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Saturday, July 12, 2003

Baseball and Cricket

First off, thanks Green for the explanation about Errors. My next decision is whether to watch the All Star game. Pros: (1) Gives me the chance to see some of the current big names so I will know a little more about who the commentators talk about! (2) Probably see some decent baseball. Cons: (1) For me it starts at 1am, and will go on for at least 3 hours, and I have to get up at 7. So sleep will be short to say the least! (2) I'm generally wary of anything that is hyped too much, because it can disappoint. Probably resolution: I'll record it and watch it in the evening.

Anyway, more thoughts cricket, which only have the most tenuous link to baseball.

Cricket is a funny game. There are various 'types' of matches, but the one that is the Rolls Royce of cricket is the Test Match. This is (usually) a 5-day affair. The game tends to be slow, though at times it can have you on the edge of your seats. And it has stats. Lots of stats. Stats galore. I ought to know because I scored for my schools 1st XI for 4 years, and it was a good-quality school team. One of my tasks were to produce all those statistics. Batting stats, bowling stats, fielding, wicket-keeping, drawing 'wagon wheels' to show how each batsman scored their runs, using different coloured pens for each bowler to be able to see how each bowler and batsman coped against each other, and it goes on. Fun. The depth to which these stats can go is amazing, and in the modern tech environment of the professional sport they do go that far. It is the most stat-orientated game in the UK. Nothing else comes close. So, in a strange way, is the 'national' game that is closest to American games with their similar stat-obsession. Which perhaps explains one reason why I liked American Football so much when I was first exposed to it last year, and also explains my growing interest in baseball.

Of course, I could ever see cricket catching on the US, even to the extent soccer has. Even though advertising opportunities would be frequent (on average, every six balls). It is too slow, pure and simple. But the similarity is definitely there, and definitely where baseball is concerned, even though baseball resembles rounders a good deal more.

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