Millions of people around the world are crazy about cricket. And most of them are indifferent to other sports. Thanks to them, cricket confidently takes the second place in popularity after football, as the number of loyal fans confidently overtakes all other team games - from baseball to hockey.

Although cricket is almost unknown outside the former British Empire, in countries with a total population of about 2 billion people it is almost a religion. They have probably heard about Messi and, perhaps, have an idea of ​​who Pele is. But in their hearts forever are Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, Virat Kohli and Joe Ruth. And they probably worth such fame due to their results. By the way, you can easily check the recent match scores on stumped.app.

 Here are just several facts, which make these people living legends:

  1. The captain of the Indian national team, Virat Kohli easily replaces Bollywood stars by popularity and earns $25 million a year, as many as the best scorer of Liverpool Mo Salah;
  2. Ex-captain Sachin in India has a status close to an idol;
  3. The former leader of Pakistan’s national team Imran Khan now runs the country as Prime Minister;
  4. Australia minted coins with the portrait of the legendary Don Bradman;
  5. The British queen knights the former English captain Alastair Cook. 

For the right to broadcast the championship of England, TV channels paid a record-breaking $1.5 billion. Tickets for good seats cost from $100 and reached several thousand for an important match. It seems that there is something in this game since it captured the hearts of a third of the world's population. For the remaining two-thirds, we tried to answer a few awkward questions about cricket.

 Are cricket and croquet different things?

Croquet is played mainly by pensioners at their leisure, pushing balls into the gates with wooden hammers.

Cricket is played by teams in stadiums in front of tens of thousands of viewers.

A cricket bat is one and a half times heavier than a baseball one. A ball thrown by a professionals flies at a speed of 150 km/h, and a world-class player can beat it a hundred meters away. This is a serious sport, it requires protective equipment, first-class refereeing, and comprehensive training.

 Do they really play all day?

Only if it's a short match. Normally, the so-called test lasts five days: six hours a day with a lunch break for 40 minutes and two tea parties for 20 minutes. The classic series of five test matches take up to a month and a half.

It also has advantages. At least at an amateur level, cricket game goes well with a picnic in the park all day long. And spectators of a professional match are always guaranteed entertainment all day long.

 Why are they all dressed in white and then in color?

Multi-day tests are played in traditional white uniforms and with a red ball. But one-day matches are already in a form of national or club colors, and the ball is white.

Unlike tests, where at the twilight time, the game just stops to continue the next morning, one-day matches have to be ended. A white ball is better seen under the light of searchlights and against the night sky.

What to do in case of rain?

The match is stopped in the rain. The field is covered, and special machines pump water from the lawn and a pitch, the preparation of which requires special skills and patience. In one-day matches, if the rain does not end before the evening, then the game is recognized as inconclusive.

 Five days of the game is an ultramarathon, isn't it?

Yes, exactly. Cricket requires serious physical training. But this is not hockey or football, and it is enough to just be in shape. As the last world championship proved it concerns even professionals, where both the Sri Lankan Lasit Malinga and the Afghan Mohammed Shahzad appeared. Despite the lack of fit, Malinga is one of the best bowlers in the world, and Shahzad is the most productive batsman of the national team of Afghanistan.

Ask your awkward questions in the comments.

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