Get Inspired: How to get into cricket

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Surrey Stars take on our cricket challenge - who will come out on top?
Fast Answers
Why get into cricket?It's a game of brilliant intricacy and variety, and the sound of leather on willow is incredibly satisfying!
Who is it for?Cricket has evolved in recent years and can be adapted for any age, ability, or type of weather.
So where can I take part?Have a look at our club finder for cricket teams near you.
Is there a cheap option?For playground cricket, just grab a bat and a tennis ball. You can improvise to create some stumps.
What if I want a proper workout?Cricket can be explosive, especially if you're a big-hitting batsman or a fast bowler in shorter formats.
Can I take it to another level?Join a club to receive proper coaching and play competitively.
Is there a disability option?Disability cricket is popular across the UK, with a growing number of local, regional and national teams.
Is there a family option?Kids' cricket sets can be cheap: families can work off a big picnic by playing together in the park or at the beach!

Cricket is a social sport with a variety of formats. Games can be played in a host of environments, ranging from 15 minutes to five days.

It's a team sport, but the three key elements - batting, bowling, fielding - rely on individual skills.

Traditionally it's played on a field with 11 players per side but there are now many other ways to play newer, scintillating styles - within sports halls, local parks, playgrounds and, in some cases, cages!

Aspire to be like: Tash Farrant

England left-arm bowler Natasha Farrant

Cricket

If you're serious about your cricket and want to train on a regular basis, then joining a club is your best option - you'll receive professional coaching and guidance, and build your endurance and stamina as well as improving your co-ordination - all essential skills in cricket.

Here are some tips from former England batsman James Taylor and England bowler Stuart Broad to help you on your way.

The ECB Cricket Network - Play Cricket - is a mine of information to help you get involved with a club.

There are many domestic competitions that clubs enter teams into from as young as nine years old. These take place across the UK, so you can also try your relevant governing body to find a club near you in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales.

You might even get to take on some England legends like Hawk Green 1st XI did back in 2013.

Twenty20

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Moeen Ali, tells Get Inspired why he loves cricket

Explosive action and lurking suspense… it's a Hollywood version of cricket!

The short format (where two teams have a single 20-over maximum innings each) was created to provide a fast-paced version of the game to attract a fresh crowd, and it's been a success.

The ECB also offers a version of Twenty20 called 'Last Man Stands' which caters for those who are too busy for traditional cricket. Each team consists of eight players and sides can only be bowled out when all eight players are dismissed.

For information on how to get involved contact your local club in England, Wales,Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Women only

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England's Tash Farrant and former captain Charlotte Edwards (seen here coaching) are keen to see more girls playing cricket

There's been a thrilling transformation in women's cricket in the last 20 years: more than 600 clubs in the UK now offer cricket to women and girls.

Whether you just want to play for fun or be right up there challenging for honours, there's a place for everyone.

To start playing, contact the ECB in England and Wales; in Scotland, Cricket Scotland will tell you all about its initiatives as well as contact information if you want to join a club. In Northern Ireland, contact the Northern Cricket Union.

Indoor

Women playing cricket indoors

As we all know, the sun doesn't always shine in the UK - cricket can be rained off.

But there are several variations of indoor cricket to fall back on. Soft ball indoor cricket is played on a specially-designed 'tension net' court with a softer leather ball and in teams of eight: it's for those with no experience.

The 'hard ball' version is aimed at people who have played before: often club cricketers play in the winter as it gives players the opportunity to keep their fitness and skill levels up through the off season.

For details in England and Wales click here. If you live elsewhere in the UK, contact your local club or sports centre for more information.

Easy does it

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England bowler Stuart Broad surprises children with an All Stars Cricket kit

Cricket can be complex, especially Test cricket. But quick, simple, engaging and informal variations have been developed, so these options could be for you:

Disability

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Table cricket is a real all-rounder!

Cricket is a highly inclusive sport with opportunities available for people with a range of disabilities. The ECB has information for deaf and hearing-impaired players, players with learning disabilities, blind players and players with physical disabilities. Email them on disabilitycricket@ecb.co.uk or contact your local county board.

Table cricket is an adaptive form of cricket played on a table tennis table. It provides a competitive game of cricket for young people with a severe physical or learning disability, particularly wheelchairs users. The national schools Table Cricket competition is organised by the Lord's Taverners with the national finals day taking place at Lord's Cricket Ground.

The England Cricket Association for the Deaf and Blind Cricket England and Wales are good websites to visit while Chance 2 Shine also offers opportunities for players with disabilities.

If you live in other areas of the UK, then contact your local cricket board for information.

Coaching and volunteering

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'If I didn't have cricket I'd be breaking the law'

Whether you've played in the past or just have a keen interest in developing talent, coaching opportunities are always available.

The ECB Coach Education initiative supports the development of coaches at all levels of the game.

Cricket Scotland has all the information you need on how to become a coach and the qualifications in Scotland.

You can also try Sports Coach UK for coaching opportunities across the country. If you want to lend a hand to a club near you, find out about volunteering in England, Wales,Scotland and Northern Ireland. Join In UK can also help you find a club that needs your attention.

What's next?

1. Find your local club in England and Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.

2. Share your story and inspire others!

Are you inspired to try cricket? Or maybe you are an enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your story by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired, visit us on Facebook or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.