With the sad news for cricket fans that there will be no professional cricket played in England and Wales until at least 1 July due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans and players at all levels have to rely on TV cricket repeats and local daily exercise to keep entertained.

Here are four ways to participate in cricket from home during lockdown.

Garden lockdown cricket with Nick

In the video below are a set of cricket drills put together by my daughter's cricket coach at the beginning of lockdown in the UK (thanks Nick), to challenge any budding cricket players with access to some open space to practise in. How well can you do in the flowerpot challenge?

Cricket highlights, masterclasses and more

For those looking for cricket masterclasses and match highlights, cricket mini-series, lockdown vodcasts, check out Sky Sports Cricket and their recently launched channel on YouTube.

Book Cricket: a version of lockdown cricket to play at home

Reading about the literary Authors Cricket Club in 26th April edition of The Sunday Times made me laugh. Some may recall playing Pub Cricket on long car journeys with their parents when they were younger (sadly there are fewer pubs these days, and most long-distance journeys are made on motorways). But this 'play at home' version of cricket reminded me of family holidays to Cornwall as we travelled down country roads. We used to score with the batter counting the number of legs on a pub sign as runs, and no legs (eg: King's Head) as a wicket. After three wickets were taken, you'd swap round and the other player became the batter.

Writers including Sebastian Faulks and Tom Holland have been enjoying an alternative 'literary' way to play (armchair) cricket, using lines of text from random books. 

How to play Book Cricket

1. Pick a text for your game. Any decent length book will do.

2. Each player selects a team and two page numbers at random. Your team can be based on your interest and made up of any players you wish. (For example, Tom Holland picked 11 Anglo-Saxons, and Sebastian Faulks selected characters from Jane Austen’s novels!)

3. The organiser goes to the page numbers given and takes the first two full lines on the page (eg: do not include lines with truncated speech).

4. Scoring. Each letter translates into a given number of runs or a mode of dismissal (there are no dot-balls!).

Batting

Most letters are a single, with the following exceptions:

  • “a” and “e” are two runs
  • “i” is worth 3 runs
  • “o” is a four 
  • “u” is a six

Bowling

  • “b” means bowled
  • “c” caught
  • “l” LBW
  • “x” the batsman hit the wicket
  • “y” run out
  • “z” stumped
  • “n” is a no-ball 
  • “w” is a wide

Google Doodle cricket

This week Google is using its Doodles to launch a series of its classic popular interactive games from its archives.

"As COVID-19 continues to impact communities around the world, people and families everywhere are spending more time at home. In light of this, we're launching a throwback Doodle series looking back at some of our popular interactive Google Doodle games!"

Tuesday 28th April showcased its Doodle that celebrated the ICC Championships Trophy 2017 by letting you play cricket as a cricket!

#lockdowncricket #gardencricket