Cricket is a game and sport that’s loved all over the world. It’s also a sport that England actually isn’t too bad at! However, the sport has had its ups and downs – as well as some truly fascinating facts and figures.
If you’re a true cricket fan, you probably know a fair bit about balls and wickets already – but have you reckoned for all of the following googlies? Here’s some fun facts about cricket that might just bowl you over (we’ll stop with the puns, now)!
- The weight of a cricket ball is actually regulated! The average ball weighs 5.5oz, or 0.3lbs.
- Cricket bats, meanwhile, generally weigh as much as 3lbs, and are made from willow.
- The USA may not be that much of a cricketing nation these days, but the Americans actually started playing the game around 1834. It’s thought that the sport faded from popularity around the time of World War I, and since then, baseball has taken its place.
- England’s oldest cricketer was Wilfred Rhodes.Who says you have to hang up your bat before the age of 40? Rhodes was 52 when he retired in 1930.
- Rhodes actually holds another impressive record – for the most first-class wickets in a single career. He took over 4,200 wickets in over 1,100 matches!
- Cricket is actually older than a lot of traditions in the UK. It was first played around 1646, and since then, it’s become an international phenomenon.
- The longest match on record falls to South Africa and England, who took their game to 14 days, only to draw at the end!
- A cricket match can legally stop if an animal runs out onto the pitch. This doesn’t apply to streakers, though!
- One famous cricketer has perhaps the longest name in all sport combined – Ilikena Lasarusa Talebulamaaineiilikenamainavaleniveivakabulaimainakulalakebalau once played for Fiji.
- Legendary English cricketer Alec Stewart holds something of a spooky record – he managed to score 8,463 test runs in his career. His date of birth? 8/4/63. Maybe he planned it!
- Another odd coincidence occurred during a match between South Africa and Australia. The match, which took place on 11/11/11, saw South Africa needing 111 runs to win – at the time of 11:11am.
- Only one person has played test cricket for two separate nations other than his own. John Traicos was born in Egypt, however, he’s played cricket for South Africa and Zimbabwe.
- However, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi holds a similar distinction. He’s the only cricketer to have played for both England and India at test level.
- Forfeiting international cricket matches had never happened until 1978. Playing against Pakistan, Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi forfeited the game as a result of the opposition’s fast-bowling bouncers.
- Cricketers treat their bats with linseed oil. But what does this do? Believe it or not, it actually encourages the wood to shrink down, creating a harder, tougher bat to hit strong balls.
- Cricket bats used to be slightly curved, however, this changed when people started changing the way they threw balls.