Cricket, like any other sport, demands a lot of creativity, imagination, and presence of mind. The fielding setups below are the result of all three of these. Some of them were implemented to intimidate, some to take wickets, and some to limit run-scoring. One thing is common for them, though, they all created a lot of buzz.
1. Australia Vs New Zealand (1977) when Greg Chappell put nine fielders in the slip.
In the photo, one can see Dennis Lillee bowling as Peter Petherick bats on the opposite end with 9 fielders standing next to each other. The movie became highly controversial and some even say that it was done because Lillee was about to publish a book and this was thought of as an interesting anecdote.
Dennis Lillee bowls with nine slips against New Zealand at Auckland in 1977. The popular story is that it was staged for use in a forthcoming book by Lillee, but Mike Brearley states it was an attacking field in a failed bid to remove the final two NZ wickets pic.twitter.com/s7fQDW4zOz— Historic Cricket Pictures (@PictureSporting) January 3, 2020
Dennis Lillee had nine slips vs NZ, with no fielders in the outfield. That’s faith in one’s abilities. pic.twitter.com/Qy97w2gaiV— Imtiaz Mahmood (@ImtiazMadmood) May 9, 2020
2. The Australian adopted this technique again in 1999 during an ODI match against Zimbabwe.
This time Damien Fleming was bowling to David Mutendera. David played a total of 9 international ODIs for Zimbabwe and ended up in one of the most historic photographs in the country’s cricket history.
3. Okay, somehow it’s always Australia doing this. In a 2009 T20 match against India, Adam Voges had a very unorthodox fielding setup where almost the entire Australian team was surrounding Ishant Sharma, India’s last wicket. You can hear the commentator mentioning Lillee.
4. New Zealand went for the ‘umbrella field placement’ against England in 2013. Interestingly, Kane Williamson is the bowler in the picture below, and he is bowling to Monty Panesar.
This sort of fielding is also called ‘Carmody fielding’, getting its name from Keith Carmody, a cricket from…wait for it…Australia!
5. In 2015, Worcestershire decided to field without a wicketkeeper during a match. The decision was reviewed by field umpires and was given a green light. The trick was effective, as Worcestershire won the match by 14 runs.
Worcestershire are currently fielding without a keeper off Ali. Ben Cox on the edge of the the circle. 58 off 24. pic.twitter.com/X4OKNs0mSy— Ciaran Thomas (@ciaranthomas91) June 5, 2015
6. The fielding placement below is called the ‘Yorkshire Wall’, named after the famous cricket club.
This kind of field placement is very helpful when a bowler wants the opposition to limit the batsman because there are only so many shots they can play without having the ball land in the fielder’s hands.
Some of these were not considered to be in line with the general idea of sportsmanship, but as long as things are within rules, that becomes a separate discussion.