Crazy rules and Playing conditions of Indian Gully Cricket and Backyard Cricket
Win for batting…
Cricket is the most followed sport in India and is played at almost every age group. Cricket is played on streets, in the backyard, on terrace or on uneven paddy fields. The game has grown to have been played in different locales. And with it, has taken different local rules.
It's one of the commonest features in Indian gully cricket. It happens because often the teams do not contain 11 players each. The number of players per side may vary from 5 to 10. Usually teams come with equal number of players on both sides. But in case if one team has one player extra, then that player will play for both sides. And he is 'The Joker'.
No 'back runs':
When teams play 8 or 9 players per side, they cannot afford to have third man and fine leg.
So, runs behind square are not counted. Ball becomes dead when it goes behind square. However, catches taken by wicket keeper do count.
It's off-side or On-side. But It's half side. It happens when teams are of half strength. If the teams have 5 or 6 players each, the field of play will be restricted to only one side. Either off-side or on-side (leg side). It has many variations.
1. Having only off-side or on-side and only in front of the square. Then it forms only a sector area of the full ground either off side or on side.
2. Full off side or full on side including behind square region. Then it forms a semi-circle on either side of the ground.
3. As mentioned above, ‘No back runs’ is one variation of limiting the field of play.
Single Batting or One side batting:
It happens when teams consist of 6 or less players. There would be few wickets to bat with, and single batting is allowed. At the fall of last wicket, the Not-out batsman is allowed to play without a partner at the Non-striker’s end. When the batsman takes 'one' or 'three', he'll return to the striker's end to continue batting.
As per laws of cricket any bowler can discontinue his Over at any stage. The remaining balls will be bowled by a bowler who has not bowled the previous Over nor shall be allowed to bowl the next Over.
But in the 'Baby Over', a bowler should bowl at least 3 balls to handover the bowling to another bowler. This happens when bowling resources are very limited. If the bowler is delivering too many Wides and No balls, he'll be asked (rather pleaded) to bowl at least 3 fair deliveries so that a more skilled bowler can take over from him.
Win for Batting:
When a series of limited over matches are played, especially the shorter ones such as 15, 12 or 10-over per side, 'Win for Batting' is used to dispense with the toss.
Usually 3-5 matches are played back to back within a span of half day on a weekend and only the first match will have a toss. From then on, the team that wins the current match will bat first in the next match.
Some have a variation of this, 'Win for Choosing'. The team that wins the current match will have the right to choose for the next match. This variation appeared in the local playing conditions after India won 17 consecutive ODIs while chasing, between September 2005 and May 2006. So, chasing has become a crazy love affair.
This is a crazy stupid rule. And is still followed in many places. It says, stumping should be done with an underarm throw. Or with the ball in hand, it should be done with an underarm swing at the wicket. If it's done overarm, it's NOT OUT. The rule must have been born watching cricket on TV and not having witnessed a single overarm stumping.
On-side fielding restrictions:
Along with underarm stumping, this rule irritated me a lot.
The rule says, maximum 5 fielders are allowed on the on-side. Agreed. But bowler is counted.
If a right arm bowler is bowling 'around the wicket' to a right-handed batsman, he'll be counted as a fielder. To have 5 fielders on the on-side, he should bowl over-the-wicket. And RA bowler to LH batsman should go around the wicket. So, in order to have 5 fielders on the on-side, the bowler's guard cannot be on the on-side. If it is, he'll be NO BALLED. No free hits though.
If the batsman goes early in to the shot or if the handle twists in his hand, there's every possibility that the ball hits the backside of the bat.
In such cases, runs are disallowed. This rule is not seen nowadays.
Full toss No Ball:
If a full toss is missed by a batsman and lands behind the wicket, then it’s a No Ball. It should bounce before reaching the wicket to be considered as fair delivery. Funnily enough, if the batsman makes contact with the ball, it's not a No Ball. The rule must have originated from waist high full tosses being called No Balls. Watching on TV, somebody might have thought, 'It's a No Ball if a full toss goes OVER THE STUMPS height'. While passing on this unwritten law by word of mouth, 'over the stumps height' might have been replaced with 'ball landing behind the wicket'. So, even the low full tosses outside the off stump which land behind the wicket are given No Balls.Thanks to excessive cricket that is telecasted on TV, this rule is rarely seen nowadays.
Want to add any local crazy rules that you have seen?
Give your feedback.
Raghunadha Sarma SVS
Cricket and Travel enthusiast and an armchair critic. Had a below average stint at district level age group cricket. Worked as an Umpire in Andhra Cricket Association for 5 years and Qualified as BCCI Level-1 Umpire. Has quit umpiring to pursue a full-time job, but still bleeds Cricket.