Backyard Cricket – LeftBacks Guide

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Summer is fast approaching and for us here at LeftBacks HQ, that can only mean one thing – the return of our favourite non professional sport – backyard cricket.

With this in mind, we thought we’d take a crack at breaking down everything you need to know about the great game so as to maximise the fun.

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Background:

For those who are unsure – backyard cricket is a game of cricket in the backyard. The game usually features a group of around 5 or 6 (at least 3) players with each player having to bat, bowl and field.

You’ll need:

  • 1x healthy patch of grass
  • 2x sets of wickets (trash can will do fine in a pinch)
  • 1x bat
  • 1x ball

Just a note on the ball. Here you need weight so we usually take a decent quality tennis ball and then wrap it in a couple of layers of insolation tape. This then gives you a bit more speed and the batsmen a bit more fear.

Prep:

Prep here is pretty easy but will require you to mow the lawn. If you are feeling energetic – a dedicated patch for a pitch is a welcome addition – otherwise short grass will do just fine. Also, you might want to pack the dogs away here too.

Bring:

  • Beers (contains water)
  • Swimming costume
  • Beers
  • Sunscreen

Warm up:

A typical backyard cricket match requires very little traditional stretching. Smashing a beer or two should give your forearms all the prep you need.

Rules:

1. Ball 1  is NOT a practice ball. In Australia they everybody gets at least one chance to screw up. Here you are not so lucky. Be prepared from ball one!
2. 6 and out and fetch. Like to whip out the big shots like “Boom Boom” Afridi? Great! It will mean scaling the neighbours wall and dodging angry Pomeranians though to retrieve the ball.
3. Obstacles = 1 run. Hit it in the pool, to the dog, in a tree, in the pool? That’s only one run.
4. Electric keeper. If you find yourself short of players – pull the keeper and make it electric. Meaning that if you knick it and it lands within a certain zone behind the stumps – you’re gone.
5. Test syle. A test style works great in a backyard setting. You pick two teams, the first team bats and sets a score. Opposition then has a go and tries to match it before both teams bat one final time to decide the winner.
6. One hand one bounce. Meaning you can catch the ball on the bounce so long as you do it with one hand. This obviously frees you up to keep your other hand glued to a frosty.

Etiquette:

  • If your 11 year old cousin or 60 year old uncle wants to take part – you are well within your rights to smash them to the boundary every ball if their bowling is not up to scratch. Similarly, if you find the roles reversed and the ball in your hand – feel free to bring the heat and bowl at full tilt.
  • If you are bowling and anyone asks you how many balls you have left? It’s totally acceptable to say 3 no matter how many balls you’ve bowled.
  • When you are batting and someone asks you how many runs you have – it’s cool to not know the exact amount. An educated guess should do just fine.

Duration:

The average game of backyard cricket lasts about 3 hours – although some have been known to go on for 6!

Post: 

When everything is said and done – it’s time to tan a chop or two and (hopefully) enjoy the sweet melody of your favourite sporting event on the telly.

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We don’t know about you but we are now incredibly amped for Summer. How about you?

What about our backyard cricket guide – anything we’ve left off the list? As usual, pop us a tweet @leftbacks or hit us with a comment if you have any thoughts!

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