Types of Cricket Matches

Updated on April 6, 2020
SpiffyD profile image

Darrell is a longtime West Indies fan and has been an avid cricket follower since 1998.

On viewing a cricket player’s profile and statistics, one may notice that records are organized according to the type of cricket matches played. For instance, international games are identified and distinguished from games played under the various domestic leagues.

Three Basic Forms of Cricket

When cricket first started, there were only two types of matches: First-class and Tests. Currently, there are six categories of matches that could appear on a player profile. However, there are three basic forms of cricket:

  • First-class
  • One day
  • Twenty 20 (T20)

International Forms

The additional three types of cricket are merely the international forms of each type. The additional types of cricket include:

  • Tests
  • One Day Internationals
  • Twenty 20 Internationals

In player statistics, the international games are listed before the other types and in the same aforementioned order. Player records from international games form part of the records for First-class games. For example, Brian Lara’s Test quadruple century (400*) is the highest Test score. However, the highest First-class score is Lara’s 501*. The double-world record holder’s Test aggregate of 11,953 runs forms part of his First-class aggregate of 22,156 runs.

First-class cricket
First-class cricket


Test matches are the international form of First-class fixtures. They are widely seen as the highest standard of cricket, with Test statistics being the benchmark of greatness. In the past, Test matches could have been timeless or six-day games with rest days in between.

Modern Test cricket is a five-day affair—with a stipulated minimum of 90 overs to be bowled per day. Like First-class games, there are two innings per side without restrictions on the overs that a batting team may face. The innings can be concluded if a batting team is bowled out or the captain issues a declaration.

Defining Tests as First-class cricket between international sides is not entirely accurate, since there are First-class fixtures between “A” teams, such as Australia A versus England A. In addition, cricket’s governing body—the ICC—must sanction a match as a Test match. After all, a fixture between Test sides can be stripped of Test status and reduced to First-class status by the ICC. This once happened in a game between India and South Africa back in 2003.

First Class Fixtures

These include Tests and domestic matches played in Test-playing countries, and even among Associate nations in tournaments like the ICC Intercontinental Cup. Examples of First-class tournaments include England’s County Championship and Australia’s Sheffield Shield.

First-class games are normally played over a span of four days. However, in unusual circumstances, a First-class fixture can be five days (like the India/South Africa unofficial Test). Other First-class fixtures (particularly tour matches) may have a three-day span. The respective boards in the various Test playing countries and the ICC have the authority to sanction First-class fixtures.

An ODI between Australia and New Zealand
An ODI between Australia and New Zealand

List A

The term “List A” might be a bit confusing to those unfamiliar with cricket statistics. However, this merely refers to ODIs and other limited-overs games that are not T20. List A matches can be played over 50 or 40 overs, and they can be reduced even further according to competition rules that stipulate the minimum overs that constitute a game.

One-day matches generally require a minimum of 20 overs and last no longer than 8 hours. Limited overs matches are also different in that there are fielding restrictions, bowling restrictions, coloured clothing, white balls and other features that distinguish them from First-class matches.

One-Day Internationals

ODIs are international List A games. Teams that have ODI status, or play in official tournaments sanctioned by the ICC, play ODIs. Therefore, not all international cricket played between Associate Nations of the ICC can be considered ODIs. Some of them may be List A fixtures. When ODIs were first played in the early 1970s, 60-overs per side constituted a match. That later changed to 50-overs per innings and remains that way to this day.

Indian Premier League cricket is the most popular T20 tournament in world cricket.
Indian Premier League cricket is the most popular T20 tournament in world cricket.

Twenty 20

The newest and shortest form of the game, T20s—as the name suggests— require a maximum of 20-overs per innings. The minimum number of overs for T20s is five per inning, where rain or other interruptions occur. Like List A games, T20s have fielding and bowling restrictions. The duration of T20 matches is approximately three hours.

Twenty 20 Internationals

These are merely T20s played between teams with ODI status or in ICC-sanctioned T20 tournaments. The ICC has restrictions on the number of T20Is that teams could play on tours, currently limiting them to a maximum of two per series. The ICC WorldT20 event is a biennial one that first started in 2007.

Not all forms of cricket would qualify for inclusion in these statistics. For example, club cricket in various countries may be played in a manner similar to the formats described above. However, these would not be considered “official” cricket matches that count towards statistics. However, there may be records of these unofficial games.

© 2011 SpiffyD


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)