Saturday, November 29, 2008

This is a PSA..sort of

This is the sad story of the 21st century, large corporations think the internet is taking all their money away, because they don't understand how people use it for an informational tool (yes I'll play devil's advocate and say there are people who are doing legimate damage to legitmate industries, but the sporting industry is not one of them) we live in a world where ESPN is set to take over the BCS, and it takes our freaking president to get us any movement on a college football playoff, and their worried about private photos and accounts of the game. I know I don't have your expressed written consent but your rules say I can't even talk to my friend about the game, are you going to check every conversation I have? It really is becoming a joke, and I hope we get some clear answers soon, keep up the good fight Wrap, you've got a lot of people on your side.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On behalf of everyone (all one of us) here at Brian Lara Needs a Hug, we wish you and yours a very happy American Thanksgiving, and a very happy Thursday to everyone else.

Hope to have something new up by the end of the weekend.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bats Balls and Wickets

So it's been a few days, sadly, unless you really really love Austrailia and the Indian Subcontinent, you haven't missed much, as they're the only ones who are getting any action in to speak of (as I write this we have Austraila-New Zealand and South Africa-Bangladesh test matches taking place live) so I thought it would be nice to delve into some of the more bells and whistles aspects of the game, mainly, what they play with.

The way I've always described cricket bats is they're a cross between a faternity paddle and a field hockey stick. The batted side is flat, and the opposite side is curved to help get lift under the ball. (

Balls are filled with cork in the middle and wrapped with a hard leather shell (I'm not sure how to convert that into a more recognizable form, so we'll just go with wikipedia) the hardest throwers can throw it 85 to 90 mph ON A HOP. In case I failed to mention the ball has to bounce once before it reaches the batsman, otherwise it's a no ball (the throw doesn't count and the batting team is awarded a run) (

Wickets are esstially the bases for cricket. They look like the wickets you would use to play croquet, only there are three of them lined up together and on top of them rest two bails, which allow you to know when the wickets (or stumps) are balanced. If someone is to cross out of their zone, you can get them out by jarring the wickets and knocking the bails off (the offical name for an out is "the fall of a wicket")

In order to get an advantage on running out a hit, the batsmen will step foward when they swing at the ball, so if they miss and it knocks the wicket over they will be out, because they were definately outside of the box.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The West Indies

Well if you're an American, then I've got news for you. Your circket side sucks. But don't despair yet, because I have some good news for you. If you want to see good cricket, not only do you not have to go that far for it, but you get to take a tropical vacation to do it! Welcome to the only Test Playing Nation that isn't really a Nation at all, The West Indies!

The West Indies have players from every single island you can think of down there, even Cuba. They play hard cricket, they play good cricket (can't be a Test Nation without good cricket) and they have some of the greatest fans anywhere in the world. West Indian Cricket is what got me into the sport in the first place, and I have to say, that if you want to have a good time watching a game, the West Indies are the place to start.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I missed something...

You know, it dawned on me that it would probably help if I explained A) how teams can score, and what a Cricket field looks like beyond "a glorified bocce court". In premise cricket works a lot like baseball (quite frankly, baseball is a cricket rip-off geared towards people with short attention spans) Cricket fields are giant circles with a rectangle in the middle (like this: The bowler runs up from one side reaches the line, and bowls, and it's the batsman's job to try and hit it, the next part is highly based on strategy, as the fielders have to guess where the batsman will try and hit the ball (there are no set positions, in fact there are actually more rules as to where you can't stand than there are to where you can) on the outside of the big circle is a barrier, probably about three inches high. When the batsmen hits the ball he takes off running towards where the ball was just bowled from, he has a team mate who starts from where the batter bowled and starts running the other way, every time they reach the opposite side, that's one run.

They can run back and forth as often as they feel it's safe, there are three exceptions to the rule:
1) If the ball is caught on the fly, then that's a fall of a wicket (an out) and there is no running (cause the batsman is out, so his partner no longer has a partner).
2) If the ball rolls all the way to the barrier, or clears the barrier on the hop, that's a barrier, and it's worth 4 runs. Here are a bunch in a row:

3) If the ball clears the barrier on the fly, it's a six. Shivnarine Chanderpaul shows us how it's done in dramatic fashion.

Essentially, that's it for all the ways you can score, and that was your first introduction to the West Indies team, who I will explain in greater detail next time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Test Cricket and ODI's

Since this site doubles as an explanation to the sport to people who have never even seen it before, it seems as though a proper explanation of the two types of cricket I have failed to mention so far goes in here.

ODI is short for One Day Interational, and is the most common version played on an international level. Unlike 20/20 which is one innings (yes the singular is plural, I've never tried to understand it either) with 20 overs (estinally overs are the baseball equivilent to an inning) ODI's have 2 innings usually 40 or 50 overs depending on the agreement between the two sides. From there, there's a coin filp (as there is in all forms of cricket) and winner decides to bat or bowl first. From there, it's standard cricket (which is complicated enough that it will probably get it's own post at some point).

Test Cricket, is simply put, what's killed any chance at all of cricket being a major sport in the west (with a notable exception I will cover next time). Test Cricket is the top level of Cricket in the world, unforuntately, one Test Cricket match can take up to 5 days to play. They only play during the day (20/20 is the only cricket that's played at night) and they stop in the middle of whatever they are doing once the sun goes down. It's required both teams wear entirely white during a test match, and since it istop level cricket, you actually need to show that you're able to play it, by winning your way up to the right, and being approved as a full member of the International Cricket Council of which there are currently only 10 members: England, Austrailia, New Zealand, The West Indies, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Zimbabwae. (for those who are curious the United States and Canada are associate members, and can only play ODI's if they reach World Cricket League Division 1, but for which Canada has an exception to play until next year).

The major problem with test cricket is it's never ever going to translate for tv, they play for 8 hours at a time, with one 30 minute tea break during the match, and an hour lunch break. How would you take any commerical breaks for a show that almost never stops?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

South Africa V Bangladesh

Well speak of the devil, I pointed out the exsistance of 20/20 Circket and it turns out there was a 20/20 match today between South Africa and Bangladesh (much like during the Olympics the best Cricket sides happen to be in time zones earlier than ours, so most major contests are done before we've even had lunch) and it also gives us the chance to look at one of the quirky aspects of cricket.

Like baseball, Circket has to stop for rain (since it's played on a glorified bocce court in most cases) unlike baseball, they won't make us wait 3 days before we can dertermine the winner, cricket has a method called the Duckworth-Lewis Method (D/L Method for short) in which if the game is interrupted for weather, a mathematical formula is used to determine how the team would have done if played under normal conditions in todays SA-Bangladesh match, the match was hampered by rain, and so the D/L Method was brought in to the final total. South Africa socred 118 runs in 20 overs in which they were assumed runs on three occsions due to the rain. Because of this, despite the 9 run difference, the final score states that South Africa won by 14 runs, because in ideal conditions, they would have scored more.

(final scores are determined by whether the winning team batted or bowled (pitched) first, if you bat first and win, you win by the difference in runs, if you bat second and win, you are said to have won by the number of wickets (outs) you had remaining)

This is all a very long way of saying South Africa 118 Bangladesh 109, and congrats to Abdur Razzak of Bangladesh as player of the match.

Time to get it off the ground

Well it seems like while the iron is still semi-hot ( is the right time to get this off the ground so here we go: Welcome to Brian Lara Needs a Hug, I'll be your master of ceramonies, but you knew that already, I figured I would start this with the first entry in a list of 10 reasons that cross into A) Why an American is writing a blog about a sport Americans don't care about and B) Why you should care.

So the first reason is:

Because the Cricket Community is on the verge of trying to make you care about cricket.

Once we get past the fact that America was just let back into cricket less than 6 months ago, we have to realize that the United States really stands as Crickets last untapped major market, they have the British, they have Austrailia and New Zealand, the have the Indian Subcontinent, put together that's a lot of people. And why not add America to the list, they're supposed to be some of the greatest athletes in the world, why not give them a brand new challenge? Hell they even created a version of the game (20/20: that is supposed to overcome the fact that you think it takes too long to play.

So really the start of this blog asks two things: first, to give this blog a chance to grow into something respectable, and second, to keep open ears when the world cricket community comes knocking at your door.

Oh and so you know how this blog got it's title: