Cricket - Its a funny old game. Some might say its a very stupid old game. Some say much worse. It is unfortunate, unfortunately, that a great deal of the detestment (or desterisation, if that is not a word) stems from a lack of understanding of the finer points of this great game. Given time and careful study, cricket can be appreciated and enjoyed like a good bottle of $12 wine.
A thorough study of cricket could be likened to the study of any great art - The basics require a short time to acquire, but only after a lifetime of dedication and learning can one expect to fully comprehend its nature and beauty. Of course, thanks to the internet you can learn a lifetime of stuff in a couple of hours - and that's what we're going to be doing here. Let's begin now.
Part One. Methods of Dismissal.
Cricket is a high class, gentlemanly affair and the vernacular remains true to times a-past. When a batsman gets out, he is said to be "dismissed". As in "Thank you, good sir, but your presence shall no longer be a necessity at this present juncture"
As always, we need to learn the basics first. But it is important to remember that the basics are not interesting, and no one will be impressed that you know them. Ultimately, you will want to concentrate your study time on the wierd and stupid aspects of the game.
- Caught: A fieldsman catches the ball, before it has hit the ground. The "one hand one bounce" rule does not apply in professional cricket.
- Bowled: The bowler bowls a particularly tricky little delivery, of which results in the ball striking the stumps, and removing the bails. Huzzah!
- L.B.W.: Spawning the most cryptic rhyming slang of all time - "That's the L.B.W", meaning "That's the Leg Before Wicket", meaning "That's the ticket". I don't know what that means though.
- Run Out: Cricket is not about athletic ability, and this method of dismissal is a testament to that.
- Stumped: The wicket keeper hits the stumps with the ball (or his gloves, if it contains the ball) when the batter has moved out of his crease.
They're the easy ones. Don't worry about them. Just get your remembering caps fastened for the good ones...
- Handled Ball: Using your hand as a bat will get you out. And it's pretty stupid, seeing as you've got a real bat and all.
- Hit Wicket: A particulary funny one. If you hit the stumps with your bat or body, then you're out AND everyone will laugh and point at you.
- Double Hit: You can't just tap the ball up in the air, then smash it. You can, however, stop a ball you've hit from going on and hitting the wickets. Double standards, I know.
- Obstruction of Fielder: This rule is in place to stop the batter yelling funny things and jumping around in front of a fielder to break his concentration as he waits for a high catch to come down.
- Timed Out: Once the batter before you is dismissed you have 3 minutes to get out on to the ground. I don't know if there is an "obstuction of batter" rule that applies to the fielders.
- Retired Out: Different from "retired hurt" where the batter may come back once they feel better, retired out means the batter is able to keep batting but for some reason just walks off the field - like after having a hissy-fit or something.
Also, according to this cricket faq, Abdul Aziz of Pakistan has the unfortunate distinction of being the only player to be recorded as 'retired dead'.
One important thing to remember is that cricket is cricket, and not not cricket. So if something is "just not cricket" then it should not occur. For example: if a batter is detained by a crazed fan and not let on to the field for 3 minutes and 10 seconds, then the captain of the fielding side might posture "Well I say, that's a bit on the nose that!" and overturn the dismissal.
...I hope you got all that. Next week we'll look at some of the more stupider rules and traditions of this fine game. That's stumps gentlemen.