Hampshire Cricket History

What to call it …
April 24, 2016, 9:13 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

and have you seen one?

I agree with Richie Benaud that the 22 yard strip of earth on which cricket is played is a pitch. A wicket is either a thing made of three stumps and two bails at the end of that 22 yards or it’s something that falls when a batsman is dismissed. Since the word pitch works perfectly well, there’s no need to confuse things with three separate definitions for the word wicket.

However, people do use the word wicket to name the pitch. Here’s an example from the Observer this morning and an interview with Paul Collingwood who said of Durham,

“Our new groundsman has had a full winter now and the wicket looks completely different … All we have ever wanted was a good cricket wicket, with nicks carrying to slip, runs available to batsmen, good balls rewarded and turn on the last day”.

The emphasis at the end there is mine but I’m interested that a man of Collingwood’s experience offers that as a definition of a “good cricket wicket”. It strikes me as a pretty good definition, but if it is true, why do umpires mark lots of Championship pitches as ‘good’ if, by-and-large, that is not what we get.


2 Comments so far
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I don’t think it is actually the umpires fault as they are only marking pitches based upon the checklist they are provided by those at the ECB who think they know what a good pitch is.

I suspect that left to their own devices the umpires would give a much better assessment of pitches and we would see some far more enjoyable cricket. But that wouldn’t suit the ECB would it?

Comment by James

I have the impression that the word wicket is used to describe how the pitch plays: a batsmen’s wicket…the prospect of a lot of runs and a draw.

“A sticky wicket” still heard occasionally outside the game.

Comment by StephenFH

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