How Long Is a Cricket Game? Would You Sit Through It?


Have you ever sat through an entire cricket game?

Some cricket matches last days, so I don’t blame you if you’ve given up on a particular match.

However, many people don’t know there are different cricket match types; hence, the distinctive duration of the game.

So, how long is a cricket game, really?

Sit down for this read and learn more about the game, its duration, formats, and other interesting things.

How Long Is a Cricket Game?

Cricket is a sport that has been around for a very long time, and its popularity only seems to be increasing. For instance, cricket is undoubtedly among the ‘dearest’ sports in the UK, with over 60 per cent of the population enjoying it.

And still, most fans can’t give a straight answer when asked, ‘how long does a cricket match last?’ It isn’t their fault since a cricket game can last from an hour to a few days.

The duration of the game primarily depends on the various formats cricket has:

  • Test match
  • ODI match
  • T20 match.

So, let’s swing a fast bowl and find out more about the formats this sport offers and how long each lasts.

How Long Does a Test Match Last?

A ‘test match,’ also known as ‘The Ashes’ – when played between Australia and England, is, in fact, the most traditional form of this sport.

The ‘test match’ can last anywhere from 7,5 hours (a day) to five days in total. However, this depends on several factors like the number of innings played, weather conditions, the number of overs bowled in each innings, etc.

Consequently, every day of the match is divided into three game sessions with a tea or lunch break in between.

The breakdown of sessions for a ‘test match’ looks like this:

Game Session/Break (per day)Play/Break Time
1st Session2 hours
Cricket Lunch40 minutes
2nd Session2 hours
Cricket Tea20 minutes
3rd Session2 hours and 30 minutes

Extra info: Test matches were usually played in the daytime. However, the ICC (International Cricket Council) decided this format match is suitable for night play too.

How Long Does an ODI Match Last?

The usual duration of an ODI or One-Day International match is from 7 and a half hours to 8 hours (though sometimes it can reach a total of 9 hours).

In contrast to the ‘test match,’ an ODI match consists of 2 innings and doesn’t go above 50 overs.

The following chart shows the average ODI format:

InningsPlay/Break Time
1st Inning3 hours and 20 minutes
Break40 minutes
2nd Inning3 hours and 20 minutes

Like the test match, an ODI match can also take place during the day or night. However, they don’t always last one day only.

This means that if the match is interrupted the ICC will offer a ‘Reserve Day’ for the game to continue where it stopped from.

How Long Does a T20 Match Last?

A T20, or Twenty20 match, doesn’t last more than 3 hours. So, if we compare it to the ‘test match’ or the ODI, there’s quite a game time gap in between. Nevertheless, still, this type of match is the most popular cricket format played

Like an ODI cricket match, the T20 also consists of 2 innings with 20 overs (per inning).

For a better understanding of the T20 format, check out the table below:

InningsPlay/Break Time
1st Inning1 hour and 20 minutes
Break20 minutes
2nd Inning1 hour and 20 minutes

Extra info: In case the result is a tie – there’s a ‘Super Over.’ The Super Over serves to produce a definite winner between the two teams, and it usually adds 30 minutes to the official match time.

You might also be interested in: Who is the richest cricketer in the world?

Duration Of Other Formats of Cricket Matches

photo source: mirror

So far, the cricket match formats we covered are played on an international or A-class level, if you prefer.

But, there are other formats of cricket being played worldwide, like the following:

  • T10 match – in Abu Dhabi, the UAE;
  • Super Sixes match – in Hong Kong, (SAR region), South China;
  • 100 Ball match – in England and Wales.

Duration of T10 Cricket Matches

The T10 (Ten10) match is a relatively short cricket match day. That said, this match format lasts between 1,5-2 hours and consists of 2 innings with 10 overs for each side.

Duration of Super Sixes Cricket Matches

Not only is this the fastest cricket match you’ll get to see, but it also differs in terms of rules. What’s more, you don’t even need to sit down for this match since it lasts less than an hour, precisely 45 minutes.

Interesting enough is that from 11 players, a Super Sixes needs only 6 players, and each team has only 5 overs.

Duration of 100 Ball Cricket Match

The 100 Ball format was played for the first time in 2021 in England (naturally, since they were the ones that suggested it).

Even though we can’t classify this match as long or short — still, we suggest you reserve 2,5 to 3 hours of your time to watch it. Moreover, its format is pretty straightforward – just 2 innings with 100 balls each.

What Cricket Game Has Been Played For The Longest Time?

The cricket match with the longest time ever played lasted exactly 10 days.

In 1939, the South Africa against England ‘test match’ made history and the Guinness world of records at the same time. The match took place in Durban, South Africa, and it’s known as a ‘timeless match.’

We’re pretty certain that none of the teams expected a test match of 43 hours and 16 minutes overall.

Finish(inning) Words

Thanks to the different match formats, you can enjoy a cricket game of 45 minutes (like the T10 match), a 5-day game (a test cricket match), or maybe a T20 match that lasts barely 3 hours.

So, how long does a cricket game last? What do you think? Can you stay and watch a cricket match that lasts five days?

Interested in reading more ‘how long’ points in other sports? If so, check out our writing on:


How long is the tea break in test cricket?

The cricket tea break in a ‘test match’ is 20 minutes long.

How long is lunch in test cricket?

Test matches have a scheduled cricket lunch that lasts 40 minutes. Consequently, this is the longest break cricket players get during a match.

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