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    The Gentleman's Game of Cricket

    Shabby Apple took to the pitch for our recent Sydney City photo shoot - the cricket pitch, that is. The game is beloved around the world, particularly in Australia, and we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our breezy collection of dresses, skirts and tops than with a shoot that allowed the pieces to showcase their ethereal nature while back dropped by some of Australia's finest.

    Before you get decked out in your Sydney City finery, let's learn more about "The Gentleman's Game". History has it that cricket was invented in England, but the exact origin is unclear. Historians of the game guess it was created by shepherds who had to herd their flock or, rather simply, children who were looking for a way to entertain themselves. While it is England's national game, the love for the sport has spread to almost all members of the Commonwealth (including Australia). International matches began being played in the mid-1800's and skyrocketed in popularity throughout the coming century in almost all Commonwealth nations. Now cricket is the second most popular sport in the world.

    Over time, two versions of the game developed: Test Cricket, which involves the game stretching out over five days with each team taking two turns at bat; and One Day Cricket, the most popular format that is played in most of the world's largest tournaments.

    So how exactly does one play cricket, you ask? While it has a small similarity to baseball, in that it involves a pitcher (called a "bowler" in cricket) and a batsmen, the two sports are very different in scope. On the cricket pitch, there are three types of players you will notice:

    1. Batsmen- One who scores runs of the balls bowled by the bowler.
    2. Bowler- One who bowls and tries to get the batsmen "out" (dismissed from the ground).
    3. Fielder-Players (10) who assist the bowler in achieving his goal, and prevent the batsmen from scoring runs.

    Behind each batsmen are 3 wooden sticks called "stumps". The batsmen is not only trying to hit the ball that the bowler is sending his way, but they are also trying to protect these stumps. If the bowler hits one of them, the batsmen is out. When the batsmen does hit the ball, they need to run back and forth on the pitch to score as many runs as they can before the opposing team is able to retrieve the ball. Just like in baseball, if a fielder catches the ball before it hits the ground the batsmen is out. If the batsmen hits the ball outside of the boundary of the field without it touching the ground, this is just like a homerun in baseball and their team is automatically awarded 6 runs (in cricket, this is simply called "scoring a 6"). 

    Once all batsmen for the first team are out, the next team get their chance to take to the pitch and beat their score. Each team only gets once chance at batting, so it's important for the first team to score as many runs as possible to make it very difficult for the second team to catch them.

    Now that you know how to cheer on your favourite side to victory, you'll want to look the part of the diehard cricket fan. Shabby Apple's aptly named Cricket Dress is the perfect way to look stylish and support the home side in comfort and elegance. For those chillier matches, you can still rock a flawless shape by pairing the impeccable detailing of our Watts Skirt with the standout gorgeousness of the yellow Canary Sweater.

    Want to test your new knowledge of cricket? The 2014 ICC Twenty20 Tournament is on right now in Dhaka, Bangladesh until April 6 and can be seen on most world sports channels. And, of course, Australia is taking part!

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