The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jul 17, 2009

Book Cricket

Does anyone remember playing book cricket? After being knocked about the shins with the hard ball in primary school, I quickly realised that my metier was off the field, and book cricket was quite the better alternative. I could play it indoors and outdoors, come rain or shine, and I could do it with books, which I had always loved

Here's how book cricket works: you and your friend create a batting lineup each; decide who gets to bat first; choose a book, preferably one that hasn't been opened much (for reasons that will shortly become clearer); open it at random and look at the page number of the left-hand page; if that number ends in 2, 4, or 6, that would be the number of runs scored by the current batsman; an 8 means 1 run; a zero means that the batsman is out; adhere to the cricketing convention of each batsman facing six attempts before rotating strike; continue until all the batsmen are out; add up the total runs scored; hand over the book to your friend, whereupon he (rarely she) repeats the exercise until either all his batsmen are out, or his run score exceeds yours.

It should be fairly obvious that a well-thumbed book won't do at all, for it generally falls open at the same page. It took us only a short while to realise this - one time, my friend Ravi had a relentless run of fours, and just wouldn't get out. It was less obvious to us nine year-olds that the teachers wouldn't particularly enjoy the sight of snotty little backbencher boys flicking their books open and close and emitting yips of excitement whenever they scored a boundary. In retrospect, when I jumped out of my seat one day in Civics class (easily the most boring subject ever) and danced a small jig of triumph having scored 600 runs, I'm not surprised that the teacher grabbed my ear and tossed me out of the classroom.

Still. Six hundred runs. Not often that happens, not even in real-life cricket.


jj said...

I remember this one... brought back so many good old memories. Marking those pages with 4 n 6 and cheating, we used to do that too.

Fëanor said...

jj: cheating? perish the thought! we were as above board as the australians.

Maddy said...

we spent many hours, as kids with this kids we used to think that thicker the book, better the chances of hitting 4's and 6's...

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