I am an American.
I grew up on baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.
Over the past four years or so I have begun an appreciation of Cricket.
Let me be clear - I have grown in my appreciation of Cricket, not the insect and not the card game, the long-standing game played on a round field with eleven players to each side, batters, bowlers, wicket keeper, stumps, a pitch, runs, wickets, no balls, extras, wides boundaries, fours, sixes, run-outs, caught-outs, leg-before-wickets and more. It took me these past few years to begin to get a grip on the the game and the sport to get the point where I can now successfully read and interpret a scoreboard, batter statistics, bowler statistics, run rate and get a little better at deciphering that graph they always bring up (A Manhattan? And not the mixed drink, either).
Thanks to ESPN3.com, friends I have met on-line, Owzat/Lambourne Games, Robert Eastaway’s Cricket Explained, the internet and patience, I am now safely caught up in it.
The concepts of the game are truly different than any game I grew up with and any sport native to the United States.
It took me this much time to begin to grasp the game because there is so much going on with every ball bowled and played.
The game looks slow, plodding, boring and pointless to most who watch it for the first time. It is anything but. I will say that each bowl is more involved than each pitch in a baseball game.
The game also looks obvious: Bowl the ball, hit the ball. But it is not that simple at all.
And why no foul territory? You can hit the ball behind you? Foul territory is not needed and sometimes you want to hit the ball behind you but sometimes not. Why are there two batters? Why do they run sometimes and sometimes not?
I cannot but begin to explain Cricket and I will not try.
If you like sports, if you love sports, give this game a try.
It will take a while to learn it enough to understand it, but like all truly good and worthwhile things, it will take some time. Once you begin to grasp the game you will discover a deep and rewarding experience.
I have been a sports fan all of my life.
For my money and my time, Cricket offers the most fun, excitement and drama in every ball played of any sport there is.
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