Did You Know There is a Cricket Match Going On Right Now?

My views took a sudden dive and I couldn’t figure out why.  And then I got an alert from HotStar about an Indo-Pak cricket game, and I am thinking these things are probably related.

I don’t get Cricket.  It’s like Baseball, but longer.  Which seems impossible, since baseball games already last eleventy-million hours (in my experience), but somehow Cricket matches last eleventy-billion hours.  Like, you have to stop in the middle and rest up and then come back the next day.  Like it’s the battlefield or something.

(Rest, or keep a prayer vigil, whatever.  Also, that draggy exhausted feeling at the end of Lagaan as the game Just. Keeps. Going. seems like a very realistic vision of a real Cricket match to me)

 

As I understand it, Cricket is a big circle with a narrow rectangle in the center called the “pitch”.  The bowler is at one end, the batsman is at the other.  The bowler throws the ball in an odd windmill motion, trying to spin it so that it is hard for the batsman to hit it even though it is still technically going down this narrow rectangle area.  The batsman tries to hit the ball so that it goes very very far and while it is in the air, he runs back and forth up and down the narrow pitch gaining points with each run.  Oh, and there is a second batsman who just stands around waiting to run back and forth from the other end but doesn’t get to hit until the other batsman is out.

(Every one on the team has to be able to run a lot.  Not super fast, just a lot.  Thus the exhausting training regimen to build up endurance.)

 

Then there is the wickets.  Here is where I start to get lost.  They are 3 sticks in the ground with two funny little boards balanced on top of them.  The batsman gets to keep going until the two little boards have been dislodged by the bowler somehow managing to hit the ball so that it goes around the batsman and hits the wickets (this seems impossible to me).

(If I am reading The Internet correctly, Dhoni successfully managed to take a wicket as a bowler.  No wonder Kiara Advani was all dreamy about him in the movie)

 

Or, the batsman gets to keep going until one of the balls he has hit is caught while in the air before it touches the ground.  This seems shockingly easy to me and I can’t believe batters aren’t being gotten out like this all the time.  Although part of the challenge is the circular ground.  You can hit the ball in any direction, all 360 degrees, which makes it much harder for the folks trying to catch the ball. But still, how hard can it be?

Image result for tiger pataudi

(Tiger Pataudi, WITH ONE EYE, managed to be the best fielder India has ever had.  Personally I think that is way more impressive and important than just being a good bowler or batsman)

 

If your ball goes all the way outside of the grounds, it’s automatically 6 points and you don’t have to run at all.  If I were a batsman, I would do this all the time because I hate running.

(This is also why “sixer” is slang for doing something really well, the same way “homerun” is in America)

 

Now, here’s the ridiculous part.  Each team has 11 players.  Each player gets to just keep going until they are “out”.  And you only get out when both wicket thingies are knocked off (again, I just don’t believe this is possible) or when your ball is caught in the air (really should be very easy, but apparently not).  And thus, you have cricket matches that last days and days.

(Me, waiting for a cricket match to be over)

 

The big achievement is to hit 100 or more.  That means you hit the ball and then run back and forth and back and forth between the little stick wickets 100 times.  Or, I suppose, hit it outside the boundaries and just stand there whistling 17 times.

(That’s where the “102 Not Out” title came from, in Cricket commentary it means the batsman has run 102 and is still not out)

 

Cricket is a very strange and illogical game, but it leads to amazing heroes on the field.  For one thing, similar to a quarterback in football but more so, the Captain of the team is not just a player, but a coach and a strategist and just generally super responsible and intelligent.  You can admire his mind and his spirit and his nobility and his power as much as his talent.  Dhoni was the captain who took India to the World Cup and won in 2011.  Virat Kohli is the current captain.  Kapil Dev was the captain who won the first Indian World Cup in 1983.  And Tiger Pataudi (Saif’s father) was the captain for years, starting at age 21, who helped make the Indian Cricket team into a word class entity.

Image result for virat kohli

(Also, for some reason Cricket players tend to be very handsome and charismatic.  Basically, they are the perfect men.  Smart, noble, talented, rich, handsome, every girl’s dream.  And probably some boys’ dreams too)

 

And then there’s Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest player Indian Cricket has ever known, possibly the greatest player in the history of Cricket.  There will never be another Sachin.

(Rahman wrote him a theme song.  How many people get that?  Even a theme song is impressive, but who gets it written by Rahman?)

 

Until recently Cricket matches really mattered only if they were international.  The Indian “boys in blue” against other countries.  There were state level teams, and corporate sponsored teams, if you really liked watching Cricket or playing Cricket there were plenty of options.  But in terms of watching the matches in TV, paying close attention to the players, and so on and so on, it was all about the international test matches.

(That’s why Patiala House was so sad, as a British-Indian, Akshay didn’t have an international team to play for, and nothing besides international really counts)

 

And then IPL came along.  Which is either a blessing, giving you international level cricket widely broadcast with players from all over the world coming together for a limited series of matches.  Or a travesty of the nobility and grace of “true” Cricket.  It really depends on who you talk to.  Most people I talk to land on the “travesty” level.

(Great investment though.  Despite the gambling scandals and T20 matches (T20 being a shortened version of Cricket that is ruining the world and the worst thing in history, as I understand it) and all the rest, IPL makes A LOT of money.  Very smart for all these movie stars to be riding that wave)

 

Now, here’s the thing you have to struggle to understand.  The India-Pakistan match is the most important, the one everyone watches and cares about.  But Australia (as I have been told by many reliable sources) is the most hated team.  The reason being, so far as I can tell, they are simply hateful people.  Not all Australians, just the ones on the team.

 

So here we are, during an India-Pakistan match.  The whole world (well, much of it) is watching.  And no one is really seeing any movies.  Oh well, I will just keep providing my counter-programming for those of you who are quietly suffering through the eleventy-billion hours of men hitting balls with sticks.

(Or you can just watch Dishoom, in which everyone accepts the premise that any true Indian would choose death over losing to Pakistan in a Cricket match.)

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22 thoughts on “Did You Know There is a Cricket Match Going On Right Now?

  1. Your post was really funny lol with all it’s glorious misunderstandings of the game. Couple of non-game rules related things though:
    – Diana Penty was in the Dhoni movie? Really?
    – Vir Das was the captain who won the first Indian World Cup in 1983. It was Kapil Dev. Vir Das is a comedian/ actor. And that all World Cups before IPL came along (& many, many other limited overs games) were played in a one day format, the third type of cricket match.

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    • You ready for real romance? Someone else mentioned here a while back, when Tiger was captain and courting Saif’s mother (movie star Sharmila Tagore), he used to hit sixers into her lap when she watched in the stands.

      On Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 1:12 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. There is always 2 batsaman on the pitch and they both gets the chance to play. If the batsaman hits a ball and take a single run, the other batsman gets the chance to play. If it the last ball of the over then the batsman who took the single will retain the strike.
    Also you should have mentioned about the overs. One over consist 6 balls. Test cricket have 90 overs per day, it’ll continue for 5 days.
    One day cricket have 50 overs per team.
    And 20-20 have 20 overs per team. So unless it is a test match, the match will end on a single day. Twenty twenty will be over by 3 to 4 hours I think.
    NB: I don’t watch cricket now, so most of my points are from my past experience as a cricket fan. I don’t know if there is some new rules

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hehe as a fan of the game this post is such a sweet way (not saying entirely accurate but definitely well tried) to try and explain the game to non fans.
    Something that caught my eye.. Dhoni isn’t a bowler ‘cos he’s a wicket keeper so he never bowls. He probably took a catch in the match and that’s what the internet was happy about.
    I have watched quite few Super Bowls n I still don’t get American football nor do I get baseball fully so I relate to you.

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    • I thought of myself as someone who didn’t get football or baseball, I certainly don’t enjoy watching it, but then I had to explain the games to someone and I discovered this vast wealth of knowledge I had no idea I possessed. It’s funny how just growing up with a sport makes it seem totally logical and reasonable and easy to follow.

      On Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 4:51 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • What I got from the Dhoni biopic is that Cricket is about having strange hair.

      On Thu, Sep 20, 2018 at 8:39 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I had no idea about cricket (I even confounded it with crocket), but when ShahRukh had become the co-owner of the Knight-Riders, I was astonished how quickly one can learn the rules of a game totally unknown before. Now, I even can enjoy the T20 matches (I don’t watch others but I read about because of certain players).
    And yep, one can easily be introduced to American football and Baseball by watching USamerican movies…:-D (which isn’t the case with cricket and Indian or English movies, imo).

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    • Btw, Lagaan was of no help for me to understand cricket as it just reminded me of ’rounders’, a game I played myself… with the only difference that two players had to run straight from one ‘goal’ to another…and the only player I was interested in was the ‘untouchable’ (that they would win in the end was clear for me as Lagaan is a ‘patriotic’ film).

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  5. I had a brief romance with a Pakistani who played; I was introduced to the game that way. I also had a date with an overly macho cricketer who played for the UAE team…
    BTW that Indo-Pak match was just down the street from my apartment!
    I still prefer rugby…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Where the streets outside your building crazy? Is that not a UAE thing? In Chicago, we are famous for our street celebrations around sports events (in other words, drunk people yelling at 3am) to the degree that I would never want to live close to a sports field.

      On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 6:12 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Driving in general in the UAE is a hote mess, so….but no its not so bad. Thankfully.also they are strict about public intoxication and dont serve alcohol at sporting events.
        I remember Chicago’s enthusiasm…my grandparents stay 15 minutes from wrigleyville.

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        • Okay, then you know! And now I am all curious where your grandparents live, because I know every neighborhood in detail that is within 15 minutes of Wrigleyville. But I am trying to resist.

          Not serving alcohol at sporting events would make things so much nicer. Or maybe it would just mean there are even more drunk idiots at the bars nearby.

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          • Chicago is the best! Are they at The Breakers? My grandmother was there for a minute (and then in the hospital and then out of the hospital and on and on).

            On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 12:36 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • My grandfather has now passed but my grandma and aunt live in their house near the subway. I visited them every summer while growing up. I would always run to the jewel osco for them or take a stroll to foster beach.

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          • Oh wow, that’s such a nice area! I’m jealous.

            On Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 12:44 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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