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COVID-19: Forms of cricket you can play while staying at home

People are advised to stay at home as the world fights against global spread of novel coronavirus

PHOTO COURTESY: AP

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has halted every major sporting activity, including cricket, as the world fights to counter the spread of the infectious disease. 

The pandemic has completely upended lives across the planet, restricting movement, shutting schools and forcing millions to work from home.

An estimated 900 million people are now confined to their homes in 35 countries around the world — including 600 million hemmed in by obligatory government lockdown orders — according to an AFP tally.

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So how can cricket fans quench their thirst for the game during these testing times?

Here are four forms of cricket you can easily paly with your family members and, more importantly, within the confines of your home.

Backyard Cricket

As the name suggests, you can play cricket in your backyard with a given set of rules that matches your physical environment.

A well-known rule of this form of cricket is ‘one hand, one bounce’ where a batsman who has hit the ball into the ground, but it has only bounced once, can still be given out caught, but only if the fielder catches the ball with one hand. You can also be given out if you hit the ball over the fence. If both teams have even number of players and there is one extra person, he is considered Jack player. Jack is part of both teams. Jack is required field in both innings, but he is not allowed bowl. However, he is allowed to bat on both side of the team.

French Cricket

French Cricket is more popular among kids and is an ideal form of cricket that can include children of varied ages.

There is only one batsman, and their objective is to not be dismissed by the other participants — who are fielders, or a bowler if they have possession of the ball — for as long as possible. The objective of the other participants is to dismiss the batsman. There are only two methods of dismissal, being caught or being "Leg Before Wicket", but as there are no stumps, this method of dismissal is effected by a bowled ball hitting the batsman's legs typically below the knees. Once the batsman is dismissed, the other participant who took the catch or effected the LBW typically replaces them as batsman, and the game-play begins again.

Book Cricket

If you want to enjoy cricket from the comfort of your couch, then Book Cricket can be a good option to consider.

It is popular with school children in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, especially the backbenchers occupying the last few rows, who most often play it sneakily during the ongoing class, a favorite childhood nostalgia of adults to reminisce about. It has several variants and is mostly played by two players. The runs are scored by flipping the book open at random and the last digit of the right-side (even-numbered) page is counted as the number of runs scored. 0 (and sometimes 8) are assigned to special rules, typically a wicket is lost when a person scores 0 and scoring 8 would be substituted for a No ball run and an additional chance.

Cricket Video Games

If the aforementioned options aren’t your cup of tea, then you can resort to playing video games on your personal computers, PlayStation, X-Box, Nintendo, Atari or even your cell phones.

Important Reminder

Additionally it goes without saying, to prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.

Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching your face.

Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.

Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.