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england’s steve harmison bowling to pakistan’s younis khan (and yes, he is actually trying to hit him with that ball…!) 

this weekend was the start of the south african home cricket season. it couldn’t have been a better start for both me and the team as south africa won by their biggest ever margin and jacques kallis, my favourite player, scored a massive 186 and took a few wickets too! that may sound like greek to most of my faithful blog readers, but fear not, all will be explained!!

i love cricket! i love love love cricket! if you need any reason to read this post (and future cricket posts) then read it because i love cricket. sometimes i don’t know which i love more cricket or football, but its probably football. still, i couldn’t have one without the other because i find them both stimulating in such different ways.

since i know most of my readers are bookworms you’ll be interested to know that many authors have been avid cricketers:

sir arthur conan doyle

harold pinter

terence rattigan

p.g. wodehouse

john fowles

samuel beckett

siegfried sassoon

a.a. milne

j.m. barrie

lord byron

 

the other reason to read this is because its about jacques kallis, who, with the retirement of zidane, is my favourite sportsman. him and zidane were my joint heroes and to date my favourite sportsmen ever. now that zidane’s gone, only kallis remains. kallis is grace, balance and poise personified. he also has incredible focus.

there is also something of a personal connection with kallis, because i watched him play for our provincial team (and liked him then) before he actually made the national team, and before he became one of the best batsman in the world (i’m so proud! 🙂 ). i’ve also met him twice, which was very cool!

so whats cricket? well, as many of you probably know, it shares a lot of similarities with baseball. as such it is unsurprising that both games originated from the same ball games. some people say that baseball derived from cricket and others that both developed independently from generic bat and ball games.

both games centre around a person throwing a ball at someone with a bat and the objectives are the very similar. in both games the person with the bat attempts to hit the ball (preferably in a space where there aren’t any fielders) and the person with the ball is trying to throw the ball so that the person with the bat cannot achieve this.

scoring and winning is rather different, but not entirely. the game centres around batsmen getting runs and bowlers (pitchers) trying to get wickets (a strikeout). here’s an interesting fact – the first ever cricket match was played between the usa and canada, in new york in 1844. it also became what is considered the first ever sporting rivalry. so you see, its in your blood!

here is the link to the article:

http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/columns/content/current/story/141170.html

okay, so lets have quick look at how the game is played:

runs

in cricket batsmen bat in tandem, with the other standing at the equivalent distance of first base. both “bases” are like “home base” and the batsmen run between the two. when a batsman hits the ball into space the two batsmen exchange ends and that is called one run. the deeper into space the batsman hits the ball, the more runs he can get.

wickets

the two most basic ways to get a batsman out is if the batsman is caught by a fielder (as in baseball) and if the bowler hits the wickets. the wickets are three stumps that stand behind the batsman.

the game in a nutshell

one team takes to the field, while the other has a chance to bat. the team batting scores as many runs as they can and afterward the other team tries to overhaul that total.

the appeal of cricket is very similar to that of baseball. both games have levels of deep subtlety and complication and there are many strategies and counter-strategies. there are different styles in which batsmen and bowlers play and there are a lot of different types of shots the batsmen can play, and balls the bowlers can deliver. both games are also incredibly stat-heavy and i love stats!

so! those are the basics of cricket. over the season i will be elaborating on game and the different styles of play and other stuff too, while also posting about games and events during our summer of cricket. i hope you join me!

here is a clip of a cricket match in action:

by the way, if there are any of you who are still interested in my continued explanation of the gameof rugby, i will be resuming my posts about the game when the international season kicks off early next year!

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Categories: cricket, sport
  1. November 16, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    I have often wondered why cricket caught on in so many British colonies but managed to skip Canada. Guess we knew that hockey was in the works and we didn’t need a summer sport.

  2. jean pierre
    November 16, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    haha!

    well, hockey certainly seems to capture the canadian spirit. (my impression of it, anyway) so i’m not surprised they didn’t fancy cricket!

  3. November 16, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    Cricket isn’t really my thing (like most sports, to be honest :P) but that list of authors was cool to read.

  4. jean pierre
    November 18, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    yeah, the fact that they all played it must say something about the game…

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