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January 01, 2005


I spent part of my lunch time catching up on lots of blog reading including this gem at the recent revitalised Aussie Courier. It includes some terminology explanations for foreigners at the end including this explanation of cricket:

Cricket: Game played with two teams of 11 (and a back up - the '12th Man'). One team fields and one bats (2 at a time). The fielding team produces 'bowlers' who try to aim a hard red ball past the batters into 'the stumps'. The 'batsmen' are trying to score runs (running between wickets) without the stumps being hit, or without being caught 'on the full' with their batting.

Personally I prefer the more traditional explanation:

Cricket: You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side thats been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

Now if I haven't lost all the readers in that completely accurate (and completely useless) description I would like to try putting it in American terms. Take a baseball game. Instead of running around the diamond, run back and forth between two points. Add another hitter (batsman) who starts at the other end. Every time you manage to get both batsman from one end to the other, your score 1 run. Now you get to keep on scoring runs until you get caught (that's right, you just have to catch the ball on the full) or the ball gets to 'base' (wicket) before the batsman does. Still following? Now slow the whole thing down, add lots of incomprehensible extra frills like light signals, tea breaks and restrictions on the pitchers (bowlers) actually hitting the batsmen with the ball. There is even the equivalent of 'taking a walk' (called a bye - and you don't actually have to walk, everyone just pretends that did). How much do you slow it down? Well a decent cricket match can take several days to play.

I forgot to mention that cricket got dumped in the harbour with the tea - it is mainly played in places formerly occupied by the English and it looks like this year the team to beat will be the Indians.

Posted by Peskie at January 1, 2005 12:00 PM


Well, we dumped the game but we did keep the word 'cricket', meaning "Good sportsmanship and fair conduct". Though how we managed to associate being bored to tears for days with "Good sportsmanship and fair conduct" is beyond me.

I do like Aus-rules football and football (soccer) but cricket really does bore me to tears. Yawn. Just thinking about it makes me sleepy. Kinda like the US baseball you just compared it to.

One advantage of being a female, I can dislike sports without being socially outcast — and have men be pleasantly surprised when they find there are some I do like.

Posted by: Kathy K at January 6, 2004 01:01 PM

One of my colleagues at work pointed out that I forgot to explain that there are other 'pretend' bits apart from taking a walk. If the ball goes over the boundary on the full, that counts as six 'runs'. If it reaches the boundary at all, that counts as four. Means a bit less running for the blokes in the middle......

Posted by: ozguru at January 6, 2004 01:01 PM

Believe it or not, I actually do read other blogs, and I noticed I got mentioned on OzGuru. In further reference to this 'Cricket' thing, the game continued today, with India setting Australia 436 (I think) runs to win. If...

Posted by: Peskie at January 6, 2004 01:01 PM