Are you Ready for a Summer of Cricket?

Cricket is one of Australia's favourite pastimes, and it really heats up over summer.

How much do you really know about the gentleman's game, widely considered to be our national sport? And are you ready to play this summer?

Tests, ODIs and T20

One of the most confusing elements of cricket is the variety of formats in which it's played. A T20 game consists of twenty overs per side, making it the fastest and arguably most exciting version of the sport.

Domestic leagues such as the KFC T20 Big Bash pull in huge crowds, are usually played at night and are jam packed full of excitement, so if you're just getting into this majestic game they're a good place to start.

One day internationals (ODIs) are played between two nations and usually consist of 50 overs per side. They take place over the course of a day and are a great way to ease into the long-form version of cricket.

Test match cricket, on the other hand, is for the purists. The games can run over five days and often don't end up with a winner announced, making it frustrating for those who prefer their sports short and sweet.

Committing to a summer test match may take up the better part of your week and not have a clear result, but it's the best way to experience the nuances of the game. This version is where strategy and skill are really revealed.

Get ready to play!

Despite the nature of the sport often being quite slow, cricketers still need to be in top shape. Elite players have healthy meal plans and rigorous training schedules, keeping in peak physical condition throughout the year.

Those of us more inclined to play the backyard or beach variety, however, don't need to live up to the same high standards. If you take your social sport seriously you will need some degree of coordination as there is a lot of throwing and catching involved, but the great thing about cricket is that you develop endurance, stamina, balance and hand-eye coordination as you play.

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