Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cricket: not actually totally insane

Thanks to my friend Marty, I've learned about how this cryptic pastime actually works, and it's not really that hard!

Okay, so there's a few varieties: 20/20, 50/50, or a multi-day "test match." The test match is more complicated, so I'll focus on 20/20 or 50/50. That number refers to the number of "overs" you get, and 1 over = 6 bowls (1 bowl = 1 "pitch", for baseball fans). So in a 20/20 match, each team gets 120 bowls.

There are two wickets in the field. The batter stands in front of one wicket, another guy on the batter's team stands in front of the other wicket, and the bowler bowls to the batter.

  • if the bowl hits the wicket, the batter is out, and that's a big deal. So the batter hits almost all of the bowls.
  • if the bowl is wide or otherwise bad (like a "ball" in baseball), it's a redo and the batter's team gets 1 point. So that's rare.
  • if the batter hits it:
    • if it's caught on a fly, the batter is out. So the batter usually doesn't try to hit it up in the air.
    • if it goes outside the boundary around the field in any direction on a fly, that's a "six", meaning the batter gets 6 points.
    • similarly, if it goes outside the boundary on a bounce, that's a "four".
    • otherwise, the batter and the other guy run back and forth between the two wickets as many times as they want. But if the fielding team gets the ball to the wicket and the batters aren't on base, the batter is out. So they usually run pretty conservatively. Usually a hit results in 0 runs or 1 run, and sometimes 2.
Anyway, so the bowling team keeps bowling until either all the overs are finished, or until all the batters are out. (which is why getting out is a big deal: after 11 outs, your team is done!) I guess technically that completes an "inning", and sometimes there are multiple innings in a game, but I don't quite understand this either.

This means that generally one team scores as much as possible, and then the other team gets a chance to match. That's kind of cool.

Why is this in my travel blog? Because I got to see the Dharamsala cricket stadium yesterday.

So that was neat.


  1. Where are all the players?...

  2. Great! Think u'll catch a match? The Champions League 20 is going on at the moment in India and its AWESOME! Plus that's where all the Indian women are ! U did mention in a previous post that u were wondering where they were :-). If u get the opportunity to land u a ticket to the CL20 games, you should do it!

  3. Oh yeah, there was no game going on. We just looked around the stadium. I do hope to catch a game here somewhere though!

  4. When I was a lad, and when lads played catch with a baseball, we had a game with two bases (wickets?). One other lad would run between the bases at his peril, getting as many as possible without being hit in the head or without being tagged out. It was safe to run on errant throws or high pop ups or the like. Sounds like a variation on cricket.
    Nonetheless, cricket sounds insane.

  5. PS. Thanks for this narrative about cricket. I've never had a clue about how it's played, except I've heard it takes about 2 years to complete a match.

    Also, I loved the comment from helicopter about "Where were the players?" I thought they were behind the sprinklers :-P