Infographic by Mia Swart
It’s that time of the year again – when camp chairs, people lathered in sun screen and crowded cars make their way to stadiums to watch cricket.
I use the word “watch” loosely here because even though I have been to many cricket games, I’ve never really watched. I have no recollection of who won and who lost.I don’t even remember who was playing.
What I do recall is the amount of booze that was flowing, getting burnt by the sun and the many details of the “deep meaningful conversations” I had with my friends pitch side. This cricket season I refuse to be a mindless spectator. I want to engage and scream my lungs out like the rest of the crowd. I sought out the help of a few fanatics.
Hopefully what they told me will help other people who have been using the cricket as an excuse to work on their phuza faces.
Let’s start with the teams. There are 11 players on each team. “Teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs, while the opposing team fields and attempts to bring an end to the batting team’s innings,” said student and player, Kagiso Mathaba.
An inning is just one half of the game that each team gets an opportunity to bat or bowl.
Simply, apart from winning, part of the game is to get as many runs as possible without losing too many wickets.
The fastest way to do this is to hit 4s and 6s. A 4 is when the ball hits the boundary line and a 6 is when the ball is hit clean over that line. The slowest way of getting runs is manually running between the wickets.
Some of the main ways of being taken out are: a direct catch after the ball has been hit by a batsman, LBW (leg before wicket) when the ball hits a batsman’s leg which is directly in line with a wicket.
A run out is when a batsman fails to make it back to the crease (you might have to look this up, I did). Also each batsman represents a wicket, so by the time 10 wickets/batsmen have been bowled out it’s late for the said team.
What I found most interesting is the fact that a team can win a game without playing an entire game.
Apparently when it rains, the Duckworth-Lewis method is used to calculate how a team would have carried on playing had it not been for the rain – but they have to play for a considerable amount of time for this method to be used.
“It’s a strategic game, it’s as much about playing as it is about thinking – it’s about tactical one-upmanship.
“The greatest thing about cricket is the commentary,” said a sports aficionado in the Wits Vuvuzela newsroom.
It’s all in the hands, from spectators who lift beers to umpires with their customised signals, to commentators who offer visual illustrations of the game as it unfolds.