I've played cricket for most of my life, I still enjoy playing. On a nice day, it is wonderful to have the sun on your back standing in the outfield concentrating on what is going on in the middle. It is that enjoying the moment while having purpose. It is also about being of a team. You have to do it to understand. Again, as mentioned with the surfing, it helps to have played to know what you are trying to capture. An absolute essential is having a large enough telephoto to get close-up cricket action photos.
A friend who I have played cricket with for over 25 years, plays for the Old Leysians Cricket Club here in Cambridge. Once term has finished, they play their home games at the main ground in the Leys School. The Leys, is a 150 year old public school in the centre of Cambridge with a wonderfully positioned cricket ground at it's heart. What an opportunity for some cricket photography.
The Leys is a gorgeous setting, absolutely beautiful, but one better to play at than photograph at, sadly. The ground is at the centre of the school with buildings surrounding it which make it difficult for action photography. In any photography, the subject needs to be clear without distraction. It is about separating the subject from the background. A more expensive lens with a bigger aperture could possibly do it, but now you are into professional sports photographer terrority. . . You be the judge, the first image is taken at the Leys, all the others are from Southill Park in Bedfordshire. It is delibrately processed in monochrone to achieve maximum separation and even then the background is distracting.
What I hadn't realised was that Whitings League Division 1 is at the top of the Cambridgeshire pyramid before teams are promoted to the East Anglian Premier League. Why does that matter? Firstly, the cricketing actions, whether batting, bowling or fielding are mostly correct which makes for good photography. Secondly, the teams are sponsored, sometimes even having a professional. This means the whole team is kitted out in the same consistent clothing, In this case, what are known as pyjamas (coloured clothing) as opposed to whites. This consistency makes for aesthetic photography. It is the small details that help make acceptable photographs into good ones.