By Yasin Hamid Bhat
I am writing this article as a fan of cricket and as a student of athletics. The athletic track is an oval shaped surface with two straights and two curves having particular (fixed) dimensions where track and field events are held while as a cricket ground is a large field (area) on which the game of cricket is played. Generally the cricket ground has no fixed dimensions and is in oval shape but not always there are wide varieties, some are almost perfect circles, some elongated ovals and some entirely irregular shapes with little or no symmetry. The most interesting aspects of running tracks are the mysteries hidden in plain sight by which I mean the mathematics governing the design and construction of the running surface itself. The Track comprises 2 semicircles each of radius 36.50m, which are joined by two straights each 84.39m in length. 400m Running Tracks have an overall length 176.91 m (580’5”) , an overall width of 92.5 m (303’6”). The Track has 8, 6 or occasionally 4 lanes but the last is not used for international running competition, 9 is the maximum number of lanes which the standard track should have. All lanes have a width of 1.22m ± 0.01m. there are inner markings as well for example starts for different races (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10000m etc) I am going to touch that but I try to give you general view of the track. Dimensions of cricket ground, the ICC standard playing conditions define the minimum and maximum size of the playing surface for international matches. Law 19.1.3 of ICC men’s test match playing conditions as well as ICC men’s one day international Playing Conditions states: “The aim shall be to maximise the size of the playing area at each venue. With respect to the size of the boundaries, no boundary shall be longer than 90 yards (82.29 meters), and no boundary shall be shorter than 65 yards (59.43 meters) from the centre of the pitch to be used”. Further there are two additional field markings. A painted oval is made by drawing a semicircle of 30 yards (27.4 m) radius from the centre of each wicket with respect to the breadth of the pitch commonly known as the circle, divides the field into an infield and outfield. Two circles of radius 15 yards (13.7 m), centred at middle stump guard on the popping crease and often marked by dots, define the close-infield and are used to enforce fielding restrictions. Comparing with the standard track, the marking of cricket ground is cake walk.
Participation of athletes/ players in their respective top events I,e Olympics and world cup in athletics and cricket respectively. Over 14000 athletes competed in 2016 summer Olympics and 2018 winter Olympics combined in 35 different sports and over 400 events. While as in cricket there are 15 member squad for each team for example, the fourteen teams competed in the 2015 World Cup (reduced to 10 teams in 2019 World cup) that implies 15*14= 210 which is far more but less than participation in Olympics. Sports like cricket, soccer, rugby or netball, only need a few officials, but athletics needs many more. At major international championships like the Olympics or Commonwealth Games there are over 200 officials. The coaching staff is a group which is led by a head coach (known as a manager or senior coach in some sports), and consists of at least one assistant coach (usually two or more assistants), together with other members such as doctors, massage therapists, trainers, and equipment managers, fitness trainer, nutritionist, biomechanist, physiotherapist, etc, this coaching staff is required for every game, as well as in athletics the difference lies, in athletics most events are individual events therefore the separate coaching staff is required for every single athlete at elite level, which implies athletics can be a source of employment at this crucial period of time.
Can we have cricket and athletics at the same venue? And the answer is a big NO, for example a Stadium in Australia which hosted the Sydney Olympics in 2000 had its running track turfed over with 30,000 seats removed to make it possible to play cricket there, at a cost of A$80 million. This is one of the reasons cricket games generally cannot be hosted outside the traditional cricket-playing countries.
Do we require to convert cricket ground into Athletic track? And the answer is again NO, we need athletic track in every district so that we create new opportunities for the coming generation but not at the cost of cricket ground because most of the time, the running track does probably look abandoned, with only a few walkers or joggers, but as far as cricket in Kashmir is concerned this is continuously going on either tournaments, local matches, friendly matches something is going on in a cricket stadium.\
Yaseen Hamid Bhat is pursuing M Ped 3rd Semester,Central University Of Kashmir, can be reached at [email protected]