Part of the joy of reading novels about English public schools is the cricket. Any aficionado of P.G. Wodehouse knows this. It provides a rivalry in which our hero can be pitted against his adolescent nemesis and beat the stuffing out of him, or prove the villainy of one of the school's houses. Harry Potter is (or was, in its early years) in the same sort of genre, with the trifling addition of magic and a more or less epic battle of good against evil. And yet, even with magic at her disposal, J.K. Rowling can only come up with the complete waste of time that is Quidditch.
I start with the scoring, which is madly inflated. There is no point in the goals' being worth ten points, and the Snitch one hundred fifty. Now, with scores in the hundreds, the resemblance to cricket is more marked. But, where (with the exception of boundaries) cricketers must actually do something for these high scores, Quidditch requires almost nothing. In rugby, it is true that tries are worth five (or four) points, which is more than one, but still the score does not mount as ludicrously quickly.
Furthermore, the Snitch is clearly worth too much, even relative to the ten-point goals. It almost guarantees victory. We have our counter-example in Viktor Krum, but the absurdly long odds that the Weasley twins get clearly show that it is extremely rare for any team to lose if its Seeker has caught the Snitch. No other sport is as badly skewed to one skill player. Kevin Pietersen, David Beckham, Jerry Rice, Joe DiMaggio--not one has ever had such a massive effect for his team. The margins of victory are not as large, nor are they as consistent. I realize that the privileged position of the Seeker helps Harry to be the meteoric favorite of Gryffindor House, which helps the plot, but I submit that an occasional well-timed century or spot-kick would be far more suspenseful and effective.
Timing, also, is ill-considered. Cricket matches can be limited either by time or by fallen wickets, depending on the format. Almost all other sports are limited by time, or at least generally take about the same amount of time per match (e.g. baseball). To have no limit except the capture of the Snitch makes no sense. Especially taking into account the stupid point value of the Snitch, this is so arbitrary and so little dependent on any sustained skill of either team that it is meaningless as a measure of team quality.
The three hoops probably have the three stumps in cricket to thank for their provenance. They are largely defensible, as we can see, but this does not make them less silly. They function essentially as separate goals, which is an innovation unknown and undesirable.
It is clear that a house sport makes, or should make, the books more charming. It is probably true that a magical society would not play cricket, although with the closely parallel evolution of Muggle and magical Britain it only really makes sense that their sport would be much more akin to at least one of the major British sports than is Quidditch. This would be true and to be wished even if Quidditch were not so stupid. But, alas, it is.