Ricky Ponting - the skipper who led Australia to two World Cup wins - once said that it was backyard cricket that made him the master batsman he is. We have all played backyard cricket, with wheelies as the stumps, with sixers considered out and many more quirky rules. Experts have often said that backyard cricket is what gives a player a strong foundation in the game - with the constrained surroundings forcing the players to find creative solutions. Here are the five benefits of playing backyard cricket.
1. It's Intense
How many times have you been marooned out in deep third man or fine leg, distant from the action, waiting for an edge that does not come? There is nothing like boredom in backyard cricket. It is so fast-paced with action in every minute - so much so that you do not comprehend how quickly time flies by!
2. It's Great for Fitness.
The fitness benefits of backyard cricket are so great that the 2012 Olympics double-silver medallist Yohan Blake is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics by playing backyard cricket. Backyard cricket forces your body to leave those lazy steps behind and move as quickly. Need to take a one-bounce catch to dismiss a batter? You need to bring out that dive!
3. Practice for Swing Bowling
Don't just play with a tennis ball. Tape one side of a tennis ball with electrical tape for some serious swing. Better yet, consider every edge as a catch at slip. Unleash the James Anderson in you!
4. A Great Introduction to Cricket
Kids love action. What better way to introduce them to the game than the thrill ride of backyard cricket. Give them a reprieve on first-ball wickets. Get them a smaller bat and see them love the game!
5. Start Socialising
Discover new friends and enjoy the company of the old ones. Take a cooler and a few beers. Take mandatory drinks to break. Have one bounce, one hand, one beer rule. And see how cricket is a party game!
What's stopping you?!