How to Bet on Cricket
Cricket betting has seen significant growth since the emergence of dedicated sports channels and sports orientated online bookmakers. It is a 12 month sport with matches of all types taking place in the summers in both Hemispheres. International teams now play in Test matches, one day internationals and the newest version of the game, Twenty20.
British viewers of Sky Sports can watch live cricket through the night as Test matches in Australia and New Zealand form part of the coverage. Time zone differences in Asia and South Africa mean the sport is covered at most times of the day.
Professional cricket can be split into two main areas, namely four/five day cricket and one-day matches. There are domestic matches and international games. Each major cricket playing nation has a first class domestic competition, such as the County Championship in England or the Sheffield Shield in Australia. Players earn their selection for international sides by performing well at domestic level. The most refined format of the sport is Test match cricket in which international teams play each other over five days.
The English County Championship is split into two groups with relegation and promotion between the two divisions. Matches are played over four days and teams bat twice. The Sheffield Shield is contested in Australia and involves matches between states. There is also club level cricket in Australia. There are similar domestic competitions in India, Pakistan, South Africa and New Zealand. The domestic calendar is completed with limited overs matches, formed by 20 to 50 overs per side.
The newest tournament in international cricket is the World Twenty20. Matches played over 20 overs have only been added to the schedules and become incredibly popular. Matches last no more than three hours and grounds are often sold out.
Before Twenty20 cricket emerged the usual format for one day cricket was 50 overs per side. There is a World Cup every four years when matches are played over one day with each side bowling 50 overs. This format also attracts huge crowds, especially day/night games in England and Australia.
The purest form of the game is Test match cricket. A player’s standing in the history of the game is determined by his batting or bowling average in Test cricket. A Test match is played over five days, sometimes with a rest day, and each side bats twice.
Most Popular Markets
As in most sports the most popular type of cricket bet involves betting on which side will win a match. This is a three-way market in limited over fixtures as games can end in a tie. Even when there are weather disruptions in one day matches the Duckworth-Lewis method is used to determine who wins the match. It is possible to bet on the draw or a tie in a Test match.
Bettors also like to bet on leading players for batting and bowling. For all formats it is possible to bet on a side’s top batsmen and bowler and also wager on these markets across a complete series. In a Test series there are markets to bet on for the series winner and series score.