I’ve never thought I’d be at a cricket match. Baseball and American football came to us in the late 80’s, and early 90’s on the wave of popularity in the United States and, having experienced rapid growth, remained exotic.
Cricket is entertainment with an unclear purpose, which is often confused with croquet (this type is more like golf). Where could you see it, except for the movies about the English aristocracy or Indian beggars?
However, it turned out to be a rare curiosity. In fact, it is considered the second most popular game on earth. Don’t you believe it? One and a half billion people in India and Pakistan are crazy about cricket! However, there are still England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and many other places where the game with the bat and ball has a lot of loyal fans. The same situation is in Gclub, where several types of bonuses are usually enough to attract players.
So, what is so captivating in this seemingly unhurried occupation of millions of people with completely different mentalities, customs, and habits?
My English teacher told me that we also play this game. He talked about his favorite game almost at every lesson inviting us to attend the match and try to play. We, the students, took all these speeches as an ordinary oddity because he was a foreigner and even the antipode. Even promises to buy a beer for a daredevil who decided to accept offers did not work.
Being a baseball fan, I was still interested in seeing live the English relative of the popular American game. I chose the most successful time for this – it was a real tournament. Four teams play each other in a round-robin system to determine the undisclosed champion.
The goal of the attacking team is to bring down these wickets with the help of skillful serves. The defending side should, on the contrary, to secure them, if possible, beating the ball as far as possible with a flat bat resembling a paddle.
After the game, I managed to touch the main tools with my own hands
The sphere, covered with leather, was very hard, but quite light. Thanks to these qualities, it can develop a decent speed, and therefore cause a painful blow to the naked part of the body.
In order to avoid such situations, batters wear protection, long soft leggings from the ankle to the waist, and of course, a shell. Professional players also wear a helmet that fans do not need, the speed is still less, they can move their head when they need it.
Although, I saw a player trying to catch a high candle on the fly after hitting the bat. He was disoriented in time and got the ball right in the eye – it was a long time for him to get over it.
The bat, despite its impressive size, is not very heavy, and it seems to be hollow inside. This is probably the secret of the popularity of baseball bats even in England – the cricket stick is still not suitable for some cases.
What about the participants?
Team players are still living reminders of the greatness of the British Empire:
- Scots and of course people from British India: Pakistanis, Hindus, natives of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
There are, of course, our own. Those who are interested in the game are still a minority, but they are learning, training, and may soon be able to compete on equal terms with foreigners. After all, they have been engaged in cricket since childhood.
This is probably what the first football matches in our open spaces looked like in the XIX century. There were Englishmen and Scots, employees of foreign companies and sailors, as well as surprised natives watching an overseas curiosity.