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Thread: Start of a new set of questions

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    Ike
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    Start of a new set of questions

    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?

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    International Captain hendrix's Avatar
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    1. "Short" is further away than "silly". People often say "silly mid-on". There's no such position as "silly leg" because there's no such position as "leg". There's fine leg, square leg, backward square leg etc. It would be fine to say "silly square leg". Most people are just going to say "under the helmet".

    2. A plausible explanation is that historically scoring runs on the off side was far more prevalent, hence "cover" was a run-preventing position, whereas mid-wicket was more of a catching position.

    3. "backing up" can mean the same as "supporting". You "back up" your friend when he's in trouble. It's basically like saying you're supporting the batsman on strike to get his runs.

    Mankading is completely fine and moral with me. If you leave your crease before the delivery has left the bowler's hand you're trying to get an unfair advantage and deserve to be run out.

    4. I do believe it is partly to do with the white uniforms. But also that the white ball itself has different characteristics from the red ball.
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    International Vice-Captain Red Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post
    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,
    This is more to do with the path of the ball rather than where there fielder stands. A ball fielded at deep mid wicket will have travelled thru the conventional mid wicket position (between the stumps) but then travelled out to the boundary and past the bowler's end stumps. It covers the same shot, but deeper in the field...angle of shot etc
    Last edited by Red Hill; 22-08-2014 at 03:10 AM.
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    International Vice-Captain Red Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post
    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?
    With this, the white balls get dirty really quickly. They now use two in an ODI innings, one from each end, and they still have trouble with them going brownish....
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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Hendrix offers good answers to 1 and 2. 'Short leg' doesn't make much sense (long leg for example is completely different) but that's fine. I mean we could call third man a deep backward off or something to have it be consistent, but nah, it's just third man.

    3. 'Back up' means 'go backwards' in anyone's language. I can cite my sky TV remote for example. But the reason why 'backing up' can mean preventing overthrows presumably refers to the other meaning of 'assisting' as you're assisting the fielder in case of a mistake. It's probably the same for a non striker's running, as he's trying to help the batsman complete a run, I'm guessing.

    4. White balls don't last for the 80 overs needed in first class games. I'm generally in favour of more ways of making Test conditions varied but playing with a ragged ball would usually be **** cricket.
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    International Debutant Adders's Avatar
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    If you want more insight into peoples opinions on mankading ike, there was a fairly robust debate on it just after the Sri Lankan incident here

    I think most people, myself included feel it is a perfectly acceptable dismissal, but plenty think it is not within the spirit of the game.
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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    I think it's a pretty **** thing to see happen but it's completely the batsman's fault, especially if he gets warned first.
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    International Debutant harsh.ag's Avatar
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    Howe, Hendrix, and Monk offering the goods here, Ike.

    "Backing up" refers to "having someone's back". It's usually used for 3 situations in cricket - (i) Non-striker going towards the strike batsman's crease (ii) A fielder running behind another in chase of the ball in case assistance is required at the boundary line (iii) A fielder standing a bit further behind the stumps (either behind the wicket-keeper or the bowler, depending on the end) to stop the ball in case the incoming throw from the fielder is wide

    With the white ball, as Monk said, a full 80 overs that is supposed to be bowled in tests, cannot happen. It won't be visible after 60 odd overs. And it will be bad for test cricket in general even if we could make it work. The old white ball is a piece of **** when it comes to test cricket standards. I haven't really seen the pink ball, so i can't offer judgement on that.

    I think Mankadding is overkill. Like we discussed in that other thread Adders pointed you towards, a few of us were of the viewpoint that the batting side should be deducted penalty runs when the non-striker backs up too much. Like for the "no-ball" bowled by the bowlers.
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    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    If it's a matter of confusion with the white uniforms, wouldn't it be easier to modify the kit color a bit?
    Test cricket without white uniforms? That would like issuing pink socks to the Boston Red Sox and renaming them the Boston Pink Sox.

    The fact that cricket is full of seemingly non-sensical traditions and weird names for things is what gives cricket it's unique charm. Limited over cricket has been over-rationalised to suit the mass market and is the poorer for it. Test cricket should be left well alone so the real cricket connoisseurs of cricket can bask in its familiar irrationalities and be happy.
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    International Debutant andmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    Test cricket without white uniforms? That would like issuing pink socks to the Boston Red Sox and renaming them the Boston Pink Sox.

    The fact that cricket is full of seemingly non-sensical traditions and weird names for things is what gives cricket it's unique charm. Limited over cricket has been over-rationalised to suit the mass market and is the poorer for it. Test cricket should be left well alone so the real cricket connoisseurs of cricket can bask in its familiar irrationalities and be happy.
    Yeah. The age of the game and a willingness to not fix something which isn't broken are also part of the reason why Test Cricket has these quirky tendencies.

    In terms of mankadding, I can only support the rule because could you imagine if a batsman was half way down the pitch during the delivery stride. You need a run out option at the non-striker's end to prevent that sort of nonsense.
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    Ike
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    Thanks for all the explanations! Comments in response:

    I've heard 'short leg' used many times to describe a fielder 'under the helmet'. The one time 'silly short leg' was used, he was no closer that I could see than the others.

    I understand the tradition of white uniforms for test cricket (after all, what would the fifth Doctor do otherwise?). I too think test cricket is the 'purest' form of the game, but I understand that the money is coming from limited over cricket... look how the IPL dominates all other competitions, especially because it pays the players better than any other option. Will day/night save test cricket, or is it ruining it? I have no idea.

    As for all the traditions of cricket, I love them. For example, in throwing out questions on fielding positions, I'm not suggesting anything should be different. I'm just trying to understand what things mean, why other terms aren't used, etc. It's hard when you've missed 60 years of experience.

    Again, thanks for all the helpful responses!
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    International Captain wellAlbidarned's Avatar
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    Short leg is a weird one, if position names were consistent it'd be silly square leg. I assume third man refers to that fielder generally being the third fielder behind square.
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    Ike
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    Quote Originally Posted by wellAlbidarned View Post
    Short leg is a weird one, if position names were consistent it'd be silly square leg. I assume third man refers to that fielder generally being the third fielder behind square.
    After keeper and slip? and thx.

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    International Captain wellAlbidarned's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post
    After keeper and slip? and thx.
    Nah not including them - I mean the third fielder outside the inner the circle after fine-leg and deep backward square. Not 100% on this though
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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    I saw it as 'if it fooled the batsman and it fooled slip, the third man has got it' kinda thing, unsourced as that is
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