For the love of rooftop cricket!

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If you’re a kid growing up in the city you’ve probably grown up in an area that doesn’t have a field. Those of you that do have fields to play in will often find it difficult to play the gentleman’s game – cricket – in. There are often too many people (strangers) and the pitch is often an uneven patch of grass or soil. The outfield, well, is non-existent on most occasions. But most importantly, your parents might not allow you to go out and play in the field due to obvious safety precautions. At times like these, your rooftop or chad is the only place for you to learn, practice and even excel in the gentleman’s game.

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As far as budding batsmen go, they can learn the basic techniques of cricket here. Let say, playing in the V and hitting through the line of the ball are all key ingredient to success as a batsman here. But most importantly, playing the ball along the ground is essential because if you try to whack the ball into the air, there is a chance you might hit it out of the roof and most commonly that results in you losing your wicket. So, in hindsight, this isn’t the best way to hone your power hitting skills.

For bowlers, the job is simple. The tennis ball, sometimes covered in tape is your best friend. You’re almost guaranteed to get bounce with that ball and that’s also good news for spinners: the ball will turn off the concrete surface. There might be small inconsistencies in the surface so you might get variable bounce and lateral movement from time to time. However, because you’re not going to be playing in a huge space, you might have to bowl without a run-up.

As far as fielders go, since it probably won’t be more than 6 people playing the game, your reflexes will be your main weapon. But also be careful to not try and be too acrobatic and jump and dive on that merciless concrete, especially if you’re too close to the walls! So in other words, it’s not a good way to prepare if you want to be good in fielding. Hmm, the way sub-continental teams field is now starting to make all the sense in the world now!

As far as game rules go, the matches are often short, not more than 10 overs a side or per person and the one to score the most runs in the allotted overs wins. As a batsman, if you hit the walls, you may get runs, depending on the distance. The rules will vary from rooftop to rooftop and you can make your own. That’s the beauty of it! You may even go as far as illuminating your rooftop with lights to be able to play at night. Either ways, if you’re looking to play the game of cricket with a few people and play it the right way (for the most part), then rooftop cricket is the answer!  

Outfield: In cricket this is the part of the ground which is at least 25 meters away from the pitch in radius all the way to the boundary.

Playing in the V: This is when the batsman plays as straight as possible. Basically the areas a batsman can generally see when facing the bowling.

Lateral Movement: The sideways movement a ball takes after hitting the pitch without spinning, mostly due to unevenness in the surface.

Run-up: The amount a bowler runs in order to generate speed before releasing the ball.