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Thread: What cricket looks like to Americans

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    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    What cricket looks like to Americans



    Having just read through some of Ike's questions and observations on cricket I was just wondering whether the above video is true? Especially if one considers such threads as 'Ajmal's Action', 'How Good is Sanga?', and the superbly titled 'The Waltons Vs The Little House on the Prairie'.

    In comparison to other sports such as football or basketball is cricket overly complicated and strange?
    Last edited by watson; 27-08-2014 at 02:50 PM.
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    TNT
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    .

    In comparison to other sports such as football or basketball is cricket overly complicated and strange?
    No, but some people that follow cricket are overly complicated and strange.
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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNT View Post
    No, but some people that follow cricket are overly complicated and strange.
    Some people who follow cricket are overly simple too.
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    Ike
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    I found the clip quite enjoyable, but to me it seemed to make fun neither of cricket nor of American views thereof. If it were really trying to make fun of American perspectives of cricket, I think it would have had to have been much closer to actual cricket, with somewhat subtler humor. This seemed to me to be more like a Monty Python skit, making fun of a) the English (as they so often did), and b) other sports, including hurling (neither English nor American) and American football (the kicked hoop, as in an American football 'kick off' or 'field goal'.

    I can't really say what most Americans would think of cricket, since I saw my first day (and last alas, until it started showing up online something under a year ago) of (Test) cricket in 1967, and I had been instructed in the basics of the game for a week or two before that. But I can say this: first, most Americans have never seen an over of cricket. You never hear about it here (unless you already know where to look), and it's never on TV, and it basically never comes up at all in movies seen in America. I suspect that when an average American does see cricket, he or she thinks immediately thinks of baseball, and concludes that cricket is simply some variant thereof.

    As for the question, is it overly complicated and strange, well yes it is, compared to football (American or international) or basketball. But then so is baseball! There are some subtleties to football (either type) and basketball, and most games, but they are nothing like those of cricket or even baseball. Between those two, I would say, however, off the top of my head, that baseball subtleties are more predominantly in the execution than in strategy (although both apply), whereas in cricket, the strategies of bowling, batting, and fielding positions are just as complex as the execution.

    Well, I'll stop with that... I feel I'm getting rather off topic for this forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post

    I can't really say what most Americans would think of cricket, since I saw my first day (and last alas, until it started showing up online something under a year ago) of (Test) cricket in 1967, and I had been instructed in the basics of the game for a week or two before that. But I can say this: first, most Americans have never seen an over of cricket.
    I did wonder when you posted about you and your sons game if you had any amused/bemused onlookers wondering what the hell the 3 of you were up to??

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    Ike
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    No, it was a weekday, the park was almost deserted, and we never noticed a single person watching us. Might have been fun!

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    I once was waiting to bat in steele park in Hamilton when I noticed a fellow staring intently at my pads. I became uncomfortable as he didn't change his gaze. Eventually just before I went out to bat he spoke in an American accent to his friend and I realised what had been happening. Yes we must look strange.
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    I got great enjoyment in going to the game and shouting "WHY THE **** ISN'T THIS GAME BEING PLAYED AT THE BASIN?!>!?!?" to reasonably significant cheers from the sparse crowd
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    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post
    I found the clip quite enjoyable, but to me it seemed to make fun neither of cricket nor of American views thereof. If it were really trying to make fun of American perspectives of cricket, I think it would have had to have been much closer to actual cricket, with somewhat subtler humor. This seemed to me to be more like a Monty Python skit, making fun of a) the English (as they so often did), and b) other sports, including hurling (neither English nor American) and American football (the kicked hoop, as in an American football 'kick off' or 'field goal'.

    I can't really say what most Americans would think of cricket, since I saw my first day (and last alas, until it started showing up online something under a year ago) of (Test) cricket in 1967, and I had been instructed in the basics of the game for a week or two before that. But I can say this: first, most Americans have never seen an over of cricket. You never hear about it here (unless you already know where to look), and it's never on TV, and it basically never comes up at all in movies seen in America. I suspect that when an average American does see cricket, he or she thinks immediately thinks of baseball, and concludes that cricket is simply some variant thereof.

    As for the question, is it overly complicated and strange, well yes it is, compared to football (American or international) or basketball. But then so is baseball! There are some subtleties to football (either type) and basketball, and most games, but they are nothing like those of cricket or even baseball. Between those two, I would say, however, off the top of my head, that baseball subtleties are more predominantly in the execution than in strategy (although both apply), whereas in cricket, the strategies of bowling, batting, and fielding positions are just as complex as the execution.

    Well, I'll stop with that... I feel I'm getting rather off topic for this forum.
    Monty Pythonesque? Obviously a man of excellent taste.

    Yes there are some similarities in the way baseball pitchers and bowlers share similar 'subtleties' of 'execution' in the pitching of the ball. For example, the great Monty Noble learned to perfect his bowling by applying his prior baseball skills;


    Picking up a new grip from baseball, he was able to apply swerve to trick the batsmen. "Instead of pressing two or three fingers on the ball's seam, like a spinner, Noble held it between his thumb and his strong corn-studded forefinger," Robinson wrote. "On the truest of tracks all he needed was some sort of headwind for this spin-swerve to be difficult."

    Master of the spin-swerve | Cricket News | Allrounder | ESPN Cricinfo

    As a bowler, Noble was formidable. Of slowish medium pace, he belonged to the new school of 'swerve and spin'. Long acquaintance with baseball helped him to perfect a technique that 'quite puzzled the Englishmen'. His style lost its novelty but never its effectiveness. He took 13 wickets for 77 runs against England in the Melbourne Test in 1902 and, though less successful abroad, his eventual tally of 115 Test wickets was second only to that of Hugh Trumble. With George Giffen, Noble shared the honour of scoring the 'double'—1000 runs and 100 wickets against the Englishmen.

    Biography - Montague Alfred (Monty) Noble - Australian Dictionary of Biography
    The success of Monty Noble's applied baseball skills can be easily seen in one of his recorded conversations with the legendary English bowler Sydney Barnes;

    Similarly, Barnes said he once asked Noble: "if he would care to tell me how he managed to bring the ball back against the swerve.

    "He said it was possible to put two poles down the wicket, one 10 or 11 yards from the bowling crease and another one five or six yards from the batsman, and to bowl a ball outside the first pole and make it swing to the off-side of the other pole and then nip back and hit the wickets. That's how I learned to spin a ball and make it swing. It is also possible to bowl in between these two poles, pitch the ball outside leg stump and hit the wicket. I spent hours trying all this out in the nets."

    Amol Rajan on the forgotten art of medium-pace spin | Cricinfo Magazine | ESPN Cricinfo
    Last edited by watson; 29-08-2014 at 05:23 AM.



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