How Gully Cricket popularised the sport in India

This article tells us about the most popular format of cricket in India, namely Gully Cricket. Read how gully cricket is popular and enjoyed by people and how Indians learn to play cricket in the small lanes and aim to become big cricketers.


The IPL, the T20 World Cup, the World Cup - who needs an official tournament to goad people to play cricket in a nation where the sport is a religion and Sachin Tendulkar is regarded as God?! All that is required is basic equipment, an empty road, a few enthusiastic cricket fans to form teams - and the game is on: that, basically, is what Gully cricket is all about.

Gully cricket is a huge sport in India. It is played in the by-lanes (known as gullies, hence the name) of practically every region, whether it is a large metro city or a small town or a scenic village. In fact, Gully cricket is where many of today's Indian cricket stars began their sporting career.

The Players

Gully cricket is not restricted to young children or to teenagers. Adults who on weekdays spend hours at an office desk will on a weekend holiday exchange their formal clothes for casual jeans & T-shirts, teaming up with local residents for a round of gully cricket. On a few occasions, everybody will pool in to give the winning team prize money. Most often, though, gully cricket is played for the heck of it - for time pass.

The Equipment

  1. The Stumps: With building and road construction taking place 24x7 practically everywhere, stones, bricks and short poles are easily available. I recently saw a unique pair of stumps in a Mumbai gully – a new footpath was being laid with flowery-type designed lightweight tiles. The kids had fashioned the stumps by placing two of these neatly wedged between a plastic ball!

  2. The Bat: Any old bat will do, however misshapen and cracked it may be. It could be a wooden one or a plastic one. It need not necessarily even be a bat per se. Even a straight plank of wood does the task well!

  3. The Ball: The red cherry cannot be used as it is a major danger to people, vehicles and windows. The substitute is a colourful plastic ball or a yellow tennis ball, both types being inexpensive and easily available at a local kirana store. Mind you, though, these balls are as hard as the red cherry and can cause some really hurtful bruises as I have unfortunately realized on quite a few occasions!

How Gully Cricket is played

With basic equipment readily at hand, it is time to play. There are no official rules. A parked vehicle or a tree marks the boundary line – a ball sailing beyond it is 4 runs. A more distant tree marks the 6 runs shot. There are no umpires. In fact, everybody – batsman, bowler, and fielder – is an umpire, with everybody vociferously supporting / negating an 'out' decision or a boundary. In fact, a greater part of the play time is spent arguing and dissecting decisions!

While some games of gully cricket are played for a limited number of Overs, generally there is no time limit. It is time to stop play once mothers start yelling for the kids to return home for lunch / milk / snacks.

Post-match analysis

After the game is over, there just has to be a post-match in-depth discussion: who hit the ball the furthest; who bowled the fastest ball; how XYZ was stupidly run out; etc etc.


As you can see, gully cricket is played with utmost seriousness. In fact, it is taken as seriously as an official ICC competition! It is fun, it is noisy, and it is thoroughly enjoyable in every aspect for both players and onlookers alike. That is exactly why it popularised the sport of cricket in India. May it live on forever!

Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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Author: Ajay Gupta01 Jul 2009 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

We also plays the gully cricket it is so much interesting. How much joy came from it. Everybody in India almost once in time plays gully cricket because recently gully cricket is the one of the major sport played by the Indians because our Indian team is doing well on the international level. There is in so many types gully cricket is played. But there is so many problems also with gully cricket like there is not enough places available to play gully cricket, most of the buddies not plays honestly everybody try to cheat others to enjoy more batting and bowling but almost nobody wants to field. But after avoiding all the difficulties it is the one of the game we likes to play.

Author: Ritesh Nishar08 Jul 2014 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

Many young cricketers have emerged from gully cricket only. Its the first place where all cricketers develop interest in cricket. You have explained very well in your article that how gully cricket is played in India. Though on normal days you will find people playing in weekends only, kids in summer play everyday for the whole day. I remember those days of my summer vacations when we used to play in a gully because we were not allowed to play in our colony. We used to schedule matches with other nearby colonies and we used to keep a bet of Rs.5 per player. So whoever wins the match gets Rs.5 per player from the other team. Now after growing up, playing with the same buddies in gully on weekend is even amazing. Thanks for refreshing memories through this article.

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