Cricket has 3 different formats, each with its own characteristics and specialities. One such attribute is the time duration for which a match is played in each of these formats.

So, in this article, let’s understand how long a cricket match lasts.

Different Formats, Different Time Durations

As I mentioned earlier, cricket has 3 formats — Test, One Day International (ODI), and T20 International (T20I). The duration of a match varies according to the format. 

Test Format

Although there is no restriction on how many overs a team can bat in Test cricket, these matches can last for a maximum of 5 days. On each of these 5 days, teams can play 90 overs in a day, with 6 hours of scheduled playing time spread across 3 sessions.

The playing time can be extended further by half an hour if the required number of overs are not bowled or there is a possibility of a result at the end of the day. Furthermore, if the 2 breaks — lunch/dinner or tea — between 3 sessions are included, then a day’s play lasts for approximately 7 hours.

Also Read | 6 Reasons Why Test Cricket is So Hard

ODI Format

The One Day International (ODI) format consists of 2 innings of 50 overs each. As the name suggests, an ODI match lasts for a day.

Now, that doesn’t mean it’s played throughout the day; an ODI match has a playing time of about 8 to 9 hours, including the drinks break and innings break. On rare occasions, a match might be extended to a reserve day, most probably in tournaments like the ICC Cricket World Cup or the ICC Champions Trophy.

And even if the game gets postponed to the reserve day, the play is resumed from the original match day. 

During the Asia Cup in September 2023, the reserve day rule was applied in the India versus Pakistan match as the first day was interrupted due to rain. On the next day, the match continued from the end of the first day.

Also Read | The Powerplays in ODI Cricket – A Complete Guide

T20 Format

T20 cricket is the shortest format and consists of 2 innings of 20 overs each. A T20 match is finished in half of the time allotted to an ODI match.

Basically, T20 games last for approximately 4 hours, including the drinks break and innings break. And this is one of the reasons why T20 cricket is so popular across the world.

The reserve day rule is also applicable in T20 cricket. During the 2023 IPL final, rain played spoilsport, and no play was possible on the scheduled day. So the final was postponed to the next day, and finally, the match took place.

Also Read | The Powerplay Overs Rule in T20I Cricket – Explained

Other Formats of the Game

T10 Format

Although many T10 leagues have sprawled across the globe, this format is not part of international cricket. A T10 game is the shorter version of a T20 game, meaning it consists of 2 innings of 10 overs each.

Since the game is shortened, a T10 match lasts for around 1.5 to 2 hours, including the 10-minute innings break.

100-Ball Format

This is a newly introduced format by the England and Wales Cricket Board. And they have their own league called — The Hundred

Each innings consists of 100 balls, which comes to about 17 overs. A Hundred match lasts for around 2.5 to 3 hours, which is quite close to a T20 match.

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