03/14: Cricket

A few images from Sri Lanka’s victory over Pakistan in Saturday’s Asia Cup cricket final. Cricket has a coupe of arrangements and structures which I haven’t found corollaries for in other sports. Most of the action originates in the center of the field, with the direction of bowls (pitches) and batters alternating direction. The field (ground) is oval and symmetrical in two directions, except that the pitch, the strip of field between bowler and batsman, alternates between two locations to limit the wear and tear on the field. The rules aren’t terribly complicated but action plays out at a baseball pace, and more than once the crowd broke out into a Mexican wave. (For the longest time I thought this term was just racist but apparently most of the world first saw the wave at the ’86 World Cup in Mexico.) Both baseball and cricket offer the fan and amateur statistician more than enough numbers to feast over, and the scoreboard updates averages with every bowl. Pakistan batted first and had 50 “overs” (a set of six bowls) to set a score for Sri Lanka to match. Every hit into the outfield that allowed the two runners to switch positions resulted in a run. A hit which rolled out of the grounds, over a small wooden curb, scored four runs. A smash out of the park was worth six runs. Instead of outs they have wickets, which are cause by a number of actions most of which I have forgotten. A wicket is the end of a batters turn for the evening. The rules are a bit confusing, and I maintain that the action didn’t seem to justify the popularity of the sport.

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Dhaka hosted the Asia Cup which wrapped up last week, and I saw a few players walking around the hotel we were staying at. This weekend marks the start of the World 20, a larger tournament including South African, Australia and New Zealand.

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