Cricket is making waves across Central Ohio, as a number of expats from the Indian subcontinent continue the favorite sport of their home countries.

Cricket is making waves across Central Ohio, as a number of expats from the Indian subcontinent continue the favorite sport of their home countries.

About 10 local teams play a full season through the United Cricket Club, and many of them hope you'll consider trying out this gentleman's game with roots dating to 16th-century England.

"We are just cricket crazy," said Bharat Jataprolu, team captain of the Columbus Cricket Club, which plays home games at Emerald Fields in Dublin. "It's like religion back home. People just love it."

The sport is somewhat similar to baseball: A batter attempts to hit balls and score runs, while a thrower, known as a bowler, tries to dismiss him by knocking down a set of wooden stakes known as a wicket.

"Most of our guys have played all their lives," club president Brijesh Mishra said. "One of the big challenges is trying to take this sport to people who haven't played all their lives."

Mishra's club, the Googly Cricket Club and several others welcome new members eager to learn. Local games are played in Dublin, on West Campus and at several other locations. Teams usually have at least one practice a week, with in-town and away games on weekends.

There's no reason not to pick up a stick and protect a wicket.

Sports Talk

Bowler: The player who throws the ball

Wicket: A set of three short stakes (stumps) topped with wooden blocks (bails). Games are played with two sets of wickets, one at each end of the pitch.

Pitch: A harder playing surface in the center of the field where hitting and bowling occur. It's roughly 22 yards long and four yards wide.

Over: A set of six good pitches. Most games in Columbus are played with "limited overs," usually 20, meaning each side gets 160 pitches to score runs.

Innings: One side's batting performance. It's the equivalent of three outs in baseball.

Getting the game

1. The game's played between two teams of 11 on an elliptical field between 100 and 160 yards across. On offense, a batter lines up in front of each wicket. On defense, the bowler stands near the pitch, while his team spreads through the field.

2. The bowler throws to one batter with an overhand motion. The batter attempts to hit the ball into play or defend his wicket.

3. Runs are scored in three ways. The bowler throws a bad ball. The batsman hits the ball, and both men switch sides. The batter hits the ball out of the field on a fly (six runs) or on a bounce (four runs).

4. On the other hand, a batter gets out in three ways. A bowler knocks over a wicket on a throw. A fielder catches a fly ball. A fielder knocks down a wicket as the batsmen try to switch sides.

5. A batter doesn't have to run on contact. He can stay at the wicket for as long as he wants without getting out. However, after one over (six good balls), a new bowler must throw.

6. The innings is finished when a certain number of overs have been thrown or all 10 batters on a side are out. The teams switch sides and repeat.

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