Many people learn to play at school, and if you’re of school age, that’s the best place to start. Most private schools teach cricket, and if your state school doesn’t run a Kwik Cricket course, why not ask them? Point a teacher to https://www.ecb.co.uk/play/junior/kwik-cricket/get-involved
Your local cricket club
This is where you’ll find all your local cricket enthusiasts who have the time and the desire to teach you all you want to know. As well as qualified coaches, there’ll be plenty of more experienced players glad to bring through a new player and impart their passion for the game.
There are lots of books about cricket for beginners. Cricket for Dummies is a good place to start, but here are some other books we really recommend you take out of the library.
Robert Eastaway’s Cricket Explained – “From Grubbers to Googlies” – if you can’t tell a fine leg from a silly mid off, this wonderful illustrated book is brought to you by a man widely regarded as a world authority on cricket; the co-inventor of the Coopers and Lybrand World Cricket Ratings System. He does a great job of helping you make sense of the action on the field, shows you clearly with illustrations what the fielding positions are and where they stand, and takes you through common bowling strategies and fielding and batting tactics. All the useful basic stuff is there, too – the rules, how many players are needed, how runs are scored, how a game is won or drawn and how you get out. He also has a hugely interesting run down of the history of cricket.
An Illustrated Guide to Cricket by Anjana Prabu-Paseband is a beautiful book – filled with rich, hand-painted illustrations - aimed squarely at the absolute newcomer to the game.
The Meaning of Cricket by John Hotten is written by a hugely popular cricket blogger (see The Old Batsmen – his blogs are worth reading, too). He tries to help the newcomer understand the worldwide fascination with this highly complex, physical and psychological game. By the end of it, you’ll be in love with the click of leather on willow. Hotten explains the immense amount of self control and iron will it takes to stand and face a hard ball delivered at 90 miles per hour – for hour after hour – , taking a pounding on all the tenderest parts of your body when the slightest flinch can cause you to edge a ball to the slips and be caught out. He talks with no less admiration for the warriors of the village green, and the glorious silly mistakes that create such passion for the sport. And he even includes interviews with the greats, like Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Kevin Pietersen and Ricky Ponting. Highly recommended.
There are lots of great YouTube videos on cricket for beginners. The Australian coach Ben Williams has posted a huge library of very clear, easy to follow films. It’s also watching compilations of the great players of the past, like David Gower and Ricky Ponting for batsmen, Shane Warne and Graeme Swann for spin bowlers and James Anderson, Dale Steyn and Glenn McGrath for fast bowlers.
Most magazines tend to cater more for cricket obsessives, but you can learn from useful articles in magazines like The Cricketer and Cricket magazine.