Cricket Betting Sites & Offers

CricketWith all three different formats of the game now a roaring success, cricket has truly embraced a modern audience. As a consequence of this UK online bookmakers have more cricket markets, lines, coverage and crucially betting offers than ever before.

There are now more cricket matches, series and tournaments than ever and with the increasing popularity of the shorter game formats offers can now be found almost year round. Cricket really is a prefect sport for any punter with markets that can run anywhere from a couple of seconds (e.g number runs next ball) to 8 weeks or more (test series result).

Whether you want to punt on an international test series, a County Championship test match, 50 over limited one day internationals (ODIs) or the rapid and colourful Twenty20 there is a bookie and a deal out there. Here we show you all of the very best regular cricket promotions from UK licensed bookmakers.

Major Cricket Events

the ashes
Visit our Ashes page for Australia v England specific promos and offers
cricket world cup
The World Cup is the pinnacle of ODI cricket, held every four years
Cricket In Play Club & Money Back
Unibet In Play Free Bet Club

Cricket is an awesome sport to bet on live simply because the games are so much longer than other sports allowing you to take more time to consider bets and also far more betting markets than shorter game-time sports.

Unibet’s in play club will reward you with a £10 free bet each week (Monday to Sunday) that you place five or more £10+ evens+ cricket bets in play. Perfect for a test match. Read more about the in play club, which is also open to other sports.

It doesn’t end there either as Unibet also have feature offers such as money back on losing bets if your team scores a certain amount but doesn’t win or your top batsman bet gets a 100 but doesn’t win. A must have bookie for any regular cricket bettor.

T&Cs Apply, 18+ Only
Money Back & Acca Insurance

For big England test matches, T20’s and one day internationals William Hill sometomes give money back (as a free bet) pre-match top batsmen bets if they finish second. Applies to the 1st innings in a test match. Stake back as a free bet valid for 7 days.

In addition you can get 5+ cricket acca insurance through William Hill’s industry leading all sports accumulator money back if one leg lets you down promotion (max £20, refund as a free bet, claim up to once/day). The multiple doesn’t have to be all cricket either, it can be a mix and match of almost any sport.

T&Cs Apply, 18+ Only
Home of the Money Back Special

There has yet to be a major cricket event go by where Paddy Power haven’t had some sort of money back promotion. If you bet on things like the Indian Premier League then Paddy will commonly run tournament long deals that over time can add a bit of extra value to your wages.

Expect things like money back if a team or player scores a given total but the bet fails to win. There are also the occasional free bet special too, often linking pre-event and in play markets.

T&Cs Apply, 18+ Only

Best Cricket Bookmakers & Betting Sites

There has yet to be a cricket season in which William Hill have not run a top value promotion. If you tend to bet on England this is one of the best bookies you can punt with.
Betway love their traditional British sports and so when it comes to cricket you can expect to see good promotions and a large range. Good all round cricket bookie.
Betfred have been in the bookmaking game a long time and they have a fair idea what their punters want. No messing about from this site, top offers and good markets.
If depth is what you want then look no further than Coral. I have yet to find another site with more pre-event and in play markets for cricket than these guys.
Good option for outright betting with some phenomenal pre-event and live event price enhancements. Worth having an account with just to check if you bet regularly on cricket.
888 Sport may not be the first that comes to mind when you think of the old English game. In fact 888 punch well above most others for good value cricket promotions in particular.
Reliable, especially if you like to bet on accumulators. 10Bet always have an acca offer open to cricket markets and so if you place combination bets this is a superior option.
A big sponsor of cricket, especially at a county level, this massive European bookie has far more under its bonnet than you may imagine with markets for even the smallest events.
Another betting site where you can always find a money back or free bet offer surrounding the bigger cricket tournaments, especially T20 and anything involving England.

Cricket, How to Play, Rules, About, Origins and History

cricket ballOn these pages we’ve explored several different sports that have a history that’s closely tied in with the past of the British Empire. From football and the manner in which it came out of a dispute over the rules of rugby, through to snooker and the manner in which it was invented by an army officer who was bored when on a posting in India, there’s a fascinated story behind the origins of pretty much any competitive endeavour. That’s never been more true than when discussing cricket, a game that seems to be the very definition of Britishness. There’s no reason why we’re looking at sports with ties to England and the rest of the British Empire, of course. We’re also looking at the likes of American Football and ice hockey.

Yet the simple fact is that when it comes to cricket it’s impossible not to mention the manner in which it’s seen by many to be epitome of what it is to be English. There’s even a phrase for someone behaving somewhat scandalously, in which a party would inform them that what they’ve done is ‘just not cricket’. It is a sport that is suggestive of sunny days spent lounging on some grass and watching people dressed in white running back and forth before breaking for ‘drinks’ or ‘tea’. It is the greatest example of a sport that’s likely to be played in a quiet English village that it’s possible to find. Yet it’s also one of the most fiercely competitive, watched and argued over sports that you’re likely to come across. Here we’ll try to explain those contradictions as best we can.

A Potted History Of Cricket

umpire stood over a cricket ballAs is so often the case with the most interesting sporting events out there, the exact history of cricket isn’t known. It’s important when talking about its origins, therefore, to distinguish between when we know that cricket began to be played and what we think of as being the sport’s early years. In south-east England, between the counties of Kent and Sussex, there is a section of wooded land that’s known as the Weald. Many cricket historians believe that the game has its origins in this part of the world, having been played by children there during the Norman or Saxon times. Some believe that it dates back even early than that, with claims having been made that references to Edward II having played ‘creag and other games’ on the 10th of March 1300 were an early attempt of spelling ‘cricket’. That does’t seem overly likely, however it is likely that the game began life as one being played by children before adults began to get involved.

The first time the sport earned any sort of real, identifiable reference was in the documents of a court case that took place in 1598. The course case involved a dispute over some land, with a fifty-nine year old man named John Derrick testifying that he and his school friends had played a game he called ‘creckett’ on the land fifty years before. There were no references to adults playing the game until more than a decade later, with two men being prosecuted in 1611 when they chose to play cricket on a Sunday instead of heading along to church. A dictionary definition in the same year added more fuel to the fire that it was seen as a kid’s game back then, referring to it as a ‘boy’s game’. The development of the game’s name from creckett to cricket isn’t particularly well-known either, although similar worlds in Old English, such as cricc, and French, like criquet, all mean something like ‘staff’ or ‘post’.

As with the majority of sports, cricket really took off once people realise how good an event it was to gamble on. In fact, it’s possible that the Gaming Act of 1664 was introduced specifically in an attempt to curb the gambling habits of those that enjoyed watching cricket. Just as the enjoyment of people gambling on the sport increased, so did its press coverage. In 1696 the press was granted freedom of coverage, meaning that they could finally write about the sport in newspapers and ordinary people began to take more interest in it. Though the general rules of cricket have been in existence as long as some form of the game has, they were eventually officially codified in 1744 and amended thirty years later. When the Marylebone Cricket Club was founded in 1787 at Lord’s Cricket Ground, the organisation took on custodianship of the rules and laws of the game and have made periodical adjustments ever since.

Interest in the game of cricket has waxed and waned with every passing year. That one of the first ever football matches took place on a cricket field tells you everything you need to know about the sport’s popularity at the time. Yet despite new and more interesting games being invented and played over the years, cricket has never even come close to disappearing off the map altogether. Those in charge of developing the game have worked hard to ensure that it has constantly re-invented itself. The most obviously example of this is the introduction of One Day Test Matches and Twenty20 Cricket. It has also been a sport that has been used to take a stand against social injustice. Though you wouldn’t think of cricket as being a political tool, it has been at times. In 1970, for example, the International Cricket Conference voted to ban South Africa from international competition until the end of aphartheid, which didn’t come about until 1991.

How Cricket Is Played

bowlers inspecting a cricket ball

Though there have been a number of different versions of cricket introduced over the years, they all take their basis from the same origins. For that reason, we’ll look at the main game and then offer explanations of how the other varieties are played once we’ve covered the main one. Cricket is played between two teams made up of eleven players on each, often with a twelfth man kept in reserve in case of injury or illness. The toss of a coin decides which team will bat first and which will field first. The fielding side takes their entire team onto the cricket pitch and the captain will situate people around the field. One of the fielders goes behind the wickets and is known as the ‘wicket-keeper’, whilst another will take the responsibility of aiming the ball at the wickets and they’re called the bowler.

The rest of the team are fielders, placed in position in the hopes that they’ll be able to catch the ball when it’s hit by the batsman or, at the very least, stop the ball from traveling to the boundary. We mentioned the ‘wicket’ a second ago and that’s the thing that the entire game revolves around. There are three pieces of wood that are called stumps. These are put into the ground and the wicket itself goes on top of them. The bowlers have the aim of hitting the stumps in order to knock the wicket onto the ground, whilst the batsmen do their best to stop it from being knocked to the floor. The bowler will have six attempts at hitting the wickets, after which they will change ends to the opposite side of the pitch, with those six balls being collectively known as an ‘Over’. Each match contains a given number of Overs that tend to be split over a certain number of Innings – usually two.

An Innings can be over earlier than expected if the bowling team manages to get ten of the batters out, either by hitting the stumps and knocking the wicket to the floor or by catching the ball straight off the hit form the bat and before it touches the floor. There are also other methods, such as Leg Before Wicket and being run-out that can lead to a batsman’s dismissal. Whilst the bowlers are trying to get the batsmen out, the batters are trying to score points. Every time they hit the ball they’re entitled to run from one end of the pitch to the other, which is a single. They can run back and fourth as many times as they want during the period of time it takes the bowlers to get the ball in a position that will make the batsman stay in their ‘crease’ in order to protect the wicket. If they hit the ball along the ground and it touches the boundary rope, that counts as four runs. If they hit it and it goes over the boundary without touching the floor then that is an automatic six points.

Major Cricket Formats

cricket ball and money

One of the things that some people love about cricket is that a match can go on for up to five days. Teams can keep batting until the Overs are completed, or they can ‘declare’ and see if they can get the opposition team Out when they become the batters. Yet technically test cricket can last for up to five days. As a result, faster and more interesting variations of the game were invented over the years to stop matches from becoming too boring. The most interesting version of these is Twenty20 cricket, which involves one Innings per team and allows for a maximum of twenty overs in each Innings.

The one person on the field that we haven’t yet mentioned but who is arguably the most important is the Umpire. It’s their responsibly to decide whether a batsman is Out or not, often having to dismiss the appeals of the bowling team if he feels the batsman played fairly. Obviously this is just a condensed version of the rules, but hopefully it gives you a solid idea of how the game is played.

Major Cricket Competitions and Tournaments

cricket player running silhouetteCricket remains an immensely popular sport, played all over the world. As England moved all throughout the commonwealth during Britain’s most illustrious years, so too did cricket. As a result, there are prestigious tournaments that take place on a regular basis, to say nothing of Test Matches that move from one part of the world to another. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting competitions in the sport.

The Ashes – There’s little question that The Ashes is one of the most watched and loved cricket tournaments in the sport. In its most simple format it is just a Test series played between England and Australia, with five Test matches per series. The location of the tournament moves between Australia and the UK roughly every year-and-a-half in order to coincide with summer, with the winners being the team that has ‘won the ashes’. The name comes from an article in 1882 in The Sporting Times, in which the writer said that ‘English cricket had died and the ashes taken back to Australia’ when the Aussies won the Test. The English captain vowed to travel to Australia and ‘regain those ashes’, with the title having stuck ever since.

The ICC Cricket World Cup – Taking place every four years, fans of football will have a fair idea of what this tournament involves. It is thought of as the number one event in cricket, on account of the fact that it is open to more than just the two teams. There are four stages to the tournament, which involves the playing of one day internationals between all members of the International Cricket Council who have qualified to play in the tournament. It was first played in 1975, though inter-nations cricket has been played since as long ago as 1912.

The T20 World cup – The name of this tournament tells you everything that you need to know. It is a version of the World Cup that is played in a Twenty20 format, generally taking place every two years. That’s not set in stone however, given that there was a four year gap between the 2016 edition and the following one in 2020. It has only been in existence since 2007, meaning that it lacks the prestige of older and more popular tournaments. Once again it is organised by the International Cricket Council, featuring twelve of the ICC’s full members and four that come in through qualification.

Indian Premier League – The most watched sports tournament in India by some distance is this Twenty20 tournament that takes place in India between April and May every year. To give you some idea of just how popular it is, the attendance of the Indian Premier League is ranked sixth in a list of any league sports event in the world. That’s a remarkable achievement for something that only came into existence in 2008 when the Board of Control for Cricket in India founded the event. It is played between teams representing Indian cities and states and often features a combination of lower league Indian cricketers and world-famous internationals.

Cricket Facts & Figures

Competition Most Successful Team
The Ashes Australia
The ICC Cricket World Cup Australia
The T20 World cup The West Indies
Indian Premier League Mumbai Indians

There is actually a strong women’s game in cricket, with a Women’s Cricket World Cup having being held a full two years before the men’s game got its act together. Yet, as you can probably tell, in terms of the major tournaments it is still those played by the men that maintain the most interest. Here’s a look at the most common winners to date of each of the tournaments mentioned above: