When you’re posted overseas you need to learn the local customs, language and slang terms in order to make your way around and represent your country to the greatest degree possible. One of the quickest ways to accomplish all those things – without being stuck in an office – is get involved in the national sports of that country.
Sports has a long history of bringing people together in the spirit of friendly (i.e., non-lethal) competition. The Olympic Games were started in ancient Greece around 776 BC, give or take a few years, and with some interruptions have continued for centuries since then. During the Games, even mortal enemies have been known to set aside their differences in order to attend and compete.
Sports Help You at Work
Sports are also an excellent way to stay in shape. Representing your country is a privilege, one you should take pride in by staying fit so you can put your best foot forward. The exercise on the sporting field stimulates mental activity as well as helping you to maintain emotional balance. This is especially important during stressful negotiations and talks.
Don’t forget to take plenty of post workout supplements after each practice session or game. Your body needs proteins provided by supplements help build strong muscles and stay healthy so you can carry out your duties.
Try Indoor Cricket to Learn About Your Counterparts
One of the sports you should look into is indoor cricket, assuming you’re posted in a country where the game is popular. (Hint: it’s growing in popularity all over the world)
You can learn more about your foreign counterparts by challenging them to a fast and furious game of indoor cricket than practically any other way except marrying them. Get out there on the pitch, hit some balls, make some runs, and when everyone is hot and sweaty from a good game, throw them some Rocky Balboa quotes and watch their reactions.
Anyone who agrees that you make progress, “One step at a time, one punch at a time, one round at a time,” is someone you can work with. You can get things done with a person like that.
Learn the Game
Of course, before you learn about your counterparts you’re going to have to learn the game of cricket, the indoor variety that is. Unless you’re willing to look silly out there on the pitch and give them the opportunity to “teach you” as a means of building rapport, you need to at least read up on the rules of the game before trying to play it.
Like all physical sports, there is safety equipment in cricket, whether outdoor or indoor. You’ll need:
- An abdominal guard sometimes referred to as a “box” is required for the male players. The only exception is the bowler.
- Batting gloves are required for the batsmen, mainly to keep the bat from slipping out of their hands. Cricket is a sweaty sport and the bat handle can get quite slippery. Gloves keep it under the batsman’s control.
- Safety glasses are optional but recommended.
There are more injuries in indoor than in outdoor cricket because the ball and fielders are closer together. It is played fast and hard with plenty of chances for high-speed collisions between players.
The length of the pitch is the same as the conventional outdoor pitch, with 3 stumps at the end. Safety netting is installed a few meters from each side of it and past each end. The field is usually artificial grass or grass matting – astroturf.
Each game is played between 2 teams, composed of 8 players. Each player must complete a certain number of ball overs and bat in a partnership a required number of times as well. A faster version of the game reduces the number of players on each team to 6.
The stumps used for indoor cricket aren’t actually stuck in the ground, obviously. Instead, they’re collapsible spring-loaded devices that will stand back up when they’re knocked over.
The ball is different than a normal cricket ball too. It has a soft center and is colored yellow in order to increase visibility against the background of colors and logos inside the arena. The welter of colors can be confusing to the eye, causing players to lose track of a normal colored ball.
The bat is lighter weight than a traditional bat and the gloves are light cotton without any protective padding like regular gloves.