First-class cricket is a class of the game of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each, officially adjudged to be first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams. Matches must allow for the teams to play two innings each, although, in practice, a team might only play one innings or none at all.
Test cricket, although the highest standard of cricket, is itself a form of first-class cricket, although the term "first-class" is commonly used to refer to domestic competition only. A player's first-class statistics include his performances in Test matches.
Generally, first-class matches are eleven players a side but there have been exceptions. Equally, although first-class matches must now be scheduled to have at least three days' duration, there have historically been exceptions.
Due to the time demands of first-class competition, the players are mostly paid professionals, though historically many players were designated amateur. First-class teams usually represent a geopolitical region such as an English county, an Australian state or a West Indian nation.
Famous quotes containing the word cricket:
“All cries are thin and terse;
The field has droned the summers final mass;
A cricket like a dwindled hearse
Crawls from the dry grass.”
—Richard Wilbur (b. 1921)