Don’t be that cricket mom: How to understand the game this summer

Summer sports season is here, that means cricket, and you’re a bit nervous about it (if you’re honest with yourself). Not because you’re scared that your child gets sunburnt, or that their team loses. If only.

You may have finessed the art of glancing up at just the right moment, or faked polite interest in cricket during occasional duty appearances at school. But more often than not, you cheer at the wrong times, confuse terminology, and, to be quite blunt, don’t know squat about the game - except that it involves white clothes, a bat and ball, and some running.

Perhaps you’ve started realising that you’re being dismissed, kindly, of course, because your child has sniffed out your lack of understanding of his beloved sport. Don’t worry, girlfriend. We’ve got you covered this summer.

Here is your ultimate mom’s guide for the cricket season:

  • Each team consists of 11 players. Their roles vary from batsmen, bowlers, fielders, and wicketkeepers
  • In the centre of the pitch is the wicket. The wicket has two sets of three stumps - one set at either end. At each end of the wicket is what is known as the crease, and a line is drawn across the wicket from the stumps. So when someone talks about “the crease”, now you know not to assume it is the one running down the front of your son’s pants.
  • Around the edge of the field is what’s known as the boundary edge. It’s basically the “in” or “out” line. If the ball crosses the boundary and lands close to your feet while you’re sipping on a glass of wine in your fold-up picnic chair, do not try to throw the ball back to the fielder with a girlie underarm throw. Next level embarrassing (for you, as well as your child).
  • The game consists of innings (turns for each team to bat), and overs (a set of six balls bowled).
  • The bowler bowls the cricket ball from one end whilst the batsmen will try and hit the ball from the other end. If you must walk around the edges of the pitch, never walk behind the bowler or wave to your son when he is about to bat or bowl. This will not be appreciated.
  • Batting is done in pairs. The aim of the batting team is to score runs by running to each other’s end of the pitch. They can also score runs by hitting (not pushing) boundaries. A boundary scores the batsmen either 4 or 6 runs. A four is scored by hitting the ball past the boundary after the ball hit the ground, while a six is scored by hitting the ball past the boundary before it hits the ground.
  • The aim of the fielding team is to bowl ten people out and close the batting team’s innings. In the unfortunate event of your son being out, do not make eye contact with him or try to console him as he walks off the field. He’ll come to you when he’s ready.
  • Batsmen can wear padding including leg guards, gloves, a box, a helmet, and a chest guard. Players usually wear white clothing, so invest in some industrial strength stain remover for those grass stains.
  • Remember that the school cricket supporter is only expected to mutter appreciatively and clap in a restrained and polite manner. Shouting and cheering (especially from a mom) is heavily frowned upon.
  • Never, ever try and be helpful with the comment “Don’t worry, honey, it’s just a game.” You will be banned forever. This summer, be the mom who’s truly engaged in the game. You’ll soon feel the warmth of your child’s respect when you’re able to add some value to discussions in the car home after the match.

About Zatsa

Zatsa provides South African schools, parents, and coaches with an easy-to-use platform to administrate and manage school sports events. It is the only locally available solution that enables two-way communication between schools and parents. Sign your school up today to download the beautifully-designed Zatsa mobile app which puts all the details of your children's sports events in the palm of your hand. With the simple click of a button, you can confirm or decline your child's participation, as well transportation requirements.