Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hand cricket

Hand cricket is a form of lazy cricket that I have seen in Bangalore. It may be prevalent in other cities as well, but it was surely was not there while I grew up. (We had something on the lines of book cricket and we used it while away free time in school.)From the looks of it, it seems invented to use in school buses or other areas where there is less space like school benches or queues.

The rules of hand cricket seem complex. But it is simple and quite intuitive. Two boys (and it is usually boys) play something that looks like rapid dumb charades displaying what looks like numbers. The numbers on a closer look mirror the runs in cricket - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Except 6, the rest are quite intuitive. There is a bowler and a batsman - and if their runs match, the batsman gets out - there are but one or two other ways in which a batsman can get out. The boys play this quite rapidly - with the added benefit that their counting ability improves at a rapid rate. The passion of the game is evident in their eyes when they play. It is tough to put it in words, but it is truly amazing to see them play.

The side benefits are many, but thats for later.

What is really is amazing the speed at which they pick up this game at about age 6 mostly. Really quick learning - barely a day is required for them to pick it up and hit the ground running (or gesturing). They play the game all the way till they reach school and presumably in school as well when they get some time. They have entire "tournaments" based on this.

Learning happens when it is of great interest in a peer group. Competitive learning comes into action as well. Great to see it in action. Can actually be tapped in real life training programs, eh?

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