Saturday, April 10, 2010

Explaining Cricket

One thing I have learned by having this blog is the fine art of cricket. Before I started this blog, I didn't have the least idea how the game was played. A lot of you have written in and asked me to share my knowledge about the rules (laws?) of the game of cricket. Sure.

1. The first thing everyone will tell you, and I agree, is that you should never compare cricket to baseball. There is no real comparison and it just makes it too confusing.

2. Cricket is a lot like baseball, only with the following differences:

a. There are 5 bases in cricket, and the runner runs counter-clockwise.
b. There are 3 pitchers in cricket, so it is harder for the batter to concentrate.
c. Cricket uses 311 innings instead of nine, but there is a 4-day time limit.

3. I would say that the most obvious difference between cricket and baseball is that there is no way to score in cricket. This alone takes much away from the game, in my opinion.

4. There are many umpires in cricket. Also, fans are allowed to come out of the stands and umpire at will. Rules are flexible.

5. If you pick up the ball (called a "squash") and run with it, you are probably playing rugby instead of cricket.

6. If you can use your mallet to knock the wooden ball through the wicket, and you also hit another player in his ball, you can send it.

7. Bats in cricket are flat.

8. Each time the batter swings and misses the ball in cricket, the pitcher gets to come three giant steps closer to him before the next pitch.

9. Cricket players are mostly from India and Brazil, whereas baseball players come from Japan and the Dominican Republic. Other nationalities can participate, of course, but not professionally or in front of an audience.

10. There are 12 players on each side in cricket. But only 11 can play. As an unimportant aside, I have always wondered why there are not 178 players on each side, and only 11 can play. It boggles.

11. There is always a wicketkeeper and a bowler (I forgot to tell you that in cricket, the ball is pitched to the batter on the ground.) The other 9 players are there mainly to distract the hitter and may assume actual positions or simply mill around. The captain tells them where to go, but compliance is not mandatory.

12. Tactics are decided upon after taking into account a number of variables.

13. If any player is caught playing another game, such as marbles, while the cricket match is in progress, the umpire gets to tell him, "That's not cricket!"

Those are the 13 rules of cricket.

Fun facts about cricket (you may not have known)

Cricket was invented only recently, in 1971. It got its name because it rhymes with "lick it".

The Prince Charles likes to play cricket. He uses a long hammer for a bat and rides a horse. It is his trademark.

Only 3 Americans have ever attended a cricket match. (Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe)

Only one American was fool enough to actually try and play the game:
Due to the vagary of cricket rules, unexpected accidents have been know to occur:
I hope this post has been of some help in clearing up any confusion you may have had.


  1. I am speechless. You've managed to pick up the fundamentals so thoroughly in such a short time. Maybe you could apply to the BBC for a post as guest commentator for the forthcoming season. I think they need you.

  2. You forgot to mention that the best English players are always born abroad, or of immigrant descent.
    (The Scots don't waste their time standing around all day by the way!)

  3. I might actually watch a game of cricket. ONCE. Sounds delightful... :-)

  4. *Now* I understand it! And I thought it would be difficult!
    Wonderful blog!

  5. I learned the rules to cricket watching a weird Bollywood movie about some Indian town that challenged their British overlords to a cricket duel. I think I understand it now.

  6. @Sheila - Speechless? But, true, I have a knack for picking up the intricacies of sporting events. Of course, cricket is not exactly a sporting event, but I have grasped the concept. Obviously.

    @Adullamite. I didn't forget. :) No, Scots don't stand around all day. Football. Yo. Heh.

    @Lydia - Are you still awaiting for more new post? Thank you for your comment.

    @Angelika - You should watch a game. It IS delightful. And I purposely didn't even mention the halftime entertainment, so you would be unprepared. :)

    @Ant - It is really quite easy, once you get knackered of it. :)

  7. @The Mother - A Bollywood movie? Hmmm. You can learn something that complicated by watching a movie? I guess I just lack the motivation. :)



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