Carry the bat

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Carry the bat

The term carry refers to basic activities in professional cricket. Carry means that the batsman has finished his role in the match (lost) and needs to be replaced. In turn, the term carry the bat means that the batsman could catch all the opponent’s serves. These are different concepts (but everything refers to the batsman), and it is necessary to clarify the difference between the terms carry and carry the bat.

Carry the bat – phrase history

Where did carry the bat come from? Back in the dawn of cricket, this phrase applied to any batsman, but in the 20th century, carry the bat refers exclusively to the beginner batsman. Why carry the bat anyway? Everything is simple and logical here. When a batsman was knocked out of the game, he left the bat on the field for the next batsman to use it. However, if one player coped with all the opponent’s serves, he returned with the bat back to the coaches and the team, that is, carry the bat.

Today, the term is used when pitches are closed before all 10 wickets can be knocked out. It can also be used in situations where one or more players cannot continue playing due to injury or illness. Important note! It is known that by the captain’s decision, the inning can be closed before all 10 wickets are knocked out. Therefore, the batsman has not lost. It is logical to assume that the batsman did not give the bat and returns with it. In this case, the phrase carry the bat cannot be used.

In international cricket, the term carry the bat is quite rare. In more than 2000 test matches, it was used about 56 times (48 batsmen could do this). The first to do this was South Africa cricketer Bernard Tancred. In 1889, in a match against England at Newlands Cricket Grounds, he scored 26 goals from 91 shots. The last player at the moment is Tom Latham from New Zealand. In 2018, in a test game against Sri Lanka, Tom scored 264 runs (the highest in 2021).

As for the matches in One Day International, there are 13 such players. The first was a player from Zimbabwe – Grant Flower. In 1994, against England, he earned 84 runs from 143 innings. Dimuth Karunarathe, also from Sri Lanka, is recognized as the extreme player for today. In a game against New Zealand in June 2019, he scored 52 runs.

In international Twenty20 matches, Chris Gayle is considered the only player who could achieve this achievement. The West India player earned 63 runs against Sri Lanka in 2009.

Unlike test cricket, in first-class cricket, there are 6 cases where players could reach carry the bat twice (i.e. in 2 innings). There is no such thing in test matches today.

And the only cricketer to ever score a hat-trick and keep the bat with him is Victoria’s Australian Frank Tarrant. In 1909, in a game against the Gloucestershire, he earned 55 runs and at the same time knocked out (which means he hit the ball so that it flew out of bounds) 3 players: Jack Board, Wilfred Brownlee and Thomas Langdon.

You can find out more useful and interesting information about cricket in the sections of our website. We do our best to keep the material as relevant as possible.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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