One side bats and the other defends.
Fri, 2 Jul 1999 20:50:34 EDT

---- Original Message -----
From: Geoff Carter <>
To: 'Jerry Bowles' <>
Sent: Friday, July 02, 1999 1:35 PM
Subject: RE: Ripper News

OK Jerry you asked for it.........

JB Note: Okay, I'm game. Let's start with the basics. 11 lads
to a side (do you call it a "side" or a "team?);

Either team or side is OK with me

a ball;

correct and for those of you who get turned on by thinking about Cuban
women rolling the cigars on their inner thighs you should see what the
bowlers (pitchers) do with the ball as they prepare for their run up to the
crease. It's the closest you can get to
masturbation using a foreign instrument in public without being arrested.

bats (do you call them "bats?"

Yes, traditionally made of willow

Is there a regulation size?

Don't know, good question, need help on this one from the others

Do all batters (batsmen?) use the same bat?)

No, each batsmen has his own bat. By the way, women also play cricket.

a wicket, similar to that used in croquet.

Not really like croquet. Three pieces of cylindrical wood, about 2ft 6
inches in height
and 1 inch in diameter I guess, each about 2 inches apart, called the
stumps, with two pieces of wood resting on top of them, called the
bails. One way of getting the batsman out, the prime objective for the
fielding team, is for the ball, despatched by the bowler, invariably
overarm, to beat the batsman and strike the stumps, knocking the bails

really splendid white costumes, which look especially fly on
lads from the colonies.

Yes however, since Kerry Packer, an uncouth man from Oz with lots
of money and no appreciation for the traditions of the
game introduced floodlight cricket, white balls instead of red balls and
snazzy outfits some years ago things have not been the same. Indeed this
latest world cup had some really colourful outfits

One side bats and the other defends.


Do the defending 11 lads have assigned positions?

Yes but they can change, for instance, if the two batsmen in at the same
time happen
to be one left handed batsman and one right handed batsman then, as they
take it in turns to face the bowling, the fielders look as though they
are playing musical chairs as they vary their positions to cope with the
stance of the receiving batsman.

Do those positions have titles (i.e., right fielder, center
fielder, shortstop?)

Yes, some easily understandably positions with titles such as first slip,
second slip,
silly mid off, long off, third leg. The wicketkeeper is the equivalent of
the catcher

Do all the lads on the offensive side bat?


Do they bat in a certain pre-fixed order?

Yes and the lower numbered batsmen (1-6?) are the people whose main
competence is batting, the lower down the order you go towards #11 the less
they are a
batsman and the more likely they are to be a bowler. One of the
unwritten rules is that if you are a fast bowler, and some of the
deliveries can be very, very fast, then you do not bowl a bouncer ( a
particularly aggressive delivery) to your opposite number.

A "bowler" (pitcher) throws the ball and a lad with a bat tries
to hit it. (Does everybody bowl or just a designated bowler?)

Everyone on the defending 11 can bowl but usually the team has about 4 -5
bowlers, a mixture of fast bowlers, leg spin bowlers, off spin bowlers.
When you pick your 11 you need to take into account a number of factors,
e.g. weather, state of the pitch, when deciding what combination of
bowlers to put together in the team

What does it mean if the batsman misses?

First of all he is a dickhead. .............Then, it depends. If he misses
and the ball
strikes the stumps he is out. If the ball hits the pads he is wearing on
his legs then he is running the risk of being out lbw. This means leg
before wicket, obvious isn't it!. If it just passes by then nothing, he
waits to receive the next delivery, unless of course that ball was the
end of the over ( 6 balls) and then a different bowler comes in from the
other end to bowl his over. If the bowler delivers 6 balls (an over)
without the batsman scoring any runs then this is called a maiden over.

What does it mean if he hits it and nobody catches it in the

Depends. If it reaches the boundary without a fielder intercepting
it then he automatically gets four runs, six runs if it reaches the
boundary without touching the ground.

Does he run somewhere after he hits it.

If it isn't a 4 or a 6 then yes he runs between the 2 wickets, from memory
something like 22 yards. The other batsman, standing at the bowler's end
has also to run
towards the other wicket at the same time where the batsman who has just
played the ball was standing. They can run between the wickets for as
long as they want but the fielders are recovering the ball and throwing
it to either end of the pitch, usually to the waiting bowler or
wicketkeeper who will be looking to catch the ball and in one swift
movement knock the stumps and bails over. If the batsman is not in his
crease at the time of the ball striking the stumps then he is run out. A
bit like baseball and making first base, second base etc except there
are only two bases.

Is the bowler's objective to knock down the wicket?

Yes, or to bowl a delivery that forces the batsman to play the ball
and offer up a catch to one of the waiting fielders or to get him out

How the hell do you score?

Either by running between the wickets, or by hitting boundaries or by
claiming extras,
for instance if the bowler makes a crap delivery that is wide of the
stumps, you get 1
run for a wide, or the umpire calls No Ball because the bowler stepped
beyond the crease when delivering the ball.

Okay, that should get us started.


All 11 bat and all 11 field. The batting side is in until it is
out. It is in until 10 of its 11 batsmen are out and then it goes in to
field and the other side goes in to bat, the first two batsmen and then
one at time afterwards as each batsmen is caught or bowled out. In 5 day
cricket both sides have two inning, i.e. they have two chances to be in
and out. The other version is limited overs 1 day cricket, 50 overs in
total and this was the Model for the recent world cup.

I could go into further detail, the role of the 2 umpires, what a
googly is, Wisden, the umpire's hand signals, and many other subtleties
but that is probably enough for now. I hope this has made it so much
clearer for those AT's who have not had the benefit of this education
previously so that when you next come to the UK, or indeed other parts
of the civilised world where the game is played you will be able to
enjoy it so much more.


JB Note: By George, I think I've got it. Thanks to Geoff for the great
explanation. Perhaps others will have additional points to add. I, of
course, would want to play silly mid off.