Cricket Schedule – the current calendar of all cricket tournaments. Cricket tournaments are divided into International and National. International competitions are held separately in different forms of cricket (Test, ODI and T20I), National Cricket Teams take part in them. National or Domestic tournaments are also held for different types of cricket – First-Class, Limited Overs and Twenty20. Cricket clubs of a particular country take part in national tournaments and leagues.
Cricket Schedule: International Cricket
Cricket Schedule: National Cricket
Cricket Schedule - international and national (domestic) cricket tournaments
Cricket is not only complex and unusual rules of the game, a huge number of special terms, and so on. If you are just starting to immerse yourself in the world of this sport, you will have to face the structure of tournaments that are unusual in other sports. The cricket schedule is very complex and has a large number of different formats. In this article, you will learn what structures cricket tournaments are divided into and also read about the most interesting tournaments.
Cricket Schedule: Series
The series is one of the most attractive tournaments in the cricket schedule. Before you understand this format, you need to learn a few important things. The first of them is that there is no off-season in cricket; something is constantly happening there. If the championship has ended in a certain country, then a new tournament must have started in another country. That is, if we take one country, then there are certainly breaks, but in large-scale terms, cricket matches are held constantly. But the very concept of off-season games or tournaments is absent.
The second thing is that in almost all countries where cricket is popular, fans of this game follow the national team’s game, and club tournaments go by the wayside. To fully understand this concept, let’s give an example where everything is the opposite – hockey in North America: clubs are in the foreground, matches between national teams are in the second.
Given these two factors, let’s look at what “series” means and what role they play in the cricket schedule.
Series are several games of a certain format of cricket when one national team plays against another.
The national teams take turns coming to the opponent’s countries to visit, where they hold matches. As a rule, teams from the northern hemisphere go to the southern one from November to March or April, and teams from the southern hemisphere go to the northern one from April to September.
Some series are more spectacular, so they bring more money to the box office. Because of this, the ICC tries to make the cricket schedule so that each country gets interesting opponents and helps develop cricket in other countries through matches with less well-known rivals.
Among the many series, there are individual tournaments that are the most iconic and attract the greatest attention of cricket fans. It is worth noting that many of them are held not annually but once every one and a half or two years.
Here are some examples of such significant series:
- Ashes (played since 1882). This series refers to the confrontation between England and Australia. The trophy got its name after England lost to Australia in one of the first test matches between these two countries. This greatly infuriated the English press, which then wrote that “English cricket died, it was cremated, and the ashes were taken to Australia.” Then the English national team captain said that he would go to Australia, win, and return the ashes. Symbolically, a group of cricketers’ wives burned part of the wicket, after which the ashes were placed in a small urn and handed over to the captain. After some time, a copy was made from the urn, and they began to use it as a trophy.
- Pataudi Trophy (played since 2007). This series implies the rivalry of the national teams of England and India. The name of the trophy was acquired thanks to Iftikhar Pataudi, the only player in the history of cricket who managed to play for both of these national teams.
- The Frank Worrell Trophy (played since 1960). It is awarded to the winner of the confrontation between the national teams of Australia and the Caribbean Islands. The trophy of the series is named after the first captain of the Caribbean Islands national cricket team.
In addition, the cricket schedule also has series that do not yet have a personal trophy. An example is a confrontation between South Africa and Australia. Their meetings always attract a huge number of viewers, the game looks very tense, but these series do not have a trophy yet.
It is also worth noting that, according to the rules, if the match ends in a draw, the trophy remains with the team that owns it at that time.
Cricket schedule: National Championships
Of course, the cricket schedule includes matches not only between national teams, but also domestic tournaments of countries. Usually, such championships are held between the states or provinces of the country, and the best cricketers are eventually sent to the national teams.
Interestingly, the number of spectators at the match may vary depending on the region. For example, in one county of England, cricket is very popular, and matches can attract a crowd of thousands of spectators, and in another region, a small stadium is enough to accommodate everyone who wants to get to the game.
Usually, national championships are held in three formats: four-day matches, 20/20 and one-day cricket. In some countries, these formats are mixed (for example, first they play a part of a four-day championship, then part of a one-day one, then the game returns to a four-day one). In addition, national championships may be interrupted due to the need for players to participate in matches for the national team.
Here are examples of the most popular domestic championships that most often fall into the cricket schedule:
- The Sheffield Shieldis Australia’s domestic four-day cricket tournament. Six teams participate in it, and the tournament was founded in 1892.
- Ranji Trophy is the Indian national four-day cricket championship. As of 2021, 38 teams are participating in it.
- County Championship – the English national championship for four-day cricket. This tournament is considered the oldest: its first preserved results date back to 1720. However, according to the researchers of the history of cricket, matches were held before.
There are also other national championships, such as the Marsh One-Day Cup, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Royal London One Day Cup, etc. In every country where cricket is popular, there are several tournament formats, so fans of this game choose the more interesting one.
Cricket Schedule: 20/20 leagues
Among the domestic cricket tournaments, there are not only national championships. Now there are many leagues in the 20/20 format, based not on states or provinces, but franchises. They are based in the largest cities of the country. At the same time, such leagues are much more popular than national championships and can attract a huge audience. In addition, some cricketers, especially at the end of their career, refuse to play for national teams and participate in 20/20 leagues.
The most popular league of this format is the Indian Premier League. The cricket schedule has been regularly updated with spectacular matches from the IPL since its foundation in 2008. Now the IPL is considered one of the brightest leagues where franchises participate. There are also other well-known and popular 20/20 leagues, including the Caribbean Premier League, the Australian Big Bash League and others.
Other cricket tournaments
The cricket schedule is also updated due to the women’s cricket championships. Currently, women’s cricket tournaments mainly consist of 20/20 cricket and one-day cricket. One of the few exceptions is a four-day match within the framework of the women’s Ashes. The most famous leagues with the participation of women are the English Women’s Super League and the Australian Women’s Big Bash League.
Also, most recently, in July 2020, the British announced the creation of a new format in cricket – The Hundred. Its essence is that each team will play an inning of 100 innings each. It is worth considering that each over will be 10 innings, but bowlers can be changed after five. It is expected that each such cricket match will last no more than three hours, thanks to which it will be possible to attract a new audience to cricket.
Of course, there are many other tournaments. But here we have told about the main championships on which the cricket schedule is based.