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Cricket    Equipment

WICKET AND CREASES - A wicket is three stakes or stumps placed into the ground so that a cricket ball cannot pass between them. There are two wickets, which the bowler attacks and which the batsman defends. The creases are lines of whitewash that mark the ground at each wicket. The bowling and return creases mark the area where the bowler's rear foot must be placed when bowling the ball; the popping crease marks the area which is the batsman's ground.

BAT AND BALL - The bat is paddle shaped made of willow and approximately 11 centimeters wide. It, including the handle, may not under regulation exceed 97 centimeters in length. The ball is made of a core of cork encased in red leather. The two leather halves are sewn together with a raised seam. A baseball is slightly heavier, softher, and larger than a standard cricket ball.

DRESS - The players usually wear white flannel pants and shirt, white canvas or buck shoes, a white woolen sweater (often times with their club colours trimming it), and multicoloured club caps. A batsman wears protective white pads, or leg guards, rubber or leather batting gloves, and a body protector. The wicketkeeper also wears pads and reinforced gloves. However, the fielders in cricket do not wear gloves when fielding.

Cricket    Language

CAPPED - A cricket player is"capped" when he is selected to play for a representative team. This term comes from the use of club caps in the game.

REPRESENTATIVE TEAM - A "representative team" is a team of cricket players selected by their ability to represent a county, a country, etc. These players are normally selected from among club teams or minor teams.)

INNINGS - An innings has actually several term usages in cricket. (1) It is a turn of a batsman to bat, (2) a turn of a team to bat, or (3) when results are being given, it is when one team still has a turn to bat but has scored more runs than the opposing team (which has completed its two innings.)

FOLLOW ON - To "follow on" occurs when a team bats out of turn (e.g. second innings directly after first innings) after scoring less than the opposing team in first innings by a certain number of runs.

HIT A SIX - To "hit a six" means to hit the ball over a boundary without it touching the ground, thus scoring six runs.

PITCH - A "pitch" can be used in several ways. (1) It is the area going 1.5 meters on either side of the center line between the wickets, (2) the impact of a bowled ball on the ground, or (3) the distance from one wicket to the other.

WICKET - The word "wicket" has four meanings in cricket. First, it is the goal, consisting of three stakes, which two sticks lay on top of. The batsman defends them and the bowler attempts to hit. Secondly, it is a turn to bat. Thirdly, a wicket is, in scoring, if a side is batting last, it is the number of batsmen who have to be put out (dismissed) when the opponent's score is passed. And lastly, it is the area between two sets of stumps (also known as pitch.)

STICKY WICKET - A "sticky wicket" is a wicket (pitch) that is drying after a rain. Any soft soil - turf - makes playing more difficult for a batsman.

How    Cricket    is    Played

In cricket, there are two teams, the batting and the nonbatting. Nine members of the nonbatting team are in the field, one is the wicketkeeper, and one is the bowler, for a total of 11 players. The batting team designates the order of the batters, where the first batter is called the striker. A batsman tries to guard his wicket, while the bowler tries to hit it.

The batsman tries to keep the bowler from hitting the wicket with the ball, while also attempting to hit the ball hard enough to give him time to run to the other end of the pitch, before any of the nonbatting team picks up the ball and hits the wicket. If the wicket is broken, by a thrown ball or by the wicketkeeper or bowler, the batsman is dismissed. The striker does not have to run after he hits the ball, and a miss does not count against him. However, if he gets a hit and thinks he can score a run, he runs for the opposite wicket while the second batsman - the nonstriker - runs toward him. If they each reach the opposite wicket before a wicket is broken, a run is scored. Also, if the batsmen theing there is time, they may run back for two or more runs, crossing each time. If they score an even number of runs, the striker is the next to hit the ball. However, if an odd number is scored, the nonstriker will be facing the bowler and thus getting his chance to hit the ball. Any runs scored in this manner go to his personal score for the game.

When a hit ball goes beyond the boundary, the game is paused and four runs are added to the team's score. In order for the team's score to go up, several other things may happen other than the batsman scoring runs. A bye occurs when a ball from the bowler is missed by the batsman, but he can still make a run. A leg bye happens when the ball touches part of the batsman's body, but he can still make good a run. A wide occurs when the ball is out of reach of the striker, and this counts for a run. No balls occur when the ball is improperly bowled. Each of these extras add points to a side's score.

If a bowler bowls six balls, not counting wides and no balls, he completes what is termed an over. A new over is then begun by a different bowler at the opposite wicket. The field must also adjust accordingly. If a bowler bowls a complete over without a batsman personally scoring a run, it is called a maiden over.

A bowler may bowl either right or left armed, propelling the ball overhand without bending his elbow. He is allowed any number of steps to give a delivery, but he may not cross the bowling crease. A good bowler must be able to control length and direction, which includes the spin placed on the ball to attempt to deceive the batsman into being dismissed.

A batsman may hit either right or left handed, based on a vertical bat with its entire blade faced to the ball. There are many different batting strokes, including the forward stroke, the back stroke, the leg glance, and the cut.

Fieldsmen must be quick runners, with good hand-eye coordination and the ability to throw a cricket ball far. He should be able to guess the batsman's strokes, and act accordingly.

The wicketkeeper should have exceptionally good reaction time and sharp sight. He must concentrate fully on every ball.

"Cricket." Encyclopedia Brittanica. 1982 ed. Volume 5. pps. 256-264.

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