The Fox Recommends: Cricket
August 17, 2014 § Leave a comment
As The Fox has come to explore the many sports of the world, few can compete with the craziness that is cricket. As sports go, it can be very confusing, a bit frustrating, but all together wonderfully competitive. Speaking in the most basic terms, The Fox will now attempt to define cricket.
First played in England in the 16th century, cricket is a bat and ball game played between two 11-player teams on a field. In the center of the field is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. Each team takes a turn at bat – trying to score runs, while the other team fields – trying to prevent as many runs as they can. Each turn is known as an innings, and depending on the form of cricket being played, a match can last a few hours, or several days. We had you thinking it was like baseball there for a second didn’t we…well think again. Although Baseball has foundations in cricket, and some similar terminology, it is vastly different in as many aspects.
Remember the 22-yard long pitch? Well at the end of each there is a wooden target, called the wicket. The batting team sends two batsmen out to either side of the pitch to “own” and protect the wicket at their end of the pitch by striking the ball that is bowled at them by the fielding team’s bowler. If the batter is successful in protecting his wicket, and strikes the ball, he may attempt to run to the other end of the pitch to score a run – his teammate on the other end of the pitch also runs – effectively switching ends and becoming the batter. Depending on where the ball is hit, up to six runs may be scored on a hit. The fielding team’s goal is to eliminate batters from the innings by being caught, bowled, given leg before wicket, run out or stumped. There are five less common ways of being outed, but seriously, this is complicated enough. Once a player is out, they can no longer play for the remainder of the innings. Once ten players are out, the innings is over. The bowlers are limited to 6 bowls at a time, each set of 6 bowls becomes an over, and overs count up into the 100s depending on the game. Many bowlers can bowl a ball at speeds up to 90 mph.
There are over twenty common forms of cricket, the following three being the most popular; Twenty20, One Day and Test Cricket. Twenty20 limits each innings to 20 overs (or 120 bowls), and each team has one innings for the match – which typically lasts around three hours. One Day is commonly held to 50 overs per innings (although anywhere from 20-60 overs is possible), with each team allowed one innings – these One Day matches typically last up to six hours. Test Cricket is the longest form of cricket, with the two teams playing a four-innings match that commonly lasts up to five days.
Now we know cricket may not be for everyone, but The Fox recommends that everyone check out a match at least once in their life. The teams break for lunch and tea for crying out loud – what’s better then a sport that recognizes the importance of a good cuppa in the afternoon? Besides that, there are heaps of bizarre words like googly, bosie, box (the nicest way to say jock strap The Fox has ever heard), coffin, cabbage patch, devil’s number, daisy-cutter and nipbacker. Cricket has even inspired one of film’s greatest sports.
The Handsome Fox © 2014