We Indians love our cricket so much that it is practically a religion in our country. However, we are not the only nation out there that has a huge love for cricket, which is great because playing against ourselves would become pretty boring after a while. The English adore their cricket, but this cannot come as much of a surprise since it was them who created this fantastic sport. In the following article, we shall analyse cricket in the UK, the different wagers you can make on cricket, the best venues in the UK to watch a game of cricket, as well as provide insight into the best cricket betting sites.

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Cricket is the National Pastime in England

Cricket is the national pastime in England, we do not need to sit here and debate that. Just take a leisurely stroll through one of England’s many parks on a lovely sunny day, and you will see many people enjoying some cricket with their friends and family. Cricket in the UK, it is safe for us to say is not the most popular sport - it is football by a country mile, which is the reason why a lot of people believe that the national sport of England is football.

However, we are sorry to say that if you believe this you are mistaken. The popularity of a sport is not the major factor that dictates whether it will be that country’s national sport. No, a national sport needs to be a huge part of the country’s history and culture. Now, we understand that football is a big part of the history of England as they created this sport too, but cricket in the UK is something that is centuries older than football, which is the reason it is classified as England’s national sport.

England Cricket History

So, since we now know that cricket in the UK is the country’s national sport, we shall now take a few minutes to take a look at English cricket history. We shall not sit here and give you every last bit of information due to the fact that English cricket history goes back a very long way, and we would end up being here for the next couple of hours.

It was 1739 when what can be seen as the inaugural English cricket team first came into being. This team, made up of eleven men from across England, took on a team of eleven men from Kent. This first English cricket team went on to lose the game narrowly, but the fixture was considered such a success that the match became a yearly event.

The first English cricket overseas tour happened in 1859 when a team made up of twelve players from across England toured North America. However, when they were over there, the Civil War started, so the tour became pretty irrelevant.

Another English cricket team went on a tour Down Under in 186162, and due to how successful it was it was decided that another English team would be sent back to Australia in 1863. In 1882, the Aussies visited England to play a short series and they went on to win 1-0. This defeat was not expected, and the media did not take it lightly, with one newspaper outlet claiming that English cricket is dead, and its body will be taken back Down Under and cremated. At the end of that same year, England toured Australia again, and the English press saw this as an opportunity to regain their ashes. England went on to win the series 2-1, and this is how The Ashes competition came into being.

Since the 60s, the quality of the English cricket has fluctuated quite dramatically from poor to average to very good. At this moment, their Test team is pretty decent, while their ODI team is one of the best in the world and are the current World Champions, having beaten New Zealand in a really dramatic final at Lord’s in 2019. They are so good that many cricket fans believe they will retain their title at the next World Cup in India.

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Who Are the Best Players for England?

England cricket fans have been able to watch plenty of talented players over the years, and here we shall take a brief look at some of their current best players.

Ben Stokes

Stokes’ stats are probably not as good as what you would expect from a player of his quality, and he would probably agree with this. However, when he gets his eye in and is completely in the zone, there are not many players in world cricket that can match his talents.

When he is on top of his game, there is no better players to watch. Anyone who watched England in South Africa in 2016 will definitely remember the stunning 258 that he scored off just 167 balls. What made this innings more remarkable is that he was playing in a Test match, not an ODI game. Also, those who watched the 2019 Ashes series will remember the 135 not out that helped England to a famous win – they needed 70 odd runs with just him and Jack Leach left to bat. Then, of course, there is the World Cup final that England probably would not have won had it not been for some heroics from Stokes.

We said his stats are not as good as he would probably hope for, so let us have a look at them now. He has played 67 Test matches for England and has a 37.84 average having scored 4,428 runs. When it comes to his bowling, he has 158wickets with a 31.40 average. He has had 95 ODI innings for England, and in these he averages 40.63, having scored 2,682 runs. With regards to ODI wickets, he has 70 with a 41.71 average.

As we said, they are not all that impressive, and he has plenty of time to send them in the right direction. Besides, when he hangs up his bat at the end of his career, cricket fans will remember him for innings like the ones above and not his stats.

James Anderson

Anderson can claim to be the best fast bowler that England has ever had. He has made 157 Test appearances for his country and has 606 wickets to his name, with a 26.60 average. He is no longer part of the ODI team as he wants to keep his body fit for Test matches, but over his career he has played 194 ODIs for England, picking up 269 wickets with an average that stands at 29.22. He needs just another 14 wickets to become the fast bowler with the most wickets in cricket history, and he should definitely achieve this feat as his bowling is as good as it has ever been.

Jos Buttler

When it comes to wicket-keeper batsmen, many believe that Buttler is the best, especially in the ODI format. He is a mainstay in England’s ODI team and is a factor in why they are so good. When he plays to the best of his ability, all the spectators in the crowd should stick a helmet on as it will rain sixes. Most cricket fans, no matter where their loyalties lie, love watching him bat as he has a variety of fascinating shots. He can win a match for his side in a couple of overs. He was part of the England ODI team that lifted the World Cup trophy in 2021.

So, what are his stats like? Well, he has played 49 Tests for England and has scored 2674 runs, with a 34.72 average. He has participated in 145 One-Day games and has notched up 3,855 runs and averages 39.74. With regards to T20 cricket, he has earned 70 caps and averages 28.52 with the bat, having scored 1,455 runs.

Joe Root

Root is the captain of the Test team and played a major part in the ODI team that became World Champions in 2019. Root is considered by many to be one of the best batsmen that England has ever produced, and many feel that he will go on to score the most runs for England – this record is currently held by former opener Alastair Cook.

He has played 99 Tests for England and has notched up 8249 runs with a 49.39 average. In the ODI version of the game, he has scored 5,962 runs from 149 games with a 50.10 average. He is just 30 years old, so he has at least 5-7 years left in him to make these stats even more impressive, and we are sure that he will do exactly that.

Where to See Cricket – These Are the Best Stadiums in England

There are a number of great cricket stadiums across the world, and a number of them just so happen to be found in England. If you find yourself in England and there is a game being played at one of the following venues, we recommend you do all in your power to ensure that you get yourself a ticket to watch it.

Lord's, London

Lord’s, known as the home of cricket, is the stadium in the cricketing world that every player wants to play at once in their career. There is a bowling and batting honours board that every player wants to see their name on – bowlers get their name on it by picking up a 5 or 10-wicket haul, while batsmen get put on it when they score a century.

A lot of stadiums around the world have be refurbished and modernized, but Lord’s has remained about the past, and so it should as it is such an iconic stadium. When players are making their way to the field, they hat to go through the Long Room that has lots of history. Many believe that Lord’s is a bit of a pretentious place to go and watch cricket because there are many different etiquette rules but, whatever you view is on those, there is one thing we can all agree on and that is it is a brilliant place to watch a cricket match.

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Edgbaston, Birmingham

When people are asked to think of the best cricket stadiums in the world, they probably would not even give Edgbaston a though, let alone a second one. However, in our opinion, this ground in Birmingham is one of England’s best. Over the last couple of years, it has been refurbished and this work has done wonders. It is now England’s second biggest stadium, and this capacity upgrade was not made at the expense of aesthetics either.

England players consistently say how they really love playing here as the support is some of the best in the country. No matter who England are playing, the atmosphere is always electric – more so when the Aussies or Indians are in town.

Headingley, Leeds

Okay, we are fully aware that this is not the world’s most beautiful venue to enjoy a cricket match, but what it lacks in beauty, it makes up for with the stunning atmosphere. A lot of opposing players are completely shocked by the atmosphere that they encounter, and it has put many a player off their game. There is no doubt that the crowd is like an extra player for England at Leeds. When a wicket is taken or when an English player hits a century, the roar can probably be heard from many miles away.

Basic Traditions

Cricket is a sport that comes with a lot of basic traditions and etiquette rules. For example, values like respect, honesty, self-discipline, and fair play are all values that players are expected to have. Below we shall take a look at some basic traditions and rules of etiquette that you will find in cricket.

Always respect the umpires: Umpires can make mistakes too, and when they do players are expected to accept their decision, even if they 100% do not agree with it. If a batsman is given out LBW but he feels he hit it, he has to take it on the chin and walk back to the dressing room. If a bowler feels that a batsman is out, but the umpire thinks otherwise, the bowler needs to accept the decision and walk back to his mark. Cricketers need to remember that sport swings and roundabouts and that luck will go their way eventually. Anyone who does not accept the umpire’s final decision will find a portion of their match fee missing, usually 20%. The game cannot be played without umpires, so they should be respected at all times.

Always be honest: Cricket is a sport for gentlemen and honest is something that goes a long way. For instance, those who give themselves out before waiting for the umpire to make a decision will always be respected. Those who do not walk, when they know they are out, will always be derided. One famous incidence happened in The Ashes, when Stuart Broad clearly nicked the ball to the slips, but Broad stood his ground and the umpire, for some unknown reason, did not give it out. Australia had wasted their reviews, so Broad carried on and the extra runs he got helped England to win the game. Broad was criticized a lot in the media after, but we are not entirely sure that Broad cared. Another thing that cricketers frown upon is when a fielder claims a catch he knows has touched the ground.

The coin toss: This, in our opinion, is one of the best cricket traditions. Before a game starts, the two captains meet in the middle and the match referee flips a coin to see which team will bat first and which will bowl. There are many fans who believe that this tradition should be removed as the toss winner can have a huge advantage, but we feel that it is an integral part of cricket and it would be a big shame if it was removed from the sport.

A tea break: In the Test format, the five days are split into three sessions and there is a lunch break and tea break between the sessions. We know, only the British could create a sport that has a tea break. Those who are new to cricket find the notion of a tea break to be quite weird, but we love it as it gives cricket its uniqueness.

The Biggest Tournaments in World Cricket

Now that we have had a look at some traditions and etiquette, we are now going to take a quick look at the biggest cricket events that happen every year. We recommend that you take note of the following events so that you do not miss any action.

Cricket World Cup: This wonderful event happens every four years, and the last edition took place in England in 2019. Millions of cricket fans from all over always tune in to watch the matches, and when you remember all the drama that happened in the 2019 final between New Zealand and England, it is easy to see why. The next Cricket World Cup will be played in India in 2023, and we cannot wait.

Twenty20 World Cup: This is a really popular tournament too, and the first one was held in 2007. Since then it has been sporadic, which is clear when we realise that the last one took place in 2016, and the one is at the end of this year, and then there is another one in 2022.

World Test Championship: The powers of the cricketing world had been planning this competition for a decade and the first match was played in 2019, when England and Australia competed for The Ashes. In this competition, there are 9 teams, and each team will play 6 other teams. Teams can win 120 points maximum for a series win, and whichever two teams finish first and second will compete for the right to be crowned champions.

Indian Premier League: This is the world’s most popular T20 competition as it attracts the world’s best players. You will be able to watch some of England’s best one-day players such as Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Adil Rashid in action. The jackpot for the winning team stands at a few million dollars, so it is little wonder why everyone wants to play in it. When there is an IPL match being played, India basically comes to a standstill.

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Twenty20 Big Bash: This T20 competition can be considered to be Australia’s version of the IPL, although it is not as lucrative. It is held in December, January, and February. You will find a plethora of English players playing at this tournament as well.

Vitality Blast: This is England’s main T20 competition, and it occurs in July, August, and September. There are 18 teams, and these are split into a south and north division – once everyone has played everyone, the four top teams from each division will advance to finals day. There is nowhere near as much money on offer here, but we still think it is a great competition to watch.

England Fixtures in 2021

England cricketers have a bit of a busy year, and now we are going to have a look at all the fixtures that they will be playing in 2021.

Tour of India: At the start of February, England will travel to India to play them in four Tests, five T20I games, and three ODI games. The tour will come to a conclusion at the end of March.

Sri Lanka in England: In June, they will play a three-match ODI series against the Sri Lankans. The first game is scheduled for the 29th, while the third game is scheduled to take place on the 4th of July.

Pakistan in England: Just four days after the ODI series against Sri Lanka, England are scheduled to play three ODI and three T20I games against Pakistan. The Pakistan team will leave England at the end of July.

India in England: The ECB will welcome the Indians to England at the start of August to play a Test series consisting of 5 matches. The first game will begin on the 4th, while the final Test is scheduled for the 10th of September.

Pakistan in England: Pakistan will return to England in October to play a couple of T20I matches.

Best UK Cricket Betting Sites

The English, much like us Indians, really love to watch cricket. Also, much like us Indians, they love to bet on it too. With regards to UK cricket betting, we are definitely not exaggerating when we declare that UK cricket betting supporters have more than enough cricket betting sites UK to sign up with and bet on the plethora of cricket markets.

When it comes to opening an account with a bookie, it can sometimes be difficult to find the best cricket betting sites since they are so numerous. Thankfully, there are a lot of comparison sites online that can give you all the data that you need to locate great cricket betting sites UK. The majority of these sites have their own experts that spend a lot of their time analysing every aspect of a bookie in order to provide their readers with valuable information.

When you are on the lookout for some best cricket betting sites, there are many things that you should take a better look at. For example, the site has to have all the latest innovations in cricket betting, including mobile betting, live betting, a mobile app, and quick payment methods. Furthermore, the site has to provide a plethora of cricket betting markets to ensure that things do not start to get boring. You also have to check the odds that are on offer, whether the customer support is any good, and if the security is top quality.

bet365-bookie

So, for England cricket fans, what are some of the best cricket betting sites? Well, in our opinion, we do not think you will be disappointed with your betting experience if you decide to register with Bet365. This quality bookmaker will provide you with all the cricket markets you need and do not skimp when it comes to the odds that are on offer. Furthermore, they provide a very good mobile betting experience thanks to their wonderful app. However, if you do not want yet another app on your mobile, you will be happy to find out that their mobile betting site is more than adequate.

However, Bet365, is not the only fantastic bookie that English cricket fans can open an account with. Other brilliant bookies, in our humble opinion, include the following:

  • Betiton
  • Betway
  • Unibet
  • Paddy Power
  • Coral Hill
  • William Hill
  • Ladbrokes

The Kinds of Bets You Can Place on Cricket

If you have only just recently entered the world of cricket betting, then you have probably already seen how many different betting options you have. The number of different markets available is not too much of a surprise when you take into consideration just how complicated cricket is and that there are many different facts can play a big role in the outcome of a game. Below we are going to have a look at some popular cricket bets.

Match bet: This just so happens to be the easiest bet you can make when betting on cricket because all that you are doing is trying to guess the team that is going to win the game. In other sports like football, you can bet on a match ending in a draw, but the draw option is not often available for One-Day games as they do not happen very often. However, with regards to Test cricket, you will be able to bet on a draw.

Toss winner: As we spoke about above, a coin is used to determine the team that will bat first and the one that bowls first. You can bet on who you think will win the toss – as it is 5050 though, the odds will not be anything special, but it is a fun bet to make.

Match score: When you are making this type of bet, you need to try and guess the number of runs a particular team will hit in a game. You do not have to be 100% correct with your guess because the bookie will provide you with a number, like 239.5 and you then need to decide if you think a team will score above or below this number.

Top batsman: You do not have to be some kind of genius to know that when you make this kind of bet you are predicting which batsman will score the most runs. This is a tricky bet to get right, which is why the odds are often very decent.

Top bowler: Instead of trying to predict the top scorer, you are trying to predict the bowler who will pick up the most wickets. Like with the one above, this is also tricky to get right, so the odds are often very tasty.

Mode of dismissal: In a game of cricket, the batsman can be dismissed in a number of different ways – caught, LBW, bowled, stumped, hit wicket, run out, and other. Due to the various ways a batsman can be dismissed, the odds for this market are also pretty good.

Runs scored from next ball: If you want to try and guess how many runs will be scored from the next legitimate ball that is bowled, you will often have the option to do so.

Man of the match: In cricket, just like with any other type of team sport, there will be the Man of the Match, and you can bet on who you think this will turn out to be. Since there are 22 players who could be Man of the Match, it is a tricky bet to get right, and this difficulty is reflected in the very good odds that you will receive.

N.B. The above is just a small selection of the different cricket bets that cricket betting fans can place. When you are betting on sports, no matter the sport or market, it is important that you set yourself a budget, so that you know when you have to stop. Always stick to the budget that you set for yourself because failure to do so will just lead to you losing more money than you can afford.