It doesn’t take a genius to see how crazy India is about cricket. I mean, nothing can beat the pleasure of playing on a lush green field, with the batsmen at the crease, all padded up; the bowler with the red (or white) ball running in to bowl, both separated only by the 22 yard strip, right? Except in India, only a fraction of our bidding cricket ‘superstars’ have been able to experience such a thing. Meanwhile, the rest of us have grown up on the ever-popular and everlasting street cricket; or as we better know it, Galli cricket.
Galli cricket has never been taken seriously, as it has never been considered ‘real’ cricket. However, I believe all that could change very very soon. How, you ask? Well, all you need to do is observe how cricket has evolved over the years. From never-ending Tests to ODIs, and now with T20s slowly becoming the norm, Galli cricket is the most logical next step in this constantly evolving game. With the ever-increasing constraints of time and space, Galli cricket is the perfect way to go.
I’m sure the BCCI will jump on this bandwagon in a second, considering how deep and vast the talent pool is in this country, as every galli has atleast 50-100 superstars just waiting for that one elusive break, so they can prove to the world that they are, in fact, better than Ravindra Jadeja. And in some cases, they wouldn’t be too far off the mark, Okay, this was the first and last Jadeja joke, I promise.
So anyway, based on my observations and experiences playing Galli cricket (I was a Galli God back in my day), I have decided to note down a few ‘official’ rules, which are practised in every galli in the country. This way, there should be no confusion if you venture into unknown territory.
Without further ado, SportsKeeda presents - The official rulebook of Galli cricket.
Rule 1. Any rule in this rule book can be modified, bent or broken by the home team. If you don’t like it, don’t play.
Rule 2. There should be at least two bats; one for the striker and another for the non-striker, and one ball in order to commence play. Out of the two bats, at least one should be usable for batting. In case there is only one bat, a suitable substitute can be used with mutual consent of both teams. Examples: A long stick, a broken piece of wood, a car silencer, basically anything that can be grounded. Balls will be regulation rubber, tennis or MRI balls only. Cork balls and leather balls shall NOT be used. People will get hurt and will go home crying and the rest of us will have to suffer.
Rule 3. Stumps are optional. Chairs, bricks, stones, walls (with three lines drawn on them) are all perfectly acceptable substitutes. If none of these are available, three stones can be used. In this case, the stump height will depend on the height of the batsman. If you feel this will create a problem in deciding whether a batsman is out or not, stop being so cheap and buy your own damn stumps. Also, in case of stones being used as stumps, the ‘current’ rule will come into effect.
i) The ‘current’ rule: In order to effect a run out, the bowler/fielder can put one foot on the stumps when the ball is thrown to him. If the batsman is outside his crease when the bowler/fielder collects the ball while standing on the stumps, he will be declared run out.
Rule 4. The number of overs will be decided based on the number of players. No bowler can bowl two overs continuously. Now, give the ball to that scrawny little kid so I can score a lot of runs off him.
Rule 5. The number of players will be decided based on how many people have homework, family functions, angry parents etc, (basically unforeseeable circumstances). Great efforts should be made to have the same number of people in a single team. If not possible, a team can have only one extra player. Under these circumstances:
a) The team with the extra player will have lend one of their players as a fielder when their side are batting. The fielder should, at the very least, pretend to make an effort on the field.
b) The team with an extra player will not be allowed to have a last man batting. However, the other team will have to keep a non-striking runner for their last man. If the non-striker is run out, the batsman will also be given out. Choose your runner wisely.
Rule 6. One umpire should be present at all times. In case the loser who cant play to save his life is unavailable or has realised that he hasn’t got a chance to play over a month, a member of the batting team will be made the umpire. Please note that the umpire’s decisions are final and will not be changed. If you don’t like it, again, bring your own damn umpire!
Rule 7. LBWs are for losers.
Rule 8. Wides, no balls, byes and leg byes do not amount to squat. If you want to score, hit the bloody ball already!
Rule 9. The first ball of the day will ALWAYS be a trial ball, especially if the batsmen gets out.
Rule 10. One tappi, one hand. Enough said.
Rule 11. Wall tappi is not counted. Pay attention, most people lose count of the number of bounces.
Rule 12. If the batsman says the ball is too fast, it’s too fast.
Rule 13. If the ball goes under a car, it’s one run. Don’t keep running like an idiot till the fielder retrieves the ball, it’s still only one run.
Rule 14. If you hit that car directly, you’re out. You will also have to pay for any damages caused.
Rule 15. If you break a window, you will have to pay for it. Also, you’re out.
Rule 16. If you hit the ball in an area where it cannot be retrieved at all, you have to buy the new ball. Also, you guessed it, you’re out.
Rule 17. The guys who owns the bat(s) is the King.
Rule 18. Games will stop only after it is literally impossible to see the ball.
Okay, these are all the rules I could think of. Please add any more you can think of so we can compile a complete list and start a rebel league.