I am lucky that I have been exposed to baseball fairly more than most Indians very early. The first introductions came while playing a video game on media which I loved. It helped me get familiarised with the rules. Then went on to the best sports shop in our city at around the age of 11-12, bought a baseball bat and ball.
In the cubs (the junior form of scouts which I later joined) group in our school, we had cool 'brothers' who were adaptive as well. We played baseball a few days, the only time I have had experience of playign the sport in the evenings, in the night camping in school. Great days camping during holidays in school as a kid.
Okay coming back to the topic, the point is I like baseball like I do many other sports. It has got its own appeal, own specific skills required. With cable, internet and more advanced EA sports games, I understood baseball more. I would watch a live baseball game on tv as I would watch most other live sports.
The thing is cricket is unique, has far more variations than any other sport, why just compare with baseball. While every sport looks to eliminate the inconsistencies of nature, like the same court in basketball, switching of court sides in tennis, change of tennis balls after specific number of games, playing indoors - basically bringing in uniformity, cricket does the opposite.
In cricket, you have the pitch which consistently deterioates(Far less now than on uncovered wickets). The ball becomes old. (The changing of balls after 80 overs was not always there), the batsman can face a full toss or a ball on bounce, and millions of other intricacies.
Test cricket - as it originally was spanning a time (if you notice, the earlier innings were counted on minutes, the concept of counting balls only came in after advent of one day cricket), not uniform (australia and england having different rules for eg the aussie 8 ball over) and stuff makes it a unique sport. It is completely contrasting when you compare with other sports.
Now in the past 25-30 years we have had some uniformity but if you watch two simultaneous live test matches, one in australia, one in the subcontinent, you will think you are watching a different game.
Test cricket is from another age. It is less remixed than any other sport. We have the remix in the one dayers and the martyn crowe Max cricket and now the twenty20 cricket and the double wicket tournaments and the sixes and the super 8s and stuff.
But cricket is more uncertain, has more aspects than any other game.
I LOVE playing basketball and I have had fun playing baseball and football is such a simple beautiful game (it has its own charm) but never can any thing replace the joy of bowling leg spinners for me. Some other craft for some one else may carry the same fondness.
Every sport, every game has its own aspects. Even the recent twenty20 cricket requires specific skills. I refer to it as different as it is so contrasting to the original test cricket. We can enjoy them all.
Basketball is my other love for its own reasons. It carries a passion in me like rugby does to some people. But there is no denying the uniqueness of cricket compared to baseball, tennis, basketball or any other sport.