Cricket is played by two teams of 11 players each. They use a bat and a ball. A player from one team throws the ball, while a player from the other team hits it with the bat. Throwing the ball is called bowling. Hitting the ball is called batting. The game is played on a large outdoor ground called a 'field'. Inside the field is the 'pitch', a strip of hard ground where batsman and bowler face off. The team with the highest score wins. Wickets Cricket is all about wickets. A wicket is made up of three wooden stakes driven into the ground. Two pieces of loose wood on top of the wicket are called bails. One team defends the wicket while the other attacks it. Then they swap. The man who is bowling tries to use the ball to knock the bails down. While he bowls the rest of his team stand around the field, waiting to catch the ball. The man who is batting stands in front of the wicket and tries to stop the ball from hitting the bails. There is a wicket and batsman at each end of the pitch. Scoring points Only the batting team can score. Runs can be scored in three ways. The first way is to score a 'run'. The batsman hits the ball and then runs to the other end of the pitch. Each time he runs from one end to the other, it counts as one run. All around the outside of the field is a rope. If the batsman hits the ball across that rope, he scores four runs - no matter how many he has scored so far. If the batsman hits the ball over the rope without bouncing, he scores six runs. It's not over . . . The game is divided into 'overs'. When the bowler has thrown the ball six times it is called an 'over'. At the end of an over, the team captain may choose a different bowler. Usually there are no set number of overs to a game. Games can last for three, four or five days. But, to make the sport more exciting, teams now play 'limited' overs games. These last for only one day, and the teams can bowl 20 or 50 overs. You're out! The bowler tries to get the batsman out. All 11 players on a team can bat. Once all the players have batted, the batting team takes over bowling and the bowling team becomes the batters. But once a batsman is 'out' or 'caught', he cannot bat anymore. A batsman can be out in different ways. If the ball hits the wicket, he is out. If he places his leg in front of the wicket, he is out. If he hits the ball and someone from the opposite team catches the ball before it bounces, he is out.