Indoor Cricket World - what is indoor cricket?


Umm . . out?

Indoor Cricket wicket keeper breaking stumps with clear view of batsman's bat still short of the crease.

NOTE: This is perhaps my most plagiarised page . . . the text below, first penned by me over 20 years ago, has magically appeared on all sorts of sites over the years--there really are some untalented, lazy bastards out there :-). Anyway, we hope you enjoy this, the original version . . .

. . . but before we start . . .

. . . there is something of not-insignificant importance we must draw to the attention of all visitors to our site:

The World Indoor Cricket Federation boldly rewrites the history of Indoor Cricket when it states on its website (as at March 2021) that Indoor Cricket started in Australia in 1984, after being brought there from Germany!!! What rubbish!! In this the age of "false news", that statement looks quite comfortable . . .

I umpired the National Indoor Cricket Championships in Perth in 1984 for goodness' sakes--one just has to ask Mark or Steve Waugh, they were both playing for NSW at that tournament: and ask them if they remember who umpired the Grand Final (nudge nudge wink wink)  . . . and I bet this is news to the great Dennis Lillee, who was running an indoor cricket centre in Perth in the late 1970s.

Come one, seriously, the WORLD Indoor Cricket Federation doesn't even know how, where and when the sport it apparently represents came into being? Seriously? I sure hope they didn't pay much for the information on their website . . .

So, here is the true story of the birth of Indoor Cricket in Australia: Indoor cricket was the brainchild of a couple of blokes (whom I shall name later, if they agree) from Perth (Western Australia), and the first games were played in the 1970s.

It did NOT come from Germany in 1984!

Indoor Cricket experienced rapid growth up until the early 1990s (the 1996 Sports Census showed indoor cricket to be the fifth most popular of all sports, in terms of total number of registered players, with 35% more registered players than outdoor cricket). Sad to say, at the grassroots level it has declined in participation rates since those heady days, although the international elite level of the game, manifest through the Indoor Cricket World Cup, has expanded to include exciting new teams like Singapore and India. That tournament is played around the world, but at the local suburban-centre level the game is wanting a tad in comparison to its earlier heady heights.

Exactly what is Indoor Cricket?

Indoor Cricket is a variation of standard Cricket. It was developed in Perth, Western Australia, in the late 1970's. Originally it was intended to be a low-cost sport, suitable for cricketers and novices alike, and one which could be played year-round. It meets all those goals to this day.

A close call - WA vs NSW indoor cricket match, Adelaide 1998Indoor cricket is played on a rectangular, artificial-grass surfaced court. The court is enclosed in tightly tensioned netting, including a 4 metre high 'ceiling'. The pitch and stumps are exactly the same dimensions as outdoor cricket.

Games consist of two innings. Each innings lasts for 16 overs. With 8 players per side, this means each and every fielder bowls 2 overs, and each pair of batsmen face 4 overs (some centres play 6 players a side - the slightly different conditions for these games are covered fully in the Rules section). Therefore, unlike outdoor cricket, every player bowls 2 overs, and every player bats for 4 overs. And with the compact size of the court, no player can be banished to far away on the boundary as some of us have experienced in outdoor cricket - in indoor, everyone is close enough to regularly be involved in the game.

One of the many positive aspects of the game is its suitability for children (and adults new to any form of cricket). The ball is a teeny bit softer than a regular cricket ball (and it certainly doesn't have the mass of a regular cricket ball), everyone is involved to the same degree (regardless of ability), and you don't have to be super fit (no running a hundred metres to collect a ball from near the boundary, and having to throw it from the same distance). And you don't have to be able to hit the ball a hundred metres to be a regular and effective batsman.

Runs are scored in a variety of ways (none of which require you to hit a ball a hundred metres), and the team with the higher score after both innings are completed is the winning side.

Mad dogs and Englishmen?

Being out in the midday sun isn't an issue. Played indoors, the game is obviously suited to being played year-round, and at any time of day. Typically most competitions are run at night, though many centres run daytime competitions for school-kids.

Like watching paint dry?

Not on your Nellie!

With the close proximity of fielders, run-outs are very common, and fielding is one of the features of the game, both from a player's perspective and a spectator's.The game is therefore always active, and it is rare for there not to be either a score or wicket on each and every ball bowled.

One of the more ill-informed (a.k.a. uneducated, belligerent, silly, sacrilegious, unwarranted .... and just plain wrong) criticisms of Cricket in general is that it can sometimes be boring. Although extensive scientific research has proven this to be false, there are those who blindly stick to this assertion. However, such could never be said of Indoor-Cricket - it is, as I've said before, rare for there not to be a score or wicket each and every ball of the game.

Speaking of things that could be said of indoor cricket - we need, and want, your feedback. Please, after you've had a look around, give us a minute of your time and send us feedback, or even just a quick "hello". Just click on the Contact tab above and you'll be there. We really do appreciate all the feedback we get, and it helps us ensure these pages are serving their purpose.

Thank you.


About Sheldon

Played since the earliest years, and began umpiring in the late 1970s.

Represented Western Australia for over 10 years in National Masters and Vets championships, honours include Captaining Western Australia and winning the Player of the National Championships in 1987.

Umpired State, National and international matches, held the post of Umpire Coordinator in Western Australia for the now defunct Australia Indoor Cricket Federation (AICF).

invited to officially photograph the Indoor Cricket World Cup in Wellington, New Zealand in 2002

invited to officially photograph the Indoor Cricket Masters and Under 18 World Cups in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2003

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