Curious George

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Er du som meg så har du også alltid lurt på hva en wicket er - og for den saks skyld - hvorfor spiller de med så hvite klær? Nu har du muligheten til å finne svaret!


Cricket is a team sport for two teams of eleven players each. A formal game of cricket can last anything from an afternoon to several days.

Although the game play and rules are very different, the basic concept of cricket is similar to that of baseball. 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. After each team has batted an equal number of innings (either one or two, depending on conditions chosen before the game), the team with the most runs wins.

(Note: In cricket-speak, the word ``innings'' is used for both the plural and the singular. ``Inning'' is a term used only in baseball.)

The Play

The order in which the teams bat is determined by a coin toss. The captain of the side winning the toss may elect to bat or field first.

All eleven players of the fielding team go out to field, two players of the batting team go out to bat. The remainder of the batting team wait off the field for their turn to bat. Each batsman wears protective gear and carries a cricket bat.

The game progresses by the bowling of balls. The sequence of events which constitutes a ball follows:

The fielding team disperses around the field, to positions designed to stop runs being scored or to get batsmen out. One fielder is the bowler. He takes the ball and stands some distance behind one of the wickets (i.e. away from the pitch). Another fielder is the wicket-keeper, who wears a pair of webbed gloves designed for catching the ball and protective pads covering the shins. He squats behind the opposite wicket. The rest of the fielders have no special equipment - gloves to assist catching the ball are not allowed to anyone but the wicket-keeper.

One batsman stands behind each popping crease, near a wicket. The batsman farthest from the bowler is the striker, the other is the non-striker. The striker stands before his wicket, on or near the popping crease, in the batting stance. For a right-handed batsman, the feet are positioned like this:

The batsman stands with his bat held down in front of the wicket, ready to hit the ball, which will be bowled from the other end of the pitch. The batsman usually rests the lower end of the bat on the pitch and then taps the bat on the pitch a few times as ``warm-up'' backswings.

The non-striker simply stands behind the other popping crease, waiting to run if necessary. The bowler takes a run-up from behind the non-striker's wicket. He passes to one side of the wicket, and when he reaches the non-striker's popping crease he bowls the ball towards the striker, usually bouncing the ball once on the pitch before it reaches the striker. (The bowling action will be described in detail later.)

The striker may then attempt to hit the ball with his bat. If he misses it, the wicket-keeper will catch it and the ball is completed. If he hits it, the two batsmen may score runs (described later). When the runs are completed, the ball is also considered completed. The ball is considered to be in play from the moment the bowler begins his run-up. It remains in play until any of several conditions occur (two common ones were just described), after which it is called dead. The ball is also dead if it lodges in the striker's clothing or equipment. Once the ball is dead, it is returned to the bowler for the next delivery (another name for the bowling of a ball). Between deliveries, the batsmen may leave their creases and confer with each other.

When one bowler has completed six balls, that constitutes an over. A different member of the fielding team is given the ball and bowls the next over - from the opposite end of the pitch. The batsmen do not change ends, so the roles of striker and non-striker swap after each over. Any member of the fielding team may bowl, so long as no bowler delivers two consecutive overs. Once a bowler begins an over, he must complete it, unless injured or suspended during the over.

Another possibility during a ball is that a batsman may get out. There are ten different methods of being out - these will be described in detail later. If a batsman gets out, the ball is dead immediately, so it is impossible to get the other batsman out during the same ball. The out batsman leaves the field, and the next batsman in the team comes in to bat. The not out batsman remains on the field. The order in which batsmen come in to bat in an innings is not fixed. The batting order may be changed by the team captain at any time, and the order does not have to be the same in each innings.

When ten batsmen are out, no new batsmen remain to come in, and the innings is completed with one batsman remaining not out. The roles of the teams then swap, and the team which fielded first gets to bat through an innings. When both teams have completed the agreed number of innings, the team which has scored the most runs wins.

Scoring Runs

Whenever a batsman hits the ball during a delivery, he may score runs. A run is scored by the batsmen running between the popping creases, crossing over midway between them. When they both reach the opposite crease, one run is scored, and they may return for another run immediately. The fielding side attempts to prevent runs being scored by threatening to run out one of the batsmen.

If the batsmen are attempting to take runs, and a fielder gathers the ball and hits a wicket with it, dislodging one or both bails, while no batsman is behind that wicket's popping crease, then the nearest batsman is run out. Specifically, the batsman must have some part of his body or his bat (provided he is holding it) grounded behind (not on) the crease.

The batsmen carry their bats as they run, and turning for another run is accomplished by touching the ground beyond the crease with an outstretched bat. The batsmen do not have to run at any time they think it is unsafe - it is common to hit the ball and elect not to run.

If the batsmen run one or three (or five! rare, but possible), then they have swapped ends and their striker/non-striker roles are reversed for the next ball (unless the ball just completed is the end of an over).

In addition to scoring runs like this, if a batsman hits the ball so that it reaches the boundary fence, he scores four runs, without needing to actually run them. If a batsman hits the ball over the boundary on the full, he scores six runs. If a four or six is scored, the ball is completed and the batsmen cannot be run out. If a spectator encroaches on to the field and touches the ball, it is considered to have reached the boundary. If a fielder gathers the ball, but then steps outside or touches the boundary while still holding the ball, four runs are scored. If a fielder catches the ball on the full and, either during or immediately after the catch, steps outside or touches the boundary, six runs are scored.

The batsmen usually stop taking runs when a fielder is throwing the ball back towards the pitch area. If no fielder near the pitch gathers the ball and it continues into the outfield again, the batsmen may take more runs. Such runs are called overthrows. If the ball reaches the boundary on an overthrow, four runs are scored in addition to the runs taken before the overthrow occurred.

Runs scored by a batsman, including all overthrows, are credited to him by the scorer. The number of runs scored by each batsman is an important statistic.

If, while running multiple runs, a batsman does not touch the ground beyond the popping crease before he returns for the next run, then the umpire at that end will signal one short, and the number of runs scored is reduced by one.

Ways of Getting Out

Here is a full list of the ten different ways of getting out. But first, a few necessary definitions:

The wicket is said to be broken if one or both of the bails have been dislodged and fallen to the ground. If the bails have fallen off for any reason and the ball is still in play, then breaking the wicket must be accomplished by pulling a stump completely out of the ground. If the wicket needs to be broken like this with the ball, the uprooting of the stump must be done with the ball in contact with the stump.

The field is notionally split into two halves, along a line down the centre of the pitch. The half of the field in front of the striker is called the off side, the half behind is called the leg side, or sometimes the on side. Thus, standing at the bowler's wicket and looking towards a right-handed striker's wicket, the off side is to the left and the leg side to the right (and vice-versa for a left-handed striker). The stumps of the striker's wicket are called off stump, middle stump, and leg stump, depending on which side they are on.

When a batsman gets out, no matter by what method, his wicket is said to have fallen, and the fielding team are said to have taken a wicket.

Now, the ways of getting out:

If a fielder catches the ball on the full after the batsman has hit it with his bat. However, if the fielder catches the ball, but either during the catch or immediately afterwards touches or steps over the boundary, then the batsman scores six runs and is not out.
If the batsman misses the ball and it hits and breaks the wicket directly from the bowler's delivery. The batsman is out whether or not he is behind his popping crease. He is also out bowled if the ball breaks the wicket after deflecting from his bat or body. The batsman is not out if the wicket does not break.
Leg Before Wicket:
If the batsman misses the ball with his bat, but intercepts it with part of his body when it would otherwise have hit the wicket, and provided several other conditions (described below) are satisfied. An umpire must adjudicate such a decision, and will only do so if the fielding team appeal the decision. This is a question asked of the umpire, usually of the form ``How's that?'' (or ``Howzat?''), and usually quite enthusiastic and loud. If the ball bounces outside an imaginary line drawn straight down the pitch from the outside edge of leg stump, then the batsman cannot be out LBW, no matter whether or not the ball would have hit the stumps. If the batsman attempts to play a shot at the ball with his bat (and misses) he may only be given out LBW if the ball strikes the batsman between imaginary lines drawn down the pitch from the outside edges of leg and off stumps (ie. directly in line with the wicket). If the batsman does not attempt to play the ball with his bat, then he may be given out LBW without satisfying this condition, as long as the umpire is convinced the ball would have hit the wicket. If the ball has hit the bat before the hitting the batsman, then he cannot be given out LBW.
If a batsman misses the ball and in attempting to play it steps outside his crease, he is out stumped if the wicket-keeper gathers the ball and breaks the wicket with it before the batsman can ground part of his body or his bat behind his crease.
Run Out:
If a batsman is attempting to take a run, or to return to his crease after an aborted run, and a fielder breaks that batsman's wicket with the ball while he is out of the crease. The fielder may either break the wicket with a hand which holds the ball, or with the ball directly. It is possible for the non-striker to be run out if the striker hits the ball straight down the pitch towards the non-striker's wicket, and the bowler deflects the ball on to the wicket while the non-striker is out of his crease. If the ball is hit directly on to the non-striker's wicket, without being touched by a fielder, then the non-striker is not out. If the non-striker leaves his crease (in preparation to run) while the bowler is running up, the bowler may run him out without bowling the ball. Batsmen cannot be run out while the ball is dead - so they may confer in the middle of the pitch between deliveries if they desire.
Hit Wicket:
If, in attempting to hit a ball or taking off for a first run, the batsman touches and breaks the wicket. This includes with the bat or dislodged pieces of the batsman's equipment - even a helmet or spectacles!
Handle The Ball:
If a batsman touches the ball with a hand not currently holding the bat, without the permission of the fielding side. This does not include being hit on the hand by a delivery, or any other non-deliberate action.
Obstructing The Field:
If a batsman deliberately interferes with the efforts of fielders to gather the ball or effect a run out. This does not include running a path between the fielder and the wicket so that the fielder cannot throw the stumps down with the ball, which is quite legal, but does include any deliberate attempt to swat the ball away.
Hit The Ball Twice:
If a batsman hits a delivery with his bat and then deliberately hits the ball again for any reason other than to defend his wicket from being broken by the ball. If the ball is bouncing or rolling around near the stumps, the batsman is entitled to knock it away so as to avoid being bowled, but not to score runs.
Timed Out:
If a new batsman takes longer than two minutes, from the time the previous wicket falls, to appear on the field.

These methods of getting out are listed in approximate order of how commonly they occur. The first five are reasonably common, the last five quite rare. The last three methods are almost never invoked.

If a batsman is out caught, bowled, LBW, stumped, or hit wicket, then the bowler is credited with taking the wicket. No single person is credited with taking a wicket if it falls by any other method.


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