What is the meaning of List A career in cricket?

There are three categories of cricket tournaments depending on the format and the level at which they are played. These categories are First Class, List A and T20. List A tournaments are those wherein each side bats for somewhere between forty to sixty overs. The most common format is a 50-over format and is also called as One-Day International (ODI) Cricket.

The List A category was first introduced in 2006 by the International Cricket Council (ICC) upon the advise of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians. Philip Bailey was the person who recommended the advent of this category. It was done in order to introduce an equivalent of first-class cricket. It was traced back retrospectively to designate a match between Lancashire and Leicestershire in May 1963 as the first List A match.

But ODI cricket is not the only format in List A cricket. Domestic tournaments that last for 50-overs are also a part of List A cricket. However, warm-up matches of World Cup and exhibition matches are not a part of List A cricket. Additionally one-day matches that do not follow the basic rules of the sport (e.g. less than 11 players on-field) are also not considered a part of List A. Any limited-over match played by the 12 ICC members (Australia, West Indies, England, India, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, New Zealand, Ireland, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe) is included in the List A category. The List A category was also included in the women’s game in 2021.

Graham Gooch of England holds the record for the most runs scored in List A matches (22,211 runs). Among the bowlers, Pakistan’s Wasim Akram holds the record for taking the most wickets (881 wickets). South Africa’s Clive Rice is the only player to score over 13000 runs and also take over 500 wickets in List A cricket. Graeme Hick of England holds the record for playing the maximum List A matches (651 matches).

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