Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Howzat! A cricket-to-baseball glossary

Al Jazeera America's short guide to googlies, chuckers and a few things in between

With ESPN about to start airing live games from the Indian Premier League, Al Jazeera America has taken the time to provide a concise cricket-to-baseball explainer to help confused American sports fan decipher some of the commentary.

wicket — Bits of woods sticking out of the ground at which a hard ball is thrown; alternatively, the pitch or state of the pitch; also, rather confusingly, the innings of a batsman.

Nearest baseball equivalent (NBE): Take your pick — catcher’s glove, the space between the mound and the batter, one at bat.


sticky wicket — A difficult pitch producing uneven bounce; a metaphor for a real-life situation fraught with difficulty.

NBE: Curve ball, as in “Sometimes life throws you a …”


Howzat? — Contraction of “How was that, umpire?” Usually screamed when fielding players believe a batsman is out or when they don’t think he is out but hope they can hoodwink the umpire into believing that he is.

NBE: “Open your eyes, blue!”


corridor of uncertainty — A somewhat notional area in which a ball occasionally disobeys the laws of physics, leaving the batsman at a loss as to what to do.

NBE: A pickle.


tea – Brownish liquid provided to players for refreshment; a 20-minute break in play to provide for such refreshment.

NBE: Performance enhancing drugs.


sledging — Verbal abuse, often profane or psychologically damaging, intended to intimidate a batsman. Delivered by opposing team members with the aim of reducing batsman to tears, mental breakdown or simply giving up his wicket to get away from it all.

NBE: Heckling.


googly, also wrong'un — Deceptive spin ball that breaks in the opposite direction of usual delivery.

NBE: A screwball.


chucker — An illegal bowler who throws the ball with a bent elbow.

NBE: Just your bog-standard pitcher, then.


pie chucker — A bowler whose deliveries are so poor that batsman can easily score (from the flight of the ball, resembling that of a pie being thrown in the air).

NBE: The Mets bullpen.


to walk — To take yourself out of the game when you know yourself to be out rather than wait for a decision from the umpire.

NBE: No such equivalent exists. Chivalry has never existed in the American game.


It’s not cricket — Phrase to imply something is unacceptable or just not done.

NBE: Baseball.


Al Jazeera

Related News

Find Al Jazeera America on your TV

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter


Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter