Cricket Betting

Television channels that only show sport and sports bookmakers have helped in the development of cricket betting. Anecdotal evidence of fixing spot bets has been proved that it is rare and the reputation of the sport and the related betting has survived despite some damaging media coverage. 

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Major Competitions 

Cricket is played all round the year with fixtures in several formats played in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Sides from the cricket playing nations meet in Test matches, One Day Internationals and the most recently introduced format of Twenty 20. 

Subscribers to Sky Sports in the UK can view overnight matches involving New Zealand and Australia. There is generally a fixture being shown live at all times due to time zones in South Africa and the Asian countries. 

Cricket in the professional game is played domestically and in internationals. All the main cricket playing countries have their own first class competitions. In England the County Championship is contested by counties and the Sheffield Shield brings together states in Australia. It is at this level that players show if they are good enough to play international cricket. Test matches are the purest form of the game in England and involve countries playing over up to five days.

Domestic Cricket 

The County Championship in England has two leagues with promotion and relegation that make more matches competitive. Fixtures are played over up to four days and both teams have two innings. The equivalent competition in Australia is the Sheffield Shield which is an inter-state league while the next level down is club cricket. New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and India have similar leagues while in some countries there are limited over leagues that involve 50 and 20 overs. 

International Cricket 

The most recent major development in international cricket is the Twenty20 World Championship. Fixtures in which each side bat over 20 overs have only been played since the middle of the noughties. The attraction that produces sell-outs is that three hours is enough time for a completed match and definite outcome. 

Before the arrival of 20 overs matches one day cricket was generally played over 50 overs for each side. The Cricket World Cup takes place every four years and the format is an innings for each side and 50 overs of bowling and batting. This type of cricket is also played in front of big crowds and day/night matches in Australia and England are particularly popular. 

Test matches are the oldest and purest form of the sport and the oldest series is the Ashes between England and Australia. Batting and bowling averages in this environment are the true measure of a player’s relative ability over the history of the game. Test matches are scheduled for up to five days with sides having two innings and there are rest days in some parts of the world but these are less common than in the past.

Main Betting Outcomes 

Match betting as in other sports is the most basic market as this involves the winner of a match. In limited over matches for the most part this market can only have two outcomes. Weather delays can mean both sides cannot complete their full compliment of batting overs in which case the Duckworth-Lewis formula is used to declare a result. Test match win betting is a three-way market that also includes the tie. 

Batting and bowling are the main components of a cricket match and bettors like to bet on how players perform in these areas. It is possible to bet on the leading batter and bowler over one match and throughout a series. Test match series provide opportunities to bet on the series winner and the correct score in won matches.

Popular Markets For Cricket Betting 

Cricket is an extremely popular betting sport with many opportunities over the course of a match or series. Some markets have more punter-friendly profit margins and anyone looking to win betting on cricket should focus on these markets. 

Cricket matches and groups of matches in a series provide a wide range of betting markets and tips for this very popular betting sport. Markets have different margins and the more exotic bets are least customer-friendly and the main betting opportunities are described below. Bettors should focus on the markets with the fewest number of outcomes even though the odds are smaller than for the more speculative results.

Tournament Winner 

The Cricket World Cup was first played on grounds in England in 1975. The first winners were the West Indies who won the tournament again four years later which was also played in England. Other World Cups have been staged in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and jointly in Australia and New Zealand and some minor cricket countries. England have never been the world champions but the West Indies, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Australia have won the tournament once or more. Customers can bet on the outright winner in advance and at adjusted during the tournament.  

Match Winner 

The winner of a match in each type of game is the most popular cricket betting market. There are only two or three outcomes so margins can be as low as 5% and no other markets have smaller margins. The draw can be the favourite in Test matches especially when weather forecasts suggest there could be disruption and a win for either team unlikely. It is very rare to see a draw in one day cricket. When one or both of the sides cannot complete all their scheduled overs formulas based on the Duckworth-Lewis regulations are used to determine a winner. We include cricket matches on our Previews page.   

Series Winner 

Before a series of Tests or limited overs matches begins bookmakers publish odds on the winner of the series. Prices fluctuate after each match and are offered until the start of the final fixture if the outcome has not been determined. A five Test series can be drawn 0-0, 1-1 or 2-2 depending on the number of draws and both sides winning the same number of fixtures. Bettors are averse to betting on tied series so these markets provide some value for the discerning cricket bettor. 

Next Batsmen Dismissed 

One popular cricket bet is on the next batsman to be dismissed. The market relates to which of two batsman will be removed from the play and odds are updated after each delivery. The player from higher up the order is usually the outsider to be out first and even more so when the batter at the other end of the square is a night watchman. This is a player who is not a specialist in batting who generally is sent in to bat towards the end of the day to protect the wicket of a key batsman. A policy of betting on the outsider can be profitable in certain scenarios. It is wise to check a player’s batting average before betting in this market.

Top Scorer 

When a team bats in their first innings in Test matches or first one day internationals bookmakers quote odds on which player will be the leading scorer for a team. In theory two players can return the same score in which case dead heat rules apply. The odds on offer are generally related to which position a player bats but some players excel in limited overs matches while others are more suited to Tests.

Top Wicket Taker 

In the same way customers can place wagers on which player will dismiss most of the opposition. This bet is more likely to produce a tie as there are only ten wickets in an innings in which case the rules for dead heats are applied. Similarly some players are more suited to the demands of one day cricket than the Test arena. In the shorter format teams must comply with fielding restrictions and the number of overs each player can bowl.

Leading Team After First Innings 

The team to score most runs in the first innings of matches is a two-way market even though in theory these scores could be the same. If both sides accumulate the same number of runs when they bat first bets are voided and customers are refunded their stakes. Key factors in the outcome are the expected weather conditions early in a fixture and the condition of the pitch.

Extras Conceded 

This market is more suited to spread betting as customers can bet on the number of extras being above or below the spread. However, poor research can result in heavy losses particularly in a Cricket World Cup when the outcome can be a long way from the original quote. Due to the volatile nature of this market stop losses can be applied which limits liabilities. Spread firms will only let customers place bets when they have betting funds to cover the worst case scenario. 

Player Markets 

Customers like to bet on the performance of individuals during a match, particularly high profile players who could be all-rounders that contribute to the team’s batting and bowling. It is possible to bet on a player to score 50 or 100 runs in an innings or take five wickets in one innings or 10 wickets over the course of a match. Some bookmakers quote odds on which player is declared the man of the match or the man of the series. 

Price Factors 

Players are selected for a specific match based on their current form and the form of other players who could be chosen for their specialist skill. Injuries also influence selection but generally form from domestic cricket in the main factor. Some players are given a place because they have an exceptionally good average in Test matches but might not be performing in domestic cricket. 

The nature of the pitch is another consideration when compiling odds for the match winner. For example, pitches in India are prepared with their bowlers in mind who are better at spin bowling than fast deliveries. However, tourists can make selections based on the likely state of the pitch and England have won series’ in India when they select two spinners and sacrifice fast bowlers. 

Some cricket bettors put great weight on the captain of a team. His role is many-faceted but during matches the focus is on setting fielding positions and deciding who bowls at certain stages of an innings. The English national team has a history of great players not having the personality to captain their side, most famously Sir Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff whose games were badly affected by the responsibilities of being captain. 

In-Play Betting 

Prices can fluctuate quickly and markedly in one day matches and less so in extended fixtures over a number of days. A wicket or four or six run boundary will lead to price changes and odds are moved from ball to ball. In-play cricket betting is popular due to the fluctuating match situations and the related betting. The shorter the format the greater number of short-term price adjustments. 

One proven strategy is to lay a big favourite in one day matches so the downside is minimal. If the favourites lose a wicket at the start of their innings when batting or the opponents hit a six during their bowling the price for them in the match market will get bigger. The adjustments will be marginal but the potential to win from this bet is possible in several stages of the game. Small but repeated wins can build the betting bank without the potential for significant losses. 

Other popular in-play betting markets include the number of runs scored in an over and whether the total is an odd or even number. It is possible to bet on whether an over is a maiden but these overs are rare and not betting value even though the odds seem generous. Despite a whole raft of exotic bets the match winner market still generates the most turnover.

Player and Team Statistics 

Statistics are an integral part of the sport of cricket. The internet provides a vast array of records such as at Cricinfo but before then publications such as Wisden included a comprehensive statistical analysis of players and teams. The measure of a players ability is reflected in the number of runs scored or wickets taken. No batsman in the history of the game has ended a career with a Test average of 100 or more. 

A small number of players are good at batting and bowling and these are known as all-rounders. A great player may have above average records for wickets and runs. Matches shown live on television will include in the coverage averages updated after each ball and the loss of a wicket. Batting averages are calculated by dividing the number of runs by the number of innings in which a player was dismissed. 

Historical team totals are important statistics when betting on a first innings lead and the number of runs scored in the first innings. Bettors have access to detailed records online that can be analysed by ground, opposition and match format and these figures are available for home and away fixtures. 

Cricket Terminology

All Out – A team is all out when ten of the eleven batsmen are dismissed in an innings.

All Rounder – A player accomplished at both batting and bowling.

Batsman – A player who uses a bat to hit or guide the ball bowled to them by the opposing team. A batsman's ultimate aim is to score as many runs as possible within an innings/match.

Batting Average – A players batting average is the total number of runs scored by the player divided by the number of innings the player had participated in.

Bouncer – A term given to a player bowling a short, fast paced ball into the crease for the purpose of the ball reaching chest hight of the batsman. A bouncer is bowled to make it difficult for the batsman to score runs.

Boundary – A boundary is scored when the ball clears the rope that dictates the field of play. If the ball clears the rope along the floor, the batting team is rewarded with four runs. If the ball clears the rope in the air without touching the ground, the batting team earns six runs.

Bye – A bye is the name given to a run achieved by generally anything other than the bat.

Caught Behind – A ball struck by a batsman that is caught by the wicket-keeper is classed as 'Caught Behind'. The batsman is subsequently given out, and will leave the field of player for the remainder of the innings, and is unable to score further runs.

Century – A century is scored when a player achieves an individual score of at least 100 runs with the bat.

Clean Bowled – A batsman is clean bowled when he/she is beaten by the bowlers ball and subsequently goes on to hit and knock over the stumps.

Duck – The term 'scoring a duck' refers to a player who scores zero runs with the bat.

Economy Rate – A bowlers economy rate is the number of runs conceded per over they bowl.

Golden Duck – Slightly more embarrassing than 'scoring a duck' is a golden duck. This occurs when a player is dismissed with the very first ball they face without scoring any runs.

Run Rate – The run rate of a team is the average number of runs they score per over.

Test Cricket – A form of cricket where a match is played over 5 consecutive days with an unlimited number of overs.

Twenty20 – Also known as T20, this is a form of the sport played with a limitation of only 20 overs per team.

LBW - Also known as 'Leg Before Wicket'. This term is used to describe the method of dismissal whereby, the ball (Once delivered by the bowler) appears to be going on to hit the stumps if not blocked by the batsman’s leg first.

One Day Cricket – A form of cricket where a match is played in just one day. This form of the game is limited to 50 overs per side.

Over – An over is a set number of six balls bowled by a bowler.

Cricket's Major Tournaments

The NFL has the Super Bowl and Golf has the Masters, Cricket has the The ICC Cricket World Cup. The World Cup of Cricket dates back to 1975 and is the sports pinnacle tournament. In recent times, its appeal has elevated it to become the worlds fourth most viewed sporting event in over 200 countries. The tournament is played in the 50 overs per team format and is contested every four years.

The ICC Cricket World Cup In Numbers!

19 – The Number of teams to have competed in the World Cup since its conception.

4 – Australia are the most successful nation having triumphed on four occasions from ten appearances to date. (1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007)

2278 – The total number of runs scored by Sachin Tendulkar of India, the leading run scorer in World Cup history. The man regarded as the greatest batsman of all time also holds the record for the most runs scored in a single tournament, scoring 673 in 2003.

The man that dominates the bowling figures in World Cup history hails from down under, Australia’s Glenn McGrath. Considered as one of the best players the sport has ever seen, McGrath competed in his first World Cup in 1996 and is the currently the leading wicket taker, collecting 71 wickets along the way up until his final contest in 2007. The man nicknamed the 'pigeon' also holds the records of the most wickets in a single tournament (26 back in 2006) along with the leading lowest average and best bowling figures.

The grandest cricket tournament outside of the previously mentioned Word Cup is the ICC Champions Trophy. Contested every two years since its foundation in 1998, the Champions Trophy showcases the one day international form of the game. The who's who of cricketing elite have lifted the 46cm high trophy since 98, including the first winners of the tournament South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The ICC Champions Trophy in Numbers!

665 – India's Sourav Ganguly is the current leading run scorer, totalling an impressive figure from only 13 matches.

22 – The leading wicket taker in the tournaments short history is Kyle Mills of New Zealand. Thought of as one of the worlds best fast bowlers, Brett Lee of Australia also has accumulated 22 wickets, however the New Zealander has competed in four fewer matches.

252 – The highest run partnership was scored by cricketing icon Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson against England in 2009.

Not to be forgotten, the shorter version of the game also has its own World Cup Tournament. The ICC World Twenty20 was born in 2007 and has since become one of the most eagerly awaited and anticipated events. The tournament's format provides viewers with bursts of excitement, spills and thrills. Commonly known as the T20 World Cup, it is disputed over two weeks every two years.

The ICC World Cup in Numbers! 

4 – The number of tournaments to have taken place to date, and also the number of countries to have lifted the trophy since 2007. India, Pakistan, England and the West Indies have each been successful.

858 – Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka currently holds the most runs scored in the history of the frantic tournament.

317 – A team mate of Jayawardene's, Tillakaratne Dilshan also holds the recorded for the most runs scored in a single T20 World Cup tournament, from the 2009 adaptation.

Chris Gayle of the West Indies is one of the sports most charismatic characters, and his big hitting has not only earned him acclaim and fans from across the globe, it has also thrust him into the record books. Gayle currently holds the record for the most sixes in tournament history, scoring 27 in 11 matches, with 10 of those coming in a single innings in 2007. One of the greatest strikers of a cricket ball also holds the record for the most 50+ scores, claiming at least a half century in 6 of his 18 matches.