Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stiff Arms and Stiff Upper Lips, or, Why Do they throw the Ball That Way?

OK, before I get any further into this post, allow me to get one thing out of the way. Despite the sub-title of this piece, in cricket the bowler does NOT throw the ball; s/he bowls it. Saying that a bowler throws a ball is actually a criticism of the bowler’s skill, a questioning of the legality of the bowler’s action and a bit of an insult as well.
Not that we have that out of the way, this post will be discussing how one bowls the ball in cricket. This will be a very basic (repeat with me, OCD rules-mongers with spirit levels and tape measures in your pockets: BASIC) explanation. In softball/baseball, the pitcher stands on the pitcher’s mound and throws the ball toward home plate.

Pretty simple. Sure, I know there are some rules to follow as far as keeping one’s foot on the pitching rubber, which way the pitcher goes with the front leg and how much one can or cannot pause once the windup preceding the delivery has started.

In cricket, the act of delivering the ball to the batter is called bowling. OK, OK—let me stop you right there, before the questions rolling around inside your head jingle out through your mouth and onto the ground. I know that cricket bowling looks nothing like what Americans call bowling. But it used to.

Way back in the mists of time, when cricket was first developed, the bowlers did bowl underarm, and the bats looked more like Happy Gilmore’s ginormous putter than today’s cricket bats. If you’ve no idea who Happy Gilmore is and have no desire to go anywhere near an Adam Sandler movie, then think of old cricket bats as being similar to field hockey sticks.

The art of bowling involves the arm and the legs and feet—again similar to baseball. First, let’s look at the arm.

Over the years, bowlers slowly raised their actions-bowling first round arm then over arm. Today, when a bowler bowls the cricket ball, she must her arm straight. Basically, that’s it. Whether you are a fast bowler, running in form the boundary to build up speed and add to your bowling velocity, or you are a spin bowler trotting in from about 10 or 20 feet away, that’s it. Keep your arm straight.

OK, to be exact and rules-mongerish, the international bowler is allowed to straighten the elbow joint 15 degrees. Here’s the exact wording from the International Cricket Council’s rulebook: “Definition of fair delivery - the arm. A ball is fairly delivered in respect of the arm if, once the bowler’s arm has reached the level of the shoulder in the delivery swing, the elbow joint is not straightened partially or completely from that point until the ball has left the hand. This definition shall not debar a bowler from flexing or rotating the wrist in the delivery swing.” (You can refer to the graphics here for what I'm talking about:

I also mentioned the legs and feet. Placement of the foot is as important as baseball. In baseball, if you don’t get it right the pitcher is called for a “balk,” and the batter gets to go to first base. In cricket, something similar applies, except it’s tougher to keep those feet in line when you’re running up like a long jumper and you can’t let your planted foot go beyond a certain point. And the umpire calls a “no ball” and the bowler has to do it again. Again, to quote from the ICC: “5. Fair delivery - the feet. For a delivery to be fair in respect of the feet, in the delivery stride (a) the bowler’s back foot must land within and not touching the return crease appertaining to his stated mode of delivery. (b) the bowler’s front foot must land with some part of the foot, whether grounded or raised (i) on the same side of the imaginary line joining the two middle stumps as the return crease described in (a) above and (ii) behind the popping crease. If the bowler’s end umpire is not satisfied that all of these three conditions have been met, he shall call and signal No ball.”

To see the laws relating to “throwing,” check here:,50,AR.html.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reebok Invests in the Future of U.S. Cricket

My apologies. I have had to temporarily remove this post.

I will have it back up very soon. Probably my the middle of next week ... the first week of April!

I apologize for the inconvenience. I apparently jumped the gun a bit on posting and will let you know as soon as it is back up. Normally I would not likely remove a post, but since this is a personal blog, and the interview subject does need to make sure what he says about his employer's plans and role don't get him into hot water, I have agreed to do so.

Thanks for understanding ... or at least not booing ... and I again apologize. Meanwhile look for more posts this week.

Terry Coffey

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dimensions of Cricket, or, How Big Is It?

The graphic below of a large, green circle with a brownish square in the center is what an actual cricket field looks like. In a two dimensional world with RGB colors assigned, anyway.

Seriously, though, this diagram shows a couple of important facts: Cricket fields are big circles and, in the center, where all the action is, there is a square where there's little or no grass.

You will notice the square in the center of the field is actually made up of several rectangular areas. That is because during a summer of playing, the brownish part where the bowling and batting take place--called the pitch--can get pretty worn out. So, there are several rectangular pitches that can possibly be prepared for use during the season. Just how all that happens isn't really important to us--at least, not right now. Later, when you're a real cricket nerd (or, as the Brits would call you, an "anorak"), we can get more into that stuff.

Here is a graphic of the pitch close up. Notice there is a set of stumps at each end, a batting crease at each end, a bowling crease at each end, and a return crease at each end. This is because the batsmen run back and forth to score runs, and because there are two bowlers taking turns from opposite ends every six balls.

The Batting Crease is what one might call "home" for the batsman. This is where s/he must safely arrive to score a run. If the ball is used to knock the bails off the top of the stumps while the batsman is out of the crease, then that batsman is out. The "Return" crease is where the batsman runs to. The Bowling Crease is where the bowler runs up to deliver the ball to the batsman.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Always a Woman to Me, or, Cricket as a Metaphor (Yes, Another One)

This is International Women’s Day. A perfect day to shine the spotlight on women’s cricket, and dabble in the history of women’s achievements in the Beautiful Game.

My initial plans for this day included dazzling you with scholarly research, David Halberstam-esque keyboard brilliance and pithy comments from women who play and/or follow cricket.

But something happened on my way to thinking about and writing this post. Life got in the way. Life in the form of a three-year-old miracle named Heidi Camille, and her determination to teach me that, whatever I might think, the most important thing in life does not (necessarily) involve a cricket ball. In other words, I was ill-prepared, and grassed it.

Time to pick up the run rate, I thought. I can do this. Social Media will help me!

So I asked friends for comments, and researched some fine articles online about the history of women’s cricket. As I checked my e-mail for any responses, though, it suddenly struck me that my approach to the subject was leaving me cold. And then I realized that, as a blogger, my responsibility is different from my days as a public radio journalist and magazine writer/editor. My responsibility still involves the truth; but now it involves the essential truths that often exist outside the finite boundaries of facts and figures. And the essential truth is that women’s cricket means more to me now than it ever could have before, because Heidi’s lovely mother lost her mental faculties to such an appalling extent that she married me. And has introduced me to the strongest woman I am ever likely to know. My daughter.

I have known strong women in my time. Strong women got me through college, and taught me that the female sex isn’t there for my amusement or to make me feel better about myself. They taught me, in fact, that holding such attitudes could lead to quite drastic consequences. I like strong women. My wife is one of them—do not mess with her or her little girl: she will take names, as the saying goes.

There’s also an old saying that dynamite comes in small packages, and, friends, let me say here and now that could have been written specifically about Heidi. She is like a ray of sunshine with a large dash of jalapeno pepper. Often in my first years as her dad I have felt like Icarus to her golden sun, making too many assumptions and trying to force her to do or be something in which she had no interest. Careful, Daddy, your wax is melting.

But even singed fathers—oops, I mean, feathers—can soar, given the right conditions. And there have been times I have soared beyond my wildest dreams—soared into love’s blue sky, ached with love’s wind shears, floated on love’s clouds of contentment. I will not continue in this vein by saying my little girl is the wind beneath my wings. How dreadfully disrespectful and haughty that would be. I’m just there, along for the ride, making sure she has a safe and loving place in which to grow up, so when she is ready she can unleash herself upon an unsuspecting world.

Despite what I have always told myself, only by having a daughter could I have come to find any mote of understanding about why it is important that one’s sex not determine one’s future opportunities (or lack thereof). Only by having a daughter could I have truly discovered how important it is for us as a world to stop thinking about women as anything less than fully equal and self-expressive human beings who are actually smarter and more together than any men I know. Only by having a daughter could I have begun recognizing what the politics of sex (or gender, if you will) can mean for someone who is simply a human being who happens to be a woman. And only by getting to know this particular daughter could I have seen just how amazing and wonderful and smart and tough a woman can be—even at three and a half!

So, what does all of this have to do with women’s cricket? Everything. Women’s cricket has a rich history with accomplishments to rival or surpass anything the men’s game has produced. For instance, did you know that the first player to record both a century and 10 wickets in a Test match was a woman? Betty Wilson accomplished that feat against England at the MCG in 1958. Following are some more historical firsts and bests for women, quoted directly from the Wikipedia entry on the history of women’s cricket:

‘Women have beaten male teams to several milestones in one day cricket. They were the first to play an international Twenty/20 match, England taking on New Zealand at Hove in 2004. The first tie in a one day international was also between Women's teams, hosts New Zealand tying the first match of the World Cup in 1982 against England, who went on to record another tie against Australia in the same competition. Female wicket keepers were the first to record 6 dismissals in a one day international, New Zealand's Sarah Illingworth and India's Venkatacher Kalpana both accounting for 6 batsman on the same day in the 1993 World Cup and Belinda Clark, the former Australian captain, holds the record for the most runs in a one day career with 4844. Pakistan's Sajjida Shah is the youngest player to appear in international cricket, playing against Ireland four months after her 12th birthday. She also holds the record for the best bowling figures in a one day international, taking 7 wickets for just 4 runs against Japan Women at the Sportpark Drieburg in Amsterdam in 2003.”

So, will my little girl grow up to play cricket? I have no idea. Will she grow up to be a fan of cricket? I hope she does, but I learned early on in this journey that my thoughts really don’t matter. She will make up her own mind, based on the evidence at hand, no matter what daddy thinks.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In the end, I guess what I am saying is this: Sure, men and women are different. That isn’t the point. The point is we are all equal human beings. So, isn’t it time we started treating men’s and women’s cricket equally, with equal funding support, equal fan support, equal amateur and professional opportunities, equal media attention and equal pay?

After all, when my little girl—and I suspect your little girl as well, if you have one—grows up, there won’t be a choice in the matter. She’ll—they’ll—be there, doing it—whatever that “it” means. Despite the best efforts of some of our politicians in this world, women’s rights have gotten through the boring middle overs and we’re into the power play. The days of small-minded thinking, discrimination, arguing over sexual/gender politics and the digging in of heels are disappearing over the boundary rope, hit for six by women like I hope and feel my own daughter will grow up to be.

Young women around the world are padding up and heading for the crease. Small-minded thinkers have to take the umpire’s decision and walk. If you don’t like it the exit door is right over there, and our miraculous daughters are holding the door.

And we shouldn’t have it any other way.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Team USA Hopes to Ride Fitness and Young Talent to T20 World Cup Tournament

This week, Team U.S.A. is off to participate in a qualifying tournament for the 2012 World Cup. That’s not news that would stand out to most Americans. We send national teams to tournaments all the time. What would be news to most Americans, however, is that the team in question is the United States Cricket Team, which is off to the United Arab Emirates this week for the International Cricket Council’s T20 World Cup qualifying tournament. The tournament is for so-called “associate nations,” like the United States, that do not have full international status with cricket’s governing body, the ICC. The top two teams out of this tournament will compete in the T20 World Cup later this year.

“One of the biggest challenges our team faces is the unknown, in terms of expectations,” according to Team U.S.A. Captain Sushil Nadkarni. “Going into this big tournament, we have a lot of high expectations from our fans here in the United States, and we have certain challenges because we’re coming off a winter season here, and we haven’t gotten much cricket under our belts.”

Nadkarni, 35, is an all-rounder who will open the batting and also bowls right-handed off-spin. An environmental consultant, he grew up in Mumbai, India, where he was part of India’s national under-19 squad and was one of India’s brightest young cricketers before immigrating to the United States. He was named to captain the U.S. side after the previous captain, Steve Massiah, was arrested in December 2011 for alleged mortgage fraud.

Even without Massiah’s arrest, it has been a tough year for U.S. cricket. The U.S. team was relegated from Division 3 to Division 4 last year after a poor showing in the World Cricket League tournament. Add to that recent political controversies over the leadership and operation of the United States of America Cricket Association, and you have a recipe for disaster. But Nadkarni is confident that the United States can make waves in the T20 qualifier, and remains focused on tournament preparations.

“We are trying to make as much use of the limited resources we have available right now,” Nadkarni says. “We have fitness regimes for each player; we have conference calls, talking to each other, exchanging ideas; we have research going on into our opponents. Almost every opponent we go up against would feel that they probably have an edge over us, but I feel like we are ready to surprise some teams there.”

Part of the reason for that surprise is the young age of the squad. The United States is sending a young team to the UAE. The youngest player is 18 years old, and the average age of the team is about 27, which Nadkarni sees as a strong point not only for the future, but also for this tournament.

“We have a young and fit team. As a unit I feel like we are really strong on the field, and we are fit. I think that’s our strength because T20 is faced paced cricket, and the game changes in a matter of an over or two, so the young legs and the fit legs will help us immensely.”

Nadkarni’s view is shared by the team’s vice-captain, Aditya Mishra.

“This is a very new U.S. team and I think a very good one,” Mishra says, adding “it will be a challenge as far as how we can work together and deliver the results, and understand each other well.”

Mishra, like Nadkarni, is an Indian-born cricketer who immigrated to the United States and eventually found himself back on the pitch and representing his new country. The 30-year-old all-rounder was born in New Delhi. A right-handed bat who bowls leg break googlys and likes to field close to the bat, Mishra’s experience includes playing for Karnataka in India before coming to the United States. In preparing for the tournament, he, too, believes that fitness and youth will be a key for U.S. success. But it’s more than physical fitness which Mishra finds important. It is also mental fitness and toughness.

“I have reached out to some of my old coaches in first class in India I record myself and send my vides—make sure that I’m still batting at a level that is required to succeed at the international level. I’ve been focusing to do well against teams like Ireland, Afghanistan, teams that do well at that level.”

Focus and fitness. They are two words which crop up quite frequently in talking to Mishra and to Nadkarni. Focus and fitness. Take care of those things, Nadkarni says, and the cricket talent will take care of itself.

“As they say, form is temporary but class is permanent. The one thing that differentiates the U.S. team is fitness.” Nadkarni points out that tournaments like the World Cup Qualifier force teams to play back-to back-games.

“In this case we’re going to play about 10 games back to back, which will bring out the fitness level of our team, and all the other teams as well. If we as a team have been sincere about preparing for the fitness level, the skills will sort themselves out. One you get into a high intensity situation on the field, the skill levels are already there for the players. It is the fitness levels which will pretty much dictate our successes in this tournament.”

And in talking with both Nadkarni and Mishra, one also gets the idea that success is expected, whatever might be going on off the pitch.

“In a T20 game, if you have a few players who can have a good day, you can put the other team under a lot of pressure,” says Mishra. “I think we have those players in our team who can, on their day, destroy any opposition.”

“The T20 format is one where I think we would back ourselves,” agrees Nadkarni, “because it is fast-paced and we have some strong kids in the team. We have at least six or seven guys that are match winners, so if they come through and play to their full potential, it will be good for the team.”

That’s not to say, however, that Team U.S.A. is entering this tournament with false expectations.

“All the teams that are in this tournament are there for a reason,” Nadkarni admits. “No team can be taken lightly. We consider ourselves the underdog in every game. That’s the position I’d like to start with. We know what our strengths are, and have confidence in our own abilities, so we just want to come out and surprise some teams.”

Even though, as Nadkarni says, every team has earned its place in the tournament, Nadkarni and Mishra agree that teams with One Day International status, such as Ireland and Afghanistan, are going to be the biggest challenges for Team U.S.A., which finds itself in Group B, along with Ireland,  Kenya, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, Italy and Uganda.

“I think Ireland is the toughest in our group,” says Mishra. “Their skill level is high, they are a fit side. However, I think we can do well against them. “We just need our big players to do well and we can give a very good fight.”

The team’s first goal is to be one of the top three teams in the first round, so they can move to the playoff stage. If they finish in the top two there, then they will be off to the ICC’s T20 World Cup tournament later this year, to play against the top level teams in the world.

Team U.S.A.’s quest to make it to the T20 World Cup begins in earnest 13 March with a match against Uganda at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in Sharjah.

TEAM USA First Round Schedule:
-13 March: Uganda v United States, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
-14 March: Italy v United States, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
-15 March: Namibia v United States, ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground No 2, Dubai
-16 March: Ireland v United States, ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground No 2, Dubai
-18 March: Oman v United States, Dubai In2ternational Cricket Stadium, Dubai
-19 March: Kenya v United States, Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
-20 March: Scotland v United States, ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground No 2, Dubai

TEAM USA Personnel*
Sushil Nadkarni, left-handed batsman, right-handed off-spin bowler
Aditya Mishra, right-handed batsman, right-handed leg break bowler
Gowkaran Roopnarine, left-handed batsman
Adil Bhatti, right-handed batsman, right-handed fast-medium bowler
Steven Taylor, left-handed batsman, left-handed off break bowler
Orlando Baker, wicketkeeper, right-handed batsman, right-handed medium bowler
Nauman Mustafa, wicketkeeper, right-handed batsman
Asif Khan, right-handed batsman, right-handed off break bowler
Ryan Corns, right-handed batsman, right-handed off break bowler
Elmore Hutchinson, right-handed batsman, left-handed fast-medium bowler
Andy Mohammed, left-handed batsman, left-handed off break bowler
Muhammad Ghous, right-handed batsman, right-handed off break bowler
Abhimanyu Rajp, right-handed batsman, right-handed off break bowler
Usman Shuja, right-handed batsman, right-handed fast-medium bowler

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Kids are All Right, or, Promoting the Game

No matter who I talk to about the state of cricket in the United States, the conversation always seems to boil down to agreement that the sport’s governing body here—the United States of America Cricket Association—has grassed it. In-fighting, incompetence, possible corruption, power struggles—you name it, we have it.
But look around the game. As rosy-spectacled as I am about cricket, even I can see that every country and board has problems. Whether you’re talking about Giles Clark and the ECB, the decline and fall of West Indies, the ham-handed and power-mad BCCI, spot-fixing scandals or the fact that nobody will even go to Pakistan to play cricket, it’s easy to see that there are more than enough problems out there to go around. The problems here in the United States do feel worse to me because they have hindered the development of the game. In all the above-mentioned situations, the fans are cricket-mad and the sporting press actually realizes that cricket exists.
When the International Cricket Council unfavorably compares our country’s cricket program to China’s, it says a lot about just how bad things are … at least it does to Americans.
But talking about it and arguing all day accomplish nothing. The game’s the thing, with apologies to that fine bowler of off-breaking verse and middle-order playwright Will Shakespeare. We need to just move on and make it so the incompetent officials don’t matter. And how do we do that? Again, when you bring this up, almost everybody says the same thing: “You’ve got to get the kids playing, and at a young age.”
Jatin Patel of Indianapolis, Indiana, is one of those people saying that kids playing cricket is at least part of the answer to growing the sport in the United States. And he’s not just talking—he’s doing something about it. In 2010, Patel and Jamie Harrison of Maryland formed the United States Youth Cricket Association. Concurrently, Patel founded Indiana Cricket, which is a member of the USYCA. These not-for-profit organizations have one main goal.
“Indiana cricket and USYCA want to take cricket into the schools, and bring more American-born kids to the game,” according to Patel. “Cricket has mostly been played by immigrants, and we do not expect American kids to come out and watch them to learn game. But by taking it to the teachers in schools, kids can see the game, and start learning and playing cricket.”
Indiana Cricket and the USYCA do this by providing free cricket equipment and coaching. So far, nine Indiana schools have received kit and coaching, and started their cricket programs, with about 14 more at some stage of the process.
“There is no age limit,” according to Patel, “but our primary focus is on young kids so we can develop them better for the future of USA cricket.
“Training teachers is also a perfect idea, because teachers will train kids for many years to come.”
Before moving to the United States, Patel played at all higher levels including Inter-College and University and Regional teams. He also had a 1st Coaching certification in India. He also possesses a National (US) D soccer coaching license, is a certified High school soccer and volleyball official, and coached high school soccer for six years. So teaching cricket to youngsters is nothing new for him.
“I start my sessions with the sports they know and skills they posses,” he says of his style of introducing teachers and kids to a game that can become very complicated very quickly. “Within 45 minutes to an hour I guide them to start playing cricket – on their own. No talks, no explanations. My idea is to let them play, as experience is the best teacher.”
Patel then fine tunes basic skills as they practice, and also makes sure that the players are enjoying the game and having fun. And, Patel says, they do have fun once they are introduced to cricket.
“When you show them the flat, wide cricket bats they have more confidence in their hitting ability than they do in baseball,” according to Patel, who also says the kids really seem to enjoy the running back and forth between the wickets to score. “I’ve noticed they like to have the bat in their hand and extend it to make it their home for runs scored.”
Even though we adults typically talk about how complicated cricket is—and perhaps reveal our own fears about why the game won’t succeed in the US—Patel says kids he works with actually say cricket is an easy game. They like being able to hit the ball anywhere, and being able to keep batting and scoring as many runs as they can.
Efforts like this are excellent proof that there are people out there who care about growing the sport in the United States. The experience of those who lead such programs also shows that, when they are exposed to cricket, American kids like it and want to play and see more of it.
And that is precisely what we need.

For more information, go to or e-mail; nationally, go to

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What It Was, Was Cricket, Part 2, or more Q & A on the basics

I see you're back from your beer break. Ready for more cricket learnin'? From your blank stare I'll guess the answer is yes. So, fire away!

Q: The field is one big circle shape-roughly. In baseball, there are foul lines. What's a foul in cricket?
A: There isn't one in that sense. The batsman can hit the ball anywhere, in any direction, and get runs.

Q: I guess that explains why all those guys are standing behind the batsman, but not many are in front. So what do you call the fielding positions?
A: Um, next question, please.
Q: No, seriously, I want to know what you call the fielding positions!
A: No, seriously, you don't. At least not yet. Suffice to say that the positions aren't set in stone--in other words, they don’t always have to be used. In baseball you always have a shortstop or a right fielder, or a first baseman, and they typically stay in the same place. In cricket, the captain of the team can shift his fielders around all over the place, and not pay attention to have to have someone in a particular position.

Q: Ouch! That’s gonna leave a mark! Why was that fielder standing five feet from the batsman! If he keeps doing that he’s gonna have an exciting life, or get hit a lot more times in some interesting places. That's kind of silly, isn't it?
A: Funny you should say that. Oh, sorry. Inside joke for which you are not yet ready. Next!

Q: Does the ball have to bounce before the batsman can hit it?
A: No, he or she can also hit it before it bounces.

Q: Hey, who are those two guys wearing white lab coats? Are they conducting some kind of experiment about how much boredom a stadium full of people can stand before they storm the field and play paddy whack on some players’ heads?
A: Those are the umpires. And never mind what they are wearing—you look like Larry the Cable Guy after being rescued from a burning pickup truck. And this isn’t boring. You’re just trying to absorb too much at once.

Q: So why is the umpire pointing at the sky? And why is the batsman walking away?
A: That's the way of signaling someone is out.

Q: But the ball didn't hit the stumps. It hit the batsman in that ginormous pad on his leg.
A: That is true. But, in the umpire's opinion, had the ball not hit the batsman's leg pad, it would have gone on a hit the stumps, so the umpire is giving him out Leg Before Wicket (LBW).

Q: OK, that's weird.
A: OK, that's not a question.

Q: Put your finger down. I'll ask a question. Explain that bit again.
A: Imagine in baseball if a batter leans into a ball and it hits him. If they were playing by cricket rules, the umpire could call him out because the ball would have gone on to cross the plate and be a strike.

Q: OK, whatever. Why did the ball bounce away from the batsman so drastically? Was that a curve ball?
A: There are four types of balls bowled in cricket. One is the equivalent of the fastball; another is the equivalent of the change-up...just a variation in speeds. A third ball swings in the air, like a curve ball. The fourth general type is a spinning ball, which does what you just described ... it was spinning out of the bowler's hand, and spat away from the batsman (in this case-it can also go toward the bowler).

Q: Does the same bowler bowl all types of balls?
A: No, Typically there are specialist spin bowlers, bowlers who swing the ball in the air, guys who throw the heat, and guys who change speeds well. But a bowler USUALLY only does one type of bowling. And I'm being general again. There are many rules on arm angle, foot placement, etc., and variations on the above balls. But we're keeping it simple.

Q: You keep saying that. Oh, look, everyone's walking off. Is the game over?
A: No, it is lunch time. They'll come back on and play until time to eat again at teatime. Then after that they'll play a while longer until the umpires say play is stopped for the day. Of course if this were a Limited Overs match, then it likely would be over, or at least half over.

Q: I need a drink.
A: That's what you Americans are always saying. Are you sure you aren't really Australians who emigrated?