Our Sport is Cricket Cricket Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world after soccer. It is a game of physical skill, intellectual ability and chance. It combines teamwork with individual performance. Cricket is a Physical Game. Cricket is now a sport where elite athletes of all body shapes and sizes are pushed to the limit. From fast bowlers who put 9 times their own body weight through their own foot every ball they bowl to batsman with arms and shoulders able to swing a 2 kilo plank of wood with one arm and still hit a ball of leather 80 odd metres. Cricket is a Skillful Game. To play cricket, you've got to have skill and finesse. As a batsman, you cannot just swing like a baseballer or a hurler and expect to last long at the crease. As a bowler, you've got to be able to control a ball's speed, orientation, trajectory and do this consistently. A batsman in international cricket has 600 milliseconds to hit a ball when facing a fast bowler - around 200 milliseconds of that goes into making a decision on what shot to play. Just hitting a ball, directing it to the gaps in the field takes an incredible amount of skill. Cricket is a Individual Game. Although you play as a team, you are very much alone when you are in the action. Batsmen act alone, as do bowlers. Your team can't help you, it's all up to you. As the bowler runs into bowl, as a batsman, you know that you're all alone. Your partner down the other end can't help you. You've got eleven guys trying to get your throat and you've got 600 milliseconds to dodge their bullet, all by yourself. The bowler must be able to rely upon himself to deliver the perfect ball every time. His captain can set a field, but it's all up to him to actually bowl the ball and get it in the right spots. And your performance is recorded, ball by ball, and analysed season after season. Cricket is a Team Game. As well as being an individual game, cricket is very much a team game. A team needs to work together to have the energy and focus, often over very extended period of time, to be able to win a game. A team must work together - everyone pulls their own weight. Individual performances blend into the fate of the team. A game can twist and turn on a single event - a dropped catch, a crucial wicket and momentum can swing the other way. Teamwork is the only defense against a momentum shift against your team and that is where true character is developed. Cricket is a Intellectual Game. There are many decisions which have to be made on the field while the game progresses. The captain has to choose which bowler to bowl at any point in time. The bowler has to chose to bowl around or over the wicket. They have to choose a series of six deliveries to try and bowl to a specific batsman. Nine members of the fielding team are free to stand anywhere they like on the ground and have to be positioned by the captain in order to try and prevent the batsman scoring and get the maximum chance of dismissing them. At the same time, the batsman are trying to work out whether to attack or defend each delivery and have to develop a strategy for each bowler and for the game as a whole. The have to decide whether they're going to take a run after they've hit the ball and then if they're going to come back for a second or third run. Come on down to Merrion and find out more about our sport, Cricket.