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Greg Bats and Bowls

My initial experience with cricket

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I played cricket yesterday for the first time.

It wasn't a proper game of cricket, just some goofing around in a park at a picnic with a bat, some wickets and a few tennis balls, but nonetheless, it was my first experience ever playing the game.

Some friends of mine back in Canada had passed me the name of their family in England, and they were nice enough to invite to their family picnic. We had a very nice lunch in the back garden, and then headed over to the park for some football and cricket.

Football was up first. That was a game I had played that before, having played 4 years of soccer in the local intramural league as a kid. It's been a while, though, and after spending a few minutes running hard (and even scoring a goal), I was happy to retreat to play keeper for a rest. The nets weren't very big, probably about 5 feet high and 10 feet across - frankly not much larger than an ice hockey net, so I was able to stop most shots using a butterfly technique.

After playing to a 5-5 draw, we headed over to a mostly flat (though admittedly somewhat sloped) part of the park and set up the wicket for cricket. Instead of a traditional game, we just played around with a bowler, two batsmen and the rest of us in the field. We kept score of the number of runs each duo of batsmen scored. When a batter went out, the next person in the rotation took their place and the score reset to 0.

I bowled first. After a quick lesson to say that I should keep my arm straight and pitch the ball overhand and aim vaguely at the stumps, and I was off. I don't think I am a very good bowler, as mostly those batting seemed to be reaching pretty far to make contact with the balls I had thrown. After I had thrown my 6 balls, I was back in the field.

My turn came up to bat. I think I scored 5 runs or so. Sadly I was out quickly when (reaching for some baseball terminology here) I hit a blooper over the head of the bowler that was rather spectacularly caught by one of the fielders on his knees and in his gut. I really had thought it was going to drop. Ah well.

After we'd all rotated once through the order, it was back to the house for tea and desert. Just like the tea break in the real matches, though we never picked the game back up again.

So there you have it. I've played cricket. I'm practically English now!

Posted by GregW 02:13 Archived in England Tagged living_abroad

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