on a sticky wicket

on a sticky wicket

In the midst of or dealing with a particularly awkward or difficult situation or circumstance. (Refers to the pitch, called a "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: on, sticky, wicket

on a sticky wicket

BRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone is on a sticky wicket, they are in a difficult situation and will find it hard to deal with their problems. It seemed to me that we were on rather a sticky wicket. We couldn't admit that we had got the figures without causing a major row to break out. Note: You can call a difficult situation a sticky wicket. The Tottenham manager confessed it had been `a bit of a sticky wicket' for the past couple of weeks. Note: On a cricket pitch, the wicket is the area of grass between the two sets of stumps. When a lot of rain has fallen on the wicket it becomes soft or `sticky', and in these conditions, it is difficult for the batsmen to predict which way the ball will bounce.
See also: on, sticky, wicket
References in periodicals archive ?
I LIKE Brendan Rodgers, but I think he's on a sticky wicket when it comes to defending Luis Suarez.
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.
NUNEATON cricketers say a lack of maintenance on their playing strip is leaving them on a sticky wicket.
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.