With origins dating back to the emancipation of slavery on Bermuda in the 19th century, the annual Cup Match has evolved into a two-day celebration with food, drink, music, dance, camping, boating, partying and, most importantly, cricket.
One of the main events during Cup Match sees the Somerset and St. George’s cricket clubs battling it out for glory, with thousands of spectators cheering on their chosen team.
Not familiar with cricket? No problem. Bermuda is the perfect place to get to know this exciting sport. Here’s a quick crash course – by no means comprehensive, but a good way to avoid coming across as a complete novice.
Cricket by the Numbers
- 120 million people play cricket worldwide, making it the world’s second-most popular sport
- 11 players on each team take turns batting or fielding
- 66 feet = the length of the playing area, or “pitch”
- 2 innings in each game
- 2 umpires
- Bowler: Similar to a pitcher in baseball; throws ball towards opposing team’s wicket
- Batsman: Tries to hit the ball into the field and score runs
- Wicket keeper: Stands behind the wickets to catch the bowler’s ball
- Ball: 5.5 oz., made of leather
- Bat: 3.1 feet long, flat-fronted, made of wood
- Wicket: Made up of three vertical stumps and two horizontal “bales” placed on top; a batsman whose wicket loses a bale when hit by the ball is out
One team bats, trying to score runs, while the opposing team fields, trying to bring an end to the batting team's innings. The roles reverse in the second inning.
The batting side sends two batsmen to the pitch, where they stand at opposite wickets and try to hit the ball. When they hit the ball, they run from wicket to wicket to score runs. When both batsmen have reached the opposite wicket, one run is scored.
If the batsman’s ball hits the boundary, he automatically scores four runs – no running necessary. If the ball goes over the boundary, he scores six runs – the equivalent of a home run in baseball.
If the ball goes over the boundary, he scores six runs – the equivalent of a home run in baseball.
A batsman is out if: his wicket loses a bale when hit by the ball or bat; a ball he hits is caught by the opposing team without striking the ground; or he intentionally uses his body to block the ball from hitting the wicket. (There are a few other, rarer ways to be called out as well.)
The inning is over when 10 of the 11 players are out, or when the allotted number of balls has been bowled.