PDA

View Full Version : Ask the bloke who's forgotten more about cricket than you'll ever know


roger thornhill
03-01-2005, 10:23 PM
Back by popular demand to explain the game of cricket and take any questions you might have about The Noble Art, The Sport of Kings.

No recourse to Google for me - okay, from hereon in - and even then.... I will draw from the deep well of my experience and insight into the great game, from years of playing, watching and umpiring at the highest level. Cricket to me is a way of life - it's in my bones.

First, then, a brief description of the game. It is played between two sides of 11 players. One side bats first and the other side fields first (this being decided by the toss of a coin). The idea of the game is to beat the other side. If you can't beat them, the idea is not to lose to them. Neither to win nor to lose is called a draw (unless you end up with the same number of runs and have lost all your wickets, in which case it's called a tie). So a tie is not the same as a draw. Simple so far?

So what are runs and wickets? A run is scored each time two members of the batting side (two batsmen) run from one end of the wicket to the other (22 yards) after the ball has been bowled by a member of the fielding side (the bowler) - the batsmen starting at opposite ends and then crossing. The batsmen can run under the following circumstances: a) the batsman who is receiving the ball from the bowler hits it (the batsman scores a run(s)); b) the batsman misses the ball but in attempting to hit it, the ball hits his body (an extra run(s) is scored, called a Leg Bye - since it's typically the leg (protected by a leg-guard, called a pad) which the ball hits); c) the batsman misses the ball completely (or leaves it) and, typically, the one fielder who is allowed to wear gloves (the wicket-keeper) also misses it (an extra run(s) is scored, called a Bye). If the ball touches or crosses the boundary, usually marked by a rope or a white line on the grass, having first touched the ground in the event of it being hit by the batsman, four runs are added to the score. If the batsman hits it in the air and it lands on or over the boundary, then six runs are scored.

I said "typically" in c) above because the two batsmen can actually dash to the other end as soon as the bowler releases the ball, gambling on the fact that the wicket-keeper will be unable to run them out. So, what's a run-out? A run-out is one of the eleven different ways in which a batsman can be dismissed. A run-out is effected when the batsman is unable to make his ground. This means that he is unable to run fast enough down the wicket to reach the white line that is painted 4 feet in front of the three wooden stumps with the little bits of wood (bails) on them. The fielder throws the ball and knocks off one of the bails before the batsman has reached that white line (the popping crease). Who decides whether the batsman has reached the crease? Why, the umpire of course. (Or, in these days of technology, if the competition rules provide for it, a fellow in a room with a TV monitor, who has access to slow motion replays (the third umpire).) That means of course that there are two umpires on the field - one of whom stands along the line of the popping crease (square of the wicket) but not too close in case he gets bopped by the batsman, with the other in line with the two wickets (here used to refer to two sets of three stumps with the bails on them), and standing behind the wicket at the end from which the bowler is bowling. (The bowler is allowed to bowl 6 deliveries (called an over) before another bowler does the same from the other end. Thus, play switches continuously from one end to the other at intervals of around 3-4 minutes.)

The other ten ways in which a batsman may be dismissed are as follows (in order of commonness):

Caught (the batsman hits the ball with his bat - even a fine edge - or with his hand holding the bat (which is usually gloved because getting hit on the hand isn't much fun) and the ball is caught before it touches the ground)

Bowled (the ball delivered by the bowler hits the stumps and dislodges a bail - at least)

Leg Before Wicket (LBW) (the ball, before touching the bat, hits the batsman on his body (typically his leg), and would in the umpire's opinion have gone on to hit the stumps if the batsman hadn't got his body in the way)

Stumped (the batsman vacates his crease (i.e. lets his feet slip onto or over the popping crease, or charges down the wicket to hit the bowler's delvery and misses) and the wicket-keeper with the ball in his hand (gloved or not) dislodges a bail from the stumps)

Hit Wicket (the batsman hits the stumps with his bat or with any part of his body or clothing causing a bail to be dislodged)

Handled the Ball (the batsman with a hand not holding the bat touches the ball while in play without the consent of the other side)

Hit the Ball Twice (the batsman deliberately hits the ball with his bat or body, except to stop the ball hitting the stumps, before the ball has been touched by a fielder)

Obstructing the Field (the batsman deliberately obstructs or distracts the opposing side)

Timed Out (the batsman fails to get to the wicket within three minutes of the previous batsman being out)

Retired Out (the batsman either walks off the field during play or he doesn't appear after an interval (e.g. lunch))

Now we've got that sorted out, how does a side actually win a game of cricket? Either one side scores more runs than the other side (this is the case in most one day games, in what are called Limited Overs games, where, say, each side has 50 overs (one over = 6 balls, remember) in which to score as many runs as it can). Or one side scores more runs than the other side, and the other side has completed its innings (this is the case in all 2, 3, 4 or 5 day matches, and in some 1 day matches too). A side completes its innings either by declaring its innings closed (which only the captain may do) or by losing the wickets of all its batsmen (not counting the single batsman who remains after one member of the final pair at the wicket has been dismissed).

Glad we cleared that up. I don't suppose there will be any questions, but just in case, I'll do my best to answer them.

JThunder
03-01-2005, 10:37 PM
Okay. How the heck does one get them to stop chirping in the dead of the night?

MovieMogul
03-01-2005, 10:38 PM
Well, just about everything I allegedly know about cricket I learned from the wonderful Indian musical Lagaan.

Did you see it? If so, did it portray cricket accurately? Knowing the actual rules, did it generate as much suspense as it might have for us know-nothings?

Also, have you seen Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes? If so, do Caldicott & Charters actually make sense, or are they talking out their wicket?

astro
03-01-2005, 10:49 PM
Do any cricketers use 'roids? Are any of them turning into hulking, lumbering, sides of cricket playing beef? Or are you all as lithe and graceful as ballet dancers?

Torgo
03-01-2005, 10:52 PM
I saw a Python sketch about cricket that depicted the announcers drinking while calling the match. They also showed the players taking some sort of break in the middle of the match to have drinks. Is there any basis in truth to this?

roger thornhill
03-01-2005, 10:52 PM
Well, just about everything I allegedly know about cricket I learned from the wonderful Indian musical Lagaan.Did you see it? If so, did it portray cricket accurately? Knowing the actual rules, did it generate as much suspense as it might have for us know-nothings?
I didn't see it, and we call them Laws, not rules. Rules also exist, but they pertain to special regulations for, say, One Day Internationals, or local league regulations.
Also, have you seen Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes? If so, do Caldicott & Charters actually make sense, or are they talking out their wicket?
They do make sense, as I recall. I'm sure I would have spotted gross inaccuracies. For a nice example of deliberate talking out of one's wicket, see Blackadder Goes Forth (Episode 1, I think), where Blackadder talks guff about some tour to the West Indies. Perhaps an echo of Caldicott and Charters?

roger thornhill
03-01-2005, 10:56 PM
Astro, Torgo, how similar your minds are!!

Steroids - very rare, I would say. Recreational drugs, much less so. The odd expose and banning.

Boozy commentators. Quite possible, especially back in the 60s. Provision is made in the Laws for drinks breaks for players. Useful if it's very hot; a truly bizarre ritual in an average English summer.

edwino
03-02-2005, 12:15 AM
My family is South African. I'm American. I haven't actively followed the sport in years. Several questions:
1) Tendulkar -- better than Bradman?
2) I spent an enjoyable week once watching an India v. South Africa test match on television. Hansie Cronje was the captain. It was right before all the match fixing stuff broke. How much has that affected the sport, especially with hints that even the big names like Kapul Dev and stuff may have been implicated? How much of Cronje's non match fixing legacy is he remembered for? Are there new oversights and rules (erm... laws) to prevent match fixing? Were a lot of players banned for life?
3) We had a double wicket tournament roll through town a few years ago (I believe Gavaskar was one of the people competing). How is this played? Do you think it has a long term future or the potential to be a good way to introduce people to the sport?

Askance
03-02-2005, 12:37 AM
1) Not by any measure

2) Little effect except to gut the South African team. Cronje is almost exclusively remembered for his sins outside SA, but they are mostly disbelieved within SA. AFAIK the existing rules and laws were considered adequate. I'm not aware that any players were banned for life.

3) I have no idea what you mean by "a double wicket tournament".

All IMHO of course.

roger thornhill
03-02-2005, 01:04 AM
My take, Edwino:

1. Agree with Askance. Bradman was to cricket as Pele was to football.

2. I think a number of subcontinentals have been banned for varying periods. Not sure about a life ban as such.

3. I used to play in these things. Even won one once organised by the Sussex Invitation League. Basically, teams of two compete. They play each other, with each pair batting for a predetermined number of overs, regardless of how often they are out. The other pair bowl the overs alternately. Thus, in a game of 6 over innings, each bowler will bowl three overs. Batsmen score runs as per the laws of cricket; each time there is a dismissal, this results in a deduction of runs, perhaps 10. The other fielders are provided by teams who are not directly involved in that match.

I can't believe that's butter!
03-02-2005, 01:46 AM
I see where in some instances the...landing-strip thing on which you bowl and bat is made of coconut matting instead of cropped grass(?). What are the details of this; when did it start, is this comparable to "Astro-Turf" in baseball, and anything else you might know?

Are things like spitballs, Vaseline-balls, and sanding it—practices designated illegal in baseball—legal in cricket?

I understand that willow is used for the bats. What is the logic, since isn't willow a softer wood?

Many thanks.

roger thornhill
03-02-2005, 02:10 AM
I see where in some instances the...landing-strip thing on which you bowl and bat is made of coconut matting instead of cropped grass(?). What are the details of this; when did it start, is this comparable to "Astro-Turf" in baseball, and anything else you might know?
The landing strip is called the pitch, though many also call it the wicket or the strip. In Test Matches (5 days), One Day Internationals, and I think all First Class (Major League) cricket, a grass wicket must be used. In practice, however, the grass wicket is often (especially in the subcontintent) rolled mud - with very little grass to speak of. As a rule, these type of pitches tend to be slower (as clay is slower than grass in tennis), lower (as grass is lower than hard courts in tennis??) and to take more spin.

Various types of artificial pitches are available, and widely used, in lower forms of cricket, with provision being made in some cases that an artificial pitch may be used instead of a grass pitch in the event of inclement weather. There are different type of carpet-like surfaces - laid on a variety of foundations, including concrete and soil. Matting wickets, of the type you refer to, used to be common in the "West", but are less so now with the advent of astro technology. Matting wickets are still common in the subcontinent and in the West Indies, I believe.
Are things like spitballs, Vaseline-balls, and sanding it [sanding what, the ball?]—practices designated illegal in baseball—legal in cricket?
I'm not sure I understand. But if you mean can you alter the state of the ball, the answer is a resounding 'no'. Here's a snip from Law 42.3:

The match ball – changing its condition
(a) Any fielder may
(i) polish the ball provided that no artificial substance is used and that such polishing wastes no time.
(ii) remove mud from the ball under the supervision of the umpire.
(iii) dry a wet ball on a towel.

(b) It is unfair for anyone to rub the ball on the ground for any reason, interfere with any of the seams or the surface of the ball, use any implement, or take any other action whatsoever which is likely to alter the condition of the ball, except as permitted in (a) above.

(c) The umpires shall make frequent and irregular inspections of the ball.
I understand that willow is used for the bats. What is the logic, since isn't willow a softer wood?
As far as I know, its advantages are that it's light and tough, in addition to being soft. Only certain types of willow are used to make bats.

I can't believe that's butter!
03-02-2005, 02:28 AM
But if you mean can you alter the state of the ball...

Yep. I'm sorry that I wasn't specific, but as far as I know, a spitball and Vaseline-ball are names for two now-illegal practices—lubricating the ball so that a unique action is applied, and systematically (and discretely) applying either saliva or Vaseline (historically kept on the brim of the cap, I guess) to the same spot of the ball, thereby imparting a bias. Sanding the ball was done in at least one case by using an emery board possessed under the initial pretext of callous-control. The frequency with which balls are changed nowadays limits the latter two possibilities.

Thanks again!

roger thornhill
03-02-2005, 02:46 AM
Basically, saliva and sweat okay (because they're natural) - everything else (dirt, vaseline, etc) illegal.

Incidentally, a famous cricketer went out to bat with a bat made of aluminium about 20 years ago. Shortly after, the Laws were amended to specify that the bat must be made of wood.

grimpixie
03-02-2005, 03:50 AM
2) Little effect except to gut the South African team. Cronje is almost exclusively remembered for his sins outside SA, but they are mostly disbelieved within SA.As a South African, I feel honour bound to correct this :)

The accusations against Hansie were widely disbelieved when they first came out - he had an untarnished image at the time. Indeed the whole national squad was almost squeaky clean - there were several outspoken Christians (including Hansie) in the team. Hansie was the first "real" captain of the post-isolation team (I say "real" because Kepler Wessels, the first captain was a naturalised Australian who had settled here after touring with a rebel team), and under his leadership, South African cricket began to really succeed in the international arena. He was a courageous batsman and a gutsy leader - the archetypal "captain's knock" kind of guy. When he confessed - suspiciously, just before the evidence against him was due to be presented - there was great shock among followers of the game throughout the country. He then made it worse by trying to shift blame onto everyone else, including the devil. I lost a lot of respect for him then... Hansie was found guilty and banned, as was only right - but many South Africans could not forget his pre-conviction contributions to the game, and still held him in great affection. It was nothing short of tragic that Hansie died when he did, just a week after having initial talks with the SA Cricket Board about getting involved in the game again - not as a player, that wouldn't have been right (as much as some might have wished for it), but in grassroots coaching.

As a result of all this, many South Africans prefer to remember Hansie's positive contributions to the game in our country and gloss over the negative. I don't think anyone (not even the most hard-core Hansie fans) would "disbelieve" that he cheated, but it must be remembered that in the country as a whole, we were going through the whole Truth and Reconciliation Commission experience. We were learning that it was possible to forgive those who had beaten, tortured, bombed and imprisoned us - somehow forgiving someone who had cheated for money wasn't so hard...

Grim

MrDibble
03-02-2005, 05:01 AM
So, if the batsman's Holding, the bowler's Willie... :)

Seriously, though, I agree with grim , most people acknowledge the deed, but also remember he was a good captain too. Dying out of time may have made up for some of the bad...

Question: Do you regard test cricket (multi-day) as the real thing, and one-days as a pale shadow? I've encountered this prejudice full-blown in some people, and am ever so slightly inclined that way myself.

Busy Scissors
03-02-2005, 05:07 AM
Yep. I'm sorry that I wasn't specific, but as far as I know, a spitball and Vaseline-ball are names for two now-illegal practices—lubricating the ball so that a unique action is applied, and systematically (and discretely) applying either saliva or Vaseline (historically kept on the brim of the cap, I guess) to the same spot of the ball, thereby imparting a bias. Sanding the ball was done in at least one case by using an emery board possessed under the initial pretext of callous-control. The frequency with which balls are changed nowadays limits the latter two possibilities.

Thanks again!

I'm not that knowledgeable a cricket fan, but I am pretty sure that doctoring the ball is just as popular in cricket as it was in old-time baseball, probably more so. This is because you don't change the cricket ball that often. You start with a new ball and basically use it till its pretty busted up, (not sure how long this takes, maybe one day?) then you get a new ball. Discrete lifting of the seam, roughing up one side etc. gives the bowler an advantage, and there have been plenty of examples of cricketers been caught doing this. I recall the England captain Mike Atherton was captured on film doing precisely this. For reasons I don't recall right now he got away with it.

Incidentally, the prolonged use of a single ball introduces a nice rhythm to cricket. The batsmen might be abusing the bowlers when the ball is old, but when the new ball is introduced, frequently into the hand of the best bowler on the fielding side, things can change round immediately.

UnwrittenNocturne
03-02-2005, 05:34 AM
Making illegal alterations to the ball is indeed still done. It is almost impossible to prevent as well. Most people who do it are fairly adept. During the dabte about (especially Pakistani) bowlers and 'reverse swing', New Zealander Chris Pringle showed the ICC exactly how to do it.

I suspect that it is something that will not be done away with completely. It is an important part of the game that the ball wears over time - which prevents it being changed unless damage is severe. In this case it is replaced with a ball which has been played a similar number of overs anyway.

Roger Thornhill - Thanks for starting this thread, I am absolutely starved for cricket here in the US. Hopefully that will change after the next World Cup.

owlstretchingtime
03-02-2005, 05:47 AM
The Ashes - Any chance? I think we might have an outside chance if we have the gumption to drop Thorpe and play Pietersen, and if Harmison starts firing properly again.

roger thornhill
03-02-2005, 05:56 AM
The Ashes (that's the name given to the England-Australia series of Test Matches, in case they're any really bored lurkers) - England have no chance, except for when the series has already been won, and the Ausies relax. My prediction: 3-1.

I believe the new ball is taken after 90 overs in Test Matches. It's in a pretty tatty state by then. Atherton was filmed with dirt in his pocket. Since he wasn't lifting the seam or applying vaseline, he got away with a warning, as I recall. I think his excuse was that he wanted to keep his fingers dry.

MrDibble, I share your prejudice. When I go back to Blighty, I prefer to attend one day of a Test Match rather than one ODI.

mamboman
03-02-2005, 06:33 AM
Question: Do you regard test cricket (multi-day) as the real thing, and one-days as a pale shadow? I've encountered this prejudice full-blown in some people, and am ever so slightly inclined that way myself.[/QUOTE]


Oh, IMHO Test cricket is infinitley superior to the abbreviated forms. Of course as Australian, I'm inclined to say that given the absolute dominance of our boys. I don't even watch shortform cricket, it's just so boring....

mm

grimpixie
03-02-2005, 07:07 AM
I believe the new ball is taken after 90 overs in Test Matches. 80 overs - although the fielding captain doesn't *have* to take the new ball when it becomes available, if the old ball is working for him (spin and/or swing bowlers being effective), he can keep going as long as the ball holds out. The captain of the fielding side shall have the choice of taking a new ball at any time after 80 overs have been bowled with the previous ball. The umpires shall indicate to the batsman and the scorers whenever a new ball is taken into play.From the ICC Rules page (http://www.icc-cricket.com/rules/)

Malacandra
03-02-2005, 07:21 AM
So, if the batsman's Holding, the bowler's Willie... :)


Back to front and misspelled. Michael "Whispering Death" Holding was the bowler, Peter Willey the batsman. Willey wasn't the most talented batsman of his generation but he had guts enough for three ordinary men, and that was what was mainly needed in Holding's time and for a decade afterwards when it looked like the procession of West Indian fast bowlers who were both quick and straight would never end.

And in a match against Australia, he once caught Dennis Lillee off the bowling of Graham Dilley, and though the commentators had seen this coming and practised beforehand, they still struggled to announce "Lillee, caught Willey, bowled Dilley". :D

violacrane
03-02-2005, 07:58 AM
My Dad tells me that he once played in an RAF team against Canada and scored 110 runs. I was impressed are you?

Malacandra
03-02-2005, 08:03 AM
That would depend on who your Dad was. For a strong club player it's a noteworthy achievement but not out of this world, 'cos that's about Canada's playing strength. For a Test batsman it'd be a case of needing to pick on someone your own size :D

owlstretchingtime
03-02-2005, 08:19 AM
This is just me showing off here....

I'm in Wisden. That's it. (A captain's innings (though I say so myself - even if I wasn't captain) against Eton.

It says (sort of)

O.S Time c Bloke b Chap 88.

That's about the only place you can find my name in print.

I'll slip off quietly now. Or maybe not:

Anyone follow the County game? I fancy my boys - Hampshire to do well this year. We have Warne and Kaitch as overseas players and Pietersen as a new signing. It's been a long time since we won anything.

violacrane
03-02-2005, 08:27 AM
That would depend on who your Dad was. For a strong club player it's a noteworthy achievement but not out of this world, 'cos that's about Canada's playing strength. For a Test batsman it'd be a case of needing to pick on someone your own size :D

Not sure what a stong club player would be but my Dad was a footballer! At the time he was training to be a pilot during WWII, hence ending up on on the RAF cricket team..... so I guess it is impressive yes?

Ass For A Hat
03-02-2005, 09:22 AM
I don't understand how long a match lasts. Does everyone on a side bat once and then whichever side has the most runs at the end is the victor? Please explain that a little more.

Also, can you please describe the ball to someone who has never seen one. How does it compare to a baseball in size, wight and material?

Lastly, regarding Bradman, I wanted to mention the song Bradman by Paul Kelly. It's a beautiful song that I assume many Aussies have heard...the singer and the subject being Australian. It makes me sad that never has such a good song been written about baseball.

Rayne Man
03-02-2005, 09:53 AM
Correct me if I am wrong , but I have heard that if a ball is lost for some reason then the replacement must have the same sort of wear as the original ball . A selection of balls are kept in reserve and the umpire will choose one which he thinks is in the same condition as the lost one. I don't think this happens very often but a ball could go missing during a game . Either a spectator hides it, or the ball is driven right out of the ground and cannot be found , especially in some of the smaller venues.

Malacandra
03-02-2005, 10:09 AM
I don't understand how long a match lasts. Does everyone on a side bat once and then whichever side has the most runs at the end is the victor? Please explain that a little more.

Also, can you please describe the ball to someone who has never seen one. How does it compare to a baseball in size, wight and material?


1) Typical knock-about matches for club sides have one innings apiece. Side A bats, then when they're all out or declare, side B bats, with the following possible outcomes:

Side B overtakes Side A - Side B wins by however many not-out batsmen they still have. (Two members of an 11-man side must bat at once, so 10 dismissals end an innings. So if Side B had only 3 men out, they would win by 7 wickets.)

Side B are dismissed for less than side A's total - Side A wins by (A-B) runs.

Side B are dismissed for exactly the same total as A. A tie (very rare).

The allotted playing time runs out with none of the above happening: A draw.

2) Serious one-day matches including many club games allow for each side to bat for a given number of overs (one over = six fair balls from one bowler. No bowler can bowl two consecutive overs). The above results can apply except for a draw - when side B runs out of overs, it loses if it has not caught side A. (Except: In some club cricket, this does still count as a draw.)

3) Serious professional matches allow several days playing time (five for an international) and both sides bat twice. However, in this instance, if Side B's first effort leaves it far behind side A's total, side B can be made to bat again, side A reserving the right to take its second innings last. This means that side A need not waste time on batting again unnecessarily. Whenever a side fails in two innings to match the score its opponents made in one, it loses by "an innings and" the difference in runs. (i.e. if side A bats, side B makes a basinful, side A bats again and falls short; or side A bats, side B makes hardly any, side B is made to bat again -- "follow on" -- and still falls short.)

The ball: Thread-wrapped cork encased in red (usually) leather with thick stitches in three rows either side of where the two halves of the case meet. It weighs 5.5oz and is slightly smaller than a baseball, and is of comparable hardness. On a new ball the seam is appreciable and has a noticeable effect on how the ball flies through the air and deflects off the pitch, and one of the bowler's arts is to exploit this. As the ball is hit, bounces off the pitch etc, it becomes duller and the seam flattens, but it is then easier to spin it so the fielding side may gain on the roundabouts what they lose on the swings.

Declaring: In a match played to the clock rather than limited overs, a batting side may opt not to bat any longer and make the other side bat instead. This is done when the side thinks they have enough runs, and want to leave plenty of time to put the other side out. For the purposes of the score, there is no difference between declaring and being all out.

grimpixie
03-02-2005, 10:17 AM
Correct me if I am wrong , but I have heard that if a ball is lost for some reason then the replacement must have the same sort of wear as the original ball . A selection of balls are kept in reserve and the umpire will choose one which he thinks is in the same condition as the lost one. Exactly correct - to the extreme that they will sometimes bang the ball against something hard (e.g. the steps up to the changing rooms) if it is a little newer than desired... This will also happen if the ball is considered to have become "deformed" during play, or a seam splits or whatever. They actually have a little hoop through which the ball must pass without touching to determine whether it is deformed or not.

As for the Ashes - outside chance is about right - if a few things fall England's way early on, who knows...

Grim

Ass For A Hat
03-02-2005, 10:48 AM
Thanks Malacandra. So is batting first considered to be an advantage? Seems to me that making your opponents run around chasing balls in the sun for hours beofre they get to on offense would be seriously advantageous.

Also, how much does it hurt to get hit by a bowled ball? In one or two of the matches I've seen, guys really looked like they were hurting after getting hit. On the TV it doesn't look like the ball is travelling all that fast when it is bowled.

Malacandra
03-02-2005, 11:00 AM
Ordinarily batting first is considered an advantage. Sometimes there may be reasons to want to field first - some pitches start out spiteful when they have moisture in them and then become benign once they dry out a bit, and a new ball is reckoned to swing (swerve) more when the air is humid. But yes, making the fielding side wear themselves out through a long innings is a large part of the reason for batting first, along with getting first use of a pitch that may start to bounce inconsistently and offer more purchase for the spinners once it's been played on for a day or two.

A cricket ball is certainly hard enough to hurt at speed, and the quickest bowlers can top 90mph, with the very quickest being close to 100. Pads, gloves and a box have all been normal wear for a century, but helmets only started to come in during the late 1970s; they're now pretty universal.And trust me, if you were facing a top-class quickie the ball would seem to be moving very fast indeed - 90mph gives you about half a second to see it coming from 22 yards. (Actually you'd see his arm come over, you'd hear a noise like a peeved hornet, and you'd hear a smack twenty yards behind you as the wicket-keeper took it. After a fair bit of practice, you'd begin to register a red blur.)

Rayne Man
03-02-2005, 11:12 AM
I'm just waiting for someone to ask "what is a box ?" ;)

Neurotik
03-02-2005, 11:29 AM
And trust me, if you were facing a top-class quickie the ball would seem to be moving very fast indeed - 90mph gives you about half a second to see it coming from 22 yards. (Actually you'd see his arm come over, you'd hear a noise like a peeved hornet, and you'd hear a smack twenty yards behind you as the wicket-keeper took it. After a fair bit of practice, you'd begin to register a red blur.)
I'm going to dispute this right now. 90mph is not that difficult to see. Baseball pitchers routinely throw this fast (indeed, it is difficult to even reach the minors without being able to pitch about this speed). Difficult to react to in order to get the bat on it in time? Absolutely. Difficult to see? Not really.

GraceTX
03-02-2005, 11:56 AM
Leg Before Wicket (LBW) (the ball, before touching the bat, hits the batsman on his body (typically his leg), and would in the umpire's opinion have gone on to hit the stumps if the batsman hadn't got his body in the way)
Isn't it actually a little more complicated than that? Something to do with the ball pitching in line with the stumps and then going on to hit them, had the batsman's leg not been in the way?

This may be a little more advanced than you were expecting, but can you explain the Duckworth-Lewis method for calculating rain-affected ODI results? I realise it has something to do with run-rate, but I'm blowed if I can understand how.

Legolamb
03-02-2005, 11:58 AM
Isn't it actually a little more complicated than that? Something to do with the ball pitching in line with the stumps and then going on to hit them, had the batsman's leg not been in the way?

This may be a little more advanced than you were expecting, but can you explain the Duckworth-Lewis method for calculating rain-affected ODI results? I realise it has something to do with run-rate, but I'm blowed if I can understand how.
Sorry, that was me, not Grace. After all, what does a Texan know about cricket?

roger thornhill
03-02-2005, 09:04 PM
80 overs - although the fielding captain doesn't *have* to take the new ball when it becomes available, if the old ball is working for him (spin and/or swing bowlers being effective), he can keep going as long as the ball holds out. From the ICC Rules page (http://www.icc-cricket.com/rules/)
Thanks for the correction. I've never had to umpire Test Matches!

Neurotik, I'd agree about the difficult to react/difficult to see distinction. AS someone playing on the public school circuit in the same sort of era as Owl - except my highest score in Wisden is 91* - the fastest bowler I ever faced was Tony Pigott (who played for Harrow). I was out to the fourth ball I faced, which was also the first I managed to hit, caught at fourth slip. Yes, he had four slips, two gullies and mid-off, a short leg and a fine leg. He later gained a certain sports quiz notoreity by postponing his wedding to play for England in New Zealand. He happened to be there and they had a spate of injuries and needed a bowler. He's now Chief Executive of Sussex, I think.

Legolamb, the LBW Law has been tinkered with down the years. Currently, it's main provisions are as follows:

Any legal ball that when delivered pitches on the line of the stumps or outside the line of the off stump and strikes the batsman on the person, without first touching his bat, or hand holding the bat, and would in the umpire's opinion have gone on to hit the stumps will have the batsman out LBW (on appeal), providing:

a) The ball strikes the batsman on the line of the stumps (NOT, as you write, "pitching in line with the stumps" - common mistake), if he is attempting a shot;
b) If he is not attempting a shot, he may be out if the ball strikes him outside the line of the off stump [this law was brought in to stop defensive play - batsmen padding up to bowlers]

If a ball pitches outside the leg stump, the batsman can never be out LBW. This is a throwback to the Bodyline tour of 1932-33, where England's bowlers Larwood, Voce and Bowes attempted (successfully in the main) to nullify Bradman's threat by constantly pitching it short outside leg stump and aiming for the batsmen's head and heart. This Law is redundant in my opnion, as various additions regarding fast short-pitched bowling have been added. In effect, it means that a right arm bowler bowling to a left hand batsman is put at a disadvantage. I would change this Law, and also abolish Leg Byes.

Re the D-L method, I have absolutely no idea how it works, mainly because I never have to apply it. (Local competitions use a much simpler method of calculation should a match be curtailed.) Its rationale, though, is a very good one - to make it fairer to the side batting first in a rain-affected game. In the past (as indeed in our competitions) it would be a straight pro-rata calculation. Team A scores 200 in 50 overs (4 runs per over). 15 overs need to be bowled in the second innings to constitute a game; the side batting second need to make 61 (15x4 + 1) to win the game. Well, they sense the rain coming, go out and slog, and make the total losing 6 or 7 wickets. The D-L method basically takes this into account and requires the side batting second to score 60+whatever in 15 overs, and, 100+whatever in 25 overs. Much fairer for anyone who's ever played the game.

Cricket has the reputation for being a sport with a thriving literature. Some excellent books have been written about the game, which has also attracted some top-class journalists (Neville Cardus, Robinson-Glasgow, John Arlott), as well as one or two poets (a West Indian poet of some renown, Smith - the first name eludes me - was a cricket nut who wrote a lot about the game). Is there any equivalent in American sports?

II Gyan II
03-02-2005, 09:25 PM
For anyone interested in the corruption aspects, read this paper: Seizing the Moment: A Blueprint for Reform of World Cricket (PDF (http://www.ms.ic.ac.uk/stefan/cricket.pdf)) (Google's HTML (http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:8RPU5gEzJpwJ:www.ms.ic.ac.uk/stefan/cricket.pdf+A+Blueprint+for+Reform+of+World+Cricket&hl=en) rendition). It's not a minor, contained problem. It is rampant. There's tons of money wagered in matches, especially those involving India. According to the Anti-Corruption Unit of the International Cricket Council, on an average one-day game, roughly (http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2003/03/16/sccron16.xml&sSheet=/sport/2003/03/16/ixsport.html) $250 million is gambled. With that kind of money, only the wildly optimistic would think the games aren't rigged.

Onto more positive (or atleast neutral) discourse, roger thornhill, what do you think about the new 20-overs (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/4273489.stm) a side contest (http://www.thetwenty20cup.co.uk/)? Will that replace 50-overs as the preferred limited format? Should it?

What's your favourite test match? One-day? Best knock?..etc

roger thornhill
03-02-2005, 09:44 PM
(Attempted) match-fixing in cricket is probably as rife as it is in football, boxing and horse racing. Any sport where loads of money's involved.

The Twenty-20 concept is taking off at the moment in England. I believe Middx v Surrey at Lord's was sold out last year. I'm not a great fan of one-day international cricket, but I think a 100 game is more likely to survive long term as it gives better value for money. It's not as if people in the developed and rapidly developing world are getting less and less free leisure time.

What's your favourite test match? One-day? Best knock?..etc
Test match I've seen: England v Australia at The Oval, August 1985. Gooch and Gower added around 250, most of which I missed as a bunch of us were having a very long, and very liquid lunch, in the Pavilion. But just about the last meaningful Test we won at home, so I'll vote for that. (Also, one of the waitresses was stunning.)

First-class: when doing an MA at Birmingham, I buggered off to Edgbaston at lunchtime having phoned the ground to check whether Brian Lara was still in. (He had been 100 not out over night.) Yes, they said. I arrived the first over after lunch, just in time to see his score pass from 199 to 200. At least, that was what I thought until the guy sitting next to me said he had just reached 300. He had scored around 180 runs in the pre-lunch session. Even though I went on to see him get to 501 (a world record) off the last ball of the day, the bastard next to me kept reminding me I'd missed the best bit.

One-day: to be honest, they all get mixed up. I saw most of the Gillette Cup/NatWest Trophy finals between 1978 and 1987 and there were some exciting (and a number of others from 1967 on) finishes.

Best innings: Every time I saw India play at Lord's in the 70s and 80s, Dilip Vengsarkar seemed to score a hundred. He was a lovely player to watch, and the Indian fans in the Grandstand would keep up this (back rows) "Dilip" (front rows) "Vengsarkar" chant up throughout the whole of his innings.

Best bowling: Bob Massie, 8 wickets against England for Oz on his debut in 1972. He got another 8 wickets in the second innings. It was swinging all over the place. Lillee was at the other end.

Most memorable: the Centenary Test (in 1980??) when the umpires were assaulted by MCC members after the rain and the booze had got to them. I was sitting in the Pavilion that day. No - it wasn't me!

Shirley Ujest
03-02-2005, 11:17 PM
What is the longest name you've seen on a jersy/shirt/uniform?

I can imagine some of the Hindu names stretch from wrist to wrist.

:)




BTW, I've understood ZERO of anything of the above. It's like reading a tax form only slightly more complicated.

I'll hang up and listen.

roger thornhill
03-02-2005, 11:48 PM
What is the longest name you've seen on a jersy/shirt/uniform?

I can imagine some of the Hindu names stretch from wrist to wrist.
Good question, but sometimes they cheat and shorten the name, which of course has been romanized anyway. My favourite name, although it was probably never seen on a shirt because the fellow played before the days of named shirts was Sivaramakrishnan, a name that combined three Hindu deities.

brianjedi
03-02-2005, 11:57 PM
Cricket has the reputation for being a sport with a thriving literature. Some excellent books have been written about the game, which has also attracted some top-class journalists (Neville Cardus, Robinson-Glasgow, John Arlott), as well as one or two poets (a West Indian poet of some renown, Smith - the first name eludes me - was a cricket nut who wrote a lot about the game). Is there any equivalent in American sports?

There is a huge amount of literature about baseball. Novels, poetry, essays, all manner of writing.

Legolamb
03-03-2005, 12:30 AM
Thanks for the answer roger, it certainly explains some of the LBW decisions I've been confused about in the past. The (b) part of your answer I found out about this summer when (I think) Chanderpaul was continually padding away some of Giles' efforts to the chagrin of the commentators, but the rest of it was mostly news to me.

Snooooopy
03-03-2005, 12:35 AM
Back to front and misspelled. Michael "Whispering Death" Holding was the bowler, Peter Willey the batsman.

I just want to say that that's a hell of a great nickname.

buns3000
03-03-2005, 01:03 AM
I just want to say that that's a hell of a great nickname. Well, we had Whispering Death and his mates, Roger Harper and one Wes Hall, riding in the back seat of my dad's Kingswood one day sometime in the mid-80s. Dad and I were driving past the WACA - prolly my dad just picked me up from school which was right next door to the ground - and I waved and said "G'day, Wes" to Wes Hall who was walking along outside the ground. We weren't going very fast and he must have thought we were offering him a lift as he started running after us. We then stopped and he came over, then Holding and Harper came over and we gave them a lift to their hotel.

Malacandra
03-03-2005, 03:47 AM
If a ball pitches outside the leg stump, the batsman can never be out LBW. This is a throwback to the Bodyline tour of 1932-33...

Nyetski. At the time of that tour, the LBW law mandated that the ball had to pitch in line with the stumps - in 1935 this was extended to pitching outside the off stump - and the point of impact had to be in line. Except in the very earliest days, when the umpire merely had to rule on whether the batsman had intentionally :dubious: blocked the ball out with his legs etc., it has never been possible to win an LBW decision with a ball pitching outside leg.

(That tour resulting in a change in the Laws concerning leg-side field placings, however.)

Concerning the experience of facing a phenomenally quick bowler, let's not discount the fact that anyone able to make a large score in public-school cricket has probably faced better bowling than the man in the street. George MacDonald Fraser, in "Flashman's Lady", has his eponymous hero face up to Alfred Mynn, a legendary cricketer from the mid-1800s, and describes the experience in similar terms than the one I used. I've also heard a story about a pro-celebrity match in which David Frost was the wicketkeeper and Fred Trueman (Yorkshire and England quickie from the 1950s to nearly 1970) was bowling. Advised that it was only a charity match and Fred was unlikely to let rip, Frost took up position about five yards behind the stumps. He heard the ball but didn't see it, it shot through for four byes and he turned, white-faced and trembling, to see the slips fielders, who were in on the secret, about halfway to the boundary.

Michael Holding's nickname owes much to the fact that he had maybe the softest-footed run-up a fast bowler ever had. Umpires were occasionally surprised to hear a quiet patter of feet behind them a moment before Holding delivered the ball.

To the OP: You have clearly played and watched much better cricket than I have. I strenuously deny, however, that you have forgotten more about the game than I ever knew :p

Malacandra
03-03-2005, 03:48 AM
"similar terms than"? What was I thinking? :smack:

roger thornhill
03-03-2005, 03:52 AM
Nyetski. At the time of that tour, the LBW law mandated that the ball had to pitch in line with the stumps - in 1935 this was extended to pitching outside the off stump - and the point of impact had to be in line. Except in the very earliest days, when the umpire merely had to rule on whether the batsman had intentionally :dubious: blocked the ball out with his legs etc., it has never been possible to win an LBW decision with a ball pitching outside leg.
You strip me bare till I have no credibility left!
To the OP: You have clearly played and watched much better cricket than I have. I strenuously deny, however, that you have forgotten more about the game than I ever knew :p
I had marked you down as a likely troublemaker!

roger thornhill
03-03-2005, 04:00 AM
The dreadful old bore Frederick Sewards Trueman made his first-class debut in 1949.

I don't know what's going off over there.....

Malacandra
03-03-2005, 05:35 AM
The dreadful old bore Frederick Sewards Trueman made his first-class debut in 1949.

I don't know what's going off over there.....

And of course a contemporary of his played first-class cricket in six consecutive decades ;)

owlstretchingtime
03-03-2005, 07:27 AM
And of course a contemporary of his played first-class cricket in six consecutive decades ;)

Boycott?

owlstretchingtime
03-03-2005, 07:29 AM
roger Given that you reside in foreign parts, how do you keep up to date?

I couldn't imagine surviving without Test Match Special *hmmm chocolate cake hmmmm*

roger thornhill
03-03-2005, 07:42 AM
Boycott?
Another Fred - Titmus. Lost his toes in a boating accident in the Caribbean in 1968(?). Like football, I probably watch more cricket here than I would in England. Will be subscribing to the Ashes series, when play starts at the very decent time of 6.00pm local time. I do miss TMS, and Sport on Five as well. But we get the World Service of a Saturday evening, so between that and the TV and the Telegraph online, I don't do so badly.

Malacandra
03-03-2005, 07:48 AM
Guys, I was actually thinking of David Brian Close, no less - a man with the unusual distinction of having played in fewer Test matches than the length of his Test career in years. He too started out in the late 1940s and was working as a coach in the early 1990s, and played in at least one match for the team he was coaching.

Next up - Several players have been knighted for services to cricket. Several knights have played Test cricket... but who is the only man to have been knighted for services to cricket, and then have carried on playing Test cricket?

Snap question: What was Garry Sobers's one-day-international batting average?

:D

grimpixie
03-03-2005, 07:54 AM
Snap question: What was Garry Sobers's one-day-international batting average?N/A because he never played one-day matches..?

grimpixie
03-03-2005, 07:58 AM
N/A because he never played one-day matches..?Nope - I was almost right, but he played in one match and scored a duck, so his average is 0

Prudential Trophy, 1973, 1st One-day International
England v West Indies
Headingley, Leeds
5 September 1973

GS Sobers c Taylor b Old 0 6 0 0

roger thornhill
03-03-2005, 07:59 AM
Guys, I was actually thinking of David Brian Close, no less - a man with the unusual distinction of having played in fewer Test matches than the length of his Test career in years. He too started out in the late 1940s and was working as a coach in the early 1990s, and played in at least one match for the team he was coaching.
You might be right, but according to Cricinfo, he played his last f-c game in 1986 for D.B.Close's XI v New Zealanders at Scarborough. Titmus played county cricket in five decades, from 1949 to 1982. Close only played county cricket in four decades.
Next up - Several players have been knighted for services to cricket. Several knights have played Test cricket... but who is the only man to have been knighted for services to cricket, and then have carried on playing Test cricket?
I would guess Sir Learie Constantine.

owlstretchingtime
03-03-2005, 08:01 AM
Guys, I was actually thinking of David Brian Close, no less - a man with the unusual distinction of having played in fewer Test matches than the length of his Test career in years. He too started out in the late 1940s and was working as a coach in the early 1990s, and played in at least one match for the team he was coaching.

Next up - Several players have been knighted for services to cricket. Several knights have played Test cricket... but who is the only man to have been knighted for services to cricket, and then have carried on playing Test cricket?



:D

Brian Close was proper hard. Remember when they brought him back to face the fearsome Windies? He just stood there and got hit.

The knight - Sir Richard Hadlee?

roger thornhill
03-03-2005, 08:05 AM
The knight - Sir Richard Hadlee?
Go to the top of the class, Owl. Right, I'm out of here before I make a complete fool of myself!

grimpixie
03-03-2005, 08:07 AM
Next up - Several players have been knighted for services to cricket. Several knights have played Test cricket... but who is the only man to have been knighted for services to cricket, and then have carried on playing Test cricket?Took some more digging, but got there in the end: Richard Hadlee - but it must have been a matter of months before, cause he was knighted in 1990 (can't find a more specific date, but I assume it was the New Year's Honours) and played his last test in JulyGrim

grimpixie
03-03-2005, 08:08 AM
The knight - Sir Richard Hadlee?Bah Humbug!! That's the last time I put things in a spoiler box to save other people...

:(

Meurglys
03-03-2005, 10:41 AM
What's the minimum distance from the wicket to the boundary?

And did somebody earlier say the ball was made of cork? That just doesn't sound right to me...

Askance
03-03-2005, 07:20 PM
And did somebody earlier say the ball was made of cork? That just doesn't sound right to me...

Why not?

http://www.cricketdirect.co.uk/acatalog/gn_Balls.html :

"4-Piece hand sewn ball with layers of cork and worsted around a natural cork centre."

"Hand stitched 4-piece construction with layers of cork and worsted around a natural cork centre."

but also:

"Superb quality hand stitched 4-piece construction with 5 layer-quilted centre."

roger thornhill
03-03-2005, 07:43 PM
What's the minimum distance from the wicket to the boundary?
Nothing in the Laws about this, although precise dimensions are given for the length and width of the pitch, the height and width of the stumps, the width of the bat, etc. I guess the reason is historical - some grounds are very small. This results in among other things local rules regarding boundaries - some places I have played you only score 4 runs (not 6) for hitting it over the boundary line. At other grounds, say, those surrounded by houses or greenhouses, you're Out if you hit the ball out of the ground on the full!

Hong Kong has just lost its right to host ACC-sanctioned (Asian Cricket Council) One Day Matches because neither of its two grounds with grass pitches meet the dimensions requirement you refer to. Plans are in place to convert a large playing area that currently houses two feilds with artificial pitches into a single ground with a grass "square". One or two problems in the pipeline - quite literally, actually, as there is currently no water supply!

UnwrittenNocturne
03-04-2005, 12:39 AM
It was a New Years Honours knighthood for "Paddles".

I see nobody has yet answered the question about the Duckworth-Lewis. I suspect that is because nobody actually understands how the bloody thing works.

Rayne Man
03-04-2005, 02:09 AM
In the village where I used to live there was a large oak tree growing within the cricket ground boundary. They had local rules to take into account this tree and what happened if the ball hit it etc.

grimpixie
03-04-2005, 03:08 AM
I see nobody has yet answered the question about the Duckworth-Lewis. I suspect that is because nobody actually understands how the bloody thing works. This page (http://www.cmmacs.ernet.in/~swathi/dl.html) gives just about the best explanation that I've read - it's long, and my brain began to hurt about halfway down, but that's statistics for you...

Grim

Malacandra
03-04-2005, 05:45 AM
In the village where I used to live there was a large oak tree growing within the cricket ground boundary. They had local rules to take into account this tree and what happened if the ball hit it etc.

Never mind village greens - one of Kent's county grounds, Canterbury, has for many years had an English lime (not a citrus fruit tree) well within the playing area. A ball that hit it and did not cross the boundary scored four. Unfortunately the tree fell down this winter :(

owlstretchingtime
03-04-2005, 05:47 AM
Never mind village greens - one of Kent's county grounds, Canterbury, has for many years had an English lime (not a citrus fruit tree) well within the playing area. A ball that hit it and did not cross the boundary scored four. Unfortunately the tree fell down this winter :(

They've planted another one.

Malacandra
03-04-2005, 06:35 AM
They've planted another one.

I know, but it's going to be a while before it matches up to the original.

Meurglys
03-04-2005, 08:59 AM
Why not?
"4-Piece hand sewn ball with layers of cork and worsted around a natural cork centre."

"Hand stitched 4-piece construction with layers of cork and worsted around a natural cork centre."

but also:

"Superb quality hand stitched 4-piece construction with 5 layer-quilted centre."

I'm obviously mistaken - I think I've assumed since I was at school that it was some sort of wooden core - it certainly hurt enough mis-catching it!

My ignorance is successfully fought!

pseudotriton ruber ruber
03-04-2005, 10:37 AM
Okay, I‘ve been waiting patiently for someone to get to this one: What is the literal and the figurative meaning of "Sticky wicket, what?" I just read in David Lodge's novel PARADISE NEWS of an American using it to mean something like "You've gotten yourself into a uncomfortable situation, haven't you?" and the Brit-narrator implies that he's misused this bit of cricket-talk, which is basically all any 'Murican knows about cricket, if that (your corrrespondent very much included).

grimpixie
03-04-2005, 10:43 AM
Spot on - when the wicket (ie. the ground between the two sets of stumps, where the ball bounces) is damp (e.g. after rain) the ball grips better and so seam and spin bowlers can get it to move around more, making it much more difficult to play against.

Grim

roger thornhill
03-04-2005, 12:16 PM
Spot on - when the wicket (ie. the ground between the two sets of stumps, where the ball bounces) is damp (e.g. after rain) the ball grips better and so seam and spin bowlers can get it to move around more, making it much more difficult to play against.
And you don't get so m,any sticky wickets these days because the pitches are covered these days when it rains. Before (pre- 1970-ish), pitches weren't covered after play had begun when it rained, so bowlers like "Deadly" Derek Underwood could wreak havoc when the sun came out and the ball was fizzing.

owlstretchingtime
03-05-2005, 05:58 AM
Underwood was known as "The Umbrella" as you took him everywhere in case of rain.

Askance
03-07-2005, 03:39 AM
I'm obviously mistaken - I think I've assumed since I was at school that it was some sort of wooden core - it certainly hurt enough mis-catching it!

My ignorance is successfully fought!

Cork is a form of wood ...

grimpixie
03-07-2005, 04:19 AM
Hola cricket fans - I've just discovered this game - http://www.stickcricket.com/

Quite fun, sometimes monotonous, but tricky to master... I have yet to progress beyond the pool stages in the tournament...

Grim

Rayne Man
03-07-2005, 05:00 AM
A sad item of cricketing news. The Reverend David Sheppard , one time England captain and Bishop of Liverpool died a couple of days ago.

Some details of his life here:-

http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/CRICKET_NEWS/2005/JAN/161599_WCM_19JAN2005.html

don't ask
03-07-2005, 05:06 AM
We real cricket nerds use Kiren Tanna's Duckworth Lewis calculator (http://www.geocities.com/kirentanna/dlanalysis.html) to keep up to date on rain affected matches. It is only tiny and easy to use.

Jeff Lichtman
03-07-2005, 05:09 AM
Cork is a form of wood ...

Cork is the bark of the cork oak. When people speak of wood they don't usually mean bark.

Meurglys
03-07-2005, 06:56 AM
Cork is the bark of the cork oak. When people speak of wood they don't usually mean bark.
I was just coming back to say that!
The first definition of cork I looked at described it as bark, and the first definition of bark I read said it surrounded the woody stems and roots of trees.

I didn't check whether botanists, etc. include bark in the definition of wood... in common usage they're distinct.

UnwrittenNocturne
03-07-2005, 07:25 AM
Hola cricket fans - I've just discovered this game - http://www.stickcricket.com/

Quite fun, sometimes monotonous, but tricky to master... I have yet to progress beyond the pool stages in the tournament...

Grim

Damnit, I love this. Way too much. I could play this for hours