The Court, the Net, the Grass, the Ball, the Umpire
A cricket oval....indoors?
Many, many moons ago when I first heard of Indoor Cricket, I imagined
a very large indoor area, with fielders scattered around as in 'normal'
cricket, and the same hard, dangerous red ball flying about. It seemed
a silly idea ..... the ball would ricochet off walls and ceilings and
fielding would be a very dangerous and difficult task. But curiosity
got the better of me, and I went to have a look. Much to my relief,
my original vision was way off the mark.
Indoor cricket is played on a rectangular court, fully enclosed in tight,
strong netting (including the ceiling). The pitch length (wicket
to wicket) is the same as a 'normal' cricket pitch, and all markings
at both wickets are based on usual cricket dimensions. The only significant
difference is the distance the batsmen have to run - the crease
at the non-strikers' end is one-half the way to the non-strikers' stumps.
Consequently, at the end of each over, the batsmen change ends - the
bowlers always bowl from the same end (I have prepared a diagram of
markings on an Indoor-Cricket court,
plus some plain-English explanations of the main features). There is
also a section describing
and explaining the enclosing netting.
how do you get the grass to grow indoors?
With great difficulty. Therefore, the game is played on fitted carpet,
similar to the synthetic pitches sometimes used in outdoor venues. As
you will notice in some of my photos, the actual pitch is a different
coloured carpet to the rest of the field, but mostly it is of the same
material as the rest of the court.
not getting me in there with that hard little red ball!
Me neither! However, the ball is a modified cricket ball - a softer
centre makes it lighter than the traditional red ball - and it's yellow!!
Otherwise it is traditional in design, including the bowler's delight,
a six-stitched seam. It is leather, two-piece, the same size as a traditional
cricket ball, and when new is still very hard, though without the red
ball's weight. An indoor ball swings much more than a red ball, and
takes spin and seam to a greater degree also. And it still flies off
the bat when struck well.
those interested in some scientific analysis of why and how a cricket
ball swings, here
is an off-site link to a to very well referenced
article on that subject).
round the picture off, we should probably mention the umpire. In a game,
there is usually only one umpire. The umpire is also the scorer and
scoreboard attendant (entering the ball-by-ball score and running total
on a score-sheet, and on an electronic scoreboard by means of a numeric
keypad). He or she sits (some misguided souls actually stand, thereby
exaggerating the already inherent disadvantage of being situated high
above the play - but that's another story) on an elevated platform directly
behind the striker's stumps, as can be clearly seen in the photo to
the right. As with players, umpires' abilities vary greatly. However,
unlike players, umpires are always right, according to the score-sheets
anyway. . . . . . 'nuff said I think. We have a closer look at
umpires in the Umpiring
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