Ice Cricket 2018: Game fuses technical aspects in winter version at St Moritz
For a game like cricket which also has many technical aspects such as the ball with a specific weight to the bat size, it was a different challenge when it came to playing at the Ice Cricket 2018 in St Moritz.cricket Updated: Feb 10, 2018 17:05 IST
From playing under the scorching sun in Asia and Australia to dealing with seaming conditions under cloudy skies and on lush green fields in England, the cricket caravan arrived at the Swiss ski resort of St Moritz to show the game can be played on ice too.
For a game with many technical aspects such as the ball with a specific weight to the bat size, it was a different challenge when it came to playing on ice.
To begin with, the frozen lake was mowed to make it appear like a cricket field, and the boundary lines as well as the 30-yard circle were marked in blue. And instead of regular cricket spikes, players wore rubber-spike shoes.
The pink ball
While the bat, gloves, pads and other protection were those used in conventional cricket, the pink ball was specially made by for this event by Spartan. The main difference in the ball used for St Moritz Ice Cricket 2018 and in day-night Tests was that it had a double layer for water resistance.
“The ball is as per international standards. It has Portuguese cork, English leather, and has got a Scotch guard on top of it. When the ball runs on ice, it gets wet and the seam opens up. It was changed every 10 overs on Thursday and only four balls were used in the first match,” said Kamil Khan from Spartan.
It was a matting wicket over a wooden plank. The stumps were supported by springs and rooted to a base, which is why they were never uprooted when hit.
However, there is some room for improvement as the ball didn’t bounce enough on the ice, racing away and making it tough for the players to stop it. Taking catches with the gloves on also is a no-no is normal matches.
Shahid Afridi, who captained Royals, felt the ball was too hard. “The ball can be made lighter for these conditions, and the rolling (of the ice) could be better,” the explosive former Pakistan all-rounder said.
Protection against cold
“I couldn’t feel the bat in my hands when I walked out due to several layers of clothing. Both hands and legs were feeling the chill. If one was running regularly, it was still okay,” Afridi added.
“The players wore three layers,” informed Amit Sharma of Spartan, the equipment supplier for Ice Cricket 2018. “The first layer is inner cottons, then the pollster fleece and on top is water and wind proof (jacket).”
While the second match on Friday saw an equally enthusiastic crowd — mostly Asians — Afridi felt there would have been a bigger turnout had the matches been organised on the weekend.