Last New Years Eve I had the opportunity to see my first live Cricket (Australian/English Baseball) Match. I saw the Adelaide Strikers play the Sydney Kings in a T-20 Match, which is a much shorter game format. Usually the match takes about 3 hours compared to normal 5 day tests. It is more or less the time that a baseball game would take, which is why a lot of people enjoy going to see a T-20 match.
In today’s post I want to explain to you what I know about Cricket from an American standpoint. Keep in mind I have only seen one game live and have never watched it on TV. Shout out to Guying Around supporter and Adelaide local Big Mark for taking me to the game.
In typical English/Australian sports fashion there is no such thing as tailgating so most people will go to a pub before the match for a few frothies. There are usually pubs close to the Oval (Field or Stadium) that people go too. Tailgating is such an American thing for baseball games, concerts, and any other outdoor event.
If it is your first time going to see a Cricket match, I would suggest going to a T-20 Match because of the time. You can learn a lot from going to see one game. You want to not try to learn every single little rule, focus on the big ones. I made the mistake of asking about every little thing after it happened, so I lost track of some more important rules.
There were a few things that I learned and noticed right off the bat (no pun intended). The fielders do not use gloves like in baseball unless its the wicketkeeper (catcher). The cricket ball is like a lacrosse ball, so it is a pain in the ass to catch. The bowler (pitcher) takes a running start to throw the ball which is interesting and the ball hops. The bowler can put a spin on the ball, just like in baseball. The bat that the Batsman use is much wider than a baseball bat, so making contact with the ball seems easier. These are the first observations that people make when watching Cricket.
Now I am not going into any specific rules here, because I know that I do not know them well or really at all. If a player hits the ball, they score runs by running in between the two poles. The scores are often in the hundreds, so unlike actual baseballs low scoring games. There are hits that are kind of like singles, doubles, and home runs if you hit the ball out of the oval. Fielders can play all over the field, there are no set fielding positions. I was very confused about the fact that there is no infield or outfield. Players can literally hit the ball anywhere on the oval, so the fielders have to always be ready. As in any other sport there are more specific rules, but you should go see a game even with this very basic knowledge of the sport. Most folks going to the game would help and explain the different rules to you.
Bowler = Pitcher
Batsman = Batter
Umpire = Umpire
Captain = Manager
Wicketkeeper = Catcher
Cricket fans are very nice people, they really do not get rowdy for the game. Everyone was really nice, its a nice day out for people. It didn’t seem like there was any heckling or carrying on during the game. People just went home after the game, no hanging around except maybe heading to the pub.
Would I go back to another match? Absolutely, that’s what Guying Around is all about. Do I need to see a few more matches to understand more rules? Absolutely. Just like any new sport or competition, it takes time to learn the specific rules. When you Guy Around, you say yes to going to see a new sporting event like Crickey. Why? Because you might never have that chance again.