How many players are in cricket? Position and Role

how many cricket players are there in a game

A typical cricket game is played between two teams, each of which has 11 players. There are 22 players in the game. These players are usually chosen by the management of the respective cricket team.

The eleven players typically have three primary roles: batting, bowling, and fielding. Other than the eleven players who play the match, four extra players are there as reserve or substitute players. Their primary responsibility is to be ready to replace an injured player during the game. However, substitution is limited to certain circumstances, which we will discuss later in this article.

How many players are there in Cricket?

Each cricket team has 11 players, plus 4 substitute players. The match may be played between sides of fewer or more than eleven players by agreement, but no more than eleven players may field at any time.

One of the eleven players serves as the team’s captain. When the captains of the two teams meet during the toss before the match begins, they exchange information on the players on each team. The eleven players typically have three roles: bowling, batting, and fielding.

Each team also has a twelfth man among the four reserve or substitute players. They may be included in the final lineup of players before the match. Their other duties include giving drinks and replacement equipment to the players on the field.

Now that you know how many players in cricket play from each side, it’s time to examine their roles and responsibilities.

Know who is regarded as the God of Cricket and the King of Cricket.

Cricket Players – Position, Role, & Responsibilities

Cricket has always been a team sport. Regardless of the game’s magnitude, every team member is responsible for their team’s success. There are seven roles in a cricket game:

  1. Batsman
  2. Bowler
  3. Wicket-Keeper
  4. Fielders
  5. Umpire
  6. Third Umpire
  7. Match referee

 Let’s discuss the position and responsibilities of players involved in a cricket match. 

Batsman

Players in Cricket - Batsman

There are two batsmen at each end of the pitch. The first batsman, also called a striker, is the one to whom a bowler bowls. His partner, the non-striker, waits behind the popping crease at the opposite end of the striker. When an over ends, bowling ends are switched; the batsman at the striking end becomes a non-striker and vice versa.

A batsman’s primary role is to score runs by hitting the ball away from the fielders of the opposite team. While the fielders try and return the ball to the pitch, the batsman runs from one end of the pitch to the other, scoring one run for running one length of the pitch.

Each player is put into three batting positions: top order, middle-order, and tail-enders. A top-order batsman can come at any of the first three positions to begin their innings. They are also called openers. Middle-order batsmen bat from positions six through eight. Tail-enders or finishers come at the end, from positions nine to eleven.

Bowler

A bowler swings the ball toward the striker of the opposing team. They are classified into two categories: fast bowlers and spinners. While fast bowlers deliver fastballs by taking a running start, spinners deliver slower balls that spin after bouncing.

Bowlers are in charge of taking wickets. Their duty is to prevent batsmen from scoring runs. Usually, a bowler bowls six valid balls consecutively, called an ‘over,’ before the next bowler takes his turn to bowl from the opposite end of the pitch. As a cricket rule, no bowler may bowl two overs in succession.

Wicket-keeper

The wicket-keeper is an important member of the fielding team. A wicket-keeper stands behind the batsman’s wickets – 10 to 20 yards behind for fast bowlers and directly behind for slower bowlers. A wicket-keeper’s responsibilities are stopping a ball that passes the wicket, taking catches, stumping and running out a batsman who leaves the crease, and receiving a ball returned to him by a fielder.

Fielders

Fielders - Player in cricket

Fielding is one of the crucial roles that all players participate in. Each team has nine fielders. One of the eleven serves as the bowler, while another serves as the fielder. A fielder’s primary goal is twofold: they have to limit the batsman’s runs and dismiss or retire a batsman by running them out. A batsman is said to be run out when a fielder hits the wickets with the ball while the batsman is still in the middle of a run. A fielder can also take a batsman’s wicket by catching the ball hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

Umpire

Before the start of a cricket match, two umpires are selected. One stands at the bowler’s end and the other at the end of the striker batsman’s crease, facing their back. Both umpires officiate the match as per the game’s rules with absolute impartiality. A third umpire at the video monitors is called to decide when both umpires cannot take a call.

Umpires must be on the field and report to the ground’s executive at least 45 minutes before the start of the match. The umpires have two primary responsibilities, such as:

  • Pre-match roles
  • On-field decisions

Pre-match role of Umpire

Umpires determine the hours of play before the coin toss. They decide the balls for the match, break time, and duration in consultation with the team captains. Umpires also inspect the wicket, crease markings, and boundary lines to ensure all three are in accordance with the rules. They also check if the players’ equipment, such as batting helmets and wicket-keeping gloves, meet the standards.

On-field role of the Umpire

The umpire at the bowler’s end makes wicket decisions when the fielding team appeals. They also signal boundaries, sixes, wides, no balls, byes, and leg byes. The umpire in the square leg is in charge of making decisions on stumpings and run-outs. They may signal the umpire at the bowler’s end if the ball goes above the batsman’s shoulder or head. On getting the confirmation, the bowler’s end umpire signals a ‘wide ball.’

Third umpire

The third umpire takes the final call when the on-field umpires are unsure about taking a decision. The third umpire checks the video replay of the match to decide on run-outs, catches, stumpings, and whether a fielder managed to stop the ball before it went over the boundary.

Match referee

The match referee is in charge of handling disciplinary issues. Their responsibilities include conducting toss, ensuring the ICC’s Code of Conduct is followed during the match, and sending match reports to the ICC (International Cricket Council).

Players in Cricket team – No. of Substitute players

Usually, before the toss, each captain has to submit a list of 11 players plus a maximum of four substitute fielders in writing to the ICC match referee.

However, the ICC tightened the rules on substitutions in 2008, stating that “substitute fielders shall only be permitted in cases of injury, illness, or other wholly acceptable reasons, and should not include what is commonly referred to as a ‘comfort break’.

Additionally, a new type of substitution, known as the Concussion Substitute, was introduced in 2019. According to this rule, “if a player suffers a concussion during a Test Match and becomes unfit to play the match further, then a ‘like-for-like’ substitute may be allowed to play in that match.”

Rules and procedures for substituting players

Umpires may allow a substitute fielder if a fielder gets injured, becomes ill during the match, or for any other acceptable reason during a match. A substitute is not permitted for every circumstance.

A substitute cannot captain or bowl but may do wicket keeping with the permission of the umpires. However, a substitute cannot be used if a player needs to leave the field to change their equipment. If a player does this, they cannot return to the field without the umpire’s permission, or the umpire may penalize the fielding team by five runs.

Furthermore, if the substitute fielder makes a catch, it is recorded as ‘caught sub’ in the scorebook.

Players in Cricket team –  Can the Role of a Cricket player change?  

Here are the rules regarding changing roles on a field during the game for cricketers:

Umpire

Except in unusual circumstances, an umpire shall not be replaced during a match unless injured or ill. Additionally, suppose an umpire has to be replaced. In that case, the new umpire shall act only as the second umpire (square-leg end umpire) unless the captains agree that the replaced umpire should be given full authority as the first umpire (bowler’s end umpire).

Batsman

A batsman on strike and a batsman at the non-striker end can only be changed/replaced/substituted if they are injured or become ill during the match. The team’s captain has the authority to change the batting order at any time during the game.

Bowler

Like the batsman, a bowler can only be replaced if injured or if they fall ill during the match. However, the bowling side’s captain can declare or change his bowler during the middle of an over if the bowler is unfit to bowl a complete over due to injuries or other health concerns. The captain can then introduce a new bowler to complete the over.

Fielder

All eleven players on the bowling side are considered fielders. At any point during the game, a fielder can only be replaced with the consent of the on-field umpires. The umpires can and should allow a fielder replacement if they are satisfied that a fielder is injured or ill during the match or for any other acceptable reason.

Players in Cricket Team – Role of the Captain

In cricket, as in other sports, a captain plays an important role. A team’s captain makes all decisions on the field and is part of the team’s formal leadership off the field. Captains are generally chosen by their experience and level of performance.

Role of cricket team captain

The captain of a cricket team is in charge of team strategies and tactical decision, which includes the following:

  • Calling the coin toss and deciding which side will bat first if they win the toss.
  • Choosing the batting order and making necessary changes during the game.
  • Providing tactical advice to batsmen whenever possible.
  • Selecting bowlers for each over and giving tactical advice on bowling strategy.
  • Instructing fielders on their positions on the field.
  • Declaring the game.
  • Captains also have specific roles that they play, which include:
  • Acting as a liaison between the coaching staff and the team
  • Attending events, meetings, and press conferences to represent the team
  • Conducting oneself professionally before, during, and after the game toward teammates, opponents, and officials
  • Motivating and inspiring the players
  • Setting an example by leading from the front.
  • Assisting the coach during the team’s planning stages

Cricket can be a challenging game to understand for those unfamiliar with it. However, understanding a cricket team can be the starting point.  We hope that now you know how many players are in a cricket team and their roles.

How many players in cricket – FAQs

How many players are there on a cricket team?

A cricket match is played between two teams of eleven players each. A match may be played between sides of fewer or more than eleven players by agreement, but no more than eleven players may field at any time.

In cricket, how many players can be substituted?

Under certain circumstances, each team is permitted to replace/substitute one of its eleven players at any time during the game.

Who is the cricket king?

Virat Kohli is the King of cricket. Know why is he regarded as the king of cricket.

How many wickets are there in cricket?

Cricket is played with two wickets 22 yards apart at the ends of a rectangular pitch. Each wicket has three stumps, which are 9 inches wide and 28 inches above the ground, with two bails resting on top of the stumps.

How many players do batting in Cricket?

If the innings are completed, all eleven players are required to bat.