Cricket in the USA?
Most Americans have heard of cricket, but are much more familiar with the insect that chirps. Folks might be surprised how close cricket came to being America’s national pastime.
The name of the game originated in Anglo/Saxon France from “Cryce” which is loosely translated to mean “Hit ball with stick”.
The game itself took form in the late 1600s in Southern England.and became England’s national sport in the 1800s.
However, the first International cricket match was between the United States and Canada or the British Empire’s Canadian province on September 24-26 1844 in St George Cricket Club ground in Bloomingdale Park in New York.
Further evidence of the sport in America’s early days is the fact that two of the country’s oldest sports clubs are the Longwood Cricket club and the Logan Cricket club both established in the 1800s and located in the Boston area.
The British folks eyeing the developing game in “The Colony” decided to exact royalty on the American version. Led by the great Harry Wright an English-born cricketer who migrated and is famous for founding the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the game was changed and merged with rounders a game the British regiment played in India, hence we have the four bases.
Students of baseball history will know that originally the ball was pitched in the dirt like cricket, but this “dirt” or pitch is very difficult to build and maintain and the decision to remove it from the game and pitch through the air was a brilliant move for the developing game.
Cricket is now played worldwide in varying formats, between nations, the main competition is called “Test cricket” involving England Australia India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka West Indies and Zimbabwe these games are scheduled for five days with breaks for lunch and of course tea.
One Day International matches ODIs involve a few more countries and culminate in the Cricket World cup every four years. As the name suggest these games are completed in a day with one break for lunch.
The newest and fastest growing format is called T20 these games are usually completed in four hours or less. The difference with this format is that it is not only played between nations, but several leagues have sprung up with teams comprising of players from many nations like in the National Basketball Association. There are at least six of these professional leagues worldwide the biggest and most popular starts next month in India and is known as the Indian Premier League or IPL.
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