Tomorrow is the first day of the 2015 Cricket Allstars. The first of three T20 matches will be held in New York in Citi Field, that was one of the hosts of this year’s World Series.
After New York, the second game will be in Houston at Minute Maid Park and then wrap up in Los Angeles in Dodger Stadium.
Here’s what to expect.
What Is “T20”?
First of all, what is T20 cricket? T20 (pronounced tee-twenty) is a shorter for of the game. First-Class cricket has no timetable, just when all men are out is there innings over.
To relate this to baseball, cricket has “overs” whereas baseball has “innings”. An over in cricket is six legal deliveries. After that, the other bowler (pitcher) comes at the batsman (batter) from the other side and the six deliveries are repeated again. You do that twenty times, and that team has finished its spell at the crease (plate).
Since First Class / Test cricket can last upwards of five days for a match, T20 is like most Western sports and last just three hours.
It’s also a more exciting game as the game is more aggressive in nature so there are a lot more fours and sixes (home runs).
Has Anyone Ever Played Cricket in America Before?
Actually, yes. Since the game of cricket is older than the United States, cricket has literally been played on American soil even before the nation’s founding. Cricket enjoyed great success but fell out of favor after the Revolutionary War for obvious reasons, but then made a slow comeback.
By then, Americans had created their own game, a mix of two English games, cricket and rounders but there was still interest in the game of cricket.
The first ever international game of cricket was played on American soil as the United States took on Canada in 1844.
There was even a time that the United States had over 10,000 registered cricketers and the best player on earth was an American named Bart King.
After the Second World War however, Americans clamored to what they knew and loved and cricket in America was finally put to rest.
Okay, So What Are The Bad Things About This Tour?
There are a few bad things of course.
The biggest one is pricing. Since America is a nation of immigrants and tons of foreign labor, this tour is an expat money grab. Few tickets started at $50 but soon after that, the prices quickly explode up to the hundreds. Basically, anyone slightly interested in cricket would have to pay a minimum of fifty dollars to experience a game that they don’t understand. That is not how you exhibit something that you would like to promote.
Another issue is the locations.
Cricket grounds are enormous since the ball is hit to all sides of the batsman, both in front and behind. So to fit the boundaries in a baseball stadium is going to be a very tight squeeze. But there is a pro to this. With smaller boundaries, that means more runs. More runs means more fun for most people.
The final issue is the weather, especially in the cold temperatures of New York. It looks like the organizers are dodging a bullet this year and it looks as if no storms are hitting the Big Apple, but that was a huge gamble.
Also, the match being played in Houston is not getting that much attention but that’s to be expected. The good thing about that field is, it does have a closable roof, meaning conditions will be more friendly there.
So What Are The Good Things?
Now that we live in a smaller world, I feel that this tour will be the first of many more cricket games to come.
Expats will be able to see their idols play and Americans will now know about cricket for at least one week a year. Who knows, just like the United States hosting the World Cup planted the seed of soccer into the nation’s mind, maybe this will be the beginning of bringing cricket back to America.
Maybe one day in the future, America will be a Full Member with a Cricket World Cup under her belt.
Crazier things have happened.