For hundreds of years people in many parts of the world have played "bat and ball" games. In these games, a player on one team throws a ball and a player on the other team tries to hit the ball with a bat and score runs. Today, the two most popular bat and ball games are cricket and baseball. While cricket is popular in England, Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and many other Commonwealth countries, baseball is popular in the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and many Central American countries. Baseball is becoming more and more popular in many other countries as well, especially in China where it's being actively promoted by the American leagues as they try to make it the world's number one bat and ball game.