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Thread: The TAPE-BALL phenomenon

  1. #1
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    Icon14 The TAPE-BALL phenomenon

    I recently went out to play cricket with a mixed ex patriot indian and pakistani crowd and its the first time I have ever tried tape ball cricket. I must say, this unique style of cricket has been THE most satisfying cricket I have ever played. A tennis ball, taped with white electrical tape swings beautifully, comes at amazing speed, carries like a new cricket ball when hit, and best of all, it doesn't hurt when your'e hit! Strangely satisfying experience. Amazing amazing I have to say, to the very least.

    Impressed by it, I went home and googled a few results and this author in the guardian makes the same point and conclusion after indulging himself in a similar match.

    I would strongly recommend it, since its probably the most exciting fast paced game of informal cricket you will ever play. Also, the article helps explain so much about the mysteriousness of pakistan cricket. And I thought the english or indians were more passionate about the sport



    Getting it taped on Saturday night

    ON TOUR IN PAKISTAN

    Jonathan Dyson
    Sunday November 13, 2005
    The Observer


    As Pakistan's cricket-obsessed public looked back on the first day of the England series last night, many were getting ready to play their own form of the game. Every Saturday night, all across Pakistan, matches between families, groups of friends and organised teams take place in the streets. Once the traffic has thinned, lights specifically purchased for cricket are switched on and play begins.

    The games feature aggressive batting, fierce pace bowling and beguiling spinners. There is the same passion, intensity and drama as in the Test arena. The only difference is, rather than a conventional cricket ball, a tennis ball wrapped in tape heads towards the batsman. Welcome to tapeball cricket, or as it is known to many in Pakistan, simply cricket.

    Since its inception in the early 1980s, tapeball has revolutionised the game here - and it could do the same in England, having been adopted by the London Community Cricket Association as a children's game on 30 council estates, thus making cricket available to those who would not normally be able to play it. It is estimated that of all those who play some kind of organised cricket in Pakistan, 80 per cent play with a tapeball, and 20 per cent with a hard ball. Using a normal cricket ball in the densely populated cities just isn't practical. Everywhere you look there are vulnerable windows, rickshaws and pedestrians.

    A tapeball, even when hit with the force of a Shahid Afridi straight six, would do little damage to anything other than a bowler's pride. And without the risk of injury, there is no need to purchase pads and gloves - an impossible luxury for most of the cricketing population. A tapeball, however, moves in the air and off the pitch, sorry, street, in much the same way as the real thing. The tape adds extra weight to the tennis ball and a final strip placed round the centre acts as a seam.

    A typical game is six overs per side and several matches take place through the night. In the summer, when the days are insufferably hot, play starts at midnight and goes on till dawn. One evening in Lahore I was invited to take part. It is the closest I will ever get to playing in a floodlit one-day international. During my brief innings, balls passed the outside edge at astonishing speed, while others turned square one way and then the other. As for bowling, I had never felt so inadequate, and that is saying something.

    The quality of the cricket is high, given the humble setting, and this is where many Test players are discovered. Shoaib Akhtar was first spotted by his long-time coach Sabih Azhar in a tapeball match. Raheel Pervaiz, 24, a tapeball player from Lahore, explains: 'We don't have the open spaces available in countries like England, Australia and South Africa, so even some of the most talented players develop their skills in the streets.'

    After a hard week working long hours in the office or factory, struggling to make ends meet in a society based in many ways around the survival of the fittest, the Saturday night matches, which mean a great deal to all those involved, are for many the only opportunity for them to express themselves. 'Games often involve two families,' Pervaiz says. 'When teams have not met before, emotions can run particularly high and fights sometimes occur. Every ball counts and no one wants to let their team-mates down.'

    The influence of tapeball cricket on the current Pakistan side is clear. With the right action, a tapeball can swing viciously, and late, which helps explain why Pakistan have produced so many electrifying fast bowlers in recent years. Defensive batsmen are rarely seen in the Test team, which is no surprise given the helter-skelter nature of tapeball. And the fierce intensity of the matches perhaps explains why young Pakistani players aren't fazed when they enter the international arena.

    Tapeball has also spread beyond the streets. During the holy month of Ramadan, tournaments take place around the country at club grounds. Teams adopt a national team and dress up in one-day international replica clothing, with their names and squad numbers on the back of their shirts. These games are 20 overs a side and, after a qualifying round, there is a best-of-three final. It is yet another manifestation of the country's obsession with one-day international cricket.

  2. #2
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    Yeah.. I always play backyard cricket with a tape ball.

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    apparently, lara prefers to practice with them:

    It was not a work of genius, although genius he has to be, but reward for his dedication to the art of batting. He had scored only 143 runs in six Test innings in Australia, not helped by three questionable decisions in the past four, so he went into the nets to sharpen his reflexes by facing throw-downs with a tennis ball bound with electric tape that bounces higher and comes off the pitch quicker than a cricket ball.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...891046,00.html

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    International 12th Man deeps's Avatar
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    you think it's swings like crazy with a fully taped up ball?

    Tape exactly one half of it. So one half is white, and the other half is still tennis ball. It will swing towards the tape side like crazy


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    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    Whenever I play with friends, it's nearly always tape-ball cricket. It's really good for improving technique as well. Only problem being the tape wears out too easily.
    Quote Originally Posted by deeps
    you think it's swings like crazy with a fully taped up ball?

    Tape exactly one half of it. So one half is white, and the other half is still tennis ball. It will swing towards the tape side like crazy
    I've been bowled around my legs by a right-arm over the wicket fast bowler (I bat right handed) with a half taped ball. Crazy swing.

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    But does the half taped ball come as fast as the fully taped one? Im assuming it doesn't cuz of the whole friction thing as opposed to a shiny fully taped one.
    Last edited by jack_sparrow; 05-12-2005 at 10:05 PM.

  7. #7
    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack_sparrow
    But does the half taped ball come as fast as the fully taped one?
    It won't come out as fast off the 'pitch', but the bounce becomes unpredictable (if it bounces on the untaped part, it'll jump up).

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    hmm. So the half taped one fares better for the bowler.

    However, if thats the case then the fully taped one gives both an equal chance. And man when you hit a ground shot, and if nicely hit, it reallly goes man.

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    International 12th Man deeps's Avatar
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    it's not as fast, but still pretty quick. Of the pitch sometimes it'll skid through and sometimes it won't. Adds even more unpredictability.

    It's fun, because the bowlers run in hidng the ball (so you can't guess the swing) :P

    Then they also run in, and swap the sides over in delivery stride

    What we do, is have one batsman, and about 3 or 4 bowlers. There will be a few full tape balls, and a few half tape balls. Gets you used to everything

  10. #10
    International 12th Man deeps's Avatar
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    give the half tape ball a go, you'll love it.

    It's fun batting against both..depending on how much space you have. Half tape balls are almost as quick off the bat as well

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    Nice. I guess I'm the only one who hadn't heard of it. Feel so left out. Now I wanna go to pak and play street cricket there. I wonder how I'd fare against the streetsters. They'd probably kick my ***.

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    Oh and also the way they tape it. Utterly genius! I tried and horribly failed. Im going to try to take a pic of it. I think I'm addicted.

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    International 12th Man deeps's Avatar
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    hahah yeh when i went to india, we played on the roads with a rubber ball. Boy does it skid off the pitch. And the sole aim of the bowlers, was to bowl as quick as they can. And i faced some of the quickest bowling i've ever faced on those streets. THe ball would hit the road and speed up! All I could do was keep it out. But after a few days, i managed to play shots and do alright.

    But yeh it's a totally different game on the roads. Quiet enjoyable too.

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    hahaha i'm an expert taper now. I havent played tape ball cricket in over a year, might give it a go again sometime

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Yeah the swing achieved with a half taped ball is amazing. Bowling at a very slow speed, balls that started on off stump ended up outside leg on a pitch about half the proper length
    Quote Originally Posted by flibbertyjibber View Post
    Only a bunch of convicts having been beaten 3-0 and gone 9 tests without a win and won just 1 in 11 against England could go into the home series saying they will win. England will win in Australia again this winter as they are a better side which they have shown this summer. 3-0 doesn't lie girls.

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