Learn about the sport of CRICKET: rules, vocabulary, culture, and more!

Hello. I’m Gill from engVid, and today’s lesson is
on the subject of cricket; the game of cricket, which is a very English sport. And you might be thinking: “Well, how is this
useful for me? I’m trying to learn English.” So, it’s useful to you for the vocabulary;
the words connected with cricket. You might find it useful, for example, to
watch a cricket match on television and listen to the commentary, and see if you can follow
it, if you recognize some of these words appearing. It’s usually at a… quite a… the commentary
is quite quick, so it’s a good test for you to see if you can follow it and hear all the
particular words. And apart from the vocabulary itself and having
some practice at listening, if you listen to a commentary, some of the cricket terms
are used in idioms and metaphors in everyday life, even by people who don’t really know
they’re connected with cricket. So, we’ll be looking at those later in the
lesson. In the second part of the lesson we’ll be
looking at eleven idioms/metaphors connected with cricket, so this should all be useful
to you in your… expanding your English vocabulary. So, here we go. And it’s also of cultural interest, of course,
to see what strange sports English people play, and also some other countries who play
cricket as well. So, let’s have a look. So, it’s a very English sport; traditionally
it’s English. There’s a picture of a bat; cricket bat, and
the cricket ball, there. So, basically, like with a lot of sports,
you have a “team” of players – the members of the cricket team are called “players”,
and each team has eleven players. Okay? And there’s a “captain” who’s the person in
charge of the team; the captain. Okay. The place where the game is played is called
a “cricket ground”, so it’s a big open space with grass; and, of course, room for people
to sit and watch. In the middle of the big open space is a smaller
area called the “pitch”, which is a long, narrow piece, like that, piece of grass; long,
narrow piece of grass called the “pitch”. And this is where… people have to run backwards
and forwards on the pitch sometimes. I’ll explain that in a minute. There’s the pitch, and at both ends of the
pitch is something called a “wicket”. I think I better draw a wicket as well. That’s a wicket. So, the wicket is made up of three sticks
that go into the ground; they’re wooden – they’re called “stumps”. So, three stumps go into the ground. And two… Two little pieces of wood sit on top – those
are called “bails” on top. So, the point of the wicket is that if somebody
throws the ball or bowls the ball at the person with the bat, if the ball hits the wicket
and the bails fall off, that batsman is finished; he can’t continue playing and somebody has
to come and replace him. So, that’s part of the game. So, at the end of the pitch in both places
you have the wicket. Okay. So, then you have the “bat”, which the “batsman”
uses, which is made of a wood from a willow; willow tree, so it’s quite hard. There’s a “ball”, which is covered in red
leather, traditionally. Okay. There are two “batsmen”; one at each end of
the pitch. There’s a “bowler” who belongs in the other
team, who throws the ball like this, bowls the ball at the batsman, and the batsman has
to hit the ball. So, it’s a little bit like American baseball;
that sort of idea, but not… the details are different. Okay. “Bowler”, and you’ll also have “fielders”
– these are people also from the same team as the bowler who are standing around the
field. Some are close to the pitch, some are further
away, but they’re all waiting to see what happens when the batsman hits the ball because
they have to run after that ball and get it back as quickly as possible. If they don’t get the ball back, the two batsmen
can run backwards and forwards on the pitch, scoring points, which are called “runs”. So, they want to try to stop them scoring
too many points, so they get the ball back as quickly as possible. Okay. So, the “pavilion” is the sort of building
at the edge of the… of the cricket ground where the cricket players go into and come
out of. When they’re ready to play, they come out
of the pavilion. When… when maybe they’ve been knocked out,
they go back into the pavilion, so that’s… the pavilion is quite important. So, when the batsmen are batting, they are
“in”, so that’s called an “innings”. So, the length of time they can stay in and
score points or runs is called an “innings”. And then if they’re sort of knocked out, then
they go… They may have scored 60… 60 runs and that was their innings. Okay. If they’re “out”, if they make a mistake,
if the wicket is hit by the ball or other ways of getting them out, then they’re out;
they’re finished – they have to go back to the pavilion. Okay? They can be “bowled out” by the ball hitting
the wicket. They can be “caught out”. If they hit the ball and it goes up into the
air, and one of the fielders catches the ball before it hits the ground, then they’ve been
caught out. If the ball hits the ground first, then they’re
still okay. But if they catch the ball and it hasn’t yet
hit the ground, they have been caught out. Okay. There’s also a thing called “LBW”, which stands
for “leg before wicket”. I don’t fully understand that rule, but sometimes
some batsmen can be out because they’ve put their leg in front of the wicket when they
shouldn’t have, so that’s another thing you might hear being mentioned. Okay. So, then there’s a thing called an “over”. This is when the bowler throws six balls… So, you have to have six balls bowled to count
as an over, so everything’s divided up into sections like that, so that’s an “over”. A “run” is when either the batsmen run from
one end of the pitch to the other, or when they’ve hit the ball. They can score four runs if they hit the ball,
and it goes right to the end of the field and over a boundary without anybody being
able to catch it. If it rolls over the boundary, they’ve scored
four runs. They can score six runs. If they do that and the ball goes up into
the air and it doesn’t touch the ground before it reaches the boundary… If it goes… Sometimes it goes into the crowd of spectators;
it might hit somebody, but if it stays up in the air then they’ve hit a six. Okay? So, they’re just sort of clocking up runs
that way, or actually literally running up and down the pitch. Okay, so the points that they’re earning,
the runs are called the “score”. And usually somewhere in the cricket ground
at the side somewhere, where everyone can see, is a “scoreboard” – a big board with
lots of numbers on. This is a small version of a scoreboard. Some of them are electronic and they have
a lot more information on them, but they show how many runs have been scored up to that
point in the game; how many wickets, meaning how many wickets have been lost and batsmen
are out because of it; how many overs – that means how many bowlings times six the bowler
has done. So, you have to multiply 15 by 6 to work out:
How many times has the bowler bowled the ball? First innings – if there’s been a previous
innings, and you can have more than one innings, so a team might have clocked up 328 runs in
a first innings, but now this is probably into the second innings and there’s some more
runs being scored. Okay. So, that’s that. So, I mentioned the “crowd”, the “spectators”
– the people watching. Also, sometimes… Cricket is the kind of game which you can’t
play if it’s raining. It’s not like football and rugby where you
can play in the rain or the snow sometimes. If it’s raining you have to stop with cricket,
so they have this phrase: “Rain stopped play” if there’s been a cricket match going on and
then in the middle of the afternoon they stop, and they say: “Rain stopped play”. They had to stop because of the weather. Or sometimes they decide that the light isn’t
good enough. If it’s very cloudy and grey, if the sky is
grey, they don’t have enough light to see what they’re doing well enough to hit the
ball, so sometimes “bad light stopped play”. I think that’s possibly quite a controversial
issue because sometimes people think: “We could have carried on, then. It wasn’t such a big problem. We could have carried on playing.” But the authority… People in authority decided: “No, we’ll stop
now.” So, not everybody agrees on when to stop. So, okay, there are lots of cricket grounds
all over the UK. London has two at least, but two famous ones
are the “Oval” in South London and “Lord’s Cricket Ground” in Northwest London, and those
are where the big sort of international matches are played, as well as county matches. So, just to explain “county”: The UK is divided
up into counties, and each county has its own cricket team. So, “Yorkshire” is a county, “Surrey” is a
county, “Kent”, “Somerset” – there are lots of counties, and they all have a cricket team. And also, there are national teams; England
is a national cricket team. And then because of sort of historical reasons
when, you know, the form of British Empire, cricket became popular in former empire countries,
former colonies which are now often still part of the Commonwealth, but there’s no empire
anymore. But they still play cricket. So, the West Indies, Australia, India, Pakistan,
Sri Lanka, and often those are called the “test match” – the sort of the top international
type of cricket match that can go on for several days. It’s quite a slow game; you might start watching
and thinking: “Oh, nothing much is happening.” It’s not as fast as football or rugby; it’s
quite sort of leisurely in a way. So, that’s an overview of the vocabulary,
and roughly… I’m not an expert, but roughly how the game
is played, and how runs are scored. And then once both teams have had an opportunity
to play to be batting, they then see who… Who got the most runs, and whoever got the
most runs wins the match. So, that’s a rough summary of the game of
cricket, and we’ll now have a look at some of the idioms and metaphors that come from
it, which are used a lot in everyday life. Okay, so let’s have a look at some idioms
that are connected with cricket; and appropriately, we have eleven. There are eleven players in the team, and
we have eleven idioms. So, let’s look at the first one. So: “To bowl a googly” – nothing to do with
Google, but bowling, when you bowl the ball… If you bowl a googly in cricket, the bowler
has sort of made the ball spin in some sort of way so that when the batsman hits the ball,
it goes off in an unexpected direction; so it takes the batsman by surprise. So, if you bowl someone a googly, you say
something or do something unexpected, and you take them by surprise. Okay. So, that can happen in any… Any context. So, okay. So, the next one, if someone says: “We’re
on a sticky wicket, here”, this is the wicket; the sticks that are in the ground. The cricket ground is grass, so if it has
been raining and the ground is wet, it can be a bit sticky; a bit muddy. So, it’s not… It’s not a very good surface to play cricket. So, if you’re on a sticky wicket, it’s more
difficult to play. So, if… If you’re meeting someone for the first time
and you can’t quite get onto the same wavelength, you can’t find anything in common with them
and you’re finding it difficult to have a conversation, you could say: “Well, I think
I’m on a sticky wicket with this person. I don’t really know what to talk to them about.” Or, again, in any other situation that’s difficult:
“You’re on a sticky wicket.” Okay. If someone says: “He’s had a good innings”,
in cricket terms, that’s when the batsman is in for a long time, scoring lots of runs
and hopefully… They try to get more than 100. If they get 100, it’s called a “century”,
just like 100 years is called a century. “To have a good innings” means you’ve had
a really good, long time doing something. Either you might have worked for the same
company for 20 or 30 years, so you could call that a good innings. It’s even used for people when they get older,
if they live to be in their 80s or 90s, they’ve had a really long life – you can say about
them: “He’s… He or she has had a good innings”, meaning
they’ve had a really long life; an opportunity to do lots of things in the length of time
that they’ve lived. Okay. “To hit someone for six”, as I explained earlier,
if you hit the ball as the batsman and it goes up into the air, and it lands in the
crowd – you automatically score six runs without even having to do any running. So, “a hit for six” is a really good thing
because you get six points in one action. If you hit someone for six, metaphorically,
you give them a big surprise. So, it’s a kind of unexpected surprise, really. “I was hit for six when someone gave me a
car for a birthday present, and that hit me for six.” It was a very unusual thing to happen, so
that sort of thing. Okay. And similarly, you can be “bowled over” if
you’re taken by surprise, again. “I was bowled over when somebody gave me this
car for my birthday. I was bowled over”, not literally; I didn’t
fall over literally, but I was really surprised, so that’s a similar idea. “To field a question” – often politicians
have to do this. They may have given a speech, and then there
may be journalists or members of the public in the audience who are then given the opportunity
to ask questions, and the politician has to take the questions and reply to them in some
way. So, you remember the “fielding” in cricket
is the people who are standing out beyond the pitch, waiting to see where the ball goes. So, if the ball goes in their direction, they
run after it and get it back to the bowler as quickly as possible. So, it’s the kind of thing that you do to
keep things moving. So: “To field a question”, the politician
has to hear the question and respond to it, so they are fielding the questions. Okay. Also, if the politician is asked a question
which they can’t think of an answer to, they could be “stumped” meaning they just don’t
know what to say. If you’re stumped… These are the stumps of the wicket; these
upright, three sticks. And if you’re stumped, that’s when the ball
hits the wicket and the batsman is out. So, it’s a sort of… You’re defeated by it; you’ve lost. You’ve lost your position. So, if someone is stumped when you ask them
a question, they don’t know how to respond; they don’t know how to reply. You know: “I’m really stumped by a situation”,
you don’t know what to do, that kind of thing. Okay. Then if you “do something off your own bat”-there’s
the bat-it means you do something on your own initiative. You’ll think of something, and nobody has
asked you to do it-maybe at work-but on your own initiative, you think: “Oh, that would
be a good idea. I think I’ll do that.” You don’t ask anybody; you just think: “I’ll
do that. It will be helpful.” So you do it off your own bat; your own initiative,
and hopefully then people will say: “Oh, did you do that? That was useful. Thank you. I would never have thought of doing that. Well done.” So hopefully you get thanked for doing something
off your own bat, unless people don’t like what you’ve done, and then you’re in trouble,
so… And then, you know, you should have asked
first before you did that. So: “It was off my own bat”. Okay. If you “catch someone out”, going back to
the cricket, the fielders try to catch a ball after the batsman has hit it to get them out. If they catch the ball before it hits the
ground, the batsman who hit that ball or batswoman-women play cricket, too-they are then out; they’ve
lost their place. So, if you catch someone out in general, ordinary
life, maybe that person was telling a lie about something and you might realize: “Ah,
that can’t be true”, because you know something else that disproves what they’re saying. And maybe they say they met somebody on a
certain date, but then you say: “But you were on holiday that date; you can’t have met them.” And: “Oh…” Then they say: “Oh, I got the dates wrong”
or something. Maybe they did, but you caught them out by
proving that what they said was not true. So, that’s to catch someone out. “To put a spin” – this is very similar to
“bowling a googly”, really. If you put a spin on something-politicians,
again, do this a lot-they might exaggerate something or give something a certain additional
meaning that it doesn’t really have. If you put a spin… If you spin… Put a spin on the ball when the bowler bowls
the ball, they make it spin so that, again, when the batsman hits it, it goes in an unexpected
direction. So: “To put a spin on something” is to do
that; to distort or exaggerate in some way. So, someone could be called a “spin bowler”
or a “spin doctor” in politics. If they put a spin on a story, they’re exaggerating
some aspect of it, just maybe to… If a journalist writes an article and it’s
designed to sell more newspapers because they’re trying to suggest there’s some sort of scandal
or controversy when in fact there isn’t really, but they’re just making something out of nothing,
or making something out of a very small detail that wasn’t really important just to try to
get some political advantage or something like that. So, that’s the spin, which is used in politics
a lot now and in the media. And then, finally, if someone says: “It just… It’s just not cricket!” – traditionally, the
game of cricket is meant to be a very honourable game, played by gentlemen, so they’re supposed
to be honest and honourable. If somebody does something a little bit deceptive
and another person doesn’t like it, they say: “Well, you shouldn’t really have done that. You shouldn’t… You were telling a lie, there, really. You know, it’s just not cricket. You can’t behave like that. You should be an honest person.” So, cricket is associated with honesty, even
though there have been times when, you know, there have been dishonest things happening
in cricket, but let’s not go into that. So, if someone says: “It’s just not cricket!”
they mean, you know, it’s not honest; you should be more honest and honourable, and
be… Don’t tell lies; tell the truth and be a respectable
person that people can trust. Okay, so those are the eleven idioms. I hope that’s useful. And from my explanation of roughly how cricket
works, these metaphors should make more sense now. So, I hope that’s useful. If you’d like to go to the website: www.engvid.com,
and do the quiz on this subject, test your knowledge, and subscribe to my channel if
you’ve liked this lesson, and see you again soon. Okay, bye.

70 thoughts on “Learn about the sport of CRICKET: rules, vocabulary, culture, and more!

  1. I love your accent, professor Jill. Thank you for taking the time to give us this very interesting and complete lesson. Greetings from México ?❤??

  2. Good morning Miss Gill, your student Nabil from Algeria and with my weak Englishman I want just wish you a good day , really you help me to learn this language, really you're Angel

  3. 8:01 LBW (Leg Before Wicket) is when the ball hits a batsman's leg, and it's decided that the ball would have hit the wicket if the leg hadn't got in the way.

  4. Thank you, Gill. Great lesson. As for 'It's not cricket' people also say that somebody doesn't play by the rules…so, this might be also connected with a game or the cricket itself. Greetings from Serbia <3

  5. I’ve always liked cricket. I like that it is slow and leisurely. It is also not a rough game, like contact sports. ? I do like the new format we have in Australia called T20. They’ve made it more fast paced, and the games a lot quicker, with the twenty overs. They also wear bright colours.

  6. Hello, Gill! I ve always loved English languange: been studying for many years and even moved to the UK but I always find your videos super useful and interesting! Many thanks for your help from an Italian student of yours 🙂

  7. Thanks a lot Madam Gill .
    Really I love your way of teaching us ; wonderful . By the way I love British language.

  8. I was eager to see your new video Ms Gill. It is like that, every single time you post your video lessons. Your lessons are so clear and learning is a pleasure only. I would like so much speaking like you do, were easy even with other english natives. But practicing is the only way to understand and improving. Thank you so much.

  9. Thank you very much! Waiting for the final England VS New Zealand! Much love ❤️ love from Afghanistan

  10. Gill, your lessons are delightful xx Steve from Rose Bruford (from many years ago, I can't remember how long, lol) I've also shown one of of your lessons to my partner from Brazil. He gets mixed up with the "th" and "f" in our language.

  11. Hi Gill (my sweet teacher), I love your videos so much, they are so interesting and informative. I have really increased much of my vocabulary from your videos. You are really a good teacher. Yesterday I was reading an english learning book and there I read a sentence "She's a Emma look alike" I'm a bit confused with its formation is it right or we should say it like: "She looks alike Emma".
    Please try to understand my question and give your kind suggestions.
    Thank you so much for such a great videos.

  12. Congratulations, England won the world cup. Love the way Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan, and Ben strokes played.

  13. Jill you seem so sweet and nice! Thanks for everything, you make my day a little better and help me with my English!!!

  14. ​ @Learn English with Gill (engVid) Hi Gill, thank you so much for your reply, but I have still a bit confusion between these two.
    I understand that the word lookalike means that 'anyone looks like any other person' but just to clear my confusion, can I ask that from the following two sentences which one we should chose:
    "She lookalike Madonna" or
    "She is Madonna lookalike".
    Actually teacher, when I ask this question to my school teachers or tuition teacher and also search it on the youtube, I got very much mixed answers, people tell different things so, I thought to ask my favourite native English teacher (YOU).
    So, pleeeaaase Gill try to clear my confusion and if you have any video about it then please suggest it to me and also try to reply.
    Please teacher. Thank you so much

  15. Quelle classe, quel style, cette vénérable dame représente une certaine élégance Britannique sur le point de disparaître, elle est la dernière des Mohicans, elle est un vestige du passé, elle est l'incarnation contemporaine d'une Miss Marple. Elle est fascinante comme Out Of Times. On devrait la cloner. C'est une Anglaise pur jus comme l'Angleterre n'en produira plus jamais. On aurait envie de prendre le thé avec elle.

  16. My boyfriend is from Trinidad and Tobago. He likes to teach me about it but can understand him well. Now, thanks to you, I understand the sport better. Thank you!

  17. I hate grammarly ads. Not the product. But it seems that I see way too many grammarly ads in my video stream.

  18. To insert some photos might be really helpful for the understanding. Little children also learn language by picture books.
    Just from verbal explanation you get no idea of pitch or field size, wicket size, bat size, ball size, or the activities going on. Sure, google helps a little.
    It's also important to mention, there is Croquet, which is a different game with different bats and gates.

  19. Not only very English/Ingles game but also Velly Velly Indian game. Velly Hindi Velly Tamil Velly Telugu.

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