A little lexicon for all those who want to understand everything in the match between Sunday, Melbourne, Australia and New Zealand.
With 1.5 billion fans, cricket is the flagship sport of the Commonwealth. For decades, the former British colonizer and a large part of his former colonies (India, Pakistan, Australia or South Africa) have developed an unparalleled passion for the bat sport.
On Sunday, Australia and , the two host nations of the eleventh World Cricket Cup, face off in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. At stake: a fifth world title for Australians or a first ever historic victory for New Zealanders.
Completely obscure for those who do not have the honor of belonging to the former British Empire, cricket is an exciting sport that deserves some clarification to savor it fully. Le Monde proposes a glossary thanks to the explanations of Robin Murphy, player of the French cricket team, with all the designated origins: Australian father and English mother.
Before that, let’s lay some groundwork. Cricket is played by eleven gentlemen against eleven gentlemen, although the notion of gentleman is less and less significant in recent years: scandal of cheating, arbitration and others … There is no replacement during a match . A match is divided into two parts: one team attacks during the first and then defends during the second.
It is the drummers who take turns to attack and score. The throwers, the hunters and the guard are in charge of defending. You are lost, that’s normal, that’s why there is a lexicon a few lines down if you continue reading.
There are different competition formats. The traditional form is that of test-matches which can last up to five days and which can end before in case of early victory of one of the two opponents. But rest assured, in World Cup, we practice the “one-day”. No need to tell you that means the match is played on a day. Because, it would be too simple, there is also a shorter format, the “twenty 20” which takes place on less series and does not exceed a few hours.
Read=aust ind batting
The 20th is more democratic, in the sense that it is simpler and that victory is played unless there are fewer things. In test-matches, the gap between the traditional nations of cricket, those with the most experience, reservoir and talent (England, Australia, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa …) and the others is even bigger. France, for example, usually only plays in 20 matches.
Cricket glossary (non-alphabetical and non-exhaustive):
Batsman or drummer: The one who is responsible for scoring runs or races. His goal is to send the ball as far as possible to give himself and his teammate time to run.
Runs or races: it is an exchange of zone between the two drummers. The area is 22 yards, about 20 meters. When the drummers are exchanged once, a run is entered and so on. In general, on a stroke of the bat, you score 1 or 2 runs. Sometimes we get 3 runs, 4 becomes frankly more complicated and 5 remains an exception.
Six: for baseball fans, it’s the equivalent of the famous home run. When the drummer sends the ball directly outside the field, he scores a six and scores six runs.
Four: Four runs are scored if the drummer sends the ball out of bounds with one or more rebounds or rolling.
Wicked or wicked: this refers to both the target that will aim the thrower and what the drummer must defend. These are three wooden cleats of a height of about 70 cm, located behind the drummer. On the top, there are three small pieces of wood, called bails. If the thrower manages to touch the wicket, the drummer is eliminated for the duration of the match.
Wicket keeper or gatekeeper: This is one of the defense posts, the only player who has gloves, in case the drummer misses the ball. He is the center of the match, plays a coordinating role with the captain and his pitcher to place his team-mates on the field. It is also responsible for catching the balls deflected by the drummer, which puts an end to the possibility of entering runs for the opposing team.
Fielders or hunters: they are loaded nine to bring the ball as quickly as possible to one of the two wickets. If one of them captures the ball in flight, the drummer is eliminated directly.
Bowler or thrower: There are fast throwers or throwers. In general, we throw with a rebound and we must however always have the arm extended. It happens that some launchers, that one says aggressive, aim at the head to intimidate the adversary. In this case, he must always do it with a rebound, otherwise his throw is considered as void or unplayable depending on the case.
Over or Series: A series consists of six throws. In the World Cup, each team has 50 overs, or 300 balls (50 x 6 balls). Each thrower throws a maximum of ten overs.
Umpire or referee: there are two. One is positioned next to the wicket, it is the central referee. He has a key role for the leg before wicket.
Leg before wicket or leg in front of the wicket: when the ball touches the drummer’s leg, the referee judges that the direction of the ball was the wicket, that the thrower claims the appeal , the drummer is then eliminated . It is a very common means of elimination.
Appeal: this is the expression “How was that? “ Which means” So? “. This is the convention by which the thrower and the hunters ask the referee if the drummer is eliminated in case of leg-wicket situation.
Pitch: 20 m by 3 m surface, on which the thrower throws the ball towards the batter. It is in a sense the center of the oval terrain, the part that requires special care and extensive maintenance.