Sticky wickets

When I was at (all-girls) school, we had to do sports for a couple of hours every single afternoon. Summer was swimming and tennis, winter was hockey, tennis and netball. I was fat and left-handed so the only thing I was good at was swimming. Boys generally played cricket, soccer, and rugby.

In South Africa, the main spectator sports are football (soccer), rugby, and cricket. My family loves watching sports so over the years I have watched pretty much everything. I like watching cup football, Formula 1 (boat and car), and I really love watching cup rugby. Cricket however, not so much…

One of my best friends in South Africa was from India and he loved cricket. He took me to a couple of 5-day test matches and some day-night games. I enjoyed the day-night games as they were short, fast, and the teams wore colours. It was not hard to follow the rules. But the 5-day test matches almost killed me…sitting in the boiling sun watching men in heavy white clothing standing around while the commentator tried to find something to talk about – ‘looks like there’s some action on the duckpond’. Every now and then someone polished a red ball on their white trousers (how DO they get the stains out?), threw it, and there was a little flurry of action before everyone went back to standing around again. For Five Days.

So when I saw Sharon W posting this, I howled out loud with laughter.  I would have really appreciated the first diagram when I was watching those looong test matches because most of it went right over my head.  And I am so glad I am not the only one who feels confused about it.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

4 thoughts

  1. Cricket Explained to a Foreigner

    You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.
    Each man that’s in the side that’s in the field goes out and when he’s out comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out.
    When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.
    When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in out.
    Sometimes there are men still in and not out.
    There are men called umpires who stay out all the time, and they decide when the men who are in are out.
    Depending on the weather and the light, the umpires can also send everybody in, no matter whether they’re in or out.
    When both sides have been in and all the men are out (including those who are not out), then the game is finished.
    – Attributed (tenuously) to the Marylebone Cricket Club

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