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Origin of cricket fielding position names

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Have you ever wondered where the peculiar names of fielding positions came from?  This article has some really cool information.




Here's a bit of a teaser:

The ‘on’ and ‘off’ side of fielding

Not to be confused with a switch, and not applicable in case of a switch hit either. This is the gospel on which further discussions will be based. The etymology of the off-side and on-side in cricket predates to the 19th century, when transport was done via carriages and not motor vehicles. This was bought into the cricket field, for reasons not entirely clear.

It actually began as ‘off-side’ and ‘near-side’, rather than the more popular term ‘leg-side’ that is in use today. The ‘off-side’ was the opposite side of where the rider would walk or mount, the leg-side or ‘near-side’ being the other end. This way, the field got divided into two halves – when you play away from your legs, it is the ‘off-side’, and if it is nearer to the legs, the ‘leg-side’.


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