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Twenty20 Cricket Taking Over the World!


DrungoHazewood

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Most of you know I'm a strong advocate for baseball's international expansion. I think that the game has all kinds of competition for players and fans here at home, and has had 150 years to tap out the US market. I think expanding the game in other countries is the best way to keep growing the game, bringing in new revenues, and tapping potentially vast pools of talent.

Cricket is a sport that's been out of vogue here in the US since baseball got really popular in the 1860s and 1870s. But it's always been very popular in the UK and the British Commonwealth countries and former colonies of Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and some of the West Indies (Caribbean) nations.

Cricket faces some of the same criticisms and prejudices that baseball does - mainly that it takes too long, and there's too little action. A cricket test match can take five days, and even the one-day version of the game takes eight hours or more.

So a few years ago a British cricket association got together and made up rules for something called Twenty20 cricket. It's much faster, games are played in three hours or so, and it's become very popular for TV. India has already set up a Twenty20 premier (major) league, and the Redskins cheerleaders made a trip to cheer at some matches recently (:confused::eek:).

Well now a guy from Texas, of all places, is planning on organizing and dumping a ton of cash into promoting Twenty20 and developing tournaments and leagues in the West Indies and England.

Shouldn't this be the kind of thing that baseball gets into? Why don't we see some of our billionaires investing in spreading baseball around the globe? Why doesn't Paul Allen or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or Michael Dell set up tournaments with Japan or Australia or Italy, where baseball is currently played? Is baseball hampered by the fact that MLB essentially controls almost all aspects of the sport, and has a very US-centric viewpoint? Why can't baseball address some of its criticisms by having different variations of the game that children from foreign countries would be more apt to take up?

Anyway, I'd love to go see a Twenty20 match. In the early days of baseball some of the best players were converted cricketers, and the sports share a common lineage in a lot of ways. I've always been intrigued by the similarities and differences in the two sports.

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"Cricket! You gotta know what a crumpet is before you start talking about cricket!"

A glenn__davis pat-on-the-back to whoever can identifity that quote.

Anyway, I share your affinity for cricket, Drungo. My wife grew up in Barbados where cricket is still quite popular, so I've heard a pretty good deal of stories about it.

One of the softball diamonds we play on in Federal Hill has a tennis court next to it, and all the Pakistani cab drivers show up there and play cricket. I've always wanted to go over and ask if I could join them.

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I live within a stone's throw of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, where most of the year tennis is played. But I've watched parts of a couple matches in the last couple years, and I gotta say -- if I knew what the hell was going on, I might have enjoyed myself.

But seriously, your points are valid, and baseball should be more creative in areas like you suggest.

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"Cricket! You gotta know what a crumpet is before you start talking about cricket!"

A glenn__davis pat-on-the-back to whoever can identifity that quote.

Anyway, I share your affinity for cricket, Drungo. My wife grew up in Barbados where cricket is still quite popular, so I've heard a pretty good deal of stories about it.

One of the softball diamonds we play on in Federal Hill has a tennis court next to it, and all the Pakistani cab drivers show up there and play cricket. I've always wanted to go over and ask if I could join them.

Raphael to Casey Jones in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

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Just curious: is Cricket actually highly popular in the UK? All the Brits I know are familiar with it, but it's not something they actually watch much. Maybe a big match with some other country, but that's about it. It seems like part of their heritage that they really don't care about much.

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Just curious: is Cricket actually highly popular in the UK? All the Brits I know are familiar with it, but it's not something they actually watch much. Maybe a big match with some other country, but that's about it. It seems like part of their heritage that they really don't care about much.

I'm British and grew up there. Cricket is popular in England but it varies from region to region. A lot of schools don't play it at all now so many kids are growing up without playing it at all. It's basically a public school game (i.e. if you pay for your education you will play cricket a lot more!)

For the international matches England has a huge following, home and away selling out the stadiums almost each time they play but that's only around 12 test matches (5 days each) and maybe 20-30 one day matches per year.

The counties (that's the regional teams that play in the national leagues) play 4 day matches and one day day matches. The 4 day games will get just a few hundred spectators each day but these games last all day and are during working hours.

The Twenty20 matches that last around 4 hours are much more popular. They start around 5pm as everyone is leaving work and there are many more spectators at these games and the atmosphere is quite roudy. However to put it into context, a good attendance for even one of these cricket games is 8-9000. The worst premier league soccer club would average around 25,000 spectators for each game and the best over 70,000.

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Shouldn't this be the kind of thing that baseball gets into? Why don't we see some of our billionaires investing in spreading baseball around the globe? Why doesn't Paul Allen or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or Michael Dell set up tournaments with Japan or Australia or Italy, where baseball is currently played? Is baseball hampered by the fact that MLB essentially controls almost all aspects of the sport, and has a very US-centric viewpoint? Why can't baseball address some of its criticisms by having different variations of the game that children from foreign countries would be more apt to take up?

Essentially, yes. MLB controls everything baseball and it is very, very paternalistic about it.

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Just curious: is Cricket actually highly popular in the UK? All the Brits I know are familiar with it, but it's not something they actually watch much. Maybe a big match with some other country, but that's about it. It seems like part of their heritage that they really don't care about much.

Cricket is probably now more popular in the former British colonies than in Britain itself. Cricket is insanely popular in southern Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. They take great pride in beating each other and in beating Britain and Australia.

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