Cricket, often considered a quintessentially British sport, has a surprising historical footprint in the United States that predates common knowledge. According to the Smithsonian, there is evidence of cricket being played in America as early as the 1700s. The game gained a more public stage on May 6, 1751, when a match between a team of Londoners and a team of New Yorkers was first publicly reported. To honor this important event and highlight some of the complex intricacies for those unfamiliar with the world of cricket, we highlight 15 fascinating cricket terms. Those were the days when modern cricket terms like Power Play, Power hitting were never heard of.
Innings – Most commonly used Cricket Terms:
An innings in cricket is similar to an innings in baseball, with the difference that the plural form is always used in cricket, whether referring to one innings or more. Generally, cricket matches have a maximum of two innings. Interestingly, a “good innings” in cricket means scoring successful runs or enjoying a long life.
This cricket terms is also known as a false ‘un’, a googly is a type of throw or bowl in which the spin of the ball causes it to turn sharply towards the right-handed batsman’s foot. The googly is sometimes colloquially called the “bossie”, named after its inventor, the English bowler Bernard Bosanquet. The origin of the word “googly” is uncertain, although it may be linked to “goggle”, which describes bulging and rotating eyes.
Doosra-Cricket Terms mostly used in sub continent:
Related to the googly, the second one breaks down the leg side of the right-handed batsman and is bowled for deception. Coined in the late 1990s, the word means “second” or “second” in both Hindi and Urdu. Pakistani bowler Saqlain Mushtaq, who is credited with inventing this technique, received instructions from his wicketkeeper Moeen Khan: “Doosra abhi karna hai,” or “Throw the second ball now.” [Watch it here: Click the link]
Jaffa refers to a pitch that is exceptionally good, also known as a corker. The origin of the cricket term “Jaffa” is unclear. Initially, “Jaffa” meant an ancient port in Israel and later referred to the sweet, thick-skinned oranges grown near that port. Jaffa cake, a type of spongy chocolate-topped cookie with orange-flavored filling, may have contributed the term to cricket.
Perhapser indicates a risky or irregular stroke. While the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) gives 1954 as the year of origin, “A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English” claims its use by Australian cricketers from the 1930s.
The Cricket Terms Lolly symbolizes an easy catch. Coined in the early 1920s, the term may have originated from “lollipop” or “lol”, meaning to hang or suspend loosely. Synonyms for easy catch include “dolly,” “gapper,” and “percher,” especially when a straightforward catch is missed.
Break someone’s duck:
To break one’s duck is to score the first run in an innings, breaking a duck’s egg, indicating a zero score. Additionally, the duck’s egg is colloquially known as another cricket terms “blob”, while the player who did not score may be called a “duck”.
Red-inker refers to an undefeated or “not out” batsman. The term originates from the practice of using red ink to record undefeated innings in the scorebook.
Dorothy Dix serves as the Australian rhymer for the six-run score. Originally in Australian political terminology, it referred to a question asked in Parliament which the respondent anticipated. The usage is derived from the pseudonym of Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmour, an American journalist who wrote an advice column and often devised her own questions.
In cricket, this is a cricket terms where a wicket refers to a set of three sticks or stumps that the bowler aims at and the batsman defends. The ground between two sets of stumps is also known as the wicket, and after rain, it can cause the ball to behave unpredictable. Therefore, the phrase “sticky wicket” originated in the 1880s, gaining popularity in the 1950s to denote any difficult situation.
Pacers favor the term “perfume ball”. It describes a ball bowled very fast, which aims for the batsman’s face, similar to a well-directed bouncer. The term “perfume ball” originated from the ball getting so close to the batsman’s nose that he could literally smell the leather.
Offer the Light:
When the umpire asks a batsman if he wishes to continue playing in bad light, it is called a “light offer”. However, since 2010, umpires are allowed to make decisions in bad light without consulting the batsman.
The Nervous Nineties:
The nervous nineties refers to the psychological state that a batsman may experience after scoring more than 90 runs in an innings. The pressure increases even more when a player attempts to reach a century or a hundred runs, which is considered an important milestone in cricket. This phenomenon is similar to the “yips” in golf, where anxiety causes a golfer to miss an easy shot.
The “Ashes” refers to the long-standing rivalry between England and Australia in Test cricket. Test cricket is the longest form of the game, with matches lasting five days. Held every two years, the series ends with the awarding of the Ashes trophy to the winner. The trophy is a small urn and the tradition dates back to 1882, when Australia defeated England on English soil. The Sporting Times, a British weekly, published a fake obituary of “English cricket that died at the Oval”, a London cricket ground. The obituary humorously stated that the body “will be cremated, and the ashes will be taken to Australia.” In response, the English cricket team vowed to reclaim the symbolic ashes, and at one point, English captain Ivo Blee was gifted a small urn by a group of women including Florence Morphy, who later became his wife. To this day, the Ashes symbolically passes between two nations depending on the series winner.