Sunday (7-30-16) Karen and I attended our first Cricket Match at the only International Cricket Council approved stadium in North America located in Lauderhill, Florida. This was the playoffs, Baby! It was a huge deal to cricket fans with a doubleheader on the bill. We barely lasted an hour watching the St. Lucia’s Zouks beat the Jamaica Tallawahs 194 to 177. Granted it was a HOT day, but not understanding the sport made watching the first game less exciting than a insurance sales pitch.
Cricket is a social sport and Test mach games can last 5 days. We attended a Twenty20 match that only takes about three merciful hours.
Fans unsuccessfully attempted to explain the game to us before giving up and loaning us an umbrella so at least we didn’t pass out in the heat.
Each team has 11 players. I played a lot of baseball growing up and still couldn’t relate. The bowler tries to bounce the ball into the wicket after a running start. The batter’s job is to hit the ball before it hits the wicket. There’s a wicket by the pitcher and a batter standing by that. If the batter hits the ball, both batters run back and forth between the wicket to score before the ball is thrown to the catcher. Two or three scores running is normal. They give 4 runs if the ball gets past the fielders to the boundary and 6 runs if they hit it in the air over the boundary.
A cricket batters’ equipment looks like a baseball catcher’s. The bat is flat and made of willow. None of the fielders wear gloves and the “wicketkeeper” or catcher’s glove looks like it belonged to Michael Jackson.
A run is also a “point” and you can get one if the bowler throws the ball after crossing a line or too wide from the wicket. An “over” is six throws and each team get’s 50 overs with a break in-between. An average score after 50 overs is 250 points. Each team gets 11 lifelines, or red cards or in baseball an out. If the batter misses the ball and it hits the wicket or he gets beaned in the head or hits a fly that is caught, that’s an out. Each batter gets one out and all 11 batters get to hit. Got that? I had no idea what the scoreboard was telling us.
This kid tried to teach Karen how to properly hold a cricket bat, but he also gave up in dismay. I can now say I attended a very important cricket match and probably won’t ever try to top it.