The Game of Cricket explained
By Glenn Holdstock
Cricket is a bat and a ball game. It is not a body contact game.
It is played between two teams of eleven players. It is almost always played outdoors, on an oval shaped playing field, a bit larger than a football field.
In the middle of the field is the playing area called the Pitch, where the main action takes place. The pitch is about 20m long and 3m wide. The bowlers bowl the ball to the batters on the Pitch.
In simple terms, the game is played in two sessions. First, one team bowls the ball and the other team tries to hit the ball with the bat, to score ‘runs’ by the batsman running from one end of the Pitch, to the other.
Then the teams change roles in the second session, and when both teams have bowled and batted, the game is won by the team that scores the most runs. When teams are evenly matched, the finish can be very tense and exciting.
In his book “The Tao of Cricket” Ashis Nandy suggests Cricket is an Indian game accidentally discovered by the English. Now it is a World game purposely discovered and played by the Chinese.
Cricket is a game of deep complexity, subtlety and flow, punctuated by bursts of action. It is very strategic and tactical. It requires physical skills, technical playing skills, concentration, mental toughness and teamwork.
There are very strong cultural aspects around cricket that are unique to this game. But you don’t have to play the game to appreciate the game itself or these cultural aspects. Many people absolutely love the game, but don’t play.
Cricket is game with diplomacy, as well as being an exciting sport. Whether you are a player, or a spectator, it has so much to teach us about life and human relationships, which is another reason why people like the game so much.
There is a saying from cricket, “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game !” The game of cricket asks us to conduct ourselves with honesty, grace and dignity, because sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
Cricket has a very strong tradition of “fair play”, (playing fairly and by the rules, and not cheating). It is based upon a unique set of rules, called The Laws of Cricket. In China, Cricket is known as ‘the Noble Game’ for this reason.
For all that serious side, Cricket is just a really fun game to play. Players can be aged 6 to 60, and enjoy playing. One of the best things about Cricket is the friends you make from the playing, watching and talking about the game.
There is a song from the West Indies that says, “I don’t like cricket. I love it !”
And that’s how hundreds of millions of people from all over the world feel about the great game. So, come and join the Cricket World. You’ll love it !
Glenn Holdstock is an experienced cricket coach with Summer Hill Cricket Club, in Sydney’s inner west. (www.summerhillcricketclub.org.au) His mission is to promote community engagement through cricket. He visited China in 2012 to see for himself how cricket is being developed there.
This article was translated by Huiqing (Helen) MA and Yvonne HU (www.interpreterservices.com.au).