- An over in cricket it 6 balls. Forty overs is a flipping long time to watch a side bat, and then you have another forty overs to watch them field. If your family play football, it takes up 90 minutes of your Saturday. If your family play cricket, it takes up the whole day.
- There are lots of cricketing terms used, but only if you play the game do you really understand what on earth they mean. It doesn’t matter how many times I ask my boys about fielding positions such as the on side (also known as the leg side as it’s the side where the batsmen’s legs are…), the off side (opposite to the on side), covers (nothing to do with the bed, but a position helpfully noted as being between point and mid-off), silly mid-on (where you stand closer to the batsman than usual which, if you ask me, is pretty daft because that ball is hit hard), I still can’t picture them. I think I’ve sussed cow corner though – when a batsman takes a huge swipe and it actually connects, that’s where you don’t want to be sitting.
- Bowling a Chinaman and a Chinese cut have nothing to do with cricket in the Far East. A Chinese cut is where the batsman goes to hit the ball, misses most of it but gets an inside edge that spins back and almost hits his stumps. As for a Chinaman, I could write the definition (a left-handed bowler bowling wrist spin ie left arm unorthodox) but it will probably mean as much to you as it does to me.
- No batsman is ever out lbw – at least not in their own minds.
- The cricket ball is really hard, and the sight of it coming near your loved one’s head can make it very difficult to watch. Thankfully the kids were brought up to wear helmets, but my husband wasn’t and still refuses to wear one. Of course all of them wear a box, because men take far more care of the soft parts between their legs than they do the soft matter between their ears. Cricketers have been using boxes for two hundred years, but only started wearing helmets in the 1970’s.
- Cricket equipment takes over the house. What with pads, helmets, gloves, thigh guards and bats, when you have three males playing cricket, you might as well forget all thoughts of having a tidy house.
Cricket is social, and it’s the banter both on and off the field that will have the players looking forward to the next season. Strangely, so will I, because going to watch my family play cricket is a great excuse to sit in the sun and do nothing. And when they score runs and take wickets it can be really quite exciting, honest.
Next week, an update on the Bangkok elephant saga. It doesn’t get more thrilling than this…