Limited overs cricket

Limited overs cricket
The Melbourne Cricket Ground hosts an ODI match between Australia and India. The two players in yellow are the batsmen and those in blue are the fielding team.
A day match at Bellerive Oval

Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket and in a slightly different context as List A cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket in which a match is generally completed in one day, whereas Test and first-class matches can take up to five days to complete. The name reflects the rule that in the match each team bowls a set maximum number of overs, usually between 20 and 50, although shorter and longer forms of limited overs cricket have been played. Important one-day matches, international and domestic, often have two days set aside, the second day being a "reserve" day to allow more chance of the game being completed if a result is not possible on the first day (for instance if play is prevented or interrupted by rain).



Each team bats only once, and each innings is limited to a set number of overs, usually fifty in a One Day International and between forty and sixty in a List A. List A is a classification of the limited-overs (one-day) form of cricket, technically as the domestic level One-day cricket is popular with spectators as it can encourage aggressive, risky, entertaining batting, often results in cliffhanger endings, and ensures that a spectator can watch an entire match without committing to five days of continuous attendance. In modern one-day tactics, batsmen take few risks outside the first and last few overs, thus diminishing the claimed excitement.

Bowling restrictions

As mentioned above, in almost all competitive one-day games, a restriction is placed on the number of overs that may be bowled by any one bowler. This is to prevent a side playing two top-class bowlers with extremely good stamina who can bowl throughout their opponents' innings. The usual limitation is set so that a side must include at least five players who bowl. For example, the usual limit for twenty-over cricket is four overs per bowler, for forty-over cricket eight per bowler and for fifty-over cricket ten per bowler. There are exceptions: Pro Cricket in the United States restricts bowlers to five overs each, thus leaving a side requiring only four bowlers.


One-day cricket began between English county teams on 2 May 1962. Leicestershire beat Derbyshire and Northamptonshire beat Nottinghamshire over 65 overs in the "Midlands Knock-Out Cup", which Northamptonshire went on to win a week later. The following year, the first full-scale one-day competition between first-class teams was played, the knock-out Gillette Cup, won by Sussex. League one-day cricket also began in England, when the John Player Sunday League was started in 1969. Both these competitions have continued every season since inauguration, though the sponsorship has changed. The knock-out cup is now the Friends Provident Trophy. The league is not exclusive to Sundays, with the competition now over 40 overs. It is now called the Natwest Pro40.

The first Limited Overs International (LOI) or One-Day International (ODI) match was played in Melbourne in 1971, and the quadrennial cricket World Cup began in 1975. Many of the "packaging" innovations, such as coloured clothing, were as a result of World Series Cricket, a "rebel" series set up outside the cricketing establishment by Australian entrepreneur Kerry Packer. For more details, see History of cricket.

Twenty20, a curtailed form of one-day cricket with 20 overs per side, was first played in England in 2003. It has proven very popular, and several Twenty20 matches have been played between national teams. It makes several changes to the usual laws of cricket, including the addition of a "bowl-out" (similar to a penalty shoot-out in football) to decide the result of tied matches, which was subsequently dispensed in favour of a Super Over.

One Day Internationals

One Day International matches are usually played in brightly coloured clothing often in a "day-night" format where the first innings of the day occurs in the afternoon and the second occurs under stadium lights.

One Day International tournaments

Every four years, the Cricket World Cup involves all the Test-playing nations and other national sides who qualify through the ICC World Cup Qualifier. It usually consists of round-robin stages, followed by semi-finals and a final. The International Cricket Council (ICC) determines the venue far in advance.

The ICC Champions Trophy also involves all the Test-playing nations, and is held between World Cups. It usually consists of a round-robin group stage, semifinals, and a final.

Each Test-playing country often hosts triangular tournaments, between the host nation and two touring sides. There is usually a round-robin group stage, and then the leading two teams play each other in a final, or sometimes a best-of-three final. When there is only one touring side, there is still often a best-of-five or best-of-seven series of limited overs matches.

Domestic one-day competitions

Domestic one-day competitions exist in almost every country where cricket is played.

List A status

List A cricket is a classification of the limited-overs (one-day) form of the sport of cricket. Much as domestic first-class cricket is the level below international Test match cricket, so List A cricket is the domestic level of one-day cricket below One Day Internationals. Twenty20 matches do not qualify for the present.

Most cricketing nations have some form of domestic List A competition. The number of overs in List A cricket ranges from forty to sixty overs per side.

The Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians created this category for the purpose of providing an equivalent to first-class cricket, to allow the generation of career records and statistics for comparable one-day matches. Only the more important one-day competitions in each country, plus matches against a touring Test team, are included. The categorization of cricket matches as "List A" was not officially endorsed by the International Cricket Council until 2006, when the ICC announced that it and its member associations would be determining this classification in a manner similar to that done for first class matches.[1]

  • Matches that qualify as List A:
    • One Day Internationals (ODIs)
    • Other international matches
    • Premier one-day tournaments in each country
    • Official matches of a touring Test team against main first-class teams
  • Matches that do not qualify as List A:
    • World Cup warm-up matches
    • Other Tourist matches (for example, against first-class teams that are not part of the main domestic first-class competition, such as universities)
    • Festival and friendly matches


Queensland Bulls versus Victorian Bushrangers in a one-day match at the Brisbane Cricket Ground (The Gabba), Queensland, Australia

The Ryobi One Day Cup. The sides that compete are the following:

In 2006 Cricket Australia introduced the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash which is amongst the state teams (as above) and are divided into Pool A (Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria) and Pool B (Tasmania, Queensland and New South Wales) and a home and away format is played. Each team plays one home and one away game. The winner of each pool plays against each other to determine the champion.


The National One Day Cricket League is sponsored by Ispahani Mirzapore Tea. It currently runs from November to March, with each team playing the other home and away once in a round robin format. These six teams compete for the League title:

  • Barisal Division
  • Chittagong Division
  • Dhaka Division
  • Khulna Division
  • Rajshahi Division
  • Sylhet Division


  • The Friends Provident Trophy As of 2008, a new format has been introduced for the competition. The 18 first-class counties, plus Scotland and Ireland, are split into 4 groups of 5. Each team plays the other in the group home once and away once, with the top 2 counties in the group going into the quarter finals. Previously (2006-07) the competition had a first round consisting of 2 divisions of 10 teams - 9 counties plus Scotland in the North and 9 counties in the South plus Ireland. The top 2 of each division proceeded to the semi-finals. Prior to that, the tournament had existed as a straight knock-out competition since beginning in 1963. This format of the tournament was played in whites and included minor counties in the early stages. Friends Provident Trophy matches have List A status.
  • The Nat West Pro 40 - played annually in two divisions contained the 18 first class counties and a team representing Scotland. The first division had 9 teams and the second 10 teams. Each division was played as a double round-robin (home and away). The 3 bottom-ranked teams in the first division were relegated to the second, with the top 3 teams in the second replacing them. Games were played to ODI rules over 45 overs, with 4 points awarded for a win, 2 for a tie or no result, and 0 for a loss. Most games were played as day games, although there were a number of day-night matches. The league was replaced in 2006 by the Pro 40 League, with the major differences being the matches reverted to one innings of 40 overs per side, and each division consisted of nine teams (the Scottish Saltires no longer taking part). Pro 40 games have List A status.
  • The Twenty20 Cup - introduced in 2003 and played annually in three equal regional divisions. Each division is played as a single round-robin (so each team plays 5 matches before the knockout stage), with 2 points awarded for a win, 1 point for a tie or no result, and 0 points for a loss. Played over only 20 overs, but using normal ODI rules, with the only amendment being that players are 'timed out' if they are not ready to face a delivery within 90 seconds of the previous player being dismissed. In 2003, the top team in each division plus the best-rated runner-up qualified for the knockout stage (semi-final and final). In 2004, the top two teams in each division plus the two best-rated third-placed teams qualified for the knockout stage (quarter-final, semi-final and final). The 20 overs a side format has proved very popular with the public, with many games being sold out, which is highly unusual for any English county game that isn't a final.


  • Ranji Trophy onedays - The teams in the five zones play each other and the zonal winners play in a round-robin format.
  • NKP Salve Challenger Trophy - Three teams are involved - each team comprising a motley of players picked from across the country. The three teams are named India seniors, India A and India B or India Reds, India Greens and India Blues.

New Zealand

  • Men's: The State Shield (formerly the Shell Cup) - played annually between six teams based upon the first class associations: The Northern Knights, Auckland Aces, Central Stags, Wellington Firebirds, Canterbury Wizards and Otago Volts. Currently played as a double round-robin (home and away) with team 1 gaining direct entry to the final and teams 2 and 3 contesting a semi-final. Games played to ODI rules with many day-night matches. The winners in the 2008-09 season were the Northern Districts Knights.
  • Women's: The State League - played annually between six teams based upon the first-class associations: Northern Spirit, Auckland Hearts, Central Hinds, Wellington Blaze, Canterbury Magicians, Otago Sparks. The format is a double-round-robin with the winner determined by points. The winners in the 2003-04 season were the Canterbury Magicians.


The Pakistani domestic competition changes regularly, but for 2005-06 there are plans for three one-day tournaments for men:

  • NATIONAL BANK Cup: A two-week tournament in February and March between city teams, divided into the Gold League (with seven teams) and Silver League (with six teams). The teams play each other once, with the top two teams qualifying for the final in each individual League, so no team from the Gold League will meet a Silver League team.
  • Gold League teams:
  • Silver League teams:
  • NATIONAL BANK Patron's Cup: A two-week tournament running just before the NATIONAL BANK Cup, with one group of five teams and another group of six teams. The top two teams from each group proceed to the semi-final. The teams that compete are:
  • NATIONAL BANK Twenty20 Cup: A tournament running one week in mid-March. The same groups apply as in the NATIONAL BANK Cup, and there will be two semi-finals and a final following the group stages. The tournament will be held in Karachi and Lahore.

South Africa

The local competition in South Africa is the Standard Bank Cup (formerly Benson & Hedges Series) played between 6 teams:

  • Dolphins (Durban, KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Eagles (Bloemfontein, Free State)
  • Lions (Johannesburg, Gauteng)
  • Titans (Pretoria, Gauteng)
  • Warriors (Port Elizabeth and East London, Eastern Cape)
  • Cape Cobras (Cape Town and Paarl, Western Cape)

The games are 45-overs, and based on a home-and-away round-robin match system (each team plays ten matches) with semi-finals and a final. The Eagles were the winners of the 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 competitions.

Sri Lanka

20 teams compete in the Premier Limited-Overs Tournament, which is an expansion from 16 in the last season. Games are played over 50 overs per side, and the teams are divided into two groups, where each team meets the other once over a period of a month. The four top teams from each group qualify for the quarter-finals, and there is then a direct knock-out system until a winner is found after three knock-out stages. The competing teams are:

West Indies

The KFC Cup is the main regional one-day competition in the West Indies, named after its chief sponsor, the fast food chain KFC. In recent years, it has been run over a week's time as a group stage followed by knock-out stages. Guyana are the current holders, after they beat Barbados in the final, and they are also the team to have won it most, with nine titles, although two of them have been shared. Trinidad and Tobago are second in that history, having won seven titles.

In the 2005–06 edition of the KFC Cup, the six permanent first class regions of the West Indies contested the tournament:

One-day records

The world record for the highest innings total in any List A limited overs match is 496 for 4 by Surrey against Gloucestershire in their Friends Provident Trophy 50-overs match at the Oval, London on April 29th, 2007. That surpassed the 443 for nine by Sri Lanka against the Netherlands in their One Day International 50-overs match at Amstelveen on July 4th, 2006, which is currently the highest ODI score. The lowest ever total is 23 by Yorkshire against Middlesex at Headingley in 1974 in a 40-overs match.

The most runs scored by both sides in any List A limited overs match is 872: Australia, batting first, scored 434 for four in 50 overs, and yet were beaten by South Africa who scored 438 for nine with a ball to spare during their One Day International at Johannesburg in 2006.

The highest individual innings is 268 by Ali Brown for Surrey against Glamorgan in a 50-overs match at The Oval in 2002. The best bowling figures are eight for 15 by Rahul Sanghvi for Delhi against Himachal Pradesh in a 50-overs match at Una in 1997. The highest international individual innings is by Sachin Tendulker who scored 200* The highest score in any formal limited overs match is believed to be United's 630 for five against Bay Area in a 45 overs match at Richmond, California in August 2006.[1]

The most runs in an over was scored by Herschelle Gibbs of the South African cricket team when, in the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, he hit 6 sixes in one over bowled by Daan van Bunge of the Netherlands.[2]

This record is shared by Yuvraj Singh of India who achieved this feat in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa, he hit 6 sixes in an over bowled by Stuart Broad of England.

Sachin Tendulkar holds the record of being the first male cricketer to score a double century in ODIs (200 not out). He achieved this feat against South Africa on February 24, 2010, at Gwalior, India.

See also


  1. ^ ICC clarifies what counts and what doesn't, from Cricinfo, 30 July 2006
  2. ^
  • Gilchrist, Adam (1999). One-Day Cricket: Playing the One-Day Game. Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-7322-6713-7. 

External links

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