phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Sticky wicket

Posted by James Briggs on January 08, 2004

In Reply to: Sticky wicket posted by Lotg on January 08, 2004

: Speaking to another PF member today he was referring to a situation in which I find myself, as being a 'sticky wicket'. Clearly this has evolved from cricket - but why 'sticky'?

: In fact a related term would be to say that one is in a 'sticky' situation.

The term describes a wet/damp, almost gluey pitch surface. This give enormous grip to the ball when it hits the ground in front of the batsman - there's very little point in cricket in delivering the ball to the batsman when the ball is still in the air. The ground will then affect the way the ball behaves. A good spin bowler will be able to make the ball change direction on impact with the ground aka wicket. A 'sticky'wicket will make this directional change much more likely, thereby fooling the batsman to make mistakes. It is a very difficult situation when a combination of this type of wicket and a good spiln bowler are together - one many batsmen hate. By extension the expression has entered general language to describe any difficult situation.