Sounds like cricket

Brian Ferry News writer

We’re ready for cricket.

I have consulted with my Test cricket expert. What is Test cricket? That’s international cricket for you who are somewhat less informed than I. Around here, regarding cricket, I assume that’s almost everyone.

He told me why one or (often several) more people play defense in the slips — a short distance behind and off to the side of the striker.

He brought a ball and bat with him. The bat is flat on one side, the only side used to hit the ball. The ball is very much like a baseball, but with one big seam.

The striker — and the non-striker (who both run when either runs) — does not have to run when he/she strikes the ball. And, there is no penalty for swinging and missing, unless the bowl (pitch) hits the wicket, in which case you are out. (If the bowl hits your leg and is judged that it would have hit the wicket, you are out. That’s an LBW — leg before wicket. I doubt we’ll have decision review system for a while in Warren County, so we’ll have to rely on expert umpiring. Any expert, volunteer, umpires out there?)

If you strike the ball and run — you score when you run safely — you can be run out. If the ball (alone or in a player’s hand) breaks the wicket while you (or your non-striker) (your bat counts as you) are not safely within the popping crease, you’re out. It’s like being forced out in baseball.

The bat is typically in a vertical position when swung. If the striker really likes the look of a bowl and has time, he or she might swing more like a baseball bat and try to knock one out for a six.

Because the striker is protecting the wicket from a (most often) bounced ball and swinging with the bat in a vertical posture, most strikes head to what I would call the opposite field in baseball.

Protecting the wicket from a particularly fast bowl might result in a four, if no fielder can keep what I would call a foul tip from going past the boundary behind the striker. The field is a big circle or oval with the striking and bowling going on in the middle, so that’s a long way.

I might go up for my turn as striker, see one bowl, and be out and take the long walk back to the pavilion. Or, I might stay up there basically all day. I might strike once, then be the non-striker for one, then be back as striker. If I’m both good and careful, I could be the striker more than six bowls (one over) in a row.

The bowler have to keep the bowling arm straight. They might curve the ball while it’s in flight, they might make it bounce in a particular direction, and they can vary the bounce location/height.

I have a clue what a googly is, but I have no idea how to bowl it.

My colleague, Josh Cotton, and I have decided that the time for learning by hearing is over and it is time for learning by doing.

We have at most eight ‘volunteers’ to join us in our cricket match.

We figure we need no less than 13 — 11 fielders, one striker, and one non-striker. We don’t really need two entire sides of 11, we’ll just rotate around some. After a practice (I won’t say ‘test’) match, we’ll see if we ever need to play again.

If you are interested in joining us in this cricket quest, send me an email.