By Mark Friedman from Santa Fe, NM
I am a born and bred baseball fan. I grew up with the Phillies, and then had season tickets with the Orioles when I moved to Baltimore. Now I follow the Diamondbacks and Rockies. But I travel a lot for work and got interested in cricket from long evenings watching TV in hotel rooms in the UK and Australia. It didn't take much time to learn the basics (friends and Wikipedia helped), and I learned to love the game. I think America is missing out on one of the best, not to mention fastest growing, sports in the world. And it doesn't have to be that way. Here are five reasons why the new faster paced version of cricket will appeal to Americans.
Americans will have to get over some strange, sometimes funny sounding, names for things, like "midoff" instead of "shortstop," and new equipment, like the flat cricket bat instead of the round baseball bat. But the game is fun to watch. There is an easy way to follow the play and more complex strategy underneath for those who are interested. There is a playing history that goes back hundreds of years, with their own version of superstars like Babe Ruth. Cricket will never replace baseball and it never should. But this is a sport that many Americans could learn to love if given the chance. You can see Cricket played on some pay per view satellite TV stations. But a mainstream sports channel should give 20/20 cricket a try. If we can watch Australian Rules football late at night, why not cricket?
The author is the Director of "The Fiscal Policy Studies Institute" Santa Fe, New Mexico and also a writer of the books "Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough" and "The Little Book of Results-Based Dieting". The opinions expressed are completely personal to the author. You can send your views to the author by email.