My neighbor, Tyko Jaddunath, plays cricket for the Minnesota Windies.
Yesterday I went to their cricket match.
According to Wikipedia.com, “Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on a field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the runs scored by the batting team. A run is scored by the striking batsman hitting the ball with his bat, running to the opposite end of the pitch and touching the crease there without being dismissed. The teams switch between batting and fielding at the end of an innings.” 1
I had a great view of the more important play in the game.
Tyko’s team was at-bat. They needed 134 runs to win, but were clearly in trouble. Fortunately their best batsman was at-bat and had already scored a few.
Suddenly he hit the ball high and far. The fielder ran all the way to the edge of the field. He reached up and away from himself to make an over-the-shoulder catch while remaining in-bounds.
Reaching for the ball he did get both hands on the ball, but because of the velocity of the ball hitting his hands, he couldn’t get his hands closed fast enough when the ball hit his hands.
This is what happened next:
The ball jumped out and away.
The fielder took one step forward.
He carefully caught the ball cradling it in his hands.
He held the ball up demonstrating he caught the ball.
He also promptly took two steps back.
He had made a great catch, but he had stepped past the line.
After a calm debate it was determined that the fielder had not caught the ball in play. Rather than dismissing their best batsman, the non-catch cost his team six runs.
That batsman continued to score more than 60 (!!!) runs and Tyko’s team won.
While the fielder and his teammates were disappointed, a teammate from way across the field yelled, “great catch.” And, it was.
Again, from Wikipedia.com, “Cricket is a unique game where in addition to the laws, the players have to abide by the “Spirit of the Game”. The standard of sportsmanship has historically been considered so high that the phrase “it’s just not cricket” was coined in the 19th century to describe unfair or underhanded behaviour in any walk of life.”
– fielders are known to signal to the umpire that a boundary was hit, despite what could have been considered a spectacular save
– batsmen have been known to “walk” when they think they are out even if the umpire does not declare them out.
Glenn Schiraldi wrote, “Moral behavior is simply behavior that is good, decent, and in the best interest of self and others.” 2
“Live in harmony with one another,” the Bible explains. 3
“Harmony.” I saw it in action, and I couldn’t agree more.
1 – Wikipedia’s Cricket entry
2 – From Glenn Schiraldi’s book, 10 Simple Solutions for Building Self-Esteem
3 – Romans 12:16, NIV