Thursday, April 03, 2008

Cricket in the USA

Is cricket the second most popular sport in the world? At least, that's what the fans say - according to this article in New York Times today.

The game is similar to baseball, but with differences that can make it difficult for Americans to follow. Players run with their bats in hand; balls are bowled, not pitched; spit balls are allowed; fielders are not permitted to wear gloves; there is no foul territory; and bowlers (pitchers) sprint before releasing the ball, which typically bounces and picks up spin before reaching a batsman.

I grew up playing cricket. Fun days..indeed, looking back. We used to make the stumps out of tree branches, bats from Coconut trees. We came out to play in our best outfits..whatever we had. We played with a lot of enthusiasm.

Our heroes those days were Chandrasekhar, Gavaskar, Viswanath, Engineer, Brijesh Patel, Pataudi to name a few.

We had matches where the captain of the losing side would sign a paper saying 'We lost our match today'. We had our arguments, our fights, our moments of joy. We cried when our team mate died in an accident. We 'booed' when our team mate joined the opposite team !

Time passed, we moved on. Some of us got a chance to play for Perungalathur CC which finally made it to the Leagues in Madras. Then, most of us quit playing.

I play at times here locally, but end up with some painkillers in the evening. But..Cricket still remains close to my heart. I've lost the passion for Test cricket, 20-20 is too short I feel...I love the one day games.

Glad to see Cricket being talked about here in the USA. I doubt it..but who knows, one day Cricket might become as popular as Baseball, Basketball, Football here !

1 comment:

Prem Abraham said...

NV - Cricket is very popular in south florida because of its proximity to the Caribbean islands. We have regular leagues here and I should say the locals are catching up with the game. Lauderhill has one of finest cricket stadiums in the US. Check it out here.