Thursday, January 26, 2006

I Hit For Six or You Need a Crumpet to Play Cricket

I played cricket for the first time today. It's about as easy as it looks. It would be easier with a little instruction though.

The worst part of it is that over the course of a four hour game, each player besides the catcher is involve in about 10 minutes of actual playing.

Fielding is fine, you go out into the field and when the ball comes to you, you catch it or pick it up and throw it to the people who are standing near the stumps. These are the people actually playing the game.

Batting is a little more complicated, especially when everyone says, "Just hold the bat however it feels comfortable." This would be fine because it doesn't really matter how you hold the bat as much as it matters how you swing the bat. They don't seem to think that it's important to tell you which way to swing the bat. But I'll tell you. Hold the bat perpendicular to the ground. Swing the bat perpendicular to the ground. No matter how bad the bowler is, they want to hit the stumps with the ball. The ball will eventually go near the stumps. It's a lot like baseball in that way. Eventually a pitch will come into the zone where you are expecting it and you can hit it.

I figured it out after about five overs which is about 30 pitches. Luckily it's practically impossible to get people out in this game. After I caught on to where they were pitching (the strike zone in baseball is in a different time zone) I found that I could hit at least as well as I can at baseball.

I scored 10 runs which isn't many when you consider that people who actually play the game score in the hundreds on a routine basis. I'm pretty sure that I got the fourth most runs on my team, but I didn't look at the score sheet after everyone had had their turn.

The most difficult part for someone who has never played cricket is bowling. You have to throw the ball overhand without bending your arm more than 15 degrees. Don't let a cricket fan hear you use the word throwing though. Throwing involves bending you arm and they will look at you with contempt.

-Gary Milner the Cricketeer

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