A British national sport adopted by Commonwealth nations – Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, the West Indies – and South Africa, cricket is often little known and misunderstood in other countries .
In New Zealand, the national team is known as the “Black Caps”.
A history of social class
Unlike many English sports such as rugby, cricket is hardly appreciated outside of British lands. Until the 16th century, this discipline was practiced by the popular classes and despised by the rich.
From the middle of the 17th century, the aristocracy took an interest in it to maintain relations with the rest of the population and increase its prestige.
The lords employed as gamekeepers or groom people who were above all excellent cricketers and thus formed their team.
Around 1820, the sport had two versions: a cricket for the upper middle class who practiced it in their country properties or in clubs from which representatives of the
working class were excluded; and a cricket for the petty bourgeoisie. The latter introduced the professionalism that lasted until 1870.
The “test cricket”, a series of national matches between England and the countries of the British Empire, was then organized. Cricket rose to prominence and became the national sport of the summer.
As the club which controlled the game was the very aristocratic Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC founded in London in 1788), the problem arose of the presence of the working class.
The roles are finally distributed. The drummer had to come from a high social class (this role gave him the opportunity to show his skill and personality).
While the places of throwers and collectors of balls were entrusted to members of the popular class.
How does it play out?
Like all sports with ancient origins, cricket has undergone many changes over the centuries.
Thus, the wickets (the goals) have not always existed. In the past, we were satisfied with digging two holes in the grass and drawing a line in front of each hole, 1.30 m apart.
At the beginning of the 18th century, the counters were introduced (a complex construction made up of three stakes on which two small bars are placed in balance).
The first precise rules of the game were codified in 1744.
The cricket ground is a large lawn measuring 150m by 170m and has two wickets. A referee stands near each of them.
A wicket, the total width of which is 23 cm, consists of three stakes driven into the ground, the height of which must not exceed 71 cm.
Wooden sticks are placed on the stakes, witnesses whose fall indicates that the wicket has been hit.
The counters, set up opposite each other, are separated by a distance of 20 m; this zone constitutes the actual play area.
1.30 m in front of each wicket, and parallel to it, is a line marking the boundary of what is called “batter’s ground”.
The game’s rules
The game of cricket consists of two rounds during which all the players of the two teams (composed of 11 members)
must succeed one another as batsman in defense of the wickets.
The designated batsman is the only one of his team on the field,
surrounded by the players of the opposing team who must try to catch on the fly the ball that the batsman has struck.
The role of the launcher
It is the pitcher (bowler) who attacks by sending a ball on the wicket defended by the batsman. The ball, very hard, is made of cork and rope covered with red leather.
It weighs 172g and measures 23cm in circumference (the equivalent of a tennis ball).
The pitcher’s objective is to destroy the wicket defended by the batter who is in front of him.
He can take all the momentum needed before throwing the ball, as long as he stays within what is called the “pitcher’s line”.
Two pitchers operate in each game, each in front of a wicket.
When six balls have been thrown, the second pitcher attacks the batter at the opposite wicket, and all players on the court change positions.
The role of the drummer
The beaters (batsmen) use, for the defense of the wickets, a bat generally made of willow and the total length of which does not exceed 97 cm.
The batsman must hit the ball hard enough, either to send it out of bounds (which is then worth 6 points for his team), or to send it a sufficient distance
so that he has time to run to the counter of his partner (one point per race for the benefit of his team).
When the drummer leaves his wicket to run to the opposite one, his partner himself runs to the wicket left vacant.
When the batsman is eliminated, his partner from the opposite wicket replaces him, and so on until the eleven players of the team whose tour it is have succeeded on the field. It is then to the
There are great batsmen who can keep a team in check for hours. Any game that is not finished is considered a draw (unless one of the two camps gives up during the match).
However, when a team has a substantial points lead, its captain may end the round by declaring that their side’s tour is over.
This is called the “declaration”, which has the effect of speeding up the progress of the game.
Due to the special rules of cricket, it often happens that a single match lasts several days.
A limit is assigned to the daily time allotted to the game.
and the game is resumed the next day, at the point where it was left. In international matches, matches last five to six days.
Competition between counties is usually played over two or three days.
The final of the Cricket World Championship took place on March 23, 2003 in Johannesburg. Australia has crushed India by 125 “runs” and thus retains its crown of world champion acquired in 1999 in England.
Read Other Sports
The only Nobel Prize winner who ever played top-level cricket was Samuel Beckett,
but unfortunately he never wrote about the sport.
However, Arthur Conan Doyle and his brother-in-law,
EW Hornung, performed at a high level, and both wrote crime stories that have passed on to posterity.
Conan Doyle’s hero was, as everyone knows, Detective Sherlock Holmes (who did not play cricket),
but Hornung’s was Raffles, a gentleman-burglar and
remarkable left-handed pitcher who managed to break into the country residences that ‘he looted thanks to his game.
Now, here is what he said to his accomplice, his Watson for burglar with the ambiguous name of Bunny 8 : “Cricket, like everything else, is a pretty entertaining activity, as long as we
haven’t found something better.
As a source of elation, it’s hardly worth other things you know, Bunny, and the unintentional comparison becomes boring.
What satisfaction do you find in taking away the wicket of a man whose silver spoons are
what you really want?
But still, knowing how to throw a fair amount fuels whatever mischief one has,
always being on the lookout for other people’s weak spots is exactly the kind of exercise required.
Yes, maybe there is some connection between the two, after all. “