Time is flying! It has bee
already three months since I arrived in Mumbai...
From the very first week,
people have kept asking me three questions: where do I come from, do I like
India and do I like cricket!
Cricket is omnipresent
here, you cannot avoid it. And, I have to admit that once you understand the rules,
it becomes a really fascinating sport.
I ‘d therefore like to let
you profit from the fast track “initiation” I went through and maybe, who
knows, pass you on this contagious Indian passion…J
CRICKET IS NOT ONLY POPULAR, THIS IS THE NATIONAL GAME
- Cricket is the Common Wealth version of base
team consists of bowlers who throw a leather ball at two pieces of
wood (the wickets) laying on top of three wooden sticks (the
stumps). Defending the wickets is the batsman of the other team
who tries to hit and throw the ball there where no adversaries (the
fieldsmen) could catch it. Once the ball is hit, the batsman runs back
and forth over the pitch until the ball is thrown back to the
stumps. The batting team marks one run for each crossing.
If the ball hits directly the wickets or is caught by the fieldsmen before
it touches the ground or if the ball is sent back to the stumps before the
batsman finished its crossing, the batsman is out.
The goal of the games is to mark the most runs having the least
batsmen out. Easy, no?
- The shortest matches last ca. 8 hours
a match, a team first bowls 300 times in a row. That is called one Innings.
The shortest matches (One Day International) have two Innings and
last therefore “only” ca. 8 hours. So-called test matches last even
longer and are spread over five days. There, the number of balls is
unlimited and the teams play until every batsman is out.
If one keeps in mind that bowlers throw the ball with speed up to 150 km/h
and that the batsmen have to run all the time, but still need a steady
hand to hit and direct the ball into the right direction, one realises the
huge concentration and physical efforts required from the players…
- Every body plays it, every body watches it and
every body comments it as an expert
is played in every open space: in school yards, on the street (despite the
traffic), below a bridge, just everywhere. (See some pictures here).
But not only every body plays, but also every body watches it (women
That makes them all experts. There is a lot of strategy involved in
terms of who is bowling against which batsman, what is the right speed to
throw the ball, what is the right direction to hit the ball… Complicated
statistics show the performance of each player, how many runs did he mark during
his career, his percentage of balls hit and in typically what kind of
distance or direction. Watching/commenting cricket is a real science and
Indians just love to do it before, during and after a match.
THERE WERE TWO IMPORTANT MATCHES DURING THE CRICKET WORLD CUP IN SOUTH
- India won the match against Pakistan…
cricket world cup, which happens every four years, just took place in
From an Indian perspective the most important match was not the Finale
but their match against Pakistan. On that Sunday, nobody was travelling,
the streets were all empty but for the people sitting around a radio or
watching the match through a shop window. For that one day, both teams
were no long playing cricket anymore but leading a “war” substitute.
As it became clear that India was taking the lead, people just exploded of
joy and were singing
and dancing during the eight hours of the match and until late in the
night after the victory.
- …but got a tough cricket lesson from Australia
in the Finale
in a dream or a Bollywood movie, India made his way up to the top into the
Finale, an event which had not happened since 1983.
At last had India the chance to show that they are indeed the best
cricketers in the world. Unfortunately, a very strong Australia utterly
defeated India marking the highest score ever in a World cup Finale… A
proud nation was under shock and it took two good days until Indians
recovered and could talk again about this match.
Last updated: 3/30/2003 4:59 PM
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