- Jun 24 2006 11:39PM comments
By Mike Ghouse
It has always been a dream to bring about a parallel game of Cricket to be played in America. Let’s call it “American Cricket,” just like the American Football.
The traditional Cricket will continue to thrive with our generation, and will survive with the influx of immigrants. What’s next? American Cricket or Traditional Cricket? Can they both continue? What is American Cricket? A parallel Cricket game that will become a household name over a period of 10 years. To become a popular name and a household game, it has to carry at least a few of the following features:
* A Maximum of 3 hours game. * Get Moms and Dads on the field – like soccer, baseball and football. * Every child should get to bat and bowl. * Competitiveness of the game must be maintained. * It must be fun to come and watch.
Traditional Cricket covers items 4 and 5, but misses items 1, 2 and 3. The new American Cricket will incorporate the enthusiasm and patience of American families. The Moms and Dads would love to come and watch, as they do with Football, Baseball and Soccer.
Why do we need to have a parallel Cricket? The traditional game will be enjoyed by most of the immigrants, playing 40 overs or longer. We have developed the patience even to watch the game for 5 days or whole night in case of One Day Cricket. As the societies get busier with their available time, you will find fewer of them in the Stadium to watch. The traditional Cricket may become a thing of the past if it doesn’t adapt.
Any new thing that is successful in America gets parental support, it gets funded, and it entrenches and becomes a national hobby. Cricket has the potential to compete with baseball and earn the interest of American public, which may seem far fetched? So was landing on the moon. ODIs were not looked upon with love especially by players who loved to bat for 5 days! Ultimately, the reality had to take over and sink in.
Cricket is our culture, we grew up with it. We enjoyed it and perhaps most of us stopped going to the stadium because of the time element. We have an opportunity to continue with it, make it more fun and yet not consume our time or the players’ time. Gramophone records are thing of the past, Audio Cassettes and Videotapes soon will be. We need to look forward and work on the continuity of the enjoyment of Cricket. This would also be our contribution to Americana.
Details of American Cricket Each batsperson (boy/girl) gets to play 1 (or 2) overs and retire to the sidelines. Let’s say at the end of 7 (or 15) overs, 7 batspersons are out, and 3 have gone to the side lines, then the captain can call back the batsperson(s) from the side lines and have them play out the remaining overs or until everyone is out whichever comes first.
Every player must get an opportunity to bowl one over. By giving the opportunity to every bowler the performance ought to increase. All the 11 may not bowl, then either they need to be trained or a few bowlers may be given the exclusive but pre-determined opportunity.
The batting order and the bowling order must be announced in advance.
Every two overs can be counted as an innings – and sides changed. This may create an equal pitch opportunity, comparable weather and equal energy opportunities.
The Benefits:Every player gets an opportunity to play; the newer batsperson may be out in less than two overs as he/she is learning the ropes. The seasoned player gets to come back and show his/her mettle. One of the reasons’ the limited over games are slow to gain popularity is that, a few batspersons ever get to play and never get the opportunity to raise their standards.
For Cricket to survive, it has to have a pipeline. What’s next should be addressed; the continuity of the game depends on the availability of the players in the pipeline. Where do we get new players? We need to start from the school and to do that; it must capture their enthusiasm.
Parents can make time to come to their kid’s games. They get to see their child get an opportunity to bat and they can watch the scores exciting than baseball, and have to sit there only for three hours unlike the traditional cricket. Every sport gives an opportunity for every player except Cricket. This is good even for the traditional batsmen who seldom get an opportunity to bat. If it is three hours, at least friends, spouses and family can stop over and watch the game.
* This was submitted for publication by Mike Ghouse, president of the North Texas Cricket Association