Indoor Cricket Overview
What is indoor cricket?
Indoor cricket virtually speaks for itself. It is the cool cousin of outdoor cricket played in either a 6 or 8 a-side format which takes place in a covered rectangular court that is normally enclosed in tightly tensioned netting.
In its current form, the sport was conceived in Western Australia in the 1970s during the upheaval of the World Series era, torrential rain and a desire to keep players busy in the off-season. Since then, the sport has not looked back, growing in huge popularity in Australia and subsequently in Britain, New Zealand and South Africa with 7 World Cups held since 1995 (Australia unsurprisingly have won every one!).
Asian countries have been slower to embrace the sport possibly because of the prevalence of street or 'galli' cricket. Sri Lanka was the first to take it up, hosting the 2004 Indoor Cricket World Cup and now there are indoor centres springing up all over the sub-continent. So indoor cricket is beginning to make its mark in the test-playing nations – now it's time for the rest of the world to catch up!
Why Indoor Cricket?
It's simple. Indoor cricket is played under shade. Singapore's weather is either extremely hot or wet. The former is a deterrent for some while the latter is the universal bane of cricket. In the tropics, once it rains, even when it does stop, resuming play might not be possible. Up to 4 months a year are affected by the monsoon season. The beauty of indoor cricket is that the venues are well ventilated and cool, the weather can never have an affect on the game and you can play it 24/7.
Indoor cricket is accessible. Outdoor cricket in Singapore suffers from a chronic shortage of pitches. With land so scarce here, a cricket ground is a luxury not everyone can access. This means the few existing pitches are over-burdened and league teams have inconsistent schedules, playing regularly at times, being inactive at others. Because of all this, social teams have even less opportunity to play and with the relatively large numbers of cricketers in Singapore, many people are deprived of playing the game they love. The cost of indoor cricket is far less than a normal outdoor game.
A typical Indoor match lasts about an hour, so many games can be played in a short space of time. This is in stark contrast to an outdoor match which lasts anywhere between 3-8 hours and that's not even taking into account travel time and any post-match drinks. Many professionals do not want to spend that much time on a weekend when they may have family, work or social commitments as well. Indoor cricket allows you to get your 'fix' and still leave plenty of time to do everything else. This works perfectly with the recent trend of shorter versions of the game such as Twenty20 as people now expect instant gratification. Bite-sized cricket is the way to go!
Indoor cricket lends itself well to the beginner or younger player. The ball used is softer than a normal cricket ball so injuries are less of a concern. The skill-set required is more basic and the rules are easier to pick up. Everyone gets to bat and bowl in indoor cricket - even if a player is 'out', he or she continues to bat till the allotted overs elapse. This appeals to beginners and pros alike, especially younger players who like to be a part of the action all the time! As the game is inherently a great leveller, it also means that anyone can take up indoor cricket – young, old, men, women. Mixed matches are common in Australia. You don't have to be a big hitter or an express paceman to be effective at indoor cricket. And that's what makes it such a fantastic, social sport. Yet it can also be taken up a notch to become competitive, if required.
While you don't have to be fit in indoor cricket, fielding is one of the features of the game, both from a player's perspective and a spectator's because of the close proximity of fielders. The game is therefore always active, and it is rare for there not to be either a score or wicket on each and every ball bowled.
So you play in pleasant conditions, for about an hour and get to be involved during the entire match. It may be an intense sport but the socialising afterwards is always fun. What's there not to love about Indoor Cricket?!
Indoor Cricket in Singapore
Singapore's first-ever Indoor Cricket League started in October 2009 with 12 teams at Sports Planet, East Coast Parkway. 2010 saw the addition of the Seasoned Pro Indoor Cricket Weekday League at the Cage and we were honoured to have former Sri Lankan captain, Marvan Atapattu, launch this new league. Former New Zealand captain, Ken Rutherford, has also been a participant in the Weekday League.
The Singapore Cricket Association has fully endorsed us and we have been featured on Channel 5's Sports@SG show as well as SportsCenter on ESPN. We also do indoor cricket birthday parties, corporate events and tournaments.