The Top Five Reasons Why You Should Play...
Otherwise known as: Cricket in a Cage
Key Rules: Hit the ball and run, Hit the net and run, Hit the net further down the pitch and run, run into bowl, run around to field, Just Keep Running. And never argue with the umpire, nothing good has ever come from arguing with someone who sits three metres above you like an overlord.
A Little Bit of History...
Indoor Cricket was created by the English, who after 245 years of standing outside playing cricket in the pouring rain for hours, thought it might be an idea to go indoors. Naturally, it developed into the game we play today in Perth, Australia; one of the sunniest and hottest cities on the planet. The reason being that it gave cricket lovers and players the opportunity to play the game all year round, particularly when it gets very cold in Perth and drops below 25 degrees in winter.
After the requisite amount of years where two warring factions who developed and commercialised the game fought over who officially developed and commercialised the game, a standardised format evolved with over 200,000 participants playing in a national competition in 1984. The World Indoor Cricket Foundation was formed in 1995 by Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa and now has six full member countries who regulate and manage the competition in their countries and selection of teams for international fixtures.
Throughout this time, the English have also maintained their own version of Indoor Cricket that only they play, the main benefit of this being that they've finally found a version of cricket that the Australians can't thrash them at.
The Top Five Reasons You Should Play Indoor Cricket...
Reason One: You love Maths.
Maths geeks unite. Not only is this a game with limited long distance running (for those of you without the aerobic capacity of Craig Mottram), Indoor Cricket is also a game for the mathematically minded, especially when the daily Sudoku in the paper just doesn't cut it.
Here's the brief rundown of the rules... a game consists of 2 innings and depending on the type of league it will either be 16 overs long or 16 overs and 8 overs long. Now in the 16 over game the overs have 8 balls but in the 24 over game the overs have 6 balls each. Each side has 8 players but some leagues have 6 and every fielder bowls 2 overs and each pair of batsmen faces 4 overs. And you must score at least every 3 balls, so you can have no more than 2 consecutive balls without registering a score. If the ball hits the net in your half and you complete a run it's 2 runs, if it hits the back half of the net on the sides and you run its 4 runs and if it hits the back net and you run its 7 runs and every time you are dismissed it's minus 5 runs.
And if you can understand all of that, you are already on your way to becoming the next Rainman. Congratulations.
Reason Two: When you grow up you want to be the Captain of the Australian Cricket Team.
It worked for Michael Clarke. It will work for you.
It is a well-known fact that the current Captain on the Australian Cricket Team grew up spending his evenings practising and playing at the local indoor cricket centre that his family owned. It is also a well-known fact that the job of Captain of the Australian Cricket Team is actually more important and more revered than the position of Prime Minister in this country. Apart from reflecting how well aligned our priorities are in Australia, what this really tells us is that playing Indoor Cricket is your ticket to the big time. Grab your bat, grab a ball, grab your mates and start practising, greatness awaits you!
Reason Three: You have the attention span of a gnat.
This comparison may be unfair to these upstanding flying insects who often demonstrate a keen commitment to the task of eating us alive every summer, but let's be frank here, your level of commitment to an afternoon of fielding in outdoor cricket makes Shane Warne look like a serial monogamist.
As you stand at fine leg in the glorious sun, your mind starts to wander and before you know it you've created a complex list of reasons about why the ants in the cracks near your feet are going to take over the world in the next ten years. Yes, it may be time to consider a shorter, faster and more colourful version of the game to save your daydreams from your turning you into a chronic navel gazer with a penchant for Woody Allen films.
Surrounded by netting, the game of Indoor Cricket involves rebounding off the nets, catching off the nets and being able to use the nets to propel your body in the direction required to field or catch the ball when necessary. This will keep you awake, alert and concentrating, or at the very least amused by all the daydreams you'll be having about fishnet stockings and Frank 'n' Furter while you play.
Reason Four: You are tired of being a Flop.
You know the story. Every summer without fail you go to the local pool. And every summer without fail you dive in the deep end. And every summer without fail you do a bellyflop. And for the next four hours everyone asks if you're sunburnt and you just nod and smile, even though your entire torso is just flaming red because it hasn't recovered from that 'dive' you performed this morning.
This summer is going to be different. Why you ask? Because this year, after a season of playing indoor cricket you will have perfected the art of the dive. Indoor Cricket requires an intense amount of diving. There is diving to field the ball, diving to make a quick run, diving to get out of the way and diving for the sake of diving. With all of this practise, there is no reason why you can't enter the pool smoothly this summer, and try out for the Chinese Diving Team while you're at it.
Reason Five: You Will Become a Ninja
Let's be honest. You've always secretly wanted to be a Ninja. We're not talking the cheesy Jackie Chan type of Ninja, no no, we're thinking of something with a bit more swagger. Think Keanu Reeves in the Matrix. Angelina Jolie in Wanted. Scarlett Johansson in Lucy... seeing everything in... SLO...MOOOO... and being able to stop it/catch it/manipulate it.
Indoor Cricket is your chance to become Ninja. Everything is done quickly. Batting, Bowling, Catching, Fielding, quick reflexes are of the utmost importance as balls fly at your head faster than a Chippendales show at the local RSL. After a few games of Indoor Cricket you will be well on your way to starring in a B-Grade Hollywood classic and never dropping another glass in the kitchen again.
Indoor Cricket, it really is the solution to all of life's little problems!
Next Week: 5 Reasons To Play... Volleyball