Apart from the fact that both cricket and baseball are bat-and-ball games, a lot more similarities as well as differences exist between the two. Here’s a SportsAspire post explaining most of these with reference to field dimensions, rules of play, and equipment. Take a look!
Pitch Vs. Pitch
A pitch in cricket is the strip of ground between the two wickets, whereas a pitch in baseball is referred to the delivery of the ball by the pitcher.
An early form of cricket is believed to have been played in the early 16th century. It underwent several major developments and changes as it gained immense popularity, and also became the national game of England in the 18th century. The early form of cricket was played with a club (shaped like a hockey stick), wherein the ball was rolled (and not bowled) towards the batsman. However, the style of bowling and the design of the bat evolved somewhere around the 19th century. Cricket as we see it today is totally different from the one played in the past. Many changes in the rules have taken place to make cricket a safe and entertaining game.
On the other hand, the origins of baseball can be traced back to the 1700s, whereby it was played in a triangular field unlike a diamond one, and employed posts instead of bases. Although the game originated in England, it migrated to Northern America via some English immigrants. Unlike cricket, the early form of baseball had quite a lot in common to modern baseball, including bowling, batting, and running to score runs. However, the objective of the early form of baseball (called stool ball), which was played between two teams, was for one team to hit a target, while the other team was to defend it using a bat. If the ball hit the target, the batter was declared out. Baseball too underwent several modifications leading to the modern bat-ball game that we see today. Here we have tried to list out the several differences and similarities between cricket and baseball.
Baseball Vs. Cricket
A cricket field requires a minimum area of 17,556 square meters. The horizontal length between the two square boundaries shall be a minimum of 137.16 meters, with the shortest part from the center (of the pitch) being at least 59.43 meters.
Likewise, the distance between the straight boundaries should be a minimum of 128 meters. No boundary should exceed a total of 82.29 meters from the center of the pitch. Also, a minimum 2.74 meters should be maintained between the boundary and the surrounding fencing (advertising signs); this is necessary to avoid injuries to a fielder when diving.
The pitch spans a total of 20.12 meters in length, and 3.05 meters in width. Both ends of the pitch have two horizontal crease lines, and two vertical ones. The vertical ones are referred to as ‘return creases’. The innermost of the horizontal creases are called ‘popping creases’, whereas the outermost are called ‘bowling/batting creases’. The length of the pitch is calculated from the bowling crease to the batting crease, both of which have the stumps placed in them. The distance between the bowling/batting crease and the popping crease should be a minimum of 1.22 meters.
A very interesting thing about a cricket field is that there are no restrictions on the shape of the field. It can be elliptical, oval, more of a rectangle, and the like, provided it meets the specified dimensions.
A baseball field bears a typical shape like that of a diamond. The infield is a 27.43 meter square, each corner of which has a base (home, first, second, and third in an anti-clockwise sequence). The home base (as shown in the illustration) is the one where the two foul lines converge.
Any ball played past the foul lines is considered a foul. The home base plate is a pentagon, it’s parallel sides are 8.5 inches, the base is 17 inches, and the remaining two sides measure 12 inches each and are set at an angle to meet at a single point. Both sides of the home plate have two batter boxes, one for a right-handed batsman, and the other for a left-handed one. Each batter’s box is 1.8 meters long and 1.2 meters wide. Exactly behind the home plate is a catcher’s box which measures 2.43 meters in length, and a width of 1.09 meters.
Right in front of the home base is the pitcher’s mound, a circle of diameter 5.47 meters occupied by the pitcher when pitching the ball. This mound is equidistant from the first and the third base, whereas it is slightly closer to the home base by a few meters. The distance from the home base to the pitchers mound is 18.39 meters. The square including some portion in its vicinity is called the infield, the remaining portion is called the outfield. The bases and the infield vicinity does not contain grass or turf, while the outfield has grass or artificial turf laid on it.
Format of Play
Cricket is a team sport, essentially played among two teams, each consisting of 11 players. The batting team has 2 players (batsmen) at a time on the field, whereas the bowling team has 1 bowler, 1 wicket-keeper, and 9 fielders. Every team has players that specialize in either batting or bowling (or sometimes both – all rounder). A well-balanced team mostly has 5/6 batsmen, and a similar number of bowlers. This makes the team stronger in both dimensions of the game.
Three different formats of cricket exist: Test, one-day, and twenty-twenty (T-20) cricket. The rules vary according to the format of cricket being played. Test cricket is played over 5 consecutive days. Each team bowls twice and bats twice.
One-day cricket, as the name implies, is played for the duration of one day, and includes a single match of 50 overs per inning (for 2 innings).
The recent version T20, or Twenty-20, involves a single match of 20 overs per innings or team (for 2 innings). These matches are pretty short, and last for approximately 3 hours.
In cricket, the first team to bat/ball is decided by a toss. Also, the fielding arrangement can be changed by the bowler to suit his style of bowling. Also, there are only two umpires present on the field.
Unlike cricket, baseball is played in 9 innings. Two teams of 9 players each compete to score more runs than the other team. On every inning, one team bats and the other one bowls. Of the batting team, a maximum of 4 players can be present on the field, whereas the team to bowl has to use a pitcher, a catcher, and 7 fielders – 4 on the infield and 3 on the outfield.
The ‘away/visiting team’ bats in the first half of every inning, whereas the ‘home team’ bats in the second half. In contrast, an inning in cricket itself refers to one half of the game. One half of the inning in baseball ends when 3 outs are recorded (no ball restrictions). So basically, a baseball tournament is a series of nine individual matches.
In baseball, fielders follow somewhat standard positions in the field. Of the four infielders, two are stationed at the first and third bases, whereas the remaining two are positioned on either side of the third base. Of the outfielders, one stands in the center, and the other two stand close to the sides. In baseball, a total of 4-5 umpires are present on the field.
The equipment used in cricket includes a ball, bats, wickets, and protective gear (for the batsmen). There are two types of balls that vary according to the format of cricket played. Test cricket employs a red ball for better visibility over the players’ white jerseys. On the other hand, one-day and T20 cricket employ a white ball as the player jerseys are colored.
All cricket balls are made of a core of cork, that is layered with string and is covered by a leather casing. The covering of most balls is made out of two portions of leather stitched together. 6 rows of seams or stitching are present on either side of the central stitch; these enable players to grip the ball better. A standard cricket ball weighs or should weigh between 155.9 to 163.0 grams.
Bats are typically made of wood, mostly white willow. Cricket bats have two components, a cylindrical handle and a blade. The blade is flat at the hitting end and has a ridge on the back which concentrates most part of the wood in the center where the ball normally comes in contact. White willow is used as it is very tough and shock-resistant; it doesn’t dent or chip on impact of a high-speed cricket ball. Cricket bats come in a wide range of sizes and are not restricted by any standard. However, the length of the bat should be no more than 38 inches, and the width not more than 4.25 inches. Bats on an average weigh somewhere between 1.2 to 1.4 kg (no restrictions).
There are two sets of wickets on a cricket field, each comprising 3 stumps and 2 bails. Stumps are made of wood, and are hammered into the ground. The 2 bails (also made of wood) rest on the 3 stumps. Each of the two batsmen guards a wicket. The batsman on strike tries to guard the wicket by his bat, if he fails and the ball hits the stump he’s out. Also, a fielder or the wicket-keeper can throw the ball at the wicket in an attempt to dismiss the batsmen in case he’s not inside the popping crease.
Modern cricket uses protective gear in order to prevent injuries and mishaps during play. Although not compulsory, it’s seriously recommended. This is because, the cricket ball being very hard can cause serious injuries and even death in extreme cases if it hits a player at high speeds (especially the batsman). Therefore, both batsman are seen to wear a helmet, gloves, thigh pads, knee guards, elbow guards, chest guards, jockstraps, and several other protective equipment.
A game of baseball requires a bat, a ball, bases, mitts and protective equipment. Balls in baseball are made of a cork core, and are tightly wound by string or yarn. The outer casing is made of leather, and is made of two portions that are stitched together. However, unlike cricket, the ball doesn’t have any separately stitched seams. In baseball, balls are always white in color with red stitches.
Bats are either made from solid wood, or hollow aluminum. The wooden variants are made mostly from ash wood, but can also be made out of maple wood or bamboo. In professional leagues only wooden bats are permitted. However, composite bats that are cased with wood and contain an aluminum core are also accepted. Hollow aluminum is mostly used in amateur leagues.
The home base plate is made of rubber and painted white. The rest of the bases are canvas bags. These need to be touched by a runner in order to score a single, double, triple or a run.
Mitts is a type of glove used to catch the ball. These are worn by catchers and the first baseman. However, both are slightly different. In the catcher’s mitt, the four fingers are connected, and it is better padded than the first baseman’s mitt. However, the first baseman’s mitt is longer and much wider than the standard fielders glove, and also has a bit more padding in comparison.
Fielders use gloves made of leather, which have long fingers and a webbed pocket between the thumb and the index finger that allows the fielder to catch the ball easily. Gloves are also worn by batters as it provides better grip and also cuts down the shock resulting on impact.
Likewise, both batter and catcher wear helmets to prevent head injuries. Batting helmets have ear protectors, but lack face masks. On the other hand, catcher’s helmets do have a face mask as they are more vulnerable to facial injuries or the ball hitting their face.
Also, a jockstrap or pelvic protector is recommended for men and women, respectively in order to prevent grave injuries.
Baseball jerseys or uniforms could be of any color and include a shirt, pant, and a cap. Uniforms should be compulsorily worn by all players, coaches, and managers. Players also wear baseball specific shoes called baseball cleats meant for better traction; the cleats are made of either metal or rubber.
Similarities Between the Two
➔ Considering the above three aspects, there are some similarities between both sports apart from the fact that they are bat-and-ball games. We’ve tried to list most of them, take a look!
➔ The distance between the pitcher/bowler and batter/batsmen in both sports is somewhat similar. It is 18.39 meters in baseball, and 20.12 meters in cricket.
➔ In both sports, at any point of time, all players of only one of the two teams are present on the field.
➔ Also, the ultimate objective of both sports is to score more runs than the opponent. The concept of hitting the ball and taking a run is similar in both games.
➔ The role of players too has a lot in common among the two. There is a batsman/batter, a bowler/pitcher, wicket-keeper/catcher, fielders, and umpires.
➔ Coming to the equipment, balls used in both sports are made out of a cork core, and are wrapped in portions of leather.