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Cricket vs. Basketball — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 6, 2024
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game with complex rules and varied match lengths, while basketball is a fast-paced game focused on scoring points by shooting a ball through a hoop.
Cricket vs. Basketball — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Cricket and Basketball

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Key Differences

Cricket involves two teams taking turns to bat and field, with the objective of scoring runs and limiting the opposing team's runs. Matches can last from a few hours to five days, depending on the format. Whereas basketball is played between two teams aiming to score points by shooting a basketball into the opposing team's hoop, with games typically lasting four quarters of 12 minutes each in professional leagues.
While cricket is played on a large oval field with a 22-yard long pitch at the center, basketball is played on a rectangular court with a hoop at each end. The cricket field's size allows for a wide range of shots and tactical plays, while basketball courts facilitate fast-paced, back-and-forth action. On the other hand, basketball requires continuous, high-intensity physical activity, with players running, jumping, and making quick directional changes. Cricket, in contrast, involves bursts of activity like bowling, batting, and fielding interspersed with periods of relative inactivity, making it a game of mixed paces.
Cricket employs a wide array of equipment, including bats, balls, protective gear, and wickets. Each piece plays a crucial role in the game's execution and player safety. Meanwhile, basketball mainly revolves around the basketball itself, with minimal equipment like the hoop and occasional protective gear, emphasizing skill and agility over equipment variety.
Cricket requires strategic depth, with captains making complex decisions based on the state of the game, weather conditions, and the characteristics of the pitch. While basketball emphasizes strategy in the form of plays, positioning, and player matchups, its strategies are executed in a faster, more dynamic context.

Comparison Chart

Objective

Score runs and limit the opposition’s runs
Score points by shooting a ball through a hoop
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Game Length

Varies from a few hours to five days
Typically 48 minutes (professional games)

Playing Field

Oval field with a 22-yard pitch at the center
Rectangular court with a hoop at each end

Physical Intensity

Mixed paces, with bursts of activity
Continuous high intensity

Equipment

Bats, balls, protective gear, wickets
Basketball, hoop, minimal protective gear

Strategy

Involves complex tactical decisions
Focuses on plays, positioning, matchups

Team Size

11 players
5 players on the court at a time

Compare with Definitions

Cricket

Complex rules and formats.
Understanding cricket rules, including the intricacies of test matches, one-day internationals, and T20s, can be daunting.

Basketball

Fast-paced team sport.
Basketball's rapid gameplay demands excellent physical conditioning and skill.

Cricket

Varied match lengths.
Test cricket can last up to five days, showcasing a game of endurance and strategy.

Basketball

Scoring through hoops.
Players score points in basketball by shooting the ball through the opponent's hoop.

Cricket

Emphasis on equipment.
Cricket requires specialized equipment for batting, bowling, and fielding.

Basketball

Minimal equipment needed.
Basketball primarily requires just a ball and a hoop, making it accessible to many.

Cricket

Bat-and-ball game.
Cricket is known for its unique blend of strategy, skill, and endurance.

Basketball

Defined by quarters.
Professional basketball games are divided into four quarters, adding structure to the fast-paced game.

Cricket

Strategic depth.
Cricket captains must make decisions that consider pitch conditions, weather, and opponent weaknesses.

Basketball

Dynamic strategy.
Basketball strategies must adapt quickly to the opposing team's plays and player dynamics.

Cricket

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 22-yard (20-metre) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat (and running between the wickets), while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this (by preventing the ball from leaving the field, and getting the ball to either wicket) and dismiss each batter (so they are "out").

Basketball

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball (approximately 9.4 inches (24 cm) in diameter) through the defender's hoop (a basket 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter mounted 10 feet (3.048 m) high to a backboard at each end of the court) while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three.

Cricket

Any of various orthopteran insects of the family Gryllidae, having long antennae and legs adapted for leaping. The males of many species produce a shrill chirping sound by rubbing the front wings together.

Basketball

A game played between two teams of five players each, the object being to throw a ball through an elevated basket on the opponent's side of a rectangular court. Players may move the ball by dribbling or passing with the hands.

Cricket

(Sports) An outdoor game played with bats, a ball, and wickets by two teams of 11 players each.

Basketball

The inflated, spherical ball used in this game.

Cricket

Good sportsmanship and fair conduct
It's not cricket to cheat at cards.

Basketball

A sport in which two opposing teams of five players strive to put a ball through a hoop.

Cricket

A small wooden footstool.

Basketball

(countable) The particular kind of ball used in the sport of basketball. Basketball

Cricket

A ridged structure made of two adjoining triangular pieces covered with flashing or roofing material and built at the upper intersection of a roof and chimney to divert water and prevent the accumulation of snow and debris. Also called saddle.

Basketball

To play basketball

Cricket

To play the game of cricket.

Basketball

To throw in a similar way to when shooting a basketball

Cricket

An insect in the order Orthoptera, especially family Gryllidae, that makes a chirping sound by rubbing its wing casings against combs on its hind legs.

Basketball

A ball game, usually played indoors in an area called the basketball court, in which two opposing teams of five players each contest with each other to toss a large inflated ball (the basketball) into opposite goals (baskets) resembling baskets, each typically a cylindrical mesh suspended from a circular rim which is held ten feet above the court. A goal scored by passing the basketball through the basket may count from one to three points, depending on the situation in which it was thrown.

Cricket

In the form crickets: absolute silence; no communication.

Basketball

The inflatable ball used in the game of basketball.

Cricket

A signalling device used by soldiers in hostile territory to identify themselves to a friendly in low visibility conditions.

Basketball

A game played on a court by two opposing teams of 5 players; points are scored by throwing the basketball through an elevated horizontal hoop

Cricket

A relatively small area of a roof constructed to divert water from a horizontal intersection of the roof with a chimney, wall, expansion joint, or other projection.

Basketball

An inflated ball used in playing basketball

Cricket

An aural warning sound consisting of a continuously-repeating chime, designed to be difficult for pilots to ignore.

Cricket

(sports) A game played outdoors with bats and a ball between two teams of eleven, popular in England and many Commonwealth countries.

Cricket

An act that is fair and sportsmanlike.
Not cricket

Cricket

A variant of the game of darts. See Cricket (darts).

Cricket

A wooden footstool.

Cricket

To play the game of cricket.

Cricket

An orthopterous insect of the genus Gryllus, and allied genera. The males make chirping, musical notes by rubbing together the basal parts of the veins of the front wings.

Cricket

A low stool.

Cricket

A game much played in England, and sometimes in America, with a ball, bats, and wickets, the players being arranged in two contesting parties or sides.

Cricket

A small false roof, or the raising of a portion of a roof, so as to throw off water from behind an obstacle, such as a chimney.

Cricket

To play at cricket.

Cricket

Leaping insect; male makes chirping noises by rubbing the forewings together

Cricket

A game played with a ball and bat by two teams of 11 players; teams take turns trying to score runs

Cricket

Play cricket

Common Curiosities

What equipment is unique to cricket?

Cricket requires bats, balls, protective gear, and wickets, which are essential for playing the game safely and effectively.

What is cricket?

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams who take turns batting and fielding, aiming to score runs and restrict the opponent's runs.

How does cricket differ from basketball?

Cricket is characterized by its complex rules, strategic depth, and varied match lengths, while basketball is known for its fast pace, continuous action, and emphasis on scoring through hoops.

Is physical intensity the same in both sports?

No, basketball demands continuous, high-intensity physical activity, while cricket involves mixed paces with bursts of activity and periods of inactivity.

Are cricket and basketball popular in the same regions?

Cricket is especially popular in Commonwealth countries, whereas basketball enjoys global popularity, particularly in the United States.

What defines a basketball game's structure?

Basketball games are structured into four quarters, allowing for a clear progression and strategic timeouts.

How does scoring work in cricket and basketball?

In cricket, teams score runs, with various methods like hitting the ball to the boundary or running between wickets. In basketball, players score points by shooting the ball through the opponent's hoop.

Can strategy change during a cricket or basketball game?

Yes, both sports require adaptability in strategy; cricket captains must adjust to changing game conditions, while basketball teams adapt to opponents' strategies and player performance.

Can cricket and basketball games last the same amount of time?

No, cricket matches can last from a few hours to five days, while basketball games, especially in professional leagues, typically last around 48 minutes.

How important is strategy in cricket and basketball?

Strategy is crucial in both sports; cricket involves complex tactical decisions, while basketball focuses on dynamic plays and quick adaptations.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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