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Master Class - The Muff Guide to Indoor Cricket

Indoor cricket - Your informal guide to the nuances and etiquette of Cricket’s bastard offspring...

Just as in ‘normal’ cricket you have your three major disciplines:

  • Batting
  • Bowling
  • Fielding

Added to these you have an extra element to contend with – tactics.
Now I know this is anathema to casual members but you do have to think about what you are doing. Generally the tactics involve working to a ‘plan’.
First the ’plan’ is laid out by the skipper who is then laughed at.
The ‘plan’ is then discussed by the team until it is distilled down to:

A. twat the ball and run like fuck (if batting first) or,
B. bowl straight and catch everything (if fielding first)

These complex tactics have been field tested and have evolved over the years to become the finely honed plans set out above.
Any ‘new plan’ implemented during the course of the game by the skipper is to be treated with extreme suspicion, a blank look, and selective hearing loss. Remember;

Forget all you know about batting (that was easy wasn’t it!) Indoors you have to adopt a totally kamikaze attitude with no regard for personal safety. Although on first viewing it can seem chaotic there are a few techniques you can adopt to make the experience less painful.

1/ There is no getting your eye in.
At no time during your innings should you not look to score runs. For those who have one, defensive prods should be played with an open face into the corners or into gaps in the field (which can be difficult when there are 6 fielders in the space of a phonebox! ) but DON’T PANIC! You will be backed-up by your batting partner. (see chapter on backing-up )

2/ Adopt the “BA charge”
Don’t get bored waiting for the slow, loopy shite ball to get to you. Charge the bowler so you are already halfway down the track on contact and so are only a few steps from safety and another 3 runs in the book!

3/ The “miss”
If you miss the ball, run.

4/ Backing-up.
Ahhh, the heart and soul of indoor cricket! If your not halfway down the pitch by the time your partner is hitting (or missing) the ball you are not backing-up. The non-striking charge to the other end should be accompanied by a scream of YES! (never wait or no ) or by the “ninja stealth technique” of whispering in the batsman’s ear when you get to the other end. Either way the only way to back-up is with total commitment and your box and pads hanging round your ankles!

Quality backing - up is an art that few master, but if you can the rewards are endless my child !!!!!
After several years watching indoor cricket, I can state with certainty that nothing you have witnessed will prepare you for the sight of a fully loaded casual run 22 yards like a demented rhino screaming like a banshee, belly in perpetual motion backing – up a batsmen who looks like a rabbit caught in your headlights.

There are two ways to bowl indoors.
1/ Slow – loopy shit ( Think Fitzy)
Completely bamboozles the oppo who haven’t mastered the “BA charge”, takes loads of wickets and is a bitch to put away.
Highly recommended.

2/ Sraight.
Yes that old chestnut – bowl straight. This can be sub – divided into 2 sections.

A. Good and straight (think winky ) Or….
B. Straightish. (think everyone else )

Either way the one thing you don’t want are WIDES. These are the cancer of indoor cricket are not allowed. Ever.
There is a no ball line half-way down to stop you bowling short. This is to be avoided unless the oppo is a twat in which case slipping in the odd “quicker” ball is acceptable. A good mixture of deliveries can also upset the batsmen but not as much as a well placed “Gough”.
But there’s still no substitute for the 90mph in-swinging Yorker!

In a word, dangerous.
You are never more than 25 yards away from the batsmen and frequently less than 5.
It really pays to concentrate! A degree in geometry and an understanding of the dynamics of netting are useful as are the reactions of a mongoose, but don’t let that put you off. Adopting either the Dave Thomas “eyes closed and praying” or the Steveo “cock” stance will greatly improve your chances of survival and may even result in you stopping the ball once or twice a game!
Shies at the stumps are to be encouraged but the punishment for overthrows is harsh so underarm is better than firing in a “Lewis”.

The Oppo.
As a footnote, I thought a small section on the opposition is needed.
As this is a public forum, I will not use the names of individuals or teams.
We play a mixed bunch of people from “proper” cricket teams to “football” teams and in my experience they are all to be treated with suspicion. There are no hard and fast rules as to how to deal with the attitudes of some of the competition but I find the worse the behaviour of the oppo the more correct and polite one should become. This disarms the competing team and gets you into the umpires good books (which in turn, gets you lbw’s and close run-outs in your favour). Ahem.
The other alternative is to use your well placed “Gough” to maximum effect, stand back and watch the fireworks!

In conclusion, indoor cricket is a simple game played by simple people who can’t go through winter with out playing. But, with a hint of technique and a modicum of luck you too could have a nice shiny trophy like mine!!!!




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