Silly mid-on








Confused yet? Me too, and I’m even trying. These fascinating words are all associated with the (to me) mysterious sport of Cricket.

I’ve spent a little time trying to figure out the rules, sorry “Laws” of the sport — watching a few matches on TV, following on line, etc. — but still don’t have a clue about much of what is going on.

I’m hooked, but don’t quite know why.

Perhaps it’s that puzzling, amusing nomenclature.


Hello! Those words don’t mean just one thing, you know.

Maybe it’s the goofy equipment.


Go ahead, practice your tough-guy stare, but that thing looks like an out-sized retainer.

Or the bizarre action.

[youtube][/youtube]Flintoff Bowls Katich

“Wotta little rippah!”

Or the fact that some of the matches (a special kind, called “tests”) last for five days, and half or more of these invariably end in a draw. Almost pointless!

Or that the players break for lunch, drinks, and tea. How adorably civilised!

To the eye of a foreigner, it all looks like the most far-fetched and outlandish set of rituals, devised by a bunch of overly-serious, hyperactive boys. These boys grew up, but couldn’t quite leave their rituals behind and turned them into a sport. Millions of people the world over travel hundreds of miles to watch these boys-to-men wile away a summer’s day.


It’s downright charming, really.

11 responses to “Silly mid-on”

  1. lane says:

    “what a ripper!”

  2. Scotty says:

    Like reading certain books, understanding cricket is one of those things I’ve always assumed I’d get to. Maybe we can arbitrarily pick a team and start a group of supporters. I vote for New Zealand since they’re rated in the middle — 5th of 13 teams worldwide. We can call ourselves the Zeaboy Supporters of LA! What do you think? Don’t throw me any wicked googlies on this one Tim!

  3. Dave says:

    It’s clear that cricket is merely an inferior, less developed form of baseball. Baseball has developed better rules that keep the games from going on for days and days, and the field is much more interesting and has more people on it. Thus, there is no need to pay attention to cricket except out of anthropological interest.

  4. Tim Wager says:

    Dave, it’s all about the anthropological interest.

    Scotty, you’re on! Let’s start our adventure at the Hollywood Cricket Club, which happens to play some of its home matches in the LBC.

  5. J-Man says:

    Who’s up for fantasy cricket teams?! I’ll start: I choose Sir Ranjit Singhji.

  6. LP says:

    Who can write the best sentence with Timo’s opening seven words? “The Yorker in the gully slips an allrounder into the googly lbw of the century! Bravo!”

    This is more fun than the discussion on my post.

  7. Tim says:

    “Hey, long lady! Your square trouser is foolish cover for the nonce.”

  8. Ivy says:

    Ahem, I have to confess, when I was in high school I used to play (badly) for one of my school’s teams. I was even the captain til I quit in a snit. I got fed up with carrying the gear bag around, mostly because it was bigger than myself. Also the only supporters we ever had were my father and the dad of another of the girls in the team, which was alarming for us because in his day job, the other dad was the head of the country’s police force’s armed offender’s squad, so we were more used to seeing him on TV with a silly beret and an assault rifle slung over his shoulder (the police don’t habitually carry guns in this country, so it was unusual to say the least). His daughter did have the dubious honour of bowling the widest wide in the history of time (180ยบ – how we laughed) but also taking one of the most fabulous catches ever.

    But, horrifyingly, if anyone wants anything explained, I can. even how to score. Although probably some of the more mystifying names for things are beyond me. but the game is probably best enjoyed oblivious.

    However, I am definitely in favour of Whatsiters supporting NZ as they need all the love they can get (being largely ignored in favour of the All Blacks here) and they are good sportmen, particularly when compared with some of the less than sweet behaviours demonstrated by some of their Australian and South African peers.

    Regardless, it is a truly ridiculous game and if you want a magnificent description of it, read Bill Bryson in his

  9. lane says:

    Sir Ranjit Singhji


    F**ckin’ wanker! That Ranjit!

  10. kathleen says:

    Yea NZ! One day tests can be helpful in understanding what the hell is going on. Random fact – When I lived in Hamilton, NZ, Daniel Vettori’s grandparents lived across the street, which was all very exciting as he was about 18 and had just joined in on some international tests.

  11. Tim says:

    Uh ohs. Looks like the Zea Boys are in a tough spot in the 1st Test with Sri Lanka.