Baseball is one of the popular sports in USA with a big fan following and professional leagues. It is also enjoyed by the locals who play it as a good pastime activity with family and friends whereas, Cricket is an emerging sport in the US. While the game of cricket has been long played since the 16th century and is enjoyed by a lot of people across the globe due to the competitive and exhilarating nature of the game! We will discuss below both the team sports – rules for baseball and cricket games, the equipment used foe the sports, how they are different, what similarities do they have and which one is more popular in the US!

1. Cricket vs Baseball Rules

Baseball is a group sport played between two teams, consisting of 9 players in each team. The game is split into 9 innings where both the teams alternate between offense (batting and running) and defense (fielding and pitching) in each inning. The baseball field is sort of like a diamond shape; it is divided into four bases with a distance in between each for the players to run. There are two playing areas: infield and outfield. The games start with the batter who stands on the home plate while the pitcher who throws the ball stands in the center of the infield. Once the ball is hit, the batter starts running in order to complete the round while touching all the bases. If a round is completed then a point is awarded.

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While Cricket is a highly competitive sport – also played between two teams, with typically 11 players in each team. The objective is to score more runs than the opposing team. One team bowls while the other team hits the bat and runs in the ball and bat game.

While there are variations of the cricket game – such as Test series, One Day International and Twenty 20. The usual game has a fixed number of overs that both the teams have to play in. A toss is done to determine which team will bat and ball first. The team that does batting first, make a number of runs in the fixed overs – setting up a target for the other team. After they have finished batting, the other team plays to beat the target while the opposing team tries their best to not let them win. There is maximum 10 outs allowed for each game, if a team is all-out, then the game is over and the fielding team wins.

2. Cricket vs Baseball Equipment

While both the games require a bat and ball, the type of baseball bat and ball differs from that of a cricket ball and bat. A cricket batsman wears a glove, helmet, cricket box – which is an abdominal guard, batting and thigh pads for safety purposes and better grip of the cricket bat.

The essential cricket equipment used in a cricket game includes a hard ball which is made with a cork covered in leather, stumps & bails that are stuck into the ground to form a wicket and a wooden bat. While for a baseball game, of course a baseball bat is needed which is a round, solid wooden or hollow aluminum bat, ball – made out of a rubber or cork and covered with a yarn, gloves and helmets for batting players.

3. What are the main differences and similarities in cricket and baseball?

Cricket vs Baseball Differences

  • The main key difference is the bat used in both sports – in cricket the bat is flat while in a baseball game the bat is round.
  • A cricket team has eleven players while the baseball game has nine players
  • In terms of using the bat to score a run, baseball players hold the bat up to hit while a cricket batsman holds the bat down.
  • The playing fields for both the games are different in terms of the size and shape.
  • A baseball game consists of nine innings for each team whereas a cricket game may have either one or two innings for each team. In cricket, the team with greater runs wins after the opposing team with fewer runs has finished all of their players’ turns to bat – if there is not an all-out or an early finish.

Cricket vs Baseball Similarities

  • The major similarity is the use of a bat and ball in both the sports to play the game.
  • Both the games are played between teams of two who take turns in fielding and batting.
  • Both in cricket and baseball games, the players of each team attempt to score runs by hitting the ball with bat and running to score points.
  • In both the games, if one of the fielders catches the ball after it is hit, then the player gets out.

If we talk about the cricket vs baseball popularity in USA, then it is evident that baseball is more popular while cricket is still growing in parts of the US. This is because baseball is one of the oldest sports played in the US and it is unofficially regarded as the national sport. It is also said that it has contributed greatly to the economic and sporting conditions of the country. While it is played professionally, baseball is a popular pastime activity that can be played in an open field on different family and friends’ gatherings.

The professional baseball games in the US include the Major League Baseball (MLB) games, a certified baseball organization that has two professional US baseball leagues- American League (AL) and National League (NL). These leagues have a high television viewership as well as the live games that are held across the country – they are some of the top American sports games that have a huge average attendance of the people in audience.

Author’s opinion:

In my opinion, after doing the analysis of baseball and cricket, the popularity of the two sports in the US – from their history to current standing. Baseball is undoubtedly more recognized as a sport that is played and viewed largely by the people.

While the origins of cricket are from the British areas, there is no doubt that it is slowing becoming a popular sport in the US. The US will be co-hosting the 2024 T20 World Cup!

What do you think?

Written by Usama

Usama J. is a passionate writer about the sports and works as an in house sports journalist at Openiun, and covered many international sporting events including ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.