Cricket never ceases to amaze.
With the ongoing India-Australia Test series and the upcoming IPL 2017, the country’s favourite pastime continues to capture the imagination of fans across this vast land. We play it in the parks, maidans, on footpaths and even between work stations in offices. And needless to say, we love innovating. Remember the time when we played improvised cricket after school while waiting for the bus back home? The writing pad or a book made for more than a handy bat and a paper ball could always be whipped up with ease.
Several such innovations ensured that various forms of recreational cricket mushroomed to suit the skills of players involved. The occasional group of small-town kids can be seen head-butting a rubber ball and scampering across to score runs.
Likewise, we’ve all probably seen – at some stage during our travels across the country – a stray bunch of youngsters gathering on a countryside ground employing extravagant kicks in place of the conventional drive to score runs. Leg cricket was always played in rustic villages and small towns across India. But now, it is slowly but surely making an appearance in the big cities as an organised sport.
In late 2011, the official rule book was penned down and in 2012, the first ever Senior National Championships were held at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Bawana, Delhi. 24 teams of boys and girls participated in that event. There has been no looking back ever since.
Today, the sport is actively played in 22 states across the country.
Here’s everything that you need to know about Leg Cricket
- Categories: The game is played by both men and women. In keeping with the twist the game offers, there’s also a mixed category with teams comprising both men and women.
- Age groups: At the state and national level, the game is played in the U-12, U-14, U-17, U-19, U-21 and in the open category.
- The pitch: 48 x 8 feet in the open category.
- Ground dimensions: 120 feet for the age group of U-19 and above.
- The ball: a size #2 ball, weighing 225-250 grammes, is used.
- Bowling: strictly underarm. A line is drawn halfway across the pitch and bowlers are to roll the ball along the ground. Full tosses are penalised with a no-ball.
- Modes of dismissal: Just like regular cricket, conventional modes of dismissal apply. You can even be adjudged LBW if you get caught in front of the wicket if the ball was to make contact with your non-kicking leg.
- Players: 11 players make a team.
Now that you’re familiar with the rules, head out and have a ball.