Rowland, Jennifer jennifer.rowland at
Thu Jun 22 05:48:30 EDT 2000

>Now that Rowena has shared her cricket explanation... I can see I am
>doomed to befuddlement! 


Caution- this is what I've picked up from cricket-obsessed father and
brother, I'm not an expert.
Well, the concept is baseball-y, two teams, one bowls to the other and tries
to get them all out, the side with the most runs wins. What I think are the
main differences are- 11 players on a team. Two batsmen at once, they run
backwards and forwards between two wickets rather than running round a
diamond. One cross-over of the batsmen is one run. This means that after one
is scored, the bowler is now bowling to the other batsman. Rather than the
teams swapping over after three outs, one team's innings goes on until ten
men are out (and there is therefore only one left to be bowled to rather
than the requisite two). In a normal game each team has two innings.

As a man is "in until he gets out", rather than going back to the bench
after he makes a run around the diamond, the scores get very high. In an
international match it would be disappointing to get less than 200. This
also leads to defensive play- if you can avoid getting out by touching every
ball so it dribbles onto the ground, you make no runs but you can stay in
the whole time. If you hit the ball so hard it goes out of the ground it
scores 6 without you actually having to run six times, but of course smiting
can lead to being caught.
The other stuff, like the fact that the bowler takes a run up rather than
standing still, after every 6 balls bowled the bowler changes ends (so he
isn't bowling into the sun all the time, or the batters aren't facing the
sun all the time, I think), there will be several people who can bowl on a
team with different styles and they will be swapped to disconcert the
batsmen, also makes a difference but I think is less confusing. 
There are no-balls and wides which are too far away for the batsmen to hit
and are therefore counted to his favour, there are fielding positions with
names so the people know where to stand- but as there aren't three bases
that need to be manned, there are more men "free" and therefore more
different position names. 
And the puffy leg greaves are because the bowler is aiming at the wicket,
which is very close to the batsman's legs, rather than aiming to one side of
him. (If the wicket is hit and the delicately-balanced top bits knocked off
the guy is out.)
There- more confused than ever. Now ask about the difference between the
english and American school systems, that's the other thing I always has to
explain to my American grandparents's friends when I was a child. (Apart
from "why do you Brits complain about Mrs Thatcher? She's doing so much good
to the country!")
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