Gilli Danda is a sport originating from the Pakistan, played in the rural areas and small towns all over South Asia as well as Cambodia, Turkey, South Africa, Italy and in some Caribbean islands like Cuba. The game is played with two sticks: a large one called a danda , and which is used to hit a smaller one, the gilli , Other than using a smaller target stick, rather than a ball, it bears many similarities to bat and ball games such as cricket and baseball.
The boy on left is about to strike the gilli with the danda, while the one on right is fielding.
“Gilli Danda” is played with two pieces of equipment – a danda, being a long wooden stick, and a gilli, a small oval-shaped piece of wood. It is played with four or more players of even numbers, or even 100 players.
Standing in a small circle, the player balances the gilli on a stone in an inclined manner (somewhat like a see-saw) with one end of the gilli touching the ground while the other end is in the air. The player then uses the danda to hit the gilli at the raised end, which flips it into the air. While it is in the air, the player strikes the gilli, hitting it as far as possible. Having struck the gilli, the player is required to run and touch a pre-agreed point outside the circle before the gilli is retrieved by an opponent. There are no specific dimensions of gilli danda and it does not have limited number of players.
The gilli becomes airborne after it is struck. If a fielder from the opposing team catches the gilli, the striker is out. If the gilli lands on the ground, the fielder closest to the gilli has one chance to hit the danda (which has to be placed on top of the circle used) with a throw (similar to a run out in cricket). If the fielder is successful, the striker is out; if not, the striker scores one point and gets another opportunity to strike. The team (or individual) with the most points wins the game. If the striker fails to hit the gilli in three tries, the striker is out (similar to a strikeout in baseball). After the gilli has been struck, the opposing players need to return to the circle or, in the best case, catch it in mid-air without its hitting the ground – this was believed to have later evolved into a Catch Out in cricket and baseball.