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Para play

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ABHIJIT GUPTA Pens A Glossary Of Gully Cricket. Published 11.09.07, 12:00 AM
Kapil Dev at a para cricket tourney in town

Having written on Neville Cardus and Gilbert Jessop recently, I did not think that I would catch myself writing about cricket in such short time. But I feel goaded by some perverse impulse to write about the game in its less official and accredited forms.

During the last world cup in the West Indies, we saw beach cricket being played all over the Caribbean islands, with its own set of rules. Similarly, the cricket which is played in the gallis and mohallas of the Indian subcontinent has its own unique terms of reference. This article may be regarded as an attempt to provide a glossary to some of these terms.

Back run: Run automatically given (usually one) if batsman plays ball behind the line of the wicket. This ensures that balls are not lost owing to ferocious hooking and pulling.

Cambis ball: Local name for canvas ball.

Corked ball: Local name of cork ball. Much feared for its hardness.

Deuce ball: Local name for leather ball, corruption of Duke’s ball.

Half-pitch: An imaginary equator which runs through the middle of the pitch, to decide run-outs when single-wicket cricket is being played. You can only be run out if you are in the half of the pitch closer to the wickets being broken.

Hand-declare: A modified form of retired hurt devised for emergencies such as urgent summons from parents, so that one may resume batting after returning from said summons.

Last man batting: Prior agreement between teams to let the last man carry on batting even after the partner is dismissed.

No lb: A rule elegant in its simplicity. Since lbw decisions often lead to riots, the purveyors of para cricket have done away with this mode of dismissal altogether. Also no overthrows, byes or leg-byes. However, no-balls and wides are called with great ferocity.

One bounce one hand: A new mode of dismissal devised for cramped and narrow spaces such as corridors, garages, car parks and the like. A batsman may be given out if the ball is caught after the first bounce, but only if the fielder employs one hand in doing so.

Rubber deuce ball: A solid rubber ball, hard and very bouncy.

Wall out 1: Another mode of dismissal for narrow spaces, in which the batsman is given out if the ball hits the wall without bouncing.

Wall out 2: A mode of dismissal if the ball is hit beyond the boundary wall of field without bouncing. Official cricket awards six runs for such hits but in most forms of para cricket, the danger to window panes prevails over the MCC rulebook.

Underarm bowling: A throwback to the early days of cricket and a certain Mr Trevor Chappell, this is a mode of bowling employed on half-sized pitches.

These are some of the basic terms and concepts which govern para cricket. Please feel free to write in if you think of any more.

The author teaches English at Jadavpur University

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