Why Americans Don’t Play Cricket?
Cricket is one of the most played sports in the world. It is a drug for people who are sport enthusiasts. It is played between two teams, having 11 players each. It is played with a help of a wooden bat and a leather cork ball. There are three types of positions in it – batting, bowling, and fielding. I am myself a big fan of this game. I read blogs and short articles to keep myself updated with the various trends and news in this game. While surfing the internet to look for new updates, I reached a website called ‘slate’ and read an article written by Brian Palmer, “Why Americans don’t play cricket”. As it is obvious from the title, the writer’s main purpose is to tell the various factors that diminished this game from America.
This article gives the details of the factors which led to vanishment of cricket from America after the Civil war. This purpose was accomplished by introducing the topic of marketing and then giving facts to expand on it. Brian also criticized others’ views to show how baseball overtook cricket by adding the blame to marketing rather than the difficulty of the game to not give the readers a bad image of the game. He compared the similarities of both games by making the statement how many of the cricket players have changed their game to baseball in the past years. He introduced both the perspectives – the fan’s perspective and the player’s in his essay to show the aspect that how both the fans and players think of both the games as similar.
Brian started the essay by referring to the match of India and Bangladesh and leading to the main topic, “Why don’t Americans play cricket?” This helped him to give the readers an image of the popularity of the game in the whole world. He added naysayers in this essay to argue a reason of diminishment of cricket from the American society by bringing the remark that it is due to the hardness and difficulty of rules in cricket which gives baseball advantage over it. He responded to the naysayers by just referring to their statement “hard to evaluate”. This helped him to mark the blame on marketing, which was the main theme of the argument. He then started writing about the history of formation of baseball from cricket after the civil war.
He also used metaphors while referring fans’ perspective such as ‘glass of cider’ and ‘lazy Saturday afternoon’ to emphasize the importance on the similarity of both sports in the views of fans. He made the statement that the according to a fan’s viewpoint, both these games serve as a good accompaniment with a ‘glass of cider’ on a ‘lazy Sunday afternoon’. He referred to baseball’s melting pot culture as another reason through which this game had importance over cricket.
This claim was proved by bringing forward the fact that how Anglo-Americans played cricket in order to keep their heritage alive, but the newer immigrants started playing baseball and were more devoted to it than cricket. He referred Baseball as ‘America’s game’ to highlight the nationalism of this game. In order to be more practical rather than theoretical, he referred to the Harris Poll, which did not even put cricket as an option to show the decreasing popularity of this sport. He also compared the budgets and funding of the year 2006 for cricket to show that the entire budget of cricket in USA cannot be compared to the revenue of even one baseball team.
He has an awesome credibility in his words to make the readers believe his point. He completed all the aspects in this essay which completely justified the reasons for diminishment of the game. He was very effective in his argument in explaining all the reasons very clearly to readers. He did not mention in the whole argument whether he liked cricket more or baseball. In this way, he did not want all the readers (whether they are baseball fans or cricket fans) to find out his favorite game. He made the readers feel that his argument was justified as he proved his position on facts rather than theories. His argument was very effective in developing the sense of similarity between both games in the minds of readers.
According to me, cricket is the best game. I was playing it since I was 10. No game could ever take the place of cricket in my life. Since childhood, my father took me to watch the game whenever it was played in my city. This could also be a reason of my attachment to this game. I was selected in my school cricket team. I was so fond of cricket that I watched highlights of even those matches which were played years ago. During the summer break, me and my friends used to go to stadium and play it all day long from dusk to dawn. It might be because of these beautiful memories I have with the game that led me to write this essay.
It was hard for me to believe that no one even knows about cricket in America when I came here. Brian mentioned in his argument that it was because of marketing that Americans started promoting baseball and pictured themselves with this game rather than cricket. Of course, that could be a reason for the establishment of baseball. But all of us know that USA is a goal-oriented country. It focuses much on the games that can make the country more successful and therefore, it focuses more on Olympic games. Since cricket is a long format game, it could never be played in Olympics, which is totally opposite from baseball as it had been played in Olympics since 1992. This reason sounds more acceptable than the one with marketing.
Another reason for the vanishment of cricket could be because Americans get bored very easily and the type of cricket played during the time of civil war was test cricket, which could last up to 5 days. This might be the reason for the evolvement of baseball, which is much shorter than cricket. Keeping these things in mind, ICC (International Cricket Council) has launched the new concept of T-20 league to engage more people to support this game. In these types of matches, there are only 20 overs and therefore, one innings usually last for up to 2 hours. Therefore, the whole match usually lasts up to 4hrs, which is much shorter than test cricket.
It is fact that American people like to promote only those games which describe their nation’s pride. This might also reason of decreasing popularity of cricket in USA as it was originally developed in England. This could be the reason of development of baseball from cricket as it shows the nation’s pride for the game. Although, it might sound funny, but the world’s first international sporting event was a cricket match played between USA and Canada in 1844 and nowadays, both these countries promote baseball more than cricket.
Cricket had evolved over centuries to become better. Nowadays, there are many formats open in this game such as T-20 matches and One-day Internationals. These matches are very short and are made to engage more people to this game. One day international matches last for 1 day because there are 50 overs to be bowled in one innings whereas in T-20 matches, there are only 120 balls to be bowled and therefore, they don’t last as long compared to the test matches and One-day internationals. Some private organizations also arrange 10 overs matches. These matches are not promoted on state or national levels. They are just held for the purpose of entertainment.
In some countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Australia, people treat this game as a religion. This game developed in India from an old traditional game called ‘Gully Danda’. Every country has its own way of playing this game. But almost all the countries play this game in one form or the other. Brian in his essay left out the basic reasons of decreasing popularity of this game and focused basically on the reason of marketing which is not a reasonable accommodation for this purpose.
Brian referred to both the cricket and baseball as similar games. There might be similarity between the outlook of both these sports, but we can’t say that both are similar by just looking on the way of playing. The rules of both these games are extremely different. There are 11 players in a cricket game while on the other hand, baseball has just 9 players in each team. There are only 2 innings in one game of cricket while a baseball match lasts for 9 innings.
There are two types of balls in cricket – red and white. The color of the ball is chosen depending on the color of jersey of players to make the ball visible. In baseball, there is only one type of ball, which is made up of cork core and stitched by string or yarn. The boundaries are also referred by different names. In cricket, if a ball clears the boundary in air, the shot is called a sixer, while in baseball, the same shot is referred as home run.