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Match fixing in book cricket

by Bored Member

By Scorpicity

After VM's take on paper ball cricket and Ankit's guidelines on gully cricket, I decided to let out the last version of cricket which I played, thus completing all the nostalgic action on cricket from my childhood days.

Ta.da... Presenting the unassailable book cricket!

It all goes back to my childhood studying in the 6th grade where boring math classes forced us to indulge in our favourite pastime. Our math teacher was a good teacher, however she was very fast in her didactical progress and therefore I often got lost to a point where I gave up listening to her. She assumed that since the brighter lads had it figured out, the rest of the class also did. My maths teacher could have been a great cricket player for one valid reason. She could wield the cane with deft precision and power. There are many teachers who often miss with the extended hands (ball) of some students being whisked away on time anticipating the pain but oh no, not this one! Her backlift could put Brian Lara to shame and when it came crashing down, there was never a miss nor an edge... sweetly timed onto the meat of your palm.... reverse swing, inswing, whichever damm way someone tries to move his hand (ball) away, she always watched it like a hawk.

So now that leaves us with the thickest textbook available at that point in school... the dreaded maths book. I don't think there is any need to explain book cricket in detail. In short, it worked on probability and the player has to randomly open the pages of the book. The last digit of the page numbers were considered the scoring runs with numbers like 5, 7.8 and 9 being 'no runs' and with 0 being the dreaded ball where you are out. This game was a rage in school and the first corrupt seeds of match fixing prevailed on me at an early age, where soon I became the undisputed champion of book cricket.

How I fixed it was simple... after the first 50 odd pages, I tore away all the pages with 0 in it and that gave me the leverage of playing extremely well because of the knowledge of the conditions. It got my classmates pissed off because they could never figure out how I kept winning all the time and they never would have imagined anyone tearing off key pages of a textbook! So I lived to become a book cricket legend!

Phew... now that's a whole lot out of my chest!

I never got caught playing this game during the maths class and I closest I got was when one day while she was correcting the submitted homeworks, she caught me rapidly opening my math text book and scribbling something on my notebook. So she came to be and said

Teacher: “What do you think you are doing”

Me: (no response) (gulp!)

She examines my notebook and see it filled with different scores, numbers all over.

Teacher: Are you taking a random problem from your book and solving it? Rapid maths practice?

Me: yes ma'am.


Trideep said...

I was about to write about the same book cricket that u are talking about.

straight point said...

solvng random problem...hahaha scorpy...

good piece down the memory lane...

Viswanathan said...

Scorpi, you cheat.:)

Anil Singh said...

We played a similar game; only difference is that yours is more evolved.

Our simple format gave each player a definite no. of book opening opportunities and without differentiating b/w nos., we simply added the unit place digit of the number on the right or left page(as decided before each game).

So technically we played street cricket, where all the players play individually;one by one.

But we never limited ourselves to the maths book, any book could do the purpose; the reason being we were never afraid of our teachers;

Here we were like Australians. :)

The teacher is teaching for his o her satisfaction; so need not to bother...

Scorpicity said...

Trideep... it was so infectious that game... I wonder if today's kids play it at school.

Scorpicity said...

Sp...I couldn't believe when she told me that... I thought she was messing with me, setting me up for the kill... she just left :)

Scorpicity said...

Otts... i had to... peer pressure ....forgive me.

Scorpicity said...

Bisht... an infectious game indeed... btw... bisht, how do i post a comment on your blog. I don't see any provision... do let me know.

Anil Singh said...

It's surprising Scorpy, but from the past one month; I'm getting one mail a day which asks me the same question; Although initially I disabled commenting for some time; but I've enabled it long ago; still I'll definitely probe into this again and if problem persists take expert help. Thank you for your query :)

Anonymous said...

i was good at the game. 2 times runners up in the world championships in my school :)

Gaurav Sethi said...

Scorpi -kickass stuff man. You're the Bookie of Book Cricket.

Laughed a lot, really did.

Ok, now for confession: was a relentless book cricketer - it's that kinda game, no half measures, and there's only one pace -t20ish, flipping those pages like some chinese invasion. Tho cheat i never did, and if anyone stooped 2 yr level, i'd throw the rule book at them.

and the rules -eh, similar to yrs, except odd numbers were 1 run.

And what teams did you play guys?
Did I say, scorpi, you won by book and crook.
cheers, you're booked.

Gaurav Sethi said...

must add, you also won by hook and book.

AB - at yr blog, i'm speechless too. what's with the comments?

Scorpicity said...

bisht... thxs... now I see that link which has eluded me for the last few months... am adding you to my roll in cricketfizz if I havn't already.

Scorpicity said...

Welcome Buzz... will check out arm ball... a nice addition to our blogging family. Added you to my roll in cricketfizz.

Two times champion eh!! So it looks like a showdown for the best of three finals in book cricket between you and me.

Now, if only I remember where I kept my killer book!

Scorpicity said...

NC... no teams... normally we were too lazy to have an organized scorecard but anyway looks like book cricket is an unofficial national game.

BTW NC, it would be nice, if you can allow non-google users to post comments... i.e enable that name/url option.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Scorpi - wasn't aware that protocol didn't exist.
Say how, it'll be done. Everybody must comment. Or we'll lament.

Ankit Poddar said...


ahh, took me three minutes to stop laughing when you compared your maths teacher to a lara, cause i suffered to the hands of my english mam...

and yeah i can't reprimand you like the rest for cheating.. i had developed my own way, back then..

what i did was as follows..

we had to get our own bats (books) for the game (a rule that i propagated in my school, before that books were considered to be pitches, same for every batsman.)

i used to slightly tear off a few pages where the unit's place had 4 or 6, and fold the portion that was previously stitched to the book,

(which would mean the right side of the page, page that fell on the left side of the book..)

so i could feel the dog marks on that page..

of course, i scored more runs than a lot of my peers, but unlike you i faced a risk of getting out..

Anonymous said...

Can never forget book cricket from school days. I have another related story on such games - need to find some time to write it. Meanwhile, what an ingenious idea of removing all the pages from the maths text. I had a different mechanism, I dog-eared a few of the 6 and 8 ending pages - in my case it was the Chemistry book (at least in 12th std). To simulate realism, I would sometimes open one of the other pages, but only after each of my batsmen got a decent score. Strangely, it was Azhar who often got out early - I had very little sympathy for him at that time. It took a while for my friend to figure this out soon but she soon followed suit. :)

We had different kinds of matches - sometimes internations, sometimes India As vs. India Bs, Tests, ODIs, you name it. In this case of India A and B, we would have a toss for team selection. Whoever won the toss picked each of their player first.

Thanks Scorpy for bringing this up. Brought a lot of lovely memories.

Scorpicity said...

you too Ankit!

I left the first 50 pages undoctured so I can simulate some believable scores and lose some wickets cheaply :). Sometimes, my classmates would accuse my book to be rigged and would want to bat with it and they still end up on the loosing side.

Scorpicity said...

VM... more match fixers coming clean eh! All I know was that my motivation was often the canteen samosas the loosing guys buy for me.

sraghuna said...

Ingenuity thy name is nek'kid'!I must say that I preferred our Hindi or Sanskrit text for Book cricket for 2 reasons. One, there was always a debate regarding what page values the devanagri script denoted & usually the most cussed debater(moi) one by the sheer dint of force. Two, the sheer pleasure of defacing books devoted to these abhorred subjects was reward enough!

Anonymous said...

Welcome raghuna to the BCCI!

LOL... devangiri script... my hindi book was perhaps the newest looking text book... I hardly touched it.