The Glasgow University Cricket Club (GUCC) is one of the oldest clubs in the Universities history.
The GUCC, who claim to have played the first ever game of cricket in Scotland against Perth (later to become Perthshire) Cricket Club at Stirling in 1829, have a rich tapestry of historic statistics, characters and stories, ranging from Dillon Burnett, who led the team to victory in the inaugural Scottish Universities’ Championship of 1933, to Robert Ogilvie McKenna, who won the club’s first international cap shortly after.
For those new to the sport the GUCC welcomes one and all to the unique team sport that places individual players under unusual scrutiny and pressure. Bowler, Batsman, and fielder all act essentially independent of each other – while team managements can signal bowler or batsman to pursue certain tactics, the execution of the play itself is a series of solitary acts.
Cricket is a unique game where in addition to the laws, the players have to abide by the Spirit of the Game. The standard of sportsmanship has historically been considered so high that the phrase “it’s just not cricket” was coined in the 19th Century to describe unfair or underhanded behaviour in any walk of life.
In the last few decades though, cricket has become increasingly fast-paced and competitive, increasing the use of appealing and sledging, although players are still expected to abide by the umpires’ rulings without argument, and for the most part they do.
A cricket match is played between two teams (or sides) of eleven players each on a field of variable size and shape, with the GUCC playing at Garscube. The essence of the sport is that a bowler delivers the ball from his end of the pitch towards the batsman who, armed with a bat is “on strike” at the other end.
The objective of each team is to score more runs than the other team and to ultimately dismiss the other team.
Depending on your primary skills, you may end up as a specialist batsman or bowler. A well-balanced team usually has five or six specialist batsmen and four or five specialist bowlers. Teams nearly always include a specialist wicket-keeper because of the importance of this fielding position. Each team is headed by a captain who is responsible for making tactical decisions such as determining the batting order, the placement of fielders and the rotation of bowlers.
As the team at the GUCC state “Don’t be put off by the name – Cricket isn’t just for people with double barrelled surnames, and you don’t have to have toured Australia to give it a try.” So even if you’ve never played before, why not let the GUCC’s internationally acclaimed coaching staff turn you into a superstar.