a sticky wicket

a sticky wicket

A particularly awkward or difficult situation or circumstance. (Generally used with on. Refers to the pitch, i.e., wicket, used in the game of cricket and the difficulty of playing on one after it has been wetted with rain.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I found myself on a bit of a sticky wicket when the boss saw me kissing his daughter at the cinema. I'll be batting on a sticky wicket if I arrive at the train station and don't have enough money for the tickets!
See also: sticky, wicket

a sticky wicket

1 a pitch that has been drying out after rain and is therefore difficult to bat on. Cricket 2 a tricky or awkward situation. informal
See also: sticky, wicket

(be on) a ˌsticky ˈwicket

(British English, informal) a situation in which it is difficult to defend yourself against criticism or attack: Don’t be too confident about getting the contract. After our problems with the last one we’re on a sticky wicket there.
In the game of cricket, a sticky wicket is a playing area that is drying out after rain and so is more difficult for the person hitting the ball to play on.
See also: sticky, wicket

sticky wicket, (to bat on) a

To deal with a difficult situation that requires good judgment. The term comes from cricket, where it refers to soft or muddy ground around a wicket, which makes it difficult for the batsman because the ball does not bounce well. Although cricket is not well known in America, the term did cross the Atlantic in the 1920s. The National News-Letter used it in 1952, “Mr. Churchill was batting on a very sticky wicket in Washington.”
See also: bat, sticky
References in periodicals archive ?
Mumbai registered their third win by successfully defending 136 against the Sunrisers on a sticky wicket.
"It is a sticky wicket, and we will have to change the mindset when we bat.
And when the person you're explaining it to is from Norway, you could be on a sticky wicket indeed.
I LIKE Brendan Rodgers, but I think he's on a sticky wicket when it comes to defending Luis Suarez.
He said: "Whoever they go for will be high profile and for me, whoever comes in, you know the wicket is going to be a sticky wicket if you want every single decision."
Relieved Caig said: "Everyone seems to be on a sticky wicket at Gretna.
Minor Counties Western Division title hopefuls Shropshire came unstuck as they lost a nail-biter to Cornwall on a sticky wicket at Shifnal, writes Ged Scott.
Tynemouth Cricket Club are no longer on a sticky wicket and can look forward to the final month of the season with confidence.
As one player solemnly recounts, when he wrote a term paper about his passion for cricket, his teacher had never even heard of the game, let alone the downfalls of a sticky wicket.
Privacy is a sticky wicket, and new laws have made things increasingly complicated.
ON A STICKY WICKET: Anne Gittings as Margaret Thatcher (back) watches Tony Blair (Michael Arnold) and William Hague (Graham Gittings).
He said: "I have to get promotion over the next year or I know I will be on a sticky wicket."
Coronation Street stars found themselves on a sticky wicket when they tried to bowl the maidens over.
"I didn't want to end up with a sticky wicket. The last thing you want is to take the covers off on day one and play is delayed because it's deemed tacky by the umpires.
Pace man Gillespie admits he is on a sticky wicket because of his own form.