My line of reasoning went- if I only ever go to one cricket game, I need to make it count. That’s why I bought tickets to one of the Cricket World Cup matches in Sydney.
The only Sydney game Australia was scheduled to play was already sold out, so I picked the next best thing- the cheap seats for the South Africa vs West Indies. Despite being two far-flung countries, the Sydney Cricket Ground was still packed with fans.
Although our seats were as cheap as they come, they were close to the turf and also right by the most enthusiastic fan in the entire stadium. Every time a troupe of drummers stood up on a podium, this guy jumped up in front of them to lead them with his whistle. With his lips firmly clasped around the instrument, he used his hands to anchor himself against the field’s perimeter.
Only after our friends arrived did we begin to understand the nuances and terminology of the game. The most important thing I learned is that cricket is not baseball. The ball isn’t pitched- it’s bowled. The batter is not a batter- he’s a batsman and there’s two of them (from the same team) on the field at all times.
Test cricket, which is a shorter version that’s played for international competitions, only has two innings. However, two cricket innings are actually equivalent to just one baseball inning. That means that one entire team bats until they strike out (oops-there are no strikes!) or 300 balls are bowled. Then the other team tries to catch up. Then the game is over.
“Wouldn’t it be more exciting,” I asked my friend, “if they took more turns?”
“Why not?” I pressed.
“Because it’s not baseball.”
“I know it isn’t baseball, but cricky would…”
“It’s not cricky either. It’s cricket.”
“You don’t like the name?”
My friend replied without a moment’s hesitation. “No.”
“Why not? If football’s called footy, why isn’t cricket cricky?”
“Because footy sounds manly and cricky sounds…. Not manly.”
I wasn’t convinced. The first reason being that whenever I hear the word ‘footy’ I think of baby socks. The second reason being that nothing is more appropriate in Australia than a good abbreviation and there is surprisingly nothing for cricket.This is why I have decided to coin the term ‘cricky’.
Unfortunately, not even the most anti-sports person at work agrees with me.
“It sounds too much like crikey.” One colleague complained.
“That’s great!” I replied. “You could say something like- Crikey the cricky was good!”
“That sounds terrible.”
“No way, I’m loving this nickname even more!”
I definitely think I’m on to something.
About: 2015 Cricket World Cup