Cricket 101 March 13, 2007Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
As many of you may know, and more of you may not, Ireland are participating in the cricket World Cup for the very first time. The tournament is taking place in the West Indies and is a series of one day internationals, meaning that each match must be completed in a day. Ireland are in a group with Pakistan, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.
If you are a complete cricket dunce (such as me) but still have a slight interest, here follows a brief cricket 101 … I am open to correction, inspiration, education and ridicule – in that order …
- Cricket is played between 2 teams of 11 players, on a grass field which at its middle has a 22 yard long, rectangular pitch set at either end with 3 wooden stumps and a white line called a crease. The object of the game is to score more “runs” than the opponent’s team.
NB : In this game, you want “runs”, as opposed to “the runs”, which you never want !
- One team bats and the other fields and bowls – the bowler bowls the ball at the batsman on the other team. A man is “out” if (amongst other things) he gets “bowled” by the bowler who tries to hit the stumps behind him.
- The object of the defending team (the batting team or the team that’s “in”) is to score as many “runs” as possible, with the least amount of men “out”.
- The batsman defends the stumps and tries to hit the ball away and score a run. Runs are broken down into 3 types. (1) A single – he only hits it far enough away so that he runs to the other crease and back once (2) A four – he hits the ball to the boundary of the field – the ball having hit the field at some point (3) A six – he hits it over the boundary without it bouncing on the field.
- The bowling team (the team that’s “out”) try to get all the batsmen out by either bowling them (hitting the stumps), running them out (hitting the stumps with the ball while the batsman is trying to run to the other crease) or catching a struck ball before it hits the ground.
- Once out, the next batsman takes his place, until the team are “all-out”. Then the other team comes in to bat and the process starts in reverse. Whoever has the most runs at the end, wins.
Easy huh ? So now for the hard part – the bleedin’ terminology. I think a lot of the time, people look at a cricket match and see and hear things they don’t understand and say “Feck it, I’m off to the pub !” These are a few of the more colourful sayings you might hear this week – impress you mates !
- A googly – a ball bowled as if to break one way, that actually breaks in the opposite way.
- Silly mid off – a static fielding position designed to catch the ball from a misplaced block or other defensive shot.
- A snick – a small deflection of the cricket ball off the edge of the striker’s bat, usually not deviating much from the ball’s trajectory, and often to the wicket-keeper for a catch.
- Sticky Wicket – a pitch containing a lot of moisture, usually from exposure to rain.
- A Duck – a batsman who gets bowled out without scoring any runs.
- A Chinaman – a left handed bowler who spins the ball.
- A century – a hundred runs scored by a single batsman.
A slightly more tongue in cheek look at cricket can be found here and on tea towels all over Ireland !