The cricket betting markets certainly won’t be the top priority for most online bookmakers. In comparison to the likes of football and horse racing these markets probably won’t even scratch the surface. Having said that there has certainly been an increase in the amount of people betting on cricket and as a result, the amount of markets most bookmakers offer.
The English game has seen a revival in recent years with the team winning the Ashes series both away and on home soil, getting to the number one ranked test nation in world, recently beating Australia 4-0 in a One Day International series and World T20 champions in 2010. The amalgamation of the success of England has seen more people get involved, watch the sport and consequently bet on the sport.
In terms of domestic cricket betting its increase has primarily come down to the staggering success of the Twenty 20 format. The shortened format of the game entails a fast paced and action packed 20 over per side game. Its cricket entertainment of the highest order and it has allowed a whole host of betting markets to surface as a result. What many people hadn’t predicted is how popular the format would be and one thing that bookmakers certainly didn’t predict is the influx of cricket bettors as a result.
Types of Cricket Bets / How To Bet On Cricket
Cricket may seem quite a complicated sport to many outsiders, but in reality it’s only as complicated as you want to make it and the basics are pretty simple. The same can be said with the betting markets on offer. For those that know nothing about cricket may well find the markets a little confusing, but hopefully we will be able to shed some light onto these markets and allow you to bet as a cricket fan or not.
- Match Betting – This one of pretty self-explanatory; you simply bet on the outcome of the game. With Test matches and Domestic four day games you will also be able to back the draw as one of your options along with ties in shorter formats such as Twenty 20’s and One Day Internationals
- Top Run Scorer – This market allows you to select which player you think will score the most runs in that innings. This market often turns live after the event has started so it’s possible to hedge bets as you go
- Top Wicket Taker – Similar to Top Run Scorer, this market involves selecting the player who you think will take the most wickets in a particular game, series or tournament. For example, picking the bowler who will take the most wickets in the Ashes or the Indian Premier League
- Correct Score – You can choose how many runs you think a side will score in an innings. What normally happens for these markets is that you will be given a variety of brackets to choose from. For example you might have under 200 runs, between 201 and 400 runs and over 401 runs
- Man of the Match – Selecting the man of the match can be a tricky market to select as often the MotM is chosen by one of the commentators and their criteria could be different than others. Having said that this could work both ways for your selection
- Winning Margin – You can choose what you think the winning margin will be in the game for either side. Similarly to the correct score market, you will likely be given a few scoring brackets to choose from. This also works a little like handicapping in cricket, meaning you give the other team a head start essentially
- Highest Opening Partnership – You can choose which sides opening partnership will amass the greatest amount of runs. This is usually for the first innings (where applicable) but in-play betting will let you bet on the same market for the second innings
- Spread Betting – Spread betting is an underrated but highly volatile form of cricket betting. You basically bet points on market such as first innings runs for example. You can take the over or under on a line set by the bookmaker and bet as much as you like per point. If you back the over lines then for every run over you receive 1 point. If they score under the line then you lose 1 point for every run. The market is high variance but lucrative at the same time
Cricket Betting Rules
Cricket Betting rules will differ from bookmaker to bookmaker. We recommend that if there is something specific you are looking for then to contact your bookmaker. Here are some general betting rules for cricket:
- In the event that matches are abandoned then the official result will stand whether that be in limited or longer formats of the game
- If the game does not reach the limited number of overs to force a result (Duckworth Lewis comes into play) then bets will become void.
- Man of the match decision will be held with the official ICC decision
- Batsmen must make the crease for bets to become active. If failure to do so then bets will become void unless otherwise settled.
Draw v Tie
When playing cricket there’s one thing that you need to remember; a draw is not the same as a tie. The two different results mean different things depending on the format of the game. For example, Test cricket played over 4 days, or even 4-day domestic cricket can result in a drawn match. This is simply when a game has failed to reach a result over the course of the allotted time.
A tie is different in that the two teams are on the same number of runs after the final ball of the match has been bowled. This is more common in one day cricket such as 50 over and Twenty20 formats, although even then they are still pretty rare. Let’s run through a couple of examples for you.
First up, the draw:
England are playing Australia in the Ashes. They bat first and score 330 all out. Australia then bat second scoring 350, a 20-run lead. In England’s second innings they are bowled out for 250, giving them a total lead of 270, but by this point it’s the start of the 5th and final day. Australia either need to score 271 runs to win or avoid being bowled out to draw. England need to bowl Australia out to win, or not have them reach the target to draw.
Australia finish the day at 240-5, some 30 runs short of target, earning them the draw as England also failed to bowl them out.
Next up, a tie:
Tied games are super rare. In fact, with Test match cricket there have only ever been 2 tied matches with over 2,000 Tests being played. In One Day Internationals, there have only ever been 34 tied games in total.
Taking our example from an ODI is going to be easiest for this; let’s stick with England/Australia. This time Australia bat first and go on to score 320/4 from their 50 overs. A formidable score. England, in response, go on to make 320/8, scoring 1 run from the last ball of the game to secure to tie.
Note: if they had scored 2 runs from the last game, they would have won the match, and if they had failed to score a run they would have lost the match.
Duckworth Lewis Stern
The DLS method is one that most cricketing fans will be more than familiar with, but might not know exactly how it works. The whole concept of the method is to fairly adjust the scores should time be lost in a game for any reason. It allows the chasing side to reach a score that is reflective of the time lost, and from there they will still have a shot of winning the game.
This method takes into consideration a number of different variables that include the number of overs lost, the stage of an innings when these overs were lost, and the number of wickets in hand for the chasing team.
Two other key points that are also taken into consideration are that the DLS method assumes 300 deliveries will be bowled in a match (assuming ODI), and also that the other team has 10 wickets at their disposal. It also includes scoring patterns from several years’ worth of games and will be adjusted based on recent scoring for both teams, and of course an average for the season.
As overs are lost, especially in the second innings of a game, the need for scores to be adjusted and the DLS method in particular comes into play. The later DLS comes into the game the harder it becomes for teams to adjust and essentially chase down the target. An early adjustment, say in the first 10 overs of the first innings, won’t have a huge effect.
Another key point to consider is that DLS won’t consider the actual batsmen that are left to bat, in terms of ability. It’s a numbers game and no individuals input can be made into the system.
DLS is always going to reflect the game scenario and what has happened leading up to the interruption. This is why no two games or scores for DLS are ever the same, and it often causes huge headaches for captains and coaches trying to work out where they need to be at what time.
It’s important to understand that even though the game might not have been affected, DLS will still be running throughout. This is in case a game is played and is then abandoned with teams not being able to get back on the pitch. If this is the case, then the team that is ahead of the DLS revised score at the point of abandonment will be declared the winner.
Match fixing in cricket
Unfortunately, match fixing scandals have been rife in cricket over the years. There have been countless occasions when players have been found guilty of trying to affect the course of a game in order to gain financially.
The types of match fixing scandals do vary and include, but are not limited to; passing on information to bookmakers, associating themselves in any way with bookmakers, offering bribes to players, performing below standard on the field in order to intentionally lose matches, and spot fixing – which is when players carry out certain plays at certain times (no balls, wides, losing their own wicket, etc).
Whilst match fixing and spot fixing aren’t as common as they used to be, they are still occurring in the game of cricket, even at the highest level. There were even reports made by The Sun newspaper of several bookies trying to fix certain periods of play within the 2017/18 Ashes series, arguably the highest profile cricketing match up. Whilst no players have been named or any real proof come to light, based on the track record of these types of allegations and also prosecutions, it’s not all that far-fetched.
The highest profile and probably the first public scandal to really make headlines was that of Hansie Cronje in 2000. He was charged by Delhi police of trying to fix matches played by South Africa against India. After first denying the charges, he later pleaded guilty to the charge and told courts how he accepted large sums of money for passing on team information to bookmakers and also asking other players to underperform in games. Cronje was banned for life, whilst Herschelle Gibbs, Pieter Strydom and Nicky Boke were also caught up in the scandal.
Since then, the ‘no-ball’ scandal that rocked Pakistani cricket is probably the other most notable story within the last 10 years or so. Salman Butt, Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif were all found guilty of spot fixing, by bowling huge no balls at certain times in the game. Looking back on replays, these no balls were massive and should have sent alarm bells ringing.
The three players were banned as part of this sting operation from the News of the World.