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Thread: Questions from an American: Learning from the beginning

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    Questions from an American: Learning from the beginning

    Hello all,

    I thought that, instead of creating a new post every time that I have a question, I would just ask all of them in one place.

    I'm watching the Australia vs New Zealand 1st test from day 1 and I think I have figured out most of what is on the score ticker on the bottom of the screen except the pitcher's numbers. For instance, it will say, "Boult 0/2." What are those?

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Boult 0-2 or 0/2 (pronounced 'nought for two') means he's taken no wickets and conceded two runs. A bowler wants to bowl the opposition out cheaply, so he wants as many wickets as he can for as few runs.

    When you see four numbers after a bowlers name you are seeing what gets written on the scorecard such as 'Anderson 11-4-20-6'. This means 11 overs, 4 maidens, 20 runs and 6 wickets, which probably means he has been bowling against Australia.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Oh and bowler not pitcher, unless you're winding me up

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    Ah... thank you; that makes sense.

    I cannot express the shame I feel for saying pitcher rather than bowler...


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    International Captain viriya's Avatar
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    I usually call the bowler the pitcher when explaining cricket to any American - just makes it simpler.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    there is this ongoing thing where people try to use baseball terminology to explain cricket but it's pointless. Even if bowling were the same thing as pitching (it isn't) or if Americans all know about baseball (they don't) it's not actually helpful to explaining cricket to use the wrong words. We don't try to explain it to football fans by calling wickets 'goals' instead

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    ...... and those who 'bowl' the doosra of course
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    I have noticed that there doesn't seem to be any identifying numbers or names on the players' uniforms. Is it for reasons of modesty?

    I agree with Mr. Bresnan. Using baseball terminology in lieu of proper cricket terminology would seem to perpetuate confusion. I find that it is best to divorce the imagined connection between cricket and baseball as soon as possible. The sooner one can understand that cricket is not just a different version of baseball, the sooner one can get to the business of mentally switching gears to learn properly.

    A car and a motorcycle are both combustion driven means of transportation that have parts that share similar functions, but a motorcycle is not just a car with two wheels. Cricket and baseball are both sports and share certain similarities, but they are so different from one another that it does a disservice to both to use one to teach about the other.
    Last edited by Joseph Redgate; 10-11-2015 at 12:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    Boult 0-2 or 0/2 (pronounced 'nought for two') means he's taken no wickets and conceded two runs. A bowler wants to bowl the opposition out cheaply, so he wants as many wickets as he can for as few runs.

    When you see four numbers after a bowlers name you are seeing what gets written on the scorecard such as 'Anderson 11-4-20-6'. This means 11 overs, 4 maidens, 20 runs and 6 wickets, which probably means he has been bowling against Australia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Redgate View Post
    I have noticed that there doesn't seem to be any identifying numbers or names on the players' uniforms. Is it for reasons of modesty?

    I agree with Mr. Bresnan. Using baseball terminology in lieu of proper cricket terminology would seem to perpetuate confusion. I find that it is best to divorce the imagined connection between cricket and baseball as soon as possible. The sooner one can understand that cricket is not just a different version of baseball, the sooner one can get to the business of mentally switching gears to learn properly.

    A car and a motorcycle are both combustion driven means of transportation that have parts that share similar functions, but a motorcycle is not just a car with two wheels. Cricket and baseball are both sports and share certain similarities, but they are so different from one another that it does a disservice to both to use one to teach about the other.
    Names and numbers are on the players uniform when they are playing a Limited Overs (1 day) game. However, for Test matches (5 days) the players uniform is just plain white.

    It's a tradition, and without tradition and history no sport means very much. Besides that, cricket enthusiasts know who all the players are anyway just by looking at them. Well, other cricket enthusiasts do because I supposedly don't watch cricket and wouldn't know Williamson even if I fell over him.
    Last edited by watson; 10-11-2015 at 12:36 AM.
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    I went through this phase about eleven years ago

    (it was all the more awkward because I was piecing pictures of the game together through radio and cricinfo)
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Redgate View Post
    I have noticed that there doesn't seem to be any identifying numbers or names on the players' uniforms. Is it for reasons of modesty?
    In invasive sports (football/rugby/hockey etc) names and numbers on player's shirts are there to assist commentators and referees. But in Test cricket you get the bowler announced, the batsman is announced when he comes to the wicket, so it's really not hard to keep track of. Over the course of a day you get to know who they are as a fan as well. So it's the same reason they don't have names and numbers in tennis - it's pretty obvious who is doing what.

    Players have started putting numbers on shirts for one-day cricket but that's just for show anyway so it's not worth spoiling the established aesthetic of Test match whites.

    I agree with Mr. Bresnan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    In invasive sports (football/rugby/hockey etc) names and numbers on player's shirts are there to assist commentators and referees. But in Test cricket you get the bowler announced, the batsman is announced when he comes to the wicket, so it's really not hard to keep track of. Over the course of a day you get to know who they are as a fan as well. So it's the same reason they don't have names and numbers in tennis - it's pretty obvious who is doing what.

    Players have started putting numbers on shirts for one-day cricket but that's just for show anyway so it's not worth spoiling the established aesthetic of Test match whites.
    I should have clarified. It's not the batsmen or the bowlers to which I was referring; I was wondering how one might identify the fielders.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Redgate View Post
    I should have clarified. It's not the batsmen or the bowlers to which I was referring; I was wondering how one might identify the fielders.
    Guessing.

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    International Captain adub's Avatar
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    It's interesting to see it from a non native pov that picking the fielders is harder without the numbers. When you've grown up with the game it doesn't seem strange at all. I suppose when you've got 6 hours to watch em each day over 5 days you get to know who's who. Just the way different guys move you soon pick up the individuals and certain guys tend to field in certain areas so you're always pretty sure the fine leg will be the bowler from the other end for eg. Also there just aren't that many Test cricketers at any one time - so it's not like trying to get to pick every player in say a football league just by sight.

    Numbers have come in for some of the lower level red ball competitions (red ball = games longer than one day, ie two innings each), but I think retaining the white clothing tradition for tests with no numbering is worth preserving. Whilst things like day/night tests are a good development to try there is something wonderfully anachronistic about Test Cricket that makes it so special. Hope you continue enjoying it.
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