What did you think of when you saw the title to my post? Did you think of the dart game called cricket, or did you simply scratch your head and ask “What is cricket?”
One of the neat things about traveling around the world is learning about popular sports in other countries. Here in the US, we have the big four sports that most people will talk about. Baseball, basketball, football and hockey. Of course, we have adopted hockey from our neighbors to the north. We also use the name of the sport that is the most popular one in the world for a different one. American football is definitely different than football or soccer, as we call it here. I have to be careful to remember what sport is being referred to when I hear ‘football’ when I travel or have international students in my class.
Our major sports are minor sports in most other countries. As mentioned above football (soccer) is the number one sport in many countries. Rugby is a major sport in many southern hemisphere countries and a few from the northern.
The other major sport that is overlooked here in the US is cricket. On the Coca-Cola can pictured above you can see a cricket bat and stumps. Obviously, this is not from the US. Most of us wouldn’t know what they were. This can is from Australia.
I don’t want to go into the details of cricket in this post, perhaps that will be the subject of another one.
I have actually played cricket a few times, and have watched a lot of it on TV when traveling to Australia, India and South Africa.
Several times when I have visited India my students have played cricket on the weekends. It usually ends up being North vs. South and they let me play a little bit at the beginning before they get down to business. Here I am waiting for the ball to be bowled to me, while protecting the stumps. Swinging a cricket bat is definitely different that swinging a baseball bat.
Here one of my students has just bowled the ball and the others are getting ready to react to my powerful swing ;-). The student standing behind the stumps is acting as the umpire and is sure to make the call in my favor.
Even though I mentioned that cricket is overlooked in the US, this doesn’t mean that it is not played here. There are leagues spread around the country. Especially in California, Florida and other places where there is a large concentration of immigrants from cricket playing countries. ESPN is even starting to televise some cricket matches.
This picture was taken only about a mile from my house. One of the interesting things that I like about cricket can be seen in this picture. The players are usually dressed in all white. Maybe it is to show off the grass stains when they slide to make a catch :-).
Did you know that we also have a national cricket team? They will be playing in the 2013 ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament that is starting on Sunday in Bermuda. If they finish in one of the top two places in the tournament the will earn a spot in the world cup qualifier tournament. This will be a major accomplishment for them as they have slowly been working their way up the world rankings. It will also take some major upsets, but maybe this will be the tournament where everything comes together for the team.