FanPost

OT : Cricket In India

I have been traveling in India for the past three months. People here are crazy about cricket yes cricket. In fact, I would not be surprised if India has more cricket fans than there are baseball fans in the whole world.

Cricket used to be this aristocratic thing that took four days to play a match and where the players wore starched Bermuda whites. Today, though, the one big pro sports league here in India (the "India Premier League") has repackaged cricket for the modern sensibility with condensed one-day three-to-four-hour games (just like baseball), flashy uniforms, and American cheerleaders (not "American-style cheerleaders" - *American* cheerleaders).

The games (and their recap) are on TV everywhere, all the time. When a game is on in a bar, restaurant, or other place with a public TV, it is not unusual to have huge crowds of poor people lined up on the street "ooh"ing and "aah"ing with every move.

I have taken the time to learn a little bit about the rules of cricket, and am stunned with how similar it is to baseball. I have felt a genuine sadness that baseball didn't make it here first - it would be so lovely I think to have baseball be even more of a world sport than it is already (in the USA, Canada, Latin America, far East Asia), it would be so lovely to have the 1.6 billion people of the subcontinent be baseball maniacs. I suppose it could not have been any other way than it has been, given India's history with the Brits and not with Abner Doubleday's USA. The Premier League has had players from mostly India, but also Australia, the West Indies, the UK, Africa, Canada, even (until the attacks on Mumbai last year) Pakistan - the whole former Empire.

An Indian asked me a couple weeks ago (concerning baseball): "You have your own version of cricket, yes? You call it, maybe, 'American Cricket'? ... you Americans always have to do it your own way."

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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