Backyard cricket season is upon us meaning now is the perfect time to run through a few backyard cricket basics.
We’re going to start with the most essential bit of gear for any game of backyard cricket – the stumps/wicket.
Not everyone owns three light stumps and bails. So you have to improvise when it comes to creating your wicket.
Here are some of the best options:
Ah yes the classic. The older and shittier your Esky the better too. Pros – keeps the frothies nice and cool. Cons – aren’t very high so can make it tough for the bowler to get a clean bowled dismissal.
Can be a good option if you are desperate. Cons – be prepared to be throttled by an angry mum if the prized hibiscus or lavender ends up getting crushed or damaged.
The red bin
Another great option. Pros – can be moved by a crafty wicket keeper to have the batsman clean bowled with ease, easy disposal of empties. Cons – can give off a nasty smell if there’s some old prawn heads and other Christmas party leftovers inside.
Random branches stacked on top of one another
If you are lucky enough to have a decent tree in the backyard you are in business as they can make for brilliant makeshift stumps. If you don’t have a tree just do what this bloke did and improvise. Even an old Christmas tree can make for some awesome stumps.
Pros – it is already there so you don’t have to do anything. Also tree roots can trip over the batsmen and create extra run-out opportunities. Cons – watch out for angry possums, drop bears, and bats that may get angry if struck by the ball. Increased chance of being swooped my local birdlife.
The beer keg
As you can see from the above photo the humble beer keg can be very versatile. These bad boys also happen to make for great stumps. Pros – obviously if there is still any ale left you are going to have a very joyous wicketkeeper. They makes a great “clunk” noise when hit with a nice in-swinging yorker. Cons – can be heavy so remember to bend the knees when lifting grandpa!
These things are awesome. Pros – super lightweight so they can be easily carried back to the shed after stumps are called. Cons – can be blown over easily in windy conditions.
The ‘placco’ stumps
Ah yes an Aussie classic. These things are everywhere – schools, cricket clinics, the lot. Cons – no sound when hit by ball which means batsman can easily throw tantrum and deny the ball actually hit the wicket. Can also blow over in blustery conditions.
The 44 gallon drum has proven to be a very reliable option for generations of backyard cricketers. Pros – unbelievably durable, can handle any conditions. The awesome echoey “claaaaaaaang” when the ball hits the 44. Cons – red backs and other nasty critters love them.
Now that you’ve got your stumps sorted it’s time to choose the perfect cricket ball. Stay tuned for our ‘Backyard cricket ball’ special next week.