Do You Play Cricket?

800px-English_Village_CricketCricket StumpsCricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on a field at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch.

Each team takes it in turn to bat, attempting to score runs, while the other team fields. Each turn is known as an innings.

The bowler delivers the ball to the batsman who attempts to hit the ball with his bat far enough for him to run to the other end of the pitch and score a run. Each batsman continues batting until he is out.

The batting team continues batting until ten batsmen are out, at which point the teams switch roles and the fielding team comes in to bat.

Those, as far as it goes, are the rules.Bat & Ball, Hambledon 1800That’s all there is to it!

Everybody clear on that?

Well, for those of you still lost, even after reading the previous paragraphs, I have an answer. For those of you who would like to have a better understanding of the actual game itself I give you this little gem.

I came across it in the ‘Children’s Book of Games, Pastimes and Hobbies’ (Odhams Press, 1935-40) and it is a masterclass in simplicity.

Test MatchI have been unable to find the name of the artist/creator but if I could meet him I would shake him by the hand. This is, quite simply, a work of genius!

All you need to do is print off the template, create your own player list and follow the instructions to gain an insight into the English national sport! Enjoy!

Bowled out

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3 Responses to Do You Play Cricket?

  1. biodiplomacy says:

    What a splendid variant of team sport’s closest approximation to Zen Buddhism. The rules and scoring are simple and can be easily adapted to Test Match, 50 over and T 20 formats. Not having yet played a game (but having a prepared deck of cards on hand) I will be intrigued to see the results in such areas as: how long a match lasts; how frequent centuries and 5-wicket hauls are; and average individual and innings scores. The design seems statistically likely to produce more hit wickets and run outs than usual. With a larger board (say doubling the number of squares to 56) it should be possible more closely to model the outdoor form of the game – plus rain and bad light stopping play?

    Some historic matches could be re-run (the recent Ashes series in Australia, for example) by naming exactly the same team. Further variants could be devised if the game were to be played in cyberspace and players had weightings as batsmen and bowlers, so that the values of the squares on the board changed depending on who was batting or bowling.

    However, the Classic version that is here unearthed needs first to be played one wet Sunday afternoon in June when rain has stopped play at Trent Bridge.

  2. kayjayaitch says:

    Many thanks for such a detailed response. The book in its entirety is aimed at the 10-15 age range and is very much divided into boys and girls activities. I can easily imagine this engaging the full attention of a couple of lads, or teams, on a wet Sunday afternoon for hours. And as you say, re-enacting historic matches could well fuel a wider interest in the sport as a whole. I hope very much that you will enjoy ‘playing the game’
    Kevin

    • biodiplomacy says:

      Thanks. Your reminder of the target age group makes me wonder how many 10-15 year olds now play board games. Our son was a fierce Monopoly competitor during these years, but I suspect that for many in the current generation the concept of a board game is as dated as LSD – either for prices or as the recreational drug of choice.

      I’m reminded of an individual sport for two competitors which can be played in a radically different format. This one does not even need a board. My friend Stanley and I called it Hitch-Hiking Tennis since we invented it while on holiday in France in the summer of 1966 as a way to pass the time waiting for a lift. The rules are simple. One tosses a coin (it need not be a franc) for the winner to decide which side of the road to take. Once the game starts the scoring is exactly as for tennis on any surface (in our case asphalte), with each passing number-plated vehicle counting as a winning stroke for the player who has taken that side of the road. The rules for winning games, sets and matches are just the same as at Roland Garros or Wimbledon, except that play continues whatever the weather.

      Sometimes the wait for the next lift can last longer than an entire match. But we were never stranded for an entire tournament. Bagels (winning/losing a set 6-0) are rare. In urban settings there is a variant which is literally a singles match, called Bus-Stop Tennis, when one player (“the Waiter”) takes both sides of the road and sees how many games or sets are completed before the bus he/she needs arrives. This version of the game is approved by NICE as a cost-effective remedy for Furor omnibus cunctator (or Bus Stop Rage) and is estimated to prevent dozens of suicides each year in UK conurbations.

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