Football and Cricket are the two most popular sports in the world right now. While Football has always lead the race in terms of popularity, Cricket has grown over the years. There is a considerable set of cricket fans in modern world. The two games are completely different from each other considering the rules of the sports. 

Here we have pointed out 7 unique rules and features of football which are do not exist in the ‘Gentlemen’s sport’.

International and club

The Indian team (left), two English footballers ply their trade in two different clubs throughout the year

Clubs play a vital role in the world of football, while Cricket is mostly about international matches. In football the national teams play five or six times in an entire season in the FIFA registered friendly games. The footballers earn their wages from their respective clubs, whereas the Cricket players are paid by their national governing bodies. This is one of the most important distinctions between the two games. As footballers are controlled by their individual clubs, the players generally sign contracts with their boards. After the contract expires the footballers are free and can change their loyalty and move to some other club. At the end of football season a transfer window starts during which the clubs buy or sell their players as per requirements of the team. If a player is being sold within the contract period, the club who is acquiring the players’ services pay a transfer amount which is decided mutually between the two parties. As Cricket is a nation oriented sport pre-dominantly, the players do not have the option of switching teams for obvious reasons.

Captain’s role

Manchester United's legendary manager Sir Alex (Right), Legendary Indian captain Sourav Ganguly (left)

Each and every tactical decision in football is predominantly taken by the manager or coach of a side compared to Cricket which is captain centric. In Football the teams nominate a particular player as captain but generally the role is honorary. The major tactical decisions and strategies are architected by the manager of the side. Also the manager is in charge of making substitutions during the matches as and when required. In Cricket the on-field tactics are constructed by the team’s captain and the success of a team is dependent on the captain’s abilities.

Season long continuity

A fixture of a football season

Football being a club oriented affair has continuity. The football leagues around the world last for an average time period of 8-10 months. The leagues generally resume during August and conclude by May. International Cricket on the other hand is generally played on a series basis and happens throughout the year. There isn’t any particular season for Cricket in the modern day.

Booking during game

Football is a body contact game. Players often get into physical clashes and block each other to prevent the opponent from scoring goals. Automatically the adrenaline rush among footballers is much higher compared to cricketers. Though, football is termed as the ‘beautiful game’ it often becomes roughs a little wild. The referee in such circumstances takes the center stage to warn the players or sent them off if the act goes out of hand. The referee carries a yellow card and red card. The yellow card signifies a warning to a player and red card directs a player to leave the field immediately. A player who concedes a red card in a game remains suspended for the succeeding game.

The Video above depicts an on field spat between Pakistani cricketers and the field umire. Unlike football cricketers are not sent off for such incidents.


Cricket have three different formats depicted by the jerseys. Coloured jerseys are used for shorter format and white jersies for Test cricket. Football on the other hand has only one format and is played for 90 minutes

In football there is only one format of the game which is acknowledged by the governing body FIFA on an international level. 11 players on each side play 90 minutes of regulation time and the additional minutes in every sphere, be it international or club. Compared to this Cricket over the years have evolved and three formats till now have been recognized by the International Cricket Council. The game was initially played for five days which is the Test format. Then One-day Internationals came up to the scenarios where a total of 100 overs are played by the two teams and the game concludes approximately within 8 hours. The latest innovation that has been introduced is the T20 format where each team plays 20 overs. It is the shortest format of the game right now and the match concludes in approximately 3.5 hours.

Additional time

An additional time is given after the 90 minutes in football, while cricket concludes immediately aftre a schedule time.

Football being body contact sports witnesses a series of injuries and fouls committed. The players often indulge in physical clashes which results in injuries of the players. As a result the game generally gets halted at that point of time. Provisions are there in the rules of the game to compensate the time lost during the injuries. The match officials calculate the average time lost and accordingly give an additional time after the regulation time period of 90 minutes. In Cricket no such provision is kept.

Shape of the field

Football fields are rectangualr in shape(left), Cricket fields vary

The shape of a football must be rectangular as per the rule of the game. The measurements of a football pitch generally vary. The longer sides are the touchlines of a field and the shorter ones are the goal lines. The touchlines vary from 90-120 meters. The goal lines vary between 45-90 meters. The sides must be proportional. In Cricket, the ground can be round or oval. The shape does not affect the game as the pitch on the ground is the most essential part of the sport.


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