In recent weeks we've begun to use a little play area outside our house for backyard cricket. We've used it before, but we've kind of taken things a step further in order to hone some of our skills. The area is quite small so the wicket as such is very short, but the reason I've started to utilise it more is that it is surrounded by a fairly low wall on three sides and houses with windows on the Off-side. So the order of the day is that you've got to hit the ball along the ground and play shots straight down the wicket in between Mid-On and Mid Off. Anything that's more than 1.3 metres off the ground and you're either hitting windows or putting it over the wall in which case your out. Either side of where you bat in sillly positions are walls, so again, if the ball ends up in those areas in flight you're out too.
Instead of pictures here's a video clip from October (2009) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc6jGGwSuhQ
Tonight there were 4 or 5 of us out there playing at different times, so we had 2 bats a bowler and a wicket keeper and the objective was to form partnerships and get as many runs with your partner and we ended up with Joe and Ben (My sons) batting together the longest in a very sensible and measured manner getting singles and two's to win. Normally they're sworn enemies and simply refuse to bat together as it descends into confrontation and retribution when one or the other runs the other out. So it was good to see them keeping the ball on the ground, batting it into spaces where they'd pick up runs and communicating effectively in order to get the runs ticking over to go past the previous record held by my older son and me.
The other good thing is we're getting other non-cricket boys involved and maybe it might stick with a little more playing and work on them?
I'll try and get some pictures of the area and post them up and explain our rules, but they're pretty standard - one hand one bounce catches are allowed and then all the rules with regards going over walls and getting stuck in places that they can't be fielded. What I want to do is get some video clips going like these as I reckon these are good fun and a bit of a laugh. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhCmw6nPMEM&feature=related