The Alternative Cricket Dictionary – Letter R

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Unsure about your “corridor of uncertainty”? Worried that your “good areas” might not be up to snuff? Confused about exactly when you ought to “put your hand up”? Fret not: over the next 20 odd weeks, the Wisden Cricketer Online will bring you the Alternative Cricket Dictionary, edited by Alan Tyers, and we would very much like your contributions and suggestions. Please send your definitions to, or put them on twitter#cricdic or the comments below, and we will publish them.

Rain Scourge of cricket, at least at international level, where the slightest drop has players scurrying for the pavilion as if they were made of sugar. At amateur level, only an actual monsoon will curtail a day.

‘Rally Round The West Indies’ David Rudder’s calypso classic, recently updated with new verse: “Rally round the West Indies, unless you can make a few more quid playing Twenty20.”

Ramadhin, Sonny One of two little pals of mine, or rather Lord Kitchener’s, whose spin brilliance in 1950s heralded beginnings of West Indies as a great cricket power.

Ramprakash, Mark Snake-hipped ballroom dancer and county cricket legend who selectors have rightly ignored of late, especially since his average plummeted to a pathetic 72 this season.

Ranatunga, Arjuna Tubby, combative Sri Lanka skipper who could be lured out of the crease with “a Mars bar on a good length”.

Ranjitsinhji, K.S. “Sussex captain, impossibly elegant and correct batting great, inventor of new shots, later a king, statesman, author and icon. A prototypical Chris Adams,” writes a Mr C. Adams of Croydon.

Rank One of those words that you only really get in cricket, as in “a rank long-hop” or “a rank bad ball”.

Rankings Competition by which Test cricket teams measure their prowess; unusual in that there is no beginning or end, and the trophy is purely notional. At times, certain of the ICC’s more bloated one-day World Cups have also seemed to be adopting this approach.

Raqibul Hasan Bangladesh batsman, retired from international cricket in high dudgeon last March after being left out of the Twenty20 World Cup squad and an ODI series against England. Clearly he felt that his record spoke for itself. Seven Tests, average 19, suggests the selectors rather agreed. Then came out of retirement, only to have toe broken by Jimmy Anderson in first match back.

Rate Thing to keep an eye on during one-day game. Some of England’s most amusing one-day disasters of last decade or so came when a player, let’s say a Jonathan Trott type, would be diligently putting together a score, going along nicely for 60 off 80 balls, apparently unaware of the fact that 12 an over were needed.

Reach At pub level, correct umpiring method for deciding whether to award a wide or not: if he could have reached it = no wide.

Read, Little Chrissie Classical glovesman, much championed by the purists, but bigger boys came with their heavy bats and South African bravado.

Recalled What can, very occasionally, happen to a batsman if the fielding side have a rare attack of conscience.

Reeve, Dermot Hyper and aggressive (ie. annoying) county captain, always in opposition’s face, often described as “a busy cricketer”. Then the coke thing came out and it all made a bit more sense.

Referee One of the 17 match officials / umpires / adjudicators / review specialists / wonks required for a Test match to take place, his job mainly seems to involve playing Headmaster and summoning naughty boys to his study after play.

Reiffel, Paul Classic English seamer who, sadly, wasn’t English and despite never looking that threatening, managed to ruin England time and again during the Dark Days.

Remodelling Thing sometimes done to a young England seamer (not like if women’s mag asked Broady to come back and do a second photoshoot in the nip). Usually results in injury, followed by impotence (not like if women’s mag, etc.)

Rested Polite way of saying dropped.

Review Brilliant innovation that means that the most exciting moment of the game – i.e. a wicket – has drama surgically removed from it while everyone stands around waiting to see if batsman will ask for umpires to have another look at ball that has pitched middle and knocked out all three, just because he fancies himself a better bat than the shower still in the hutch.

Rhodes, Jonty Wonderful fielder, selfless coach, lover of all sports, devout, always smiling and chirpy, never has a bad word to say; you suspect he might be quite an annoying person.

Right-hander Sadly lacking the volume of handy cliches available for their lefty counterparts (elegant, wristy) but at least their abundance means we don’t have to put up with the sad sight of  an elderly umpire wheezing his way from square leg to square leg every other ball.

Rice, Clive Mentor of KP. Seems a very frightening man.

Richards, Sir Vivian Imperious West Indies legend, brutal but correct, domineering and unstoppable. Father to Mali Richards, also a cricketer. Poor sod. What an act to follow.

Richie Very old, very smart Australian creature that used to summer in England but has migrated back to its homeland.

“Right Up In The Blockhole” Ageing seamer’s favourite sort of delivery, always elicits grunt of approval from commentary box at end of a limited overs innings.

Ripper Ball that turns a lot or, in Australia, any good delivery. Or just good anything, really.

Robiul Islam One half of Bangladesh pace attack at Lord’s with Rubel Hossain. Nothing really exciting or challenging to say about them.

Roofer Second (or arguably, first) career of the one-time England seamer Darren Pattinson.

Rudolph, Jacques Dour cricketer who turned back on South Africa to move to Yorkshire. Probably not brilliant fun at parties.

Rules Term by which inferior sports refer to their Laws of The Game.

Run out Most annoying way of being dismissed, especially if it wasn’t your fault. And even more so if you have not faced a ball. Use this opportunity to relieve your frustrations, and bladder, in the culprit’s kitbag.

Russell, Jack Excitable little creature that lives off tea and Weetabix (which must be soaked for exactly 12 minutes) and wears disgusting old bits of mouldy cricket kit. Enjoys game of catch, hopping around in the crease annoyingly and painting landscapes.

Ruthless Thing England are encouraging themselves to be, as if they were not only going to beat Bangladesh at cricket, for example, but bankrupt their families, burn down their houses and have their grannies sold into hard labour.

Ryder, Jesse Fuller-figured Kiwi batting star whose propensity for unwise refuelling and getting into scrapes would not shame his namesake, Shaun.

By Alan Tyers

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