Cricket

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John F
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Cricket

Post by John F » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:03 am

Recently, the NBC Sports Network has begun to televise cricket matches. Cricket in the middle of winter? In Australia it's midsummer, and we're seeing one match a week from Australia's Big Bash League. I was amused to see that this league is sponsored by KFC - wonder what the Colonel would make of that.

This is not the game that stretches out for days. It's a shortened form called Twenty/20 in which each side bats for 20 overs (120 balls) and a typical game is over in 4 hours or less. In that respect it's comparable to baseball, and in Australia the players take the field wearing baseball hats. Also, some teams have cheerleaders... But it's recognizably cricket all the same.

Cricket is one of my odd tastes in sports. Others include football (i.e. soccer) as played in England's Premier League, and now that the six annual tournaments are on NHK World, sumo wrestling. At least one of our number follows the Premier League - he's a fan of the Tottenham Hotspur club - and for all I know, Barney may be watching the same Big Bash cricket matches on TV that I do. But if so, he gets to see them through to the end. NBC Sports Network has a 3-hour time slot for its cricket, and if the match isn't over by then, too bad, you have to find out who won on the Internet.

On my trips to London I've almost always passed a few hours at one of the two great cricket grounds. From the grandstands, the game is very far away and without binoculars (which I never think to bring), you can't really see what's happening. But there's almost always cricket on English TV, and really, that's the way to watch this sport, and now we Yanks can do that thanks to NBC Sport Network.

Soccer/football has caught on in a big way in the U.S., and it looks like a permanent fixture in our sporting scene. Cricket? Not a chance. There are actually a few American country clubs that call themselves "cricket clubs," in Philadelphia for example, but its cricket ground was converted to a golf course in the 19th century and cricket hasn't been played there in living memory. It clings to life here as an amateur sport, occasional attempts to create a pro league having failed. Most recently, sez Wikipedia, "In 2004 Pro Cricket was organized as a professional Twenty20 format league with eight teams in two divisions. However, the league closed at the end of its first season in 2004." So much for cricket in the U.S.
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: Cricket

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:18 am

Why on earth would we need cricket when we have baseball? Both are fascinating and complicated sports which lack the utterly boring nature of association football in which you seem so interested.

Years ago at the school in Maryland someone tried to start up a rugby team. This fell apart when it was pointed out (not by me) that rugby has no protective equipment. It is bad enough that we still put our sons in danger with American football,, which like all goal-oriented sports eludes me in terms of how anyone can find it interesting.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: Cricket

Post by John F » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:06 pm

We don't "need" baseball either, or any other competitive sport. We play it or watch it because we like it. Many millions the world over play and like cricket, probably more than baseball whose appeal is pretty much limited to the US, a few islands in the Caribbean, and Japan. So what's the problem?

As for rugby and American football, there's evidence that wearing armor as in the American game can be conducive to more injuries and more serious ones such as concussion, because the armor is used as a weapon. I'm not prepared to argue that one way or the other, I don't care about either sport, but in general, the possibility of injury has not led to any popular sport being banned.

If the undeniable and widespread appeal of sports such as these really eludes you, and you aren't just saying so, then maybe you haven't given it much thought. That they don't appeal to you personally is another matter.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Cricket

Post by Belle » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:50 pm

John Francis, another interesting read. My husband, who is a chronic cricket and rugby tragic, has just read it. Also, his closest friend is from Duluth (remember that famous line from "High Society" when Tracy asks Mike, "that's west of here isn't it?") and he shares my husband's passion for these sports. We're up to speed now on broad American attitudes to these sports. We know there was a 'demonstration' cricket match either last year or the year before which was well attended, but my husband observed that these were mostly audiences and some players from India and surrounds. I guess you've got a large population of these immigrants living in your country, but not large enough to see cricket 'test matches', of the type you experienced in the UK, any time soon.

John F
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Re: Cricket

Post by John F » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:13 pm

The thing is, you need a lot of open level space to play cricket, and such spaces as there are in major American cities are devoted to other sports like baseball/softball and golf or to public parks. And for a professional sport you also need a very large public, not only to buy tickets to games but to attract lucrative television deals.

Soccer/football has been played in our schools forever, but the American professional league was only founded in 1993 after the U.S. hosted the World Cup and the size of the American audience was revealed. A previous effort, the North American Soccer League, folded in 1985 though its players included stars like Pelé, George Best, Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer. You can lead a horse to water...
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: Cricket

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:40 pm

John F wrote:We don't "need" baseball either, or any other competitive sport. We play it or watch it because we like it. Many millions the world over play and like cricket, probably more than baseball whose appeal is pretty much limited to the US, a few islands in the Caribbean, and Japan. So what's the problem?

As for rugby and American football, there's evidence that wearing armor as in the American game can be conducive to more injuries and more serious ones such as concussion, because the armor is used as a weapon. I'm not prepared to argue that one way or the other, I don't care about either sport, but in general, the possibility of injury has not led to any popular sport being banned.

If the undeniable and widespread appeal of sports such as these really eludes you, and you aren't just saying so, then maybe you haven't given it much thought. That they don't appeal to you personally is another matter.
I have given it a great deal of thought since I was in the fourth grade and was knocked flat on my back in a game of tag football. I can even remember the name of the boy who knocked me down.. The fact that I have no talent for sports does influence my opinion, but I am hardly the only musician or classical music fan in the world who feels that way. Among others, our late member Ralph Stein had zero interest in them.

Perhaps you are familiar with the sports commentator Frank Deford. He also says that soccer is not a good sport (his exact words). International popularity is not an all-excusing criterion.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Modernistfan
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Re: Cricket

Post by Modernistfan » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:17 pm

One of the funniest things I have ever seen on YouTube was a couple of years ago when a cricket announcer in Australia called a batsman hitting a long ball for six way over the fence (the cricket equivalent of a home run in baseball) only to have the ball land on the announcer's car and dent the roof of the car (it's gone . . .it's downtown . . . it's on my car!). The announcer was parked behind what would be the center field fence in baseball in relation to where the batsman was batting from.

John F
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Re: Cricket

Post by John F » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:34 am

Why should I care what Frank DeFord thinks? I know what I think. Every competitive sport and nearly every sport carries with it the risk of injury, but so does life. If people choose to take the risk, that's their affair. It's fine not to care for sports or disdain them. But if sports aren't popular with you, you have to acknowledge that they are popular to most people in most cultures, just as music is, whether as players or spectators. It's just a fact, and an expression of competitiveness so widespread as to seem an element of human nature.
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: Cricket

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:26 pm

John F wrote:Why should I care what Frank DeFord thinks? I know what I think. Every competitive sport and nearly every sport carries with it the risk of injury, but so does life. If people choose to take the risk, that's their affair. It's fine not to care for sports or disdain them. But if sports aren't popular with you, you have to acknowledge that they are popular to most people in most cultures, just as music is, whether as players or spectators. It's just a fact, and an expression of competitiveness so widespread as to seem an element of human nature.
I cited Frank Deford (he actually said "game" not "sport" and there is a difference) only to demonstrate that I have expert backup as a soccer couldn't-care-less. I am reminded of a quotation from the historian Thomas Babington Macaulay upon observing an incredible billiards shot. "The attainment of such perfection in a mere game is the sign of a wasted life." :wink:

Well sure, to each his own, but what is his own to 99.9% of the population is sports, about which I know more than many people know about anything else. And of course you meant popular music, for there is no rarer interest than that in classical music.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: Cricket

Post by lennygoran » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:47 am

John F wrote:The thing is, you need a lot of open level space to play cricket, and such spaces as there are in major American cities are devoted to other sports like baseball/softball and golf or to public parks. And for a professional sport you also need a very large public, not only to buy tickets to games but to attract lucrative television deals.

Soccer/football has been played in our schools forever, but the American professional league was only founded in 1993 after the U.S. hosted the World Cup and the size of the American audience was revealed. A previous effort, the North American Soccer League, folded in 1985 though its players included stars like Pelé, George Best, Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer. You can lead a horse to water...
Forget more space for cricket-more gardens-yesterday we visited the 2 and 3/4 acre miami beach botanical garden-now that`s the proper use of city space! Len [fleeing]

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