- Indoor cricket
Indoor cricket is a variant of
cricket. The game is most often played between two teams each consisting of eight players, in matches featuring two sixteen, 8 ball over innings [ [http://www.aol.in/cricket/story/2007090623039016000001/internationalmusic "The gentleman's game gets shorter... and shorter" in "Cricinfo"] , September 7, 2007.] . Rather than simply being played indoors, the match is played on specifically designed courts covered in an artificial surface and enclosed by tight string netting.
Several versions of the game have been in existence since the late 1960's, whilst the game in its present form began to take shape in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
The existence of enclosed stadiums such as the
Telstra Domein Melbourne, Australiahas allowed for conventional cricket to be played indoors, though there are no other enclosed stadiums the size of a full-sized cricket field in any major cricket playing country. The codified sport of indoor cricket is not to be confused with similar examples of conventional cricket being played indoors.
The first significant example of organised indoor cricket took place, somewhat unusually, in
Germany. A tournament was held under the auspices of the Husum Cricket Club in a hall in Flensburgin the winter of 1968-69. [ [http://www.aol.in/cricket/story/2007090623039016000001/internationalmusic "The gentleman's game gets shorter... and shorter" in "Cricinfo"] , September 7, 2007.]
It wasn't until the 1970's that the game began to take shape as a codified sport. Conceived as a way of keeping cricketers involved during the winter months, various six-a-side leagues were formed throughout
Englandin the first half of the decade, eventually leading to the first national competition held in March 1976 at the Sobell Center in Islington. [ [http://www.aol.in/cricket/story/2007090623039016000001/internationalmusic "The gentleman's game gets shorter... and shorter" in "Cricinfo"] , September 7, 2007.]
Despite the early popularity of the sport in England, a different version of indoor cricket developed by two different parties in Perth,
Western Australiain the late 1970's evolved into the sport known as indoor cricket today. Against the backdrop of the upheaval in the conventional game caused by World Series Cricket, torrential rain and a desire to keep their charges active led cricket school administrators Dennis Lilleeand Graham Monaghanto set up netted arenas indoors. Concurrently, entrepreneurs Paul Hannaand Michael Jonesbegan creating an eight-a-side game that eventually led to the nationwide franchise known as Indoor Cricket Arenas(ICA). It was not long before hundreds of ICA-branded stadiums were set up throughout Australia, leading to the first national championships held in 1984 at a time where over 200,000 people were estimated to be participating in the sport. [ [http://www.aol.in/cricket/story/2007090623039016000001/internationalmusic "The gentleman's game gets shorter... and shorter" in "Cricinfo"] , September 7, 2007.]
A rival organisation, the Indoor Cricket Federation (later the Australian Indoor Cricket Federation, today known somewhat ironically as,
Indoor Cricket Australia- aka ICA) came into being in the mid-1980's leading to various court battles over the right to administer and control the game within Australia. Mirroring the conflict between the Australian Cricket Boardand World Series Cricket, and later the Australian Rugby Leagueand Superleague, this rivalry coincided with a drop in popularity in the sport. Eventually the then-AICF emerged as the only viable entity and assumed the position of the controlling body of the sport in Australia, and the defacto administrator internationally. [ [http://www.aol.in/cricket/story/2007090623039016000001/internationalmusic "The gentleman's game gets shorter... and shorter" in "Cricinfo"] , September 7, 2007.]
After the amalgamation of the two franchises, games between centres were administered by the Australian indoor cricket federation. In Queensland however, another franchise formed. The ozsports franchise comprised 8 centres in the south east queensland area which was around 30% of all centres in the area. Due to increasing disagreement about soft drink sponsorship, Queensland again saw a split with ozsports breaking away to form their own competitions and representative sides. Eventually after a few years the competitions amalgamated during the early 2000's and there is now one state wide competition in Queensland.
The game itself has changed little since Indoor Cricket Arenas folded as a national franchise and controlling body and has enjoyed varying degrees of success. National championships have at times been shown on either free-to-air television (via the ABC) or pay television (via Foxtel), and whilst this is no longer the case, the game remains the most popular non-Commonwealth Games sport in Australia and has been played internationally since the inaugural world cup in 1995.
In terms of the concept of the game indoor cricket follows the usual
Laws of Cricket. However, the game itself differs significantly from its traditional counterpart in several ways, most notably on the field of play and the duration of the game.
The playing arena
The length of an indoor cricket pitch is the same as a conventional cricket pitch, and has 3 stumps at each end, but there the similarities end. The arena is completely enclosed by tight netting, a few metres from each side and end of the pitch. The playing surface is normally artificial grass matting. Whilst the pitch is the same length, however, the batsmen don't have to run the entire length. The striker's crease is in the regulation place in front of the stumps, but the non-striker's crease is only half way down the pitch.
Indoor cricket is played between 2 teams of 8 players. Each player must bowl 2 overs, and bat in a partnership for 4 overs. A faster version of the game exists, where each side is reduced to 6 players and each innings lasts 12 overs instead of 16.
The stumps used in indoor cricket are not, for obvious reasons, stuck in the ground. Instead, they are collapsible spring loaded stumps that immediately spring back to the standing position when knocked over. The ball used in indoor cricket is a modified
cricket ball, with a softer centre. The ball also differs in that it is yellow in colour so to make it more obvious to see indoors against varied backgrounds. Both traditional outdoor cricket bats or more specialised lighter-weight indoor cricket bats may be used.
Scoring in indoor cricket is split into 2 areas: physical runs and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net. Bonus scores for particular parts of the nets follow:
*Zone A (front net - behind the keeper): 0 bonus runs
*Zone B (side nets between the striker's end and halfway down the pitch): 1 run
*Zone C (side nets between halfway and the bowlers end): 2 runs
*Zone D (back net - behind the bowler):
**On the bounce: 4 runs
**On the full: 6 runs
*Zone B or C onto Zone D: 3 runsNB: For bonus runs to be scored, at least one physical run must be scored. The bonus runs are then added to the physical runs.
A batsman can be dismissed in the same ways they can be in conventional cricket. When a batsman gets dismissed, however, he continues batting, and receives a score of -5. Batsmen bat in pairs for 4 overs at a time, regardless of dismissals.
A method of dismissal in indoor cricket that is far more prevalent than its outdoor counterpart is the
mankad. A mankad is given out if the bowler completes their bowling action without releasing the ball, breaks the stumps at their end without letting go of the ball and the non-striker is out of their ground.
Unlike outdoor cricket, indoor cricket sees the non-striker gain a significant advantage by leaving their crease before the ball has left the bowler's hand as it gives them less distance to travel in order to make good their ground.Fact|date=November 2007
Despite this, the rule remains a controversial one, and any bowler who attempts a mankad (successful or not) will more often than not generate a hostile reaction from their opponent.Fact|date=November 2007
It should also be noted that whilst LBW is still a valid form of dismissal in indoor cricket it is a far rarer occurrence in indoor than it is in outdoor cricket. A batsmen can only be dismissed LBW if they do not offer a shot and the umpire is satisfied that the ball would then have hit the stumps.
In the rare situation where a batsmen offers no shot at all, it is difficult for an umpire to award an LBW decision due to their position behind the batsmen standing on a platform that is usually 3 metres high.
Indoor cricket in Australia
(formerly known as the Australian Indoor Cricket Federation) and is represented in each state by the various state entities.
Within each state and territory there are hundreds of domestic competitions that are played in centres that are generally privately owned, yet affiliated with the state and national bodies.
Each of the affiliated centres generally compete in what is known as Super League in order to contest the State Championships. It is important to note that these competitions are based on centres and are not regional (ie. A Player living in District A could play Superleague for a centre based in District B if that is where they played their domestic competition).
From the participants of the Super League competition each state and territory generally selects a side to compete at the Australian Championships held annually. By extension, the Australian side is selected from participants of the Australian Championships.
In 2008 the Open Men, Open Women, 21/u Men and Lords Taverners shield will be contested at the Australian Open Championships to be held in Ipswich (QLD). The O30, O35, O40 and O45 divisions will be contested at the Australian Masters Championships to be held in Sydney (NSW). Finally, the 18/U Boys, 18/U girls, 16/U Boys and 14/u Boys will be contested at the Australian Junior Championships to be held at Caboolture (QLD).
Indoor cricket internationally
Whilst Indoor Cricket originated in and is predominantly more popular in Australia, the sport is popular in several other nations that are active on the international level. These nations include
England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Canada, and Zimbabwe.
Indoor Cricket Australia is active in supporting these nations in developing the sport internationally and currently presides over the
World Indoor Cricket Federation. The positive results of this development focus are reflected in the success of nations such as Sri Lanka and South Africa in recent international tournaments. Sri Lanka and South Africa are the only sides in recent memory to have defeated the Australian Extreme Men's side, whilst South Africa have threatened in the Open Women's division as well has previously holding the title of both Junior Mens' and Junior Women's Champions. Additionally, New Zealand and South Africa have consistently provided a threat on the Open Men level, all signs that the dominance Australia currently enjoys on the international level won't last forever.
Each national body selects a national side from their own national championships. The Australian sides (known as Australian Extreme on the Open level, Australian Electric on the junior level, and Australian Elite on the masters level) have dominated the international scene since the early nineties and are currently world champions in every contested division.
* [http://www.aicf.com.au/ Indoor Cricket Australia]
* [http://www.nzindoorsports.org.nz/ New Zealand Indoor Sports]
* [http://www.ei8ca.co.uk/ England Indoor Cricket Association]
* [http://www.srilankanindoorcricket.com/ Ceylon (Sri Lankan) Indoor Cricket Association]
* [http://www.saicf.co.za/ South African Indoor Cricket Association]
Australian State Bodies
* [http://www.acticf.org.au/ Australian Capital Territory Indoor Cricket Federation]
* [http://www.indoorcricket.com/ Indoor Cricket Queensland]
* [http://www.indoorsportsnsw.org.au/ Indoor Sports New South Wales]
* [http://www.indoorsportsvictoria.com.au/ Indoor Sports Victoria]
* [http://www.indoorsportswa.com/ Indoor Sports Western Australia]
New Zealand Provincial Bodies
* [http://northernindoorsports.org.nz/ Northern Indoor Cricket]
* [http://www.centralindoorcricket.wellington.net.nz/ Central Indoor Cricket]
* [http://www.marketingsportnz.com/far.php Southern Indoor Cricket]
* [http://www.niccweb.com/ National Indoor Cricket Centre, Canberra]
* [http://www.indoorcricketusa.com/ Indoor Cricket USA]
* [http://www.isk.com.au/ Indoor Sports Kambah]
* [http://www.toombulindoorsports.com.au/ Toombul Indoor Sports]
* [http://www.kambahsteeds.org/ Kambah Steeds Indoor Cricket Association]
* [http://www.indoorcricketworld.com/What/rules/index.html Rules of Indoor Cricket]
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