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Sports from elsewhere | Cricket: going to the wicket

After last week’s kabaddi, we stay in India. Conclusion of this series Sports from elsewhere with the best known of the moreover unknown sports: cricket.

Posted on Apr 12, 2021

Frederick Duchesneau

Frederick Duchesneau
The Press

We’ve seen it in movies, perhaps the most familiar scene being that of The great seduction.

We also see it, in summer, in certain green spaces in the metropolis – Jarry Park, in particular –, where there are a few leagues, mainly associated with Indian, Pakistani and Caribbean communities.

But cricket, in Quebec, remains extremely marginal. Nothing to do with India and Pakistan, precisely, or even Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, countries where this sport is very popular.

Nevertheless, there are real enthusiasts here of this discipline which, for us, is similar to a strange version of baseball. Among others, Angus Bell, who in 2015 founded the indoor complex Ministry of Cricket (And Other Homeless Sports), rue Mazurette, not far from the Central Market in Montreal.


Angus Bell, founder of Ministry of Cricket

“When I was little, my father found My First Cricket Kit at the convenience store. We planted it in the lawn and I started practicing it, he says. But I grew up in the hills of Scotland with just the sheep to play with! »

Although in need of playing partners at the time, his love of cricket would never leave him.

When he arrived in Montreal nearly 20 years ago, the first thing he did was to inquire about the possibilities of practicing his favorite sport. Imagine his disappointment. There was a certain pool of players, teams, but for the quality of the infrastructure, we will come back.

Then, a trip to Eastern Europe inspired him with an idea.

When I got back to Montreal, I said to myself that it would probably be possible to create a multicultural club with lots of Quebecers. »

He then founded the Pirates of the Saint-Lawrence. “The most multicultural club in the world”, he says, with more than 80 nationalities. A club with a social vocation, first and foremost, open to everyone.

As for the Ministry of Cricket, it is of course closed at the moment.

“I get calls every day from people asking when they can come and play cricket. I tell them: “Be patient, it will be in a few months if you stay at home.” »

> Visit the Ministry of Cricket website

> Visit the Pirates of the St. Lawrence website

Not so complicated, pointing

There are many forms and variations of cricket. Let’s stick to the basics, as more in-depth information about the sport is easy to find.

Two teams of eleven players compete on an oval field. In the center is a rectangular area. At each end of this area, a wooden structure called a wicket (wicket). And, at each of those wickets, a batsman trying to hit shots from the pitcher, one of the 11 defending players. Everyone follows?

As in baseball, during each inning the batting team attempts to score runs (runs). That in defense, to grant him as little as possible by eliminating the opposing batsmen.

Now, how do you score points?

· A ball hit out of bounds without touching the ground scores six points.

· If it goes out of bounds after touching the ground, four points.

· If it remains in play without being caught in flight, the number of exchanges of position between the two wickets made on the run by the pair of batsmen determines the number of points. For example, if only one change of position is possible before the ball is brought back by a defensive player, the team at bat scores a run.

And how do you eliminate a beater?

· If the batsman misses the ball and the pitcher’s shot destroys the wicket.

· If the batted ball is caught in flight (as in baseball).

· Or, if one of the wickets is destroyed with the ball by a throw from a defending player while the batsmen are on the run. In which case, the batsman who was heading for the destroyed wicket is eliminated.

When 10 of the 11 batsmen have been eliminated, the teams switch roles (see Rules in Brief for details).

There are several major cricket leagues around the world, including the very popular and popular Indian Premier League (IPL).

We asked Angus Bell if he had ever attended an IPL game.

“Eventually, it’s on my bucket list, but I have three children! Everyone loves cricket. They ask me every week when we can go see a real match. »

> Visit the IPL website

The rules of cricket in a nutshell

The two counters are separated by about twenty meters.

The defending team changes pitchers every six balls. This is called a series (over).

Of the 11 defending players, one is designated as the wicket-keeper (wicket keeper), somewhat the equivalent of the catcher behind home plate. He is the only one wearing gloves, and also the only one who will not be called upon to throw.

After a run, if the number of rallies made is odd, it is the batsman who did not face the previous throw who faces the next one.

Depending on the number of rounds, a match lasts from a few hours… to a few days.

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