Having watched another 6 months of cricket, and keeping up on my reading, I have a slew of new questions. I'll post of few of them here.
1. Still fascinated by fielding position names. I've noticed that commentators often refer to silly point, but never to 'silly leg'. It's always short leg, even when the fielder is as close or closer than silly point. Well, almost always. I did hear one commentator mention 'silly short leg' a few days ago. Is it simply tradition that requires using 'short leg' and not calling it a silly position, in spite of the danger, or is there something else involved here?
2. Any historical explanation for the term 'mid-wicket'? I can understand that mid-wicket is placed on the leg side, 'between the wickets', but then why isn't cover called something like off mid-wicket? And deep mid-wicket seems often to be outside the bowler's wicket, not between them. I suspect it's just the way it is, but if there's more to be understood from the terminology, I'd like to learn it.
3. This may be a (British) language question, I'm not sure. It arises when there is a discussion of a bowler Mankadding a non-striker, as occurred this year in the England-Sri Lanka ODI. This situation always involves the non-striker "backing up". I was very confused by all this until I finally understood that 'backing up' meant moving toward the striker's popping crease. What I still can't understand is how moving toward the other popping crease, which is where the non-striker hopes to go, of course, is "backing up". In American English (of course I realize that English is your language, and we Yanks are the ones who do funny things to it, but anyway...) 'backing up' means to move away from where you are headed. If you want to back up your car, you have to put it into reverse gear. (Hope Brit/Yank English are the same here.. so much terminology on cars differs). When I read about a non-striker 'backing up', it sounded like he must be moving toward the bowling crease of the bowler, not the popping crease of the striker. So, does 'backing in' mean something different in British English than in American, or is there some reason that in cricket, this movement by the non-striker is considered 'moving backwards'?
And while on this, what do experienced cricket fans here think of Mankadding in general? There seems to be a strong tradition of considering it unsporting, even if a warning is given first, even though it's clearly allowed by the rules (before the delivery stride starts), and even Bradman supported Mankad against his own countryman back in '47. In trying to understand what is 'cricket' in cricket, I'd appreciate learning what folks here think about this.The published commentaries and blogs I read seemed to be all over the place, pro and con.
4. Final question for tonight (lots more to follow, eventually, especially on fundamentals like pitch condition, batting and bowling). There's been a lot of controversy lately about the 'pink ball' that has been tested for use in (gasp!) day/night Test cricket. Assumptions: traditional red (test) cricket ball can't be seen well under lights; changing color of the leather involves using a different kind of leather, thus changing the nature of the ball. If those assumptions are correct, why can't they just use a white ball for day/night tests?? It's standard in limited over cricket, I've heard no complaints about it, it's used at night all the time. So why wouldn't a white ball work in day/night test cricket? If it's a matter of confusion with the white uniforms, wouldn't it be easier to modify the kit color a bit? And would a pink ball really make that much difference?