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Ahh, backyard cricket. A staple of Australia Day celebrations everywhere. A game enjoyed by people the world over but perfected in the backyards of Australia. The problem with perfection though is that it looks different to everyone. Every family, every group of friends will have their own interpretation. So, what happens when we all get together, and worlds collide? We’ve prepared a handy guide that we can all (hopefully) agree on.

We present to you, The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Cricket as Played on Australia Day.


First, choose your team and make it fair. Even stevens, OK? Aim for the same number and skill level per team (split kids and batting superstars between the teams).

Preparing the field of play:

Let’s not get too prescriptive here; think of these as standards, not rules.

  • An old bat from under the stairs or deep in the garage is preferable to a shiny new one. Failing that, a fence paling. Just watch out for splinters.
  • Stumps can be chalked on a wall, an Esky – or the classic wheelie bin.
  • Our ball is whatever you have to hand of suitable size and bounce. Tennis balls are the logical choice.

Scoring made easy:

  • You tip it, you run – this isn’t a test match – and the fence is four.


  • Hit a six – you’re gone. Over the fence, in the pool, on the roof, across the road, is six and out. But remember, you hit it, you fetch it.
  • No LBWs – this isn’t the Ashes.
  • No ducks. Everyone needs a chance to get their eye in.


The match is over when any of the following occurs:

  • Lunch is ready
  • The ball is lost
  • It’s too dark to see
  • A window is broken (this one is at the discretion of the homeowner).

Want to do more this Australia Day?