So, this summer I decided I wanted to learn how to do something new, and that is to play cricket. This spring semester I did a sport diplomacy project involving cricket in India as well as a hypothetical performance training protocol for an Indian professional cricket team. Even with that, the only time I’ve seen this British sport played was on YouTube while doing research on it. I intend to go to India soon, as well as other countries cricket is played, so I figured I should learn to be able to play so that I may have a good time and possibly have a market training niche abroad. Plus, I’m no good at soccer so cricket is a modest substitute, I think. I’ll share a bit about the two weeks I played. I have some videos and pictures in here so I don’t have to explain the game, because, well I don’t know it yet.
My Saturday ritual in Texas has been to play ultimate frisbee at 10am. Well a few weeks ago while playing here in Frisco, there was a new guy up there playing with us. As I was speaking to him he began to tell me that he was tired because he had played cricket earlier that morning. Upon hearing “cricket” I became excited and inquired about where he played as I was trying to find somewhere to play. He told me about a team that practices on Friday and Saturday evenings down in Irving Texas. And so it began…
The following Friday I drove the epic distance to Irving (Friday afternoon traffic :/ ) and made a couple wrong turns but ended up at the school around 6:15pm. Well, within 10min I saw a guy pull in who seemed to look like he was there to play. We sat in our respective cars until about 7-7:15pm. The only reason I hadn’t left prior was because I drove too far to just up and go. I just sat slumped in the car blasting music (NWA I think), reclined back, left leg just hanging out the car side. It was hot y’all. Eventually all these guys showed up a bit after 7pm and I asked if I could learn with them and they all said sure.
It was a fairly simple set up, cones went around the field, “wickets” were stuck into the ground and we all got split up. The thing about cricket is that the ball can be hit in ANY direction. I played what was basically short stop and got a fair amount of action fielding the ball. Except for a far out one that I chased and dropped, I got to the ball quickly and got the ball back to the “bowler” (pitcher) swiftly. It wasn’t that fast paced of a game, each play was less than 10 seconds and you only had to move if the ball was hit into your area. The time in-between throws could be anywhere from 40seconds to a minute and a half. That, along with them having serious accents in English, and just outright speaking Hindi, left me distracted a fair bit. I paid quite some attention to these girls working out on the track away from us and almost cause me a bad play or two
Now when it came to batting, oh man was I bad. The style of batting in cricket is very different from baseball. The bat resembles a wooden paddle that is very swollen. The swing is much less dramatic than a typical baseball swing (at least for me) and the bat is swung from the bottom upwards with only a small amount of torso rotation. This is unlike in baseball which the swing much more horizontal and more forceful. It doesn’t take too hard of a swing to send a cricket ball (comparable in size to a lacrosse ball) soaring. Sadly I admit, I set nothing soaring. As a matter of fact, I hit 1 ball in 2 days. I couldn’t even take myself seriously haha. Here is a video of some good cricket play!
All in all, it was a good experience to have, I’m not sure how much I’m going to play once I get back to Austin but I’m sure it’ll be easy to find given the sheer amount of people at my school and amount of Indian students who move here for school. If girls spectate, then I’ll make more time for it haha. I didn’t start playing until the latter part of my summer and Irving isn’t that close so I only went for a couple weeks. I’m not going to get into all of the rules and technicalities, I still don’t fully understand all of them. Here is a link that has a fairly good explanation. We made it work with like 15 people, not 24 as is formal cricket