oval is made by drawing a semi-circle of 27.4m radius from the centre of each wicket with respect to the breadth of the pitch and joining them with lines parallel, 27.4m to the length of the pitch. This line, commonly known as the circle, divides the field into an infield and outfield. Two circles of radius 13.7m centred on each wicket and often marked by dots, define the close-infield. The infield, outfield and the close-infield are used to enforce fielding restrictions.
There is no specific standard for cricket floodlighting, either for play or practice, established within either Cricket Australia or the Australian Standards Association.
There is an Australian Standard AS2560 that lists a number of sports that have similarities to cricket in regard to ball size and speed. These include AS2560.2.6 Baseball and Softball and AS2560.2.7 Outdoor Hockey.
Modified outdoor cricket for juniors
The following table provides information on field and pitch dimensions for the various game formats in junior competition:
Field and pitch dimensions
|Game type ||Age group ||Boundary (measurement from centre of pitch) ||Pitch length |
|In2cricket ||5-8 years ||25m-30m ||13m-16m |
|In2cricket ||8-10 years ||Up to 40m ||13m-18m |
|Dual pitch or 20/20 ||11-12 years ||40m-45m ||18m-20.12m |
|1 day limited overs ||Under 13 ||50m maximum ||8m-20.12m |
|1 day limited overs ||Under 14 ||50m maximum ||20.12m |
|1 or 2 days limited overs ||Under 15 ||standard ||20.12m |
Super 8 cricket
Super 8 cricket is an introductory modified games program for upper primary school aged children.
Each team is allowed six to a maximum of 10 players. Only approved plastic equipment is used. The stumps are a single plastic mould with weighted base.
The pitch is 14m−16m long and can be any reasonably flat surface. The distance from pitch to boundary should not exceed 30m.
Indoor cricket is a variation of standard cricket. It was developed in Perth, Western Australia, in the late 1970s. It is suitable for cricketers and novices alike, and played year-round. Indoor cricket is played on a rectangular, artificial grass-surfaced court. The court is enclosed in tightly tensioned netting, including a 4m high ‘ceiling’. Courts are usually constructed in factory units or purpose-built centres.
A game is played with two teams, each with a maximum of eight players or, in some rare cases, six (though six-a-side centres are uncommon, they do exist ─ usually where the playing area isn’t big enough to construct a full-sized court). Indoor cricket uses a softer ball than a regulation cricket ball.
Playing area/net dimensions
The court is rectangular, 28m−30m long, 10.5m−12m wide, and roofed by flat netting at 4m and 4.5m high. The walls are also of flexible netting. The cricket pitch is 20m long and 1.8m wide, covered with artificial turf, with the striker’s end close to one end of the court. An additional line is marked across the middle of the pitch, 11m from the striker’s popping crease, and forms the non-striker’s crease, behind which he is safe from being run out. The batsmen run only 11m to score runs instead of the full length of the pitch.
An ‘exclusion zone’ is marked in an arc extending at a radius of 3m from the batting crease. All lines are marked at a thickness of 5.5cm. The underarm line is marked across the pitch 7m from the striker’s stumps.
The wickets are 22.86cm wide, 71.1cm high and consist of three stumps with two bails 11.1cm long on top. The wickets are located at each end of the pitch 20m apart. The stumps are of equal and sufficient size to prevent the ball from passing through. Bails may be wooden or plastic and must be tied to the stumps.
The net enclosing an indoor cricket court is very tightly tensioned. This allows consistency in the ball’s bounce off the net. It is also a safety feature — players are protected from hitting any walls or columns that may be close to the court and there is less chance of getting fingers caught in tight nets. It also allows spectators to be closer to the game, as players hitting the net will not stretch it far.
The court is defined by a cubic frame of high-strength steel cable, to which the netting is securely attached. Tensioning of the net is achieved by tensioning of this ‘cube’. The lower four cables of the cube are secured directly into the concrete floor. The four lower corners are tensioned to anchor points set into the concrete.
The top four cables are all fastened at the corners to anchor points, located on the ceiling/inner-roof. These take the main tension and help form the ‘box’ structure of the cables. These top cables are then further fastened to the ceiling for additional support. The shape of the box thus formed is achieved by adjusting the tension mainly in the eight corners, with finer tuning possible by individually adjusting the extra attachments along the top edges.
It is essential to have good quality lighting so that the players can follow the movement of the ball travelling at high speeds, either struck by the batsman or bowled by the bowler. The illuminance must be uniform throughout the hall, with the background walls behind both batsman and bowler providing a good viewing contrast. Safety is paramount and the lighting system must taken into account the propulsion of balls at speed. The recommended minimum lighting level for an indoor cricket sports centre is between 1000 and1500 lux. These requirements are generally met by a system of horizontal, fluorescent luminaires, fitted with reflectors and mounted at right angles to the pitch. The reflectors must screen both batsman and bowler from direct view of this light source.
The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.