On the point with Aubrey Kamba
LAST Sunday I had the pleasure of watching a good South African side wallop the Australian tourist side to lead two-nil in a five match series.The Proteas played like true champions. They usually choke, but this time they were in complete control with a tone from Captain Faf and good bowling from Parnell and Rabada the tourists had no chance.
I then got to think what are we doing wrong in this country? Well, that is another story for the day, let me get down to business of the day today which is looking at the forms of the game that is 1st Class and List A cricket.
Cricket is a multi-faceted sport with multiple formats, depending on the standard of play, the desired level of formality, and the time available. One of the main differences is between matches limited by time in which the teams have two innings apiece, and those limited by number of overs in which they have a single innings each.
The former, known as first-class cricket if played at the senior level, has a scheduled duration of three to five days (there have been examples of “timeless” matches too); the latter, known as limited overs cricket because each team bowls a limit of typically 50 overs, has a planned duration of one day only. A separate form of limited overs is Twenty20, originally designed so that the whole game could be played in a single evening, in which each team has an innings limited to twenty overs.
Double innings matches usually have at least six hours of playing time each day. Limited overs matches often last at least six hours and Twenty20 matches are generally completed in under four hours.
In a full day’s play scheduled for at least six hours, there are formal intervals on each day for lunch and tea with brief informal breaks for drinks. There is also a short interval between innings. Local club cricket teams, which consist of amateur players, rarely play matches that last longer than a single day; these may loosely be divided into declaration matches, in which a specified maximum time or number of overs is assigned to the game in total and the teams swap roles only when the batting team is either completely dismissed or declares; and limited overs matches, in which a specified maximum number of overs is assigned for each team’s innings individually. These will vary in length between 30 and 60 overs per side at the weekend and the 20-over format in the evenings. Indoor cricket is a variant of the sport played in sports halls during the winter months.
At still lower levels, the rules are often changed simply to make the game playable with limited resources, or to render it more convenient and enjoyable for the participants. Informal variants of the sport are played in areas as diverse as sandy beaches and ice floes.
First-class cricket is that which is played at the highest international or domestic standard.
A first-class match is of three or more days’ scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to be worthy of the status by virtue of the standard of the competing teams.
Matches must allow for the teams to play two innings each although, in practice, a team might only play one innings or none at all.
First-class cricket, along with historical single wicket and the modern limited overs forms of List A, is one of the major forms of cricket. The origin of the term “first-class cricket” is unknown but it was used loosely before it acquired an official status, effective in 1895, following a meeting of leading English clubs in May 1894. Subsequently, at a meeting of the Imperial Cricket Conference (ICC) in May 1947, it was formally defined on a global basis. A major omission of the ICC ruling was any attempt to define first-class cricket retrospectively. This has left historians, and especially statisticians, with the problem of how to categorize earlier matches, especially those played before 1895 in Great Britain.
Test cricket, although the highest standard of cricket, is statistically a form of first-class cricket, although the term “first-class” is commonly used to refer to domestic competition only. A player’s first-class statistics include his performances in Test matches.
According to the ICC definition, a match may be adjudged first-class if
it is of three or more days scheduled duration each side playing the match has eleven players each side may have two innings the match is played on natural, and not artificial, turf the match is played at a venue which meets certain standard criteria regarding venues the match conforms to the Laws of Cricket, except for only minor amendments .The sport’s governing body in the appropriate nation, or the ICC itself, recognizes the match as first-class.
A Test match is a first-class match played between two ICC full member countries subject to their current status at the ICC and the application of ICC conditions when the match is played.
A peculiarity of the two-innings match is the follow-on law. If the team that batted second is substantially behind on first innings total, it may be required to bat again (i.e., to immediately “follow on” from its first innings rather than the innings alternating as they would normally) in the third innings of the match. List A cricket is a classification of the limited-overs (one-day) form of the sport of cricket. List A cricket includes One Day International matches and various domestic competitions in which the number of overs in an innings per team ranges from forty to sixty. Together with first-class and Twenty20 cricket, List A is one of the three major forms of cricket recognized by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
lOne-day Internationals (ODIs).
lOther international matches.
lPremier one-day tournaments in each country.
lOfficial matches of a touring Test team against main first-class teams.
lMatches played in ICC World Cricket League Division 2 and above.
lMatches that do not qualify as List A.
lTwenty20 cricket including internationals.
lWorld Cup warm-up matches.
lOther Tourist matches (for example, against first class teams).
I hope now there is not a lot of confusion after this when you hear commentators saying 1st Class and List A matches.
This column serves to educate the people of this great nation on this beautiful sport of cricket and I hope you are being educated. Please do get in touch with me for any feedback on anything cricket wise.
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