Friday, 13 December 2013

Cricket and it's Avatars

In a country obsessed with cricket, you cannot deny them the thrill of the game. Cricket is said to be one of the most expensive game on the planet, but only at the professional level. The million fans have eventually designed and perfected numerous ways to enjoy the game, some without even having to walk out into the ground. ‘jugaad’ is the technique used. Humaare yahan to PM bhi jugaad se select karti hai congress. Anyway, here are some of the forms of cricket that I know of, feel free to add more…

Gully cricket,
It’s tough to arrange the cricket equipment, the wickets, the ground and other gear. But we were never bogged down by such petty constraints. And here enters gully cricket. The only necessity is a ball; other requirements like bat, ground and wickets are arrange-able depending on the available resources.

Bat – if available, fair enough, else we can use any pseudo-bat with length ranging from 0.5 to 1.0 m. Parts of broken furniture of furniture broken for the specific purpose. I have played cricket with branches of coconut trees.
Ground – so what is we don’t have a stadium to suit our needs, the world’s a playground. Any space will do – parking lots (a vehicle or two doesn’t matter), football grounds, the hallway or even the confines of a room.
Wickets – bricks, tree branches, shoes, chair, dustbin and if unavailable draw the wickets on a wall.

The rules of gully cricket are modifiable to fit the ground constraints (1 tip out, direct bahar jaana out, 3 miss hona out etc.)

Video games,
These are an alternative and widely popular. Those who have crawled upto this piece of writing must be familiar with the concept of virtual cricket, so no point trying to show-off. They are closest to the real thing in the complete sense and packs in the comfort of your home. EA Cricket and Brian Lara cricket rule the market.

Finger cricket,
It’s played on the lines of scissors-paper-stone, an ingenious invention bumping off the need of any equipment whatsoever. All you need are a pair of hands belonging to different persons with fingers intact. The batsman and the bowler flip their fingers simultaneously and it’s a dismissal only if both correspond to the same score. Other than that it’s a run-feast. 1 finger means 1 run, 2 fingers means 2 runs and so on and the thumb means a sixer!!

 Leg cricket,
In the absence of a bat, the Neanderthal fans started using their limbs as one. The style of bowling consists of underarm-along-the-ground deliveries and they are fend-off by hitting it with the leg. There are a lot of close-in fielders present unless it’s Hulk himself you are bowling to. It’s surprising to see the batsmen evolve with their square-cuts and on-drives with their legs!! Anyway, other rules, whichever applicable, are the same as the professional cricket.

Book cricket,
From the looks of it, this was the brainchild of some nerdy cricket fans. It consists of opening the book at random and the last digit of the page number on the even side gets translated to runs on the scoreboard. Even side is chosen because a ‘0’ sends you back to the pavilion, according to the popular convention. An ‘8’ means a dot ball. Rules are changeable to suit requirements. It’s an open-source format of cricket, so to say.

Parchi cricket,
This one is a great time-pass too, albeit a bit tedious. You are required to prepare small chits with various terms and runs written on each individual one (1 run, 4 runs, LBW, runout, catchout, wide, noball etc.). The player on-strike calls out instruction like ‘4th card from the top (or bottom)’ and the instruction on the card is equivalent to your performance on the pitch. It’s an advantageous format compared to others as penalty, handling the ball etc. become possible here.

Well, take your pick and get busy. Or better, design your own format and apply for the patent. Hindustan mein cricket kisi maidaan ya balle ka mohtaaj nahi hai. We are a cricket crazy nation not without a reason. All you football maniacs, I dare you to come up with something like that. Good luck.

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