Now that summer is over for another year, some of you will be longing to pick up your portable cricket nets and take them inside. While many people consider cricket to be solely a summer sport, indoor cricket has been steadily growing since the 1970s.
The game itself differs slightly from its outdoor counterpart – it is played on artificial surfaces, with the playing area surrounded by netting. Two sets of spring-loaded stumps, held on solid bases, are placed the same distance apart as on the outdoor pitch. A modified ball is used that is softer in the centre, and yellow in colour in order to make it easier to see during play.
The rules are simple: two teams of eight players compete, with each player bowling two overs, and batting with a partner for four overs. A shorter version of the game is also possible, with six players in each team, and with each innings lasting 12 overs instead of 16.
The World Indoor Cricket Federation (WICF) based in Brisbane, Australia has been the international governing body responsible for the regulation and promotion of the game since 2004.
This year, they are holding their Masters World Series at the Action Indoor Sports venue in Marsh Hall, Birmingham. The competition runs from 21st-29th October 2016, and teams from six countries (England, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Singapore and South Africa) will be competing in five different categories, including a Women’s category.
More information on the event, including live streams, can be found on the WICF website.