Well, if you didn’t study in Oak Grove Junior School, you may be scratching your head to come to a conclusion about this term! You must be wondering that you have heard of One Day Cricket, Test Cricket, and latest inclusions like T20 Cricket and T10 Cricket, but what is this ‘BOOK CRICKET’? Relax! As per my knowledge this cricket was neither introduced by MCC nor ICC (World’s two Cricketing Organisations responsible for framing and introducing rules and methods of all kinds of Cricket).

After Summer Vacation, when we reported back at school, ‘Fog’ would have already entered Oak Grove to greet us with damp atmosphere. July and August were rainy months during our stay at Oak Grove. Most of the time, we were asked to stay in the classes during play time. Some of us used to complete our written work and others were involved in gossiping, painting or any other hobby work. I remember when I was in Class IV, one of our classmates introduced Book Cricket in our class. He asked me If I was interested in playing cricket. I replied yes, but the question was how to play and where to play? It was raining heavily and there was no chance to go out and play. It was then he opened a book and we I took out my rough notebook for scoring. He introduced the rules of this Book Cricket game. Following were the rules as per my classmate:

  • Make any team consisting of 11 players.
  • Randomly open the book every time a ball is considered to be bowled.
  • Before opening the book, the batting side player has to mention which side of page- Right Side or Left Side.
  • One’s place of Page Numbers be considered as runs. For example: If Page Number 32 was opened then you score 2 runs as ‘2’ was at One’s place.
  • If you get 20 or 27, 28, 29 then you are out as 0 is considered OUT , 7,8,9 were also considered OUT for our game.(Being out on 7,8,9 may vary from game to game.)
  • When all 11 players are given OUT, then total it and a target is set for opposing team.
  • In same manner, they also bat by opening the book randomly.

After playing this Book Cricket in games time, I became so addicted that even during Prep Times I started playing. It was really fun filled game. I loved this game for one more reason and that was being a bowler, I wasn’t handy at batting. So for me, scoring runs in this game gave me a virtual confidence. Even boys who were not good at playing cricket took lots of interest in this game of cricket. Many a times, we were caught by the M.O.D. as we played in Prep Time. But we never gave up. And the best thing was we didn’t need a bat, ball, players, ground, etc. Above all you don’t need skills. All you need is luck in your favour.

I wonder if Book Cricket is still prevalent at Oak Grove. May be with different rules. All batches must have had their own set of rules to govern Book Cricket.

(This excerpt is from my upcoming book “Life Around An Acorn”.)

– Modassir Mushtaque

This piece was shared by Modassir Mushtaque (School Vice Captain, Patel House Captain & School Cricket Captain, Session 2009-10) on Oct 19, 2019.


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