EXPLAINED: The Story Behind ‘Silly-Point’ Position In Cricket
We spoke about a whole lot of positions, from the attacking ones to the seemingly defensive fielders, but each and every one of those fielding positions are unique in their abilities and important in their significance in having a massive impact on the game. From the Slips to Point, from Cover to Long on, we have covered the lot. Now we move on to one of the most crucial positions in test cricket, the one which requires a whole lot more than just agility and athletic abilities. This position is defined by much more than just the above two qualities. We are talking about the position of "Silly Point".
You must be wondering why is it called as such?. The reason why it is called as silly is because of the location of the fielder being very close to the batsman and his point of contact with the ball. The location in normal language is considered to be too silly to be standing there in normal conditions, hence the term "Silly". The Silly Point is normally situated right in front of the batsman on the offside, and is used by the fielding captain when his side is on top and in full control of proceedings. The Silly Point is placed so that the batsman finds it very difficult to rotate the strike, thereby putting the pressure on the batsman to try something unusual since the supply of runs is cut off, thereby resulting in a Wicket for the fielding side.
This position requires a lot of qualities. Apart from being athletic and agile, the fielder has to be utterly fearless as well, because there is a huge risk of the ball smashing into the body of that fielder. There have been many occasions of the fielder at silly point getting hurt due to the fierce impact of the ball on his body, inspite of being well protected with the fielding gear. Apart from having the tendency to take the hard hits, your reflexes also need to be on an elite level, because you do not know when the ball will come at you and at what speed exactly. So the fielder is well aware of all the risks that's associated with fielding at this spot.
While there haven't been any casualties so far in the 21st century, there has been a death of a player while fielding at this position. In 1998, Raman Lamba was struck on the temple while fielding at silly point towards the fag end of the days play while playing club cricket in Bangladesh. Since it was just a matter of three balls before stumps, he decided against wearing the helmet, and unfortunately it didn't work well for him.