Cricket is a sport where a bowler delivers a ball of cork core at a speed between 90-150 km/hr by first pitching it on the ground before it reaches the batsman. Of crucial importance is the length of the playing strip on which the ball is supposed to pitch.
A cricket pitch is aligned in a north-south direction so that the sun does not interfere with the batsman’s vision while batting. Back in the 18th century, the Britishers commonly used a unit of measurement that they referred as a chain. 10 chains would make 1 furlong and 1 chain is equal to 22 yards. The Marylebone Cricket Club’s Code of 1744 was written by the Britishers, and hence the cricket pitch was decided to be as long as 22 yards or 1 chain.
The width of the cricket pitch is 3.05 meters. The playable area within the 22 yard pitch is divided by two lines on both sides of the stumps that are 2.64 meters wide. The popping crease is behind which the bowlers are supposed to bowl a legal delivery. The distance between the two popping creases on either side of the pitch is 19.33 yards.
PROTECTED AREA OF THE PITCH
From five feet on either side of the popping crease, the groundsman makes a mark on the edge of the pitch. The distance between the two marks is called the protected area. This protected area is not quite distinguished and is an imaginary area between the two marks made by the groundsman which is majorly placed in the centre of the pitch. The protected area is where most of the balls are pitched.
Following a bowler’s runner-up, the momentum of his or her body after the ball is released might lead to him or her invade the protected area space. A warning can be issued to the bowler by the umpire as it can damage the pitch and make it uneven. Repetition of the act after a warning might lead to a cancellation of the bowler’s overs.
A cricket pitch thus has strict dimensions that are followed universally and unanimously.