In my experience, one of the most complex aspects of cricket for newbies to understand is all of the different types of Cricket matches.

Different types of Cricket Matches.

Cricket is one of the most popular and easy to play games.

Different types of Cricket Matches.

One of the significant reasons why people love this game is because it’s so engaging and has different types of formats.

There is no denying it is the most cherished sport in the world. And its IPL format is highly famous.

At international level there are three different types of matches that are played, these are:

  1. Test Matches – lasting a maximum of 5 days
  2. One Day Internationals (ODI’s) – with 50 overs per side
  3. T20 Internationals (T20I’s) – with 20 overs per side

At domestic/franchise/club level, the main types of cricket matches that are played are the following:

  1. Four Day Games
  2. 50 Over Matches (per side)
  3. 40 Over Matches (per side)
  4. 30 Over Matches (per side)
  5. 20 Over Matches (per side)
  6. 10 Over Matches (per side)
  7. Hundred Ball Cricket (per side)
  8. Countdown Cricket – Played at junior level
  9. Kwik Cricket – Played at junior level

Some cricket matches are only played informally, such as in the street or in a back garden. Here are some of those:

  1. Gully Cricket
  2. Continuous Cricket
  3. Tape Ball Cricket

I’ll now take you through each of these forms of cricket individually so we can look at what makes them unique and what it takes to win them!

International Level

Test Matches

Test matches are the most traditional form of cricket, with the first official one being played by England & Australia at the MCG in 1877. Also They are played in traditional white cricket clothing (click here if you want to know the reason why) and with a red cricket ball.

Different types of Cricket Matches.

A test match can last a maximum of 5 days, each being 90 overs in length. However, this has changed at various points in history. For example, at certain times in the history of cricket test matches were ‘timeless’ – meaning that the players would continue playing until a winner was determined, no matter how many days that took!

Both teams taking part in the game are allowed to bat twice, and there is no real limit on how long a batting innings can be.

The winning team will need to dismiss the opposing team twice by taking 20 wickets in the match (10 in each innings), and they will also need to ensure that they’ve scored more runs than the opposition.

One Day Internationals (ODI’s)

One day international matches were the second format to become widely accepted at international level, with the first one being played between England & Australia in 1971.

This game was originally intended to be a test match, but seeing as the first 3 days of the game were washed out by bad weather, the decision was taken to turn the game into a one day game instead!

Different types of Cricket Matches.

The first ODI world cup was played in 1975, but it was Kerry Packer’s ‘World Series Cricket’ that really popularised the format in the late 1970’s and set one day internationals on the path they have followed to the present day.

These matches are played in coloured clothing like you can see in the photo above. They’re also played with a white cricket ball instead of the traditional red one.

The white ball is used because it is a lot more visible against the background of the coloured clothing!

T20 Internationals (T20I’s)

T20 internationals are the most recent addition to international cricket, with the first women’s match being played in 2004 and the first men’s match being played in early 2005.

The format has increased in popularity ever since, with regular T20 world cups being played every few years.

Different types of Cricket Matches.

These matches are also played in coloured kits, as well as with a white cricket ball.

T20 internationals are played over the course of a single day and allow each team to bat once, just like one day internationals. The key difference is that the length of a batting innings in T20 internationals is just 20 overs, or 120 balls.

Once both teams have batted, the winning team will be the one which scored the most runs.

Domestic/Franchise/Club LevelFour Day Games

Four day matches are one of the most popular types of cricket played at county/state level. In England, these types of games are played by county teams like Yorkshire or Lancashire.

In Australia, they’re played by state teams like Queensland or New South Wales, and in countries like India they’re played by teams like Mumbai or Gujarat.

These matches are played in very similar ways to test matches, except they last for a maximum of 4 days rather than 5!

As you may have guessed, both teams taking part in the game are allowed to bat twice, with no limit on the amount of time an innings can last.

To win the game, a team must bowl the opposition out twice whilst ensuring that their own team has scored the most runs in the match!

50 Over Matches (Per Side)

Many cricket clubs, whether they be professional or amateur, will be taking part in a competition where games are played in one day and each team is given a maximum of 50 overs to bat.

These are generally referred to as 50 over matches! At a professional level, English county sides currently take part in the Royal London One Day Cup, in which all of the games are 50 overs per side.

Different types of Cricket Matches.

Australian state sides have the One Day Cup, which features matches of the same length! 

These types of games are played in exactly the same way as One Day Internationals. One team will bat first and try to score as many as they can off their allocation of 50 overs.

Then, the other team will bat and try to beat the score posted by the team who batted first. If they are bowled out before scoring that total, or if the 50 overs elapse before that happens, the team that batted first will win the game.

40 Over Matches (Per Side)

40 over matches are much more common in club cricket than in professional cricket, but various countries have had 40 over competitions as part of their domestic schedule in the last couple of decades.

In the UK, I remember the Pro40 and the YB40 competitions being televised around 10 years ago.

Those competitions didn’t last long – but they did offer opportunities for a lot of young players that were hoping to break into their county first teams!

As you may have guessed, 40 over matches are played over the course of one day, and they’re won in exactly the same way that ODI’s and 50 over matches are won.

The team batting first will try to score as many runs as possible in 40 overs, then the team batting second will try to chase down that score. If they succeed, they win. If they don’t get there, they will lose.

30 Over Matches (Per Side)

It’s rare that you see 30 over matches being played at professional level, but they are very common at amateur level due to the fact that they don’t take too much time to complete.

These games can usually be wrapped up in just over 4 hours, so if you’re playing in one on a weekend you should be done by mid-afternoon!

Different types of Cricket Matches.

30 over matches have one innings per team, and once again the winning team will be the one that has scored the most runs at the end of their innings.

For example, if team A scores 200 runs from their 30 overs, and team B ends on 195 once their 30 overs have elapsed, team A will win the game.

20 Over Matches (Per Side)

20 over matches (also known as T20’s) are one of the most common and exciting forms of cricket to watch and take part in. As a result, you’ll find cricket clubs (both amateur and professional) all over the world playing these types of games regularly!

In domestic/franchise cricket, tournaments such as the Vitality Blast in the UK, the IPL in India, the PSL in Pakistan and the BBL in Australia all feature 20 over matches, and these are some of the most popular cricket leagues in the world – drawing in massive numbers of viewers from all corners of the globe.

10 Over Matches (Per Side)

10 over matches are one of the newest formats of cricket to emerge on the world stage, with various T10 leagues emerging in countries like Abu Dhabi.

These games are incredibly attacking due to the limited number of balls, and therefore batters will be even more aggressive than they usually are in 20 over cricket! These leagues attract a lot of top quality cricketers, with players like Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo and Wahab Riaz representing T10 sides in recent seasons.

Although I’ve not personally come across this format of cricket being played at club level in the UK – I’m sure it will be played somewhere!

If you’ve been paying attention to this post so far, I’m sure you’ll have noticed there’s a pattern emerging with how these types of games are won! 10 over matches are no different.

Also these games each team has the opportunity to bat for a maximum of 10 overs (60 balls), and the winning side will be the one that scored the most runs once their innings is complete! These games only last about 90 minutes in total, so don’t spend too long in the queue for the bar or making a coffee in the kitchen or you might miss them!

Hundred Ball Cricket (Per Side)

100 ball cricket is the newest type of cricket match that has been popularised, largely thanks to the brand new tournament in the UK which is aptly named – The Hundred.

Also this tournament is played during the UK summer and controversially doesn’t feature any of the UK county teams such as Yorkshire, Surrey or Essex. Instead, it is played by city-based franchise teams like the Manchester Originals and the London Spirit in the best stadiums in the country.

Different types of Cricket Matches.

Another controversial thing about 100 ball cricket is that it adjusts the very structure of the sport. Every other cricket match that I’ve covered here is based on the use of ‘overs’ – an over being 6 consecutive balls bowled by the same bowler.

However, 100 ball cricket changes that and doesn’t use ‘overs’ at all. Instead, it allows bowlers to choose to bowl ‘sets’ of 5 or 10 balls at a time.

The maximum number of balls that can be bowled by one bowler in an innings is 20. So, they could choose to bowl this in 4 sets of 5 deliveries, or 2 sets of 10, or anything in between that.

As you may have guessed, a game of 100 ball cricket allows each team to bat for a maximum of 100 balls.

The winning team will be the one that scores the most runs from their 100 balls! These games are usually completed within about 2 hours, which is seen as being key for drawing in more casual cricket fans and newcomers to the sport.

Countdown Cricket – Played at Junior Level

Countdown cricket is a simple version of cricket that is most often played by kids. In this version of the game, the number of balls that are left in the innings are ‘counted down’ rather than the other way like in normal cricket.

So, for example, if a game of countdown cricket has 60 balls for each batting team to face, the number of balls will start at 60 and be counted backwards until there are zero balls remaining.

Also this helps children keep track of the game! The team that scores the most runs at the end of their batting innings will win the game.

Other than the slight rule change about ‘counting down’ the number of balls, countdown cricket is played in a similar way to many other forms of cricket. A bowler will deliver an over of 6 balls while two batters aim to score as many runs as possible.

Some countdown cricket matches may impose their own rules, such as batters having to retire if they reach 20 runs, so there can be variation with regards to what these games actually look like depending on where they’re being played.

Kwik Cricket – Played at Junior Level

Kwik cricket is another format of the game that is primarily played by young cricketers, with the aim being to provide enjoyment, opportunity and fair play for all players.

Also in this game, each team has a team of 8 players. There are two sets of wickets, usually placed 15 yards apart for players under the age of 9, and 17 yards apart for players aged 9-11.

Different types of Cricket Matches.

The batting team must divide themselves into 4 pairs, and each pair is allowed to bat for a maximum of 2 overs (12 balls). Also a new pair will replace the previous pair at the end of the second, fourth and sixth overs.

Each team starts the match with a score of 200 runs, and the goal is to add as many runs to that total as possible within the 8 overs that you bat.

If a batter is given out, five runs are deducted from the total and the other batter from the pair must face the next delivery. For the bowling team, each of the 8 players must bowl an over, bowling overarm where possible.

Also the team with the highest score at the conclusion of their 8 overs will be the winner. If the game ends as a tie, the team that took more wickets would be the winner!


Thank you for reading! Hopefully you feel like this post has given you all of the information you need about the different types of cricket matches that exist.

Obviously, there may be some more niche forms of cricket that aren’t seen as much globally that I haven’t covered here, but I think I’ve gone through all of the ones that you’re very likely to encounter!

By Rishabh

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