Cricket Online Betting

The "Ashes" is a series of five Test matches, contested biennially between England and Australia, which constitutes the greatest rivalry in international cricket.

In 1882, Australia beat England at the Oval, for the first time ever on an English ground. The Sporting Times newspaper published an "obituary" advising of the demise of English cricket and stating that the body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. The next tour to Australia (1882 to 1883) was described as "the quest to regain The Ashes." During the tour, the English captain, Ivo Bligh, was presented with the gift of a small earthenware urn. The contents of the urn are reputed to be the ashes of the bails from the 1882 Oval Test match. The urn is believed, by some, to be the trophy for the Ashes series but has never been adopted as such. Regardless of who holds the Ashes, the urn resides in the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord's since being donated by Bligh's widow upon his death. A Waterford Crystal replica of the urn has been presented to the Ashes winners since the 1998-99 series. England regained the Ashes in the greatly competitive home series of 2005, only to be whitewashed 5-0 in the 2006-07 series in Australia. The next Ashes series will be held in England in 2009.

The inability of the English team to regain the Ashes since 1989, along with an Australian team that has been consistently ranked at number one in the world, has "taken the shine off" the Ashes series of recent years. However, the close results in 2005, with high quality, competitive cricket, removed much of the despondency and apathy felt in Britain. It can only be hoped that the subsequent thrashing does not undo the good work of the 2005 series.


The County Championship
The official County Championship began in 1890, involving Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex and Yorkshire. Somerset joined the Championship the following year, with Derbyshire, Essex, Hampshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire following suit in 1895. The Championship has been further enhanced by the inclusion of Worcestershire (1899), Northamptonshire (1905), Glamorgan (1921) and Durham (1992).

Since 1968, the points scoring system has been based on wins (currently 14 points) and bonus points earned for run-scoring and wicket-taking in the first 130 overs of the first innings.

Other than 1919, when some two-day matches were played and found to be unsatisfactory, all pre -1988 matches were scheduled for three days. As a result of successful experimental four-day matches, in the 1988 to 1992 seasons, all Championship matches have subsequently been scheduled for four days.

2008 County Championship
The County Championship is currently sponsored by Liverpool Victoria. The teams are as follows:

First Division
Durham, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Yorkshire.

Second Division
Derbyshire, Essex , Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Since 2006, promotion and relegation has occurred between the divisions, on a two up, two down basis.

The NatWest Pro40 League
The NatWest Pro40 League was formed in 1999, consisting of two divisions. Matches in the league are one-day games, with forty overs per side. Unlike first-class cricket, counties can incorporate nicknames into their official names for the NatWest League. Promotion and relegation are as in the County Championship.

The Twenty20 Cup
The Twenty20 format, namely twenty overs for each team, means a game can be completed in less than three hours, making it attractive for children and families. The majority of standard cricket rules apply, but the emphasis is on fast scoring cricket. Shorter boundaries and limits on field placement encourage batsmen to attack the bowling. To speed play along, an incoming batsman has only ninety seconds to reach the middle. Tied games are resolved by a "bowl off" with bowlers attempting to hit unguarded stumps.

Betting on Cricket

The Ashes Series
Despite the fact that the Ashes series does not take place until 2009, most online betting sites currently have prices available.

To Win the Series
8/13 Australia, 9/4 England, 5/1 Drawn series

Nearer the time, online betting sites will have numerous markets relating to the Ashes series. These will include:

  • Correct Score for the Series
  • Top Batsman (a) Australian, (b) English, (c) Overall
  • Top Bowler (a) Australian, (b) English, (c) Overall
Additionally, online betting will be available for various markets relating to individual matches, including:

  • Outright match prices, including "in-running"
  • First Innings Lead
  • Top Batsman in First Innings, as above
  • Top Bowler in Match
  • Team's Total Score
  • Winning the Toss
  • Next Dismissal Method, e.g. caught, bowled, L.B.W. etc.
  • Next Batsman Out
The last two markets are obviously only available while the match is in progress, i.e. "in-running"

County Cricket

The County Championship
All the markets mentioned above, relating to individual matches are available on domestic County Championship matches. Outright betting is also available on the two divisions, each-way 1/5 the odds a place 1, 2, 3

NatWest Pro40
Outright betting on the winners of (a) the League and (b) individual matches are the only markets offered by online bettors.

Twenty20 Cup
Given the format, markets are somewhat limited, from an online betting perspective. Other than outright betting on the winners of (a) the Cup and (b) individual matches, there is little scope for much else.

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What makes short-form cricket different? -

Well, for batsmen, scoring as much as you can from every ball is vital. For the fielding side, every ball bowled that can`t be scored from is incrementally devastating. Twelve `dot balls` are worth a wicket because they`ve removed 10% of the opposition`s opportunity to score.

This sounds mad, but someone probably needs to tell you:

Taking wickets is not as important. In the longer form of the game, taking wickets is a primary aim because it reduces the score. In this, the 20 over innings, you`re expected to survive for twenty overs anyway (two overs per wicket) even if you lose half the team to crazy shots. The important thing to watch is run-rate. If a batsman is unable to score at more than a run a ball, there`s a very strong argument that the bowler should leave him there, don`t try to get him out, because the man coming in next will probably score faster, achieving a higher total. Vice-versa; if a batsman is scoring fast, it`s important to dismiss him and move on to someone who can`t. If a bowler can`t get a fast scorer out, he should try to give that player a single run at the start of each over and then bowl five balls at the lesser batsman. As a batsman, if you get injured, you should retire, even if it`s against your instinct to do so, you must sacrifice yourself to sustain the team run rate.

How can you spot a good 20/20 player? An economic bowling rate (something under six runs per over), conceding very few extras, a fast scoring strike rate (well above 100 runs per 100 balls), holding their nerve under stress and being sharp in the field (holding catches, being athletic enough to protect whole fielding areas - especially backward point, skill at sliding and cutting off boundary shots, together with an ability to throw accurately and efficiently back to the wicket keeper). In fact, the mark of a 20/20 player is not to throw in the air back to the keeper, but to bounce the ball in front of them (avoiding any overthrows). Youth also helps (India recently chose young players ahead of Dravid and Ganguly and went on to beat Australia and Sri Lanka in the CB Series). If you take a look at the domestic Indian youth contingent in these teams, you can immediately see they`ve been picked because of their excellent economy rates and strike rates. Test cricket, for contrast, considers different criteria.

A good sign to look for if you`re trying to predict a successful 20/20 side is the number of all-rounders. Ideally, all eleven players should be able to hit boundaries or score at a run a ball. Having lots of bowlers helps too because if a batsman takes a liking to one style, you just replace it with another. With famous international players packing these IPL sides, the `rule` relaxes to accommodate them. Glen McGrath, for example, is a bowler`s dream. He can bowl very well, but can`t bat, so a completely objective selector might prefer another batsman who can hit boundaries, bowls a bit and doesn`t concede as many runs as they score.

To be frank, 20/20 isn`t a bowler`s game. The pitches are prepared to encourage lavish boundary shots (not much movement in them for the bowlers) and the ropes are brought in to encourage hitting sixes (which might be caught inside the ropes on a normal playing area). The most accurate and economical of Test bowlers will be attacked straight away (especially if they`re a bit long in the tooth) because everyone knows exactly where they bowl and it`s just too predictable. Line & length reputations will get no respect; throw away the form book.

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