Monday, October 16, 2006

Cricket, the pariah of the Europe and NA...

That line sure would have raised the eyebrow of a dead man. Just to lighten it down and this being no harm intended, we have started to play Cricket in NA and throughout the year whereever and whichever league teams we have played they on lookers- read americans never seemed to appreciate the game. They have always been having a confused look. More so they walk away shaking their head mumbling, 'what a bunch of jerks'.... I don't blame them. Not one bit for their lack of ability to really understand the game. America, for the lesser known mortals around, is a country which is self made and more concentrated internally in terms of playing any game within the country and classifying that as "world" championship [OR] for that matter rename the game just for their local benefit (Rugby to others is Football to them). So this cult that has lived for several hundred years is suddenly exposed to a change and challenge to the local game. The easiest thing they compare this game with is Baseball. The Pitcher becomes the bowler, the bases is the pitch and the runs the batters run to score in Cricket, the Catcher is the wicket keeper. Although the latter does not perform all the roles of the Catcher yet both of them perform the painful 'stand up and sit down' pattern. The shortstop, left fielder, right fielder and the center fielder comprise of the entire fielding teams team. Is'nt that simple and think baseball is same as cricket just because we were able to map who the fielders are? Answer brutally and frankly is a big NO. These are so different games played in so diferent environment the only consolation being that both the games attract huge crowds from all over the place.

An old gentleman once observed us play the game and approached us and asked what the heck are you guys doing standing still. The 'standing still' word is a loosely coupled one. He happened to see couple of the 'fielders' stnading near the boundary rope and the bowler was bowling a good line-length that the ball did not get to the boundary and that puzzled the on looker. He was getting increasingly anxious to see that the boundary fielder was standing there doing nothing but stand and return smiles to the others who stop to watch the game more becuase they are inquisitive then their penchant to know the game. The fieldsman said," Well I am waiting for the ball to be hit this end so that I field". The onlooker was surprised. He said,"Well if you are not going to get the ball here why are you standing in the ground doing nothing. What is your ulteriour objective?". There was a pin drop silence. Not to say the old man won by making a compelling point. No one could speak anything because what they said is never going to be understood by him. It was just like a 9 year old kid asking the dad what sex is? Not that the father did not know what it was, just that the kid was too off the mark - read young to explain him what sex is. Later, the old man starts to leave shaking his head mumbling 'weird game'. We were happy to see his back. The only thing that was pleasing as the day went by was that the game was attracting crowd. Many local Americans were watching the game,more in shock and awe, than appreciation. But this is the first time they are seeing 11 players dressed in all whites chasing a red 'cherry' and yelling around. Perhaps, that is what the localites would have felt in 18th century to find the local red indians walking semi-nude and making weird noises. Later on with time they became part of this long standing heritage and culture. Some time later Cricket is going to be appreciated like that by the locals. Call it sounding optimistic.

We have played in so many places this time around I would think the word would have been spread around and perhaps from the next time this game would no longer be the pariah but indeed a messiah to the mortals around.

Signing off in that note.