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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Clear as Mud?

While you might think my greatest achievement during my short time in South Africa is driving without incident, I can promise you that it's actually even more impressive that I can understand one bit of the unfamiliar and confusing game of Cricket. 

A few weeks ago South Africa played in the Cricket World Cup quarter and semi finals. A lot of people here were really excited about this and so it seemed like as good of a time as any to try to understand the game. The South African team, Proteus, ended up losing to New Zealand in the semi finals, but if they had won it would have been the first time ever that South Africa made it to the final round. I watched several of the games and thanks to Mr. Deep, I would say I understood about 80-90% of it which is 100% more than I understood about the game two months ago and 100% more than I understand about Rugby, also a very popular sport.  Mr. Deep learned about Cricket from watching with his co-workers and they patiently explained it to him. 

There are a few things about cricket that are unusual and surprising. In no particular order.

1) You thought baseball games were long  
The quarter and semi-finals were taking place in Australia and New Zealand so the games would start at about 3:00 in the morning South Africa time. When we woke up at 6 a.m. we would put the games on the t.v. The game against New Zealand did not end until noon South Africa time! There was an hour and half rain delay but still. These games are long!

2) There is no switching back and forth between offense and defense 
One team bats first and they score until the other team either get ten outs (called wickets) or until they run out of overs (the allowed number of pitches.) So the second team to bat knows what score they need to beat to win and knows exactly the run rate of runs per over they need at any given time to win.

3) Once you're out you're really out
Meaning you can't bat anymore for the rest of the match. It's like a baseball out meets an NBA ejection. 

4) Dinner is served 
There is a drink break for hydration purposes and then there is also a dinner break. How civilized! 

5) Duckworth and Lewis
No, not a new comedy team. If there is a significant rain delay then Duckworth Lewis goes into effect. Duckworth and Lewis were two English statisticians who came up with some kind of formula which I can't begin to understand and I am not sure that anyone really understands how it is calculated. If there is a rain delay in order to end the game in a reasonable time a target winning score is created using this Duckworth Lewis formula. As per Wikipedia, a mathematical formulation designed to calculate the target score for the team batting second in a limited overs cricket match interrupted by weather or other circumstancesI can't even think of what an analogy would be in life. Maybe like a discount randomly determined by a sales clerk that you get if you buy a sweater that is slightly damaged? Imagine if that time at the Superbowl when the lights went out some type of Duckworth Lewis calculation was enacted? 


5 comments:

  1. Love your analysis of D/L! How long did it take you and Senor Profundo to figure out the Bowlers were not 'servicing' themselves by rubbing the ball on their pants just before they bowl?

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  2. I realize for those who subscribe that this post was sent out with the wrong title. It is not about beer! Although you could drink beer while watching cricket. I didn't since it was morning.

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  3. Derek, I didn't notice the ball rubbing! I'll have to pay closer attention next time? Do you have any tips on understanding rugby? It seems like a pile of guys and a ball.

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  4. Oh I loved this! So very funny! And you should see the little 6 and 7 year olds play limited overs cricket.

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  5. Amazed you could figure out cricket but have trouble with rugby. I only had to watch a couple of rugby games to figure out the basics. The only confusing thing to me about rugby is the penalty structure.

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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.