The English Cricket Board (ECB) today released details of its new, relevant, accessible version of cricket, to be known as Café Hit-a-Ball. The game is essentially the same as that which has been played over several centuries, but with technical terms made more easily comprehensible to the un-cricketed.
New, relevant, accessible terms include the hitty-stick (bat), ball-wanger (bowler), target-sticks (wicket), hitter (batsman), team-turn (innings), grassy rectangle (crease), ball-wanging-turn (over), point (run) and woot-woot-off-the-field (boundary).
Instead of incomprehensible genuflections from an umpire, details of scoring and other decisions will be displayed via Powerpoint on a big screen. In Comic Sans.
The ECB was advised by the Church of England’s Fresh Expressions team after their success in using everyday language in what used to be called church services in order to make them accessible. “Cricket seems so irrelevant to most people, with its talk of silly-mid-off, twelfth man, maiden overs, centurions, leg slips and so on, and its off-putting use of negative terms such as boundary, crease and out.” explained Miss E Church, ” I mean, Twenty20 was all well and good as a Fresh Expression of cricket, but it still used cricketing terms which put were not comprehensible to people who knew nothing about the game. With our help, we are sure that the ECB can promote cricket as nothing special at all, and an easily-digested part of mainstream culture, accessible to everyone.”
Fresh Expressions are also in talks with the FA about developing Kick-a-ball, the Lawn Tennis Association about Over-the-net-ball, and Downton Abbey’s producers about a new series called Upstairs, Downstairs.
Editor’s note: Church of England clergy at their ordination promise to find ways to ‘proclaim the gospel afresh in each generation’ (and have done so for centuries)