Us absolutely adore our cricket, but we are certainly not the only ones who do. The English love their cricket as well, which is not that surprising when you take into account that it was the British who gave the world this beautiful sport. In this article, we are going to have a look at cricket in the UK, the kind of bets that you can place, where the best places are to watch games, and the best cricket betting sites for British cricket fans. So, please keep reading if you would like to improve your cricketing knowledge.
Cricket is England's National Pastime
Cricket, it is fair to say, is England’s national pastime. You only have to take a stroll through the parks on a hot summer’s day (yes, they do exist in England), and you will see plenty of people having a fun game of cricket with their loved ones. Cricket in the UK is not as popular a sport as football is, there is no need to debate this, and this is the reason why many feel that football is Britain’s national sport.
However, those who believe this will be surprised to find out that they are wrong. A sport’s popularity is not the main factor to determine whether it is a country’s national sport or not - the national sport is part of the country’s culture and history. Now, it is true that football is part of England’s history too as they also gave the world that great sport, but cricket in the UK goes back hundreds of years more, which is why it has been deemed the country’s national sport.
England Cricket History
So, now that we have established that cricket in the UK is the national sport and pastime, we are now going to give you a brief account of English cricket history. We are not going to provide you with all the details here because English cricket has a long history, and we do not want to keep you here all day.
A team that can lay claim to being the first English cricket side popped up in 1739 when eleven men from across the country played a cricket match against eleven men from the county of Kent. The English cricket) team, as we are calling them, lost the game by a tiny margin, but it was a very successful match that it was decided it would be played each year. In 1846, William Clarke made an All-England XI and they often played matches against the United All-England XI. These matches happened regularly for almost ten years.
English cricket went on its very first overseas tour in 1859 when they took a tour of North America. The team that went was made up of six players from the All-England XI and six from the United All-England XI. However, the Civil War broke out, so not an awful lot of attention was given to this tour.
An English cricket team took a tour of Australia in 1861-62, and it was such a successful one that they decided to make the long trip back Down Under again the following year. In 1882, Australia made their way to England to play a series and they won it 1-0. This win shocked the people of England, and the media went as far as to say that English cricket is now dead and that its body is being taken back to Australia to be cremated. Later that same year, England went on another tour of Australia, and this tour was seen by the media and fans of English cricket as England’s attempt to regain the ashes. England won the series 2-1, and The Ashes as we know them today were born. The Ashes have been a fantastic source of entertainment for cricket fans ever since and England and Australia now have one of the biggest sporting rivalries in the world.
Since 1960, the English cricket team has gone through periods of being poor, average, and amazing. At this current moment in time, they have a pretty good Test team and their ODI side just so happens to be one of the best that the world has ever seen. When they play to their full potential, there is not a side on this planet that can cope with them. They are reigning World Champions and anyone who watched the 2019 final at Lord’s will probably agree with us when we say it was one of the most dramatic finals that the sport has ever seen.
Who Are England's Best Players?
The England cricket side has seen plenty of amazing talent down the years, and we are now going to have a look at some of the best players that are currently playing for England.
Many cricket fans will tell you that his stats are not as good as a player of his quality should have, and he would probably be one of the first people to agree. However, there can be no doubt that when he is in the zone and is playing to his full potential, you will not come across many other cricketers who can match him.
When he is on fire, he is pure Box Office. England supporters and any other cricket fan that was watching that day will remember that amazing 258 that he hit from just 167 balls in a Test against South Africa in 2016. Also, who can forget that 135* that he smashed in the 2019 Ashes to win England the match from such a precarious position? Last, but by no means least, if it were not Stokes, England probably would have lost the World Cup final.
Let us now take a closer look at his stats. He has participated in 67 Tests and has scored 4,428 runs (10 centuries) at an average of 37.84. When it comes to his Test bowling figures, he has picked up 158 wickets at an average of 31.40. He has played in 95 ODI games and has scored 2,682 (3 centuries) at an average of 40.63. In these matches, he has collected 70 wickets at 41.71. When it comes to T20I matches, he has 26 caps and has scored 305 runs with a 17.94 average. He has 14 wickets with an average of 40.78.
So, like we said, his stats are not that impressive but when he finally retires from the sport, he will be remembered for the innings that we mentioned above and not what his stats were.
Anderson is undoubtedly the best fast bowler to have played for England. He has 156 Test caps for England and he has picked up a whopping 600 wickets with an average of just 26.79. This includes three ten-wicket hauls and 29 five-wicket hauls. He no longer players for the ODI side as he is trying to preserve his body for the Test Arena, but he did manage to earn 194 ODI caps, and during these matches he collected 269 wickets with a 29.22 average. He also has 19 T20I caps, and in these games, he picked up 18 wickets with a 30.66 average. We reckon he still has a year or two left in his body, so he can certainly add to his amazing Test wicket haul.
Many feel that Buttler is one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen in the world, particularly when it comes to the one-day format of the sport. He is one of the main reasons why England have a really good ODI team - when he is performing at the top of his game, every spectator in the stadium should put a hard hat on as it will soon start raining sixes. The majority of cricket fans, no matter their nationality, enjoy watching him play because he is just so explosive and has a wide array of shots in his locker. He can turn a match on its head in a matter of overs.
So, let us take a closer look at his stats. To date, he has earned 48 Test caps for England and he has hit 2,573 runs (2 centuries) with an average of 33.85. He has played 145 ODI matches for England, and in these games he has accumulated 3,855 runs (9 centuries) with a 39.74 average. When it comes to T20I cricket, he has 70 caps for his country and has scored 1,455 runs and has an average of 28.52.
Root is England’s Test team captain and was also part of the ODI squad that won the World Cup in 2019. In 2018, he was named by the England and Wales Cricket Board as one of England’s best test cricketers. There are many fans and pundits that feel that Root will finish his career as England’s highest run scorer, overtaking Alastair Cook, England’s greatest ever Test opener.
He currently has 98 test caps to his name, and in these matches he has scored 8,052 runs (18 centuries) with an average of 48.80. When it comes to ODI cricket, he has accumulated 5,962 runs (16 centuries) a 50.10 average from 149 matches. He has participated in 32 T20I games and has scored 893 runs with a 35.72 average. He is just 30 years old, so if his body holds up there is no reason why he cannot play cricket for the next 5-7 years and overtake Cook’s record.
Where to See Cricket - The Best Venues in England
There are some majestic cricket venues all over the world and there are quite a few of them in England. If you are ever visiting England and there happens to be a cricket match scheduled at one of these venues while you are there, we really do suggest that you do everything possible to get a ticket to go and watch it.
Lord’s is the home of cricket and it is the one venue in the world that every cricketer wants to play a match at. There is an honours board for bowlers who pick up five or ten wickets in an innings as well as one for batsmen who hit a century, and you will not find a cricketer out there who does not want to get his name on the board.
Many stadiums nowadays have been completely modernised, but Lord’s is still about the past. When players are going out to play they have to walk down the Long room that is full of history and the pavilion just so happens to be one of the world’s best. Many might call this stadium a pretentious place because there are many do’s and don’ts, but there is one thing that nobody can deny, and this is that Lord’s is a wonderful place to watch a game of cricket.
When people start to think of brilliant cricketing venues across the globe, they probably would not even think of Edgbaston for a split second but, in our view, it is definitely one of the best. Over the last few years it has gone through plenty of development and this is something that has done wonders for it.
They have increased the capacity to make it the country’s second biggest cricket stadium, but this upgrade in capacity has not left it looking like an ugly concrete bowl. The England team really love to play matches here because this is where the best spectators in the country are - there is always an electric atmosphere at Edgbaston when England are playing, especially in the Hollies Stand. This was the venue for that amazing Ashes match back in 2005 that England won by 2 runs.
Okay, we know that this is not the most beautiful stadium in the world to watch a game of cricket, but what it is missing in beauty, it more than makes up for in atmosphere. Many opposing fans and teams are completely stunned by the atmosphere they encounter at Headingley. The atmosphere is football-like and the chants and cheers can probably be heard from miles away. If you find yourself going to a game at Headingley and you would like to be part of the banter, you will need to grab a ticket for the Western Terrace.
Cricket is a game that is full of etiquette and basic traditions. For instance, values such as fair play, honesty, respect, and self-discipline are all highly cherished (and expected). We are now going to have a closer look at some of the basic etiquette and traditions that you will find on the cricket field.
Respect the umpires at all times: Umpires are humans too and can also make mistakes. If a player feels that they have been given out when they should not bet, they just have to grin and bear it and walk back to the Pavilion. Likewise, if a bowler thinks he has got a batsman out, but the umpire disagrees, the bowler has to accept it and go back to his mark to bowl the next delivery. They have to realise that this is a game that swings and roundabouts and there will come a time where they are given a reprieve, or they get a wicket that they should not get. Anyone who does not accept the umpire’s decision will find a lump of their match fee missing at the end of the game. We need to remember that it would not be possible to play a competitive game with no umpires, so always give them the respect they deserve.
Always try to be honest: Cricket is a gentleman’s sport and honesty is always appreciated. For example, players who walk back to the pavilion before waiting for the umpire’s decision because they know they are out are highly respected. Who can forget the commotion that happened in the 2013 Ashes when Stuart Broad nicked the ball to Michael Clarke at slip and stood his ground? This was a howler of a decision from the umpire, but because Australia had wasted their two reviews, they could do nothing about it. Broad added 28 more runs to his tally, and England went on to win by 14. He was criticised heavily after, but we highly doubt he cared. Also, something else that is frowned upon is claiming a catch you know has hit the ground before you caught it.
The coin toss: This is a well-known cricket tradition. Before the match starts, the two captains go out in the middle and toss a coin with the match referee to see who will bat and bowl first. There are plenty who feel that this tradition should be binned because it can have a big impact on the winner of the match, but it has been this way for centuries and we feel that it would be a crying shame if it was changed.
A tea break: In Test cricket, each of the five days is divided into three separate session with a lunch and tea break in between. Yeah, only the British would come up with a sport where you get a twenty-minute tea break. Those who are not really big cricket fans find this really weird, but we think it is great and it helps keep cricket unique.
The Biggest Tournaments in World Cricket
We shall now take the time to look at huge cricket events that occur each year. You should keep a note of these events so that you know when they are happening as you would not want to miss any of the action, that is for sure.
Cricket World Cup: This event takes place every four years, with the last one being played in England and Wales in 2019. Millions of fans from all across the world tune into watch this, and when you consider the drama and excitement of the final between England and New Zealand, it is not difficult to see why. After both teams had batted, the game was tied which meant the match went to a Super Over. At the end of the Super Over, the match was still tied, and England were crowned world champions since they hit more boundaries. The next Cricket World Cup will take place in India in 2023, and we are definitely looking forward to it.
Twenty20 World Cup: This very popular tournament began in 2007, but it is a lot more sporadic than its one-day counterpart. This can be seen from the fact that the last one was held in 2016, and the next one is due to take place at the end of 2021 in India. Then there will be another edition in Australia in 2022. So, as you can see, we have plenty of great cricket to look forward to.
World Test Championship: The cricketing powers had this competition in the pipeline for almost ten years and the first matches of this new tournament were The Ashes matches in 2019. In this tournament, the 9 Test-playing teams will play six series. Teams can earn a maximum of 120 points for a series win and the two teams that finish at the top of the table when everyone has played 6 teams each will meet in the final to see who will be Champions.
Indian Premier League: This is the most popular T20 competition in the world and it attracts the best players from all over the world because the wages for participating are very lucrative. You will usually find quite a few English players at this tournament such as Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, and Luke Wright. The winners get to take home a jackpot of a few million dollars. Whenever an IPL match is being played, most of India comes to a standstill to watch the action. This tournament is held in March, April, and May.
Twenty20 Big Bash: This is a popular T20 Competition that takes place in Australia every year in the months of December, January, and February. It is similar in structure to the IPL, with the main difference being that the prize money is not as lucrative. This is another tournament where you will find plenty of English cricketers playing.
Vitality Blast: This T20 event is a popular competition in England and takes place in the months of July, August, and September. The 18 different counties are put into a north and south league and the four teams that finish in the top four will qualify for finals day. The money on offer is a far cry away from that on offer at the IPL or Big Bash, but it is still a fun tournament to watch.
England Fixtures in 2021
The England cricket team has quite a busy year ahead of them and below we are going to give you a quick look at the fixtures that they have coming up this calendar year.
Tour of India: At the beginning of February, England will head to India to play 4 Test matches, 5 T20I matches, and 3 ODI matches. They will finish their tour of India at the end of March.
Sri Lanka at home: At the end of June, they will start a 3-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. The first match will be played on the 29th of June, while the final game will be played on the 4th of July.
Pakistan at home: Four days after the third ODI against Sri Lanka, England will start a 3-match ODI series against Pakistan. They will also go ahead and play three T20I matches, with Pakistan’s tour of England coming to an end on the 20th of July.
India at home: England will welcome India for a 5-match Test series at the beginning of August. The first match will start on the 4th of August, while the fifty match will be played on September 10th.
Pakistan at home: England will finish off the year with two T20I matches against Pakistan in October.
Best UK Cricket Betting Sites
The people of England, just like us Indians, really enjoy watching cricket. Also, just like us, they really love to place bets on this sport too. When it comes down to UK cricket betting, it is not an exaggeration to say that UK cricket betting fans have a lot of cricket betting sites UK that they can decide to register with so they can start betting on cricket markets.
When it comes to registering with a bookmaker, it can be really tricky to locate the best cricket betting sites because there are just too many to pick from. Luckily, there are many online comparison sites out there that can provide you with all the information you need to find excellent cricket betting sites UK. These sites come with their own sports betting experts that spend their time analysing all the best bookmakers so that they can give their readers the information they require.
When you are searching for the best cricket betting sites, there are plenty of things that you need to have a closer look at. For instance, you need to ensure that the site has all the new innovations in cricket betting like live betting and matched betting, mobile betting, their own mobile app, as well as fast payment. To add to this, you have to be sure that the sportsbook has many different cricket markets that you can place bets on as well as competitive cricket odds. Then you need to make sure that they have very good customer service and high levels of security.
So, what are the best cricket betting sites for cricket fans in England? Well, in our humble view, you will not be disappointed if you open an account with paddypower.com. This quality sportsbook has all the cricket markets you could possibly need, and they will always provide you with great cricket odds. Additionally, they have a great mobile gambling scene thanks to the great app that they have developed. When it comes to payments, the payouts, you will be glad to hear, are fast.
However, paddy Power is not the only quality sportsbook that English cricket betting fans can register with. Other great bookmakers, in our view, include the likes of:
- Coral Hill
- William Hill
The Kinds of Bets You Can Make on Cricket
If you have just jumped into the cricket betting world, then you have probably come to realise just how many different options you have when it comes to betting on this sport. This is not too surprising considering the fact that it is a complex sport that has a lot of factors that can play a part in the outcome of a match. Below we shall have a look at the popular cricket bets that cricket bettors make.
Match bet: This is the easiest kind of bet you can make on a cricket match as all you are trying to do is predict the team that will win the match you want to bet on. In sports such as football, you can place a bet on the game ending in a draw, but you will not usually find the draw market for ODI and T20I games since they rarely happen. However, when it comes down to Test cricket, there is the draw option as they are a lot more frequent in Tests.
Toss winner As we mentioned above, a coin toss is used in cricket to determine the side that will bowl first and the side that will bat first. You can put a bet on which captain you think will get the coin toss correct. Since this is a 50⁄50 bet, the odds are not going to be that impressive, but it is still a fun type of bet to place.
Match score: When you place this kind of bet, you have to try and predict how many runs a particular team will score in the match. You do not need to be spot on with your guess as the bookmaker will provide you with a number, such as 249.5, and you then have to decide whether the team will score 250 or more or 249 or fewer.
Top batsman: You do not need to be some type of genius to figure out that with this bet you just have to try to predict the batsman that will hit the most runs in a match. Since this can be hard to get right, you will usually find pretty decent odds.
Top bowler: With this type of bet, instead of trying to guess the batsman that will score the most runs, you have to predict which bowler will get the most wickets. Like with the top batsman bet, the odds will always be reasonable as it is not easy to get right.
Mode of dismissal: In cricket, a batsman can be dismissed in the following ways - caught, hit wicket, leg before wicket, stumped, run out, bowled, and other. You can often bet on how you think the next batsman will be dismissed. Since there are a number of ways that a batsman can find himself walking back to the pavilion, the odds are usually pretty good.
Runs off next ball: You can also place a bet on how many runs you think a team will score off the next legal delivery.
Man of the match: In a cricket match, like in any other team sport, you will have a Man of the Match, and you will be able to place money on who you think that will be. This is a tricky bet to get correct, but due to the difficulty levels, you will always find reasonable odds.
N.B. These are just a selection of the different cricket bets that you can make. When you are placing bets, no matter what sport it is or what market it is, it is vital that you have a budget, so you know when to stop. Always stick to the budget you set because if you fail to do this then could end up losing an awful lot of money.