Street Cricket Craze

By: Syed Mohsin

Howz that…….!

These sounds are often heard in the streets mostly during the cricket world cup. Way the boys play cricket, it looks as they themselves are engaged psychologically with the national players playing for the world cup.

International cricket is rightly the pinnacle of cricket excellence, but for pure fun and excitement.

Street cricket has been a main resource on which Pakistan cricket has relied. Boys play in streets and develop their game according to the conditions they play in, without any guidance or proper training.

A chair, dustbin or any other object is served for stump and sometimes two stones with a gap are kept on the ground. The players then assume the stumps to be at an imaginary height.

This leads to many interesting disagreements as whether the ball would have hit the stumps or not, had the stumps been there for real! A useful way is to make a sketch of wicket on the wall because there is not a need for a wicket keeper and the ball does not  go so for away even when the batsman misses. Usually a tennis ball is used in street cricket to avoid injuries.

In the absence of coin, a small piece of stone is hidden in a hand by one captain and other captain has to guess whether the stone is in the right or left hand.

 If he guesses right he wins otherwise he loses the toss.

In street cricket, no matter what the umpire decides, unless a majority will say “it is out”, one would not leave the bat. Since no one is left neutral, the umpire is usually from the batting side.

An unwanted condition for the batsman is that he has to show all three stumps to the bowler. In fielding, lazy fielders do wicket keeping which in fact is more work if one does not know how to catch properly.   

After playing the whole team is seemed to be commenting on their performance till night as if they have won the world cup. Cricket sometimes becomes the psychological need as well. When a regular player could not play for a day he remains disturb for day long.

In Pakistan there are a lot of children who play cricket in streets, since many of the big names produced by our country were the part of street cricket before their international career.

Street cricket is the root of Pakistan cricket system, it is not school or college cricket, it is the street cricket which provided Pakistan amazing raw talent over the years and decades like Younis khan, Yasir Hameed, Misbah, M.Amir, and Rana Naveed.

These players themselves did not know about their talent but once they were given a good platform they glowed like a star.

As a good plat form is concern, the 70 percent of the clubs in Pakistan do not have cricket grounds.

There are only few clubs and academies which are producing refined talent that too only in big cities like Lahore and Karachi.