Cricket and Englishmen

As an Englishman I love sport but particularly football. However, in England football is mostly played in the autumn/winter periods. Summer is cricket season and although it is not a game easily understood by non-natives it is everything that summer should be. Warm days, slow lazy actions, picnics and dreaming.

A day or afternoon watching cricket can be a really enjoyable way to spend your time.

In addition cricket has given us a few metaphors. What is a metaphor? Well, simply it is a group of words not used in their literal meaning but used as a figure of speech to transfer the meaning to something else.

For example: he is over the hill does not mean somebody has successfully climbed some hill and is now on the other side. No, it is a figure of speech to tell you someone is no longer able to do a job, or is too old to do a job and beyond his best years.

My cricketing metaphors that I can apply to normal life situations include:

That’s just not cricket! When you do not like the way somebody does something or you are annoyed when somebody acts in a sly way and they should have been more honest, you can say that’s just not cricket!

Example: I had agreed to buy a car from a guy I knew. We agreed a price and I asked for a day to think it over. When I got back to him he told me he had sold it to someone else.. That’s just not cricket! We had a deal and he should have honoured it.

Caught out. In cricket when you catch the ball without it hitting the ground first then your opponent is out of the game.In real life to be caught out is when someone catches you trying to be sly or sneaky (underhand) without anyone knowing about it.

Example: I left my jacket on my chair in the office. My boss thought I was working hard. Instead I had gone to lunch and sat in the park enjoying the summer weather.However I was caught out when I returned to the office because my face was all sunburnt!

Bowled over. This is a very technical cricketing term. The bowler bowls the ball to the man with the bat (similar to a pitcher in American baseball who throws or pitches the baseball to the guy with the baseball bat!). The bowler bowls six balls and this is referred to as an over. (simple really!!) This is the literal description. However, metaphorically to be bowled over means to be surprised or shocked.

Example: My wife organised a surprise birthday party and my friends presented me with a case (box) of fine French wine. I was bowled over by the surprise and their generosity.

Hit for six!! In cricket when you score they are referred to as runs. The highest score you can make with a single hit of the ball is a Six. To score a six you must hit it over the playing area without touching the ground. Metaphorically to be Hit for Six means to be affected by something quite devastating or destructive.

Example: He has really been hit for six by the collapse of his company. He was doing so well but the failure of the new product launch cost him a lot of money!

More Information

For more information in English Expressions, English Phrasal Verbs and English Grammar Rules, check ou the following links:

How to talk about Winning in English?

English Sports Idioms

Adjectives that describe people and personality

IELTS Sport Vocabulary

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