Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Local football is finally coming to an end. Portsmouth beat Cardiff on Saturday in the FA Cup at Wembley, and Manchester United beat Chelsea tonight in Moscow to win the Champions League. Euro 2008 takes place throughout June; however, England failed to qualify this year. But never fear - cricket has begun!

For those of us who don't know much about the game - yet - it can be watched for free at Woking Park on weekend afternoons. (Higher quality options exist elsewhere for a fee.) Last Saturday was cool and breezy, so I hung around for about 30 minutes, and then gave up when a light rain began to fall.


Having now observed the real thing, I started to do my homework. Cricket is a team sport for 2 teams of 11 players each, and a formal game can last anywhere from an afternoon to several days. Although the game play and rules are very different from baseball, the basic concept is similar. Teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs, while the opposing team fields and attempts to bring an end to the batting team's innings. After each team has batted an equal number of innings (either 1 or 2, depending on conditions chosen before the game), the team with the most runs wins.


At any given time, all 11 players from 1 team are on the field, but only 2 batters from the other team are on the field. In the above picture, each of these batters is standing close to a wicket. The player who is running is the bowler ("pitcher"), and the player who is crouching is the wicket-keeper ("catcher"). There are several ways of scoring runs, and 10 ways of getting out. Armed with this basic information (and a bit more that I haven't tried to explain), I'm ready to find another match and see if I can follow any of it....

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