Trying to understand issues around cricket as compared to baseball -- player drafting, financing, culture/conduct, etc. -- hoping an enthusiast can help me.
Okay, I've been searching for a while (Wikipedia, Dangermouse, and ABCs of Cricket), and I think I get the basics, but I still have a few unanswered questions.
1) How do drafting/contracts/free agency work? How important are statistics in determining the value of a player to a particular team and does the previous year's performance of a team help determine the availability of their draft picks? Is this similar in each country?
1ai) According to Wikipedia, most of the financing behind cricket is international? So then does a nation pay for fielding its cricket team or does most of the money come from private backing?
1bii) What role does nationalism play? Are there rules or merely customs that limit the number of foreign players on each team?
2) I understand this diagram
mostly, but what if I were batting and I did a quick 180 degree turn and popped up the ball right behind me OVER the stumps and past the long stop player? Illegal? Based on the position of my feet or the rules?
3) Wickets and bails. Do they ever get tampered with? Hidden magnets? Glue? Who checks?
4) I understand distractions by fielders (except "sledging") are discouraged. What about fan distractions? How rigidly is this enforced?
4a) What about unnecessary roughness in tagging the batter? Depends on the team and the venue?
Thanks so much for your help.