Cricket has its roots in 16th century England. The most popular sport in the country during the British colonial era, it has a huge number of fans in the United Kingdom even today. Cricket is, by far, the most watched and played sport on the Indian subcontinent, with large followings in South Africa, Australia, the Anglophone West Indies and other former British colonies.
The game is played between teams of 11 players on a circular field. Most of the action takes place in the middle of the field on a 22-yard long pitch with a set of upright stakes called wickets at each end. Two batsmen attempt to score runs by hitting the ball out of the playing field boundaries (similar to a baseball home run) or by hitting and then running to the other side of the pitch. The defense can get the batsmen out by catching a batted ball in the air or by knocking down one of the wickets. Except in the longest forms of cricket, each batsman only gets one out per game.