Cricket in Guelphia
A suburban cricket match
|Governing body||Guelphian Cricket Board|
|Team members||11 players per side (Substitutes permitted in some circumstances)|
|Mixed gender||Yes, separate competitions|
|Categorisation||Team sport, Bat-and-ball|
|Equipment||Cricket ball, cricket bat, wicket (stumps, bails), various protective equipment|
The game of cricket is the pre-eminent summer sport in Guelphia. As of 2016[update], cricket is the most played sport over the summer months, and is the second most popular overall. Locally, the sport is controlled by the Guelphian Cricket Board.
Exactly when the first games of cricket were played in Guelphia is difficult to discern.
On a domestic level, each county has a cricket team which competes in two separate competitions over summer:
- A three-day first-class competition known as the National County Championship; and
- A one-day competition, known as the Millennium Electric Cup.
The domestic first class competition is the National County Championship, with each of the eight counties represented by a team. All first class matches in Guelphia are played over three days. The Championship, which was established in time for the 1883/84 season, is played every summer from November to March. Attendances to Championship matches have never been as high as international games, with most games averaging around 2,500 spectators over the four days of play. In the media, the Championship enjoys widespread coverage, with all formats dedicating significant time/space to the game. On television, there is at least one game a week broadcast on the Galaxy pay television network, with Radio Television Guelphia also showing a highlights package each week on free-to-air television.
Guelphia's premier limited over cricket tournament is the Millennium Electric Cup. As with the first class Championship, each of the eight counties is represented by a team in the tournament, which is played at the start of the cricket season in early November. The format of the competition is somewhat unique as it involves teams batting two 25 over innings instead of the usual single innings format used by most national cricketing bodies. Unlike the first class form of the game, limited overs games tend to attract more spectators (averaging over 5,000 to most games) and enjoy prime-time coverage on free-to-air television.
At the grade level, there are teams in every town and village, playing in competitions all through the summer. Most local competitions consist of four or five divisions or "grades", with the top flight first grade coming above the seconds, thirds, and so on.