Is cricket worth trying to get into?

It’s as simple as that. I’ve always had this vague curiousity about the sport, but I know next-to-nothing about it. Sometimes I’ll see advertisements from my satellite provider that offer me the chance to watch a cricket…match?..tournament?..for $100 or more, and I realize there are people out there paying for it.

So…can someone out there get me excited about cricket? I’m a huge, die-hard baseball fan who gets pretty bored during the lengthy off-season. I’m not big on football, and basketball puts me to sleep. I think it would be fun to get interested in a new sport. Is cricket for me? What do I need to know? What would be the best way for me to get into it?

Run. Run away now. Run far and fast. If you don’t, glee will be here to tell you about cricket! Flee, while you still have the time!

(Actually, it was my own damn fault. I asked, he answered.)

If they used a grenade instead of a ball maybe… maybe.

The last ad I saw from Dish Network was the Indian team in England playing something like 3 tests and 7 ODIs for $100. Seeing as how that’s about two and a half weeks worth of cricket, that’s probably not a bad deal.

Cricket fundamentally isn’t that hard a game to learn. I’ve never watched a match, though. And we had to teach the cricketer on our softball team to stop pulling it foul down the left field line (there are no foul lines in cricket) and to drop the bat when he ran.

Your best bet might be to find some video of a match online to see if you like it. The 20-20 World Cup will be starting soon, which is the shortest and therefore most watchable form of the game. A 20-20 match involves about 2 1/2 hours of play, compared to 5 days for a Test match (at the end of which the result can be a draw).

This link does a fairly decent job of explaining the differences between cricket and baseball:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_between_cricket_and_baseball

Don’t want to sound discouraging, but I’d say it’s not an easy game to get into if you have no familiarity with it. I’ll see if I can find some decent YouTube footage later.

As a cricket fan, I find it easy to watch. However, it would be difficult to compare to basball- especially the longer (Test )) version. You may initially find that a bit slow. But once you become aware of the subtleties it is very enjoyable. It can take huge amounts of your time.

I would suggest you watch a few limited overs games to start with- they are finished in a day. Then, if you get the hang of it proceed to test cricket.

I’m a major cricket fan, and have been for many years, but I think that a big part of the fun of it is being a part of the culture of it - ie being amongst other people who are enjoying it. I would recommend trying to meet some sports lovers from Australia, India, England or New Zealand (just to name a few random nationalities) and see if you can watch a one day match at a bar or something with them. You don’t have to pay attention to every minute of it, and the cheers will tell you when something good has happened.

As for internet links - when I was looking a while ago for some real ‘for beginners’ links, most of the sites I found would have been pretty incomprehensible to someone with no background at all, but if you have some time on your hands, you can still check out Cricket Blog, as well as the other blogs linked to on that page. This will give you more of an idea of the ‘culture’ of the game, rather than the rules (and from an admittedly biased Australian perspective).

Cricket is, next to crown green bowls,possibly the most boring game ever invented

I’d pay $100 to watch Brockian Ultra-Cricket. If it weren’t for the high wall running all the way around the field.

The way it is played by England, that statement is probably correct.

I’ve been watching cricket in a casual way for the last, well 40 years I guess. The basic game is dead simple, but the nuance and subtlety that true understanding of the game yields goes well beyond the scope of my experience.

I do love the language of the game and am happy not to understand it in depth, rather instead to occasionally bathe in arcane terms as experts pass judgement on the latest test/one day/2020.

If you have a lot of time on your hands, then there are worse ways to spend five days on a sofa!

Cricket’s like American football - it goes on for a very long time with lots of pauses and moments of high action. It’s a very pleasant way of passing an afternoon or a day.

There’s no probably about it :smiley:

And a lot depends on the game- some matchjes are really boring- some of those on the sub-continent can be soul destroying. Some in Australia can also be the same way- often teams prefer to try to avoid defeat rather than win a match.

There are several kinds of cricket. The really short game 20-20 is a travesty and I don’t like it.

My favorite would be the one day version of fifty X six ball overs each side and a maximum of ten overs for each bowler. These games very rarely end up as tied games and, surprisingly often, end up as close contests at the finish (draws are mostly caused by bad weather where the team points are split).

The one thing you have to consider is that batting requires far more expertise and practice than rounders/baseball/softball. There are a lot of different techniques needed to study and practice. One set of techniques is needed to handle the several different kinds of slow spin bowlers, different approaches are needed for swing medium bowlers and a totally different approach for the 100 mph fast bowlers. They’re the main reason body armour is used in cricket. Also, you don’t get walks if you’re hit. Etiquette demands that you smile at the bowler and pretend it didn’t really hurt (assuming that you haven’t actually been laid out or your box hasn’t been turned inside out).

Bowling techniques would probably have the same degree of difficulty as baseball pitching.

Another thing. When fielding, you’re not permitted to use an enormous leather bucket to help you catch a ball in your non throwing hand. In fact, a fielder isn’t even allowed to use a band aid to protect his fingers except in special circumstances and with the permission of the umpires.

I am a purist and would not watch 20/20. The skills are totally different. i also dislike (to some extent) limited overs cricket which seems to me to be driving practice for the batsmen. But it has served to revitalise the game I guess.

Too late! :smiley:

Actually the general idea of cricket is straightdforward - like many sports there are some obscure rules to cover rare situations.

I like watching rugby, soccer and American Football. Almost all cricket is extraordinarily boring to me. :smack:

Cricket comes in 3 main versions, with different lengths of play:

International (called ‘Test’), lasting 5 days (!)
National (called ‘County’ in England), lasting 3-4 days
Quick, (called 20/20), lasting a few hours.

Here’s why I don’t watch the game.

It can only be played on a huge outdoor pitch in good light with dry weather conditions. If it rains at all, play stops. If it gets darkish, play stops.
After every single play, the bowler (somewhat like a pitcher in baseball) has to walk back to his mark, so he can run-up. Everything waits for him. (This can take 20 seconds or so.)
Every 3 minutes, all the fielders move round. (This takes a minute or so.)
When a player is out, a new player has to walk onto the pitch. (This takes a minute or so.)
When a team is all out, there is a break.
There are also breaks for lunch + tea.
It is quite likely in the National version that there will be a draw, simply because there wasn’t enough time to finish. This also happens in Test matches sometimes!
Sometimes one team are just playing for the draw. The other team may deliberately play badly to tempt them to make a contest of it. (It doesn’t usually work.)

I do go to 20/20 matches, because there is far more urgency. There is no draw possible, so the teams don’t faff about. Also you know roughly when the match will finish, so you can make travel arrangements.

I am bored to tears by baseball, but for some reason I find that cricket is incredibly stimulating to watch. I was in London for the summer of 1999 and some very big test was going on (the Ashes?). It was in every pub, and it was a heap of fun to watch with the locals. I learned what “hit for six” means, and learned where the “silly mid-on” stands, and had several Brits offer to buy me pints to aid my educational experience. I believe they thought I was already drunk or addled, as most Yanks give cricket a wide berth. I will admit that the first few overs were very puzzling.

Reading the BBC’s box scores from the matches with Wikipedia’s cricket page open in another tab can familiarize you with what a good game is like. Go back and read their summary of this year’s Ashes series in Australia to understand why everyone’s ragging on England’s team so hard (and why England deserves it).

For the benefit of cricket fans, here’s when cricket lost its allure for me.

I went to see a touring international team play an English County in a 3 day match. Play was from 11.00 - 18.30 and it cost about £30 ($60) to watch each day.
This was midweek, so there were about 500 spectators in a ground that seated 10,000.
Weather was fine throughout, so we got a full day’s play (about 6 hours).
The touring team apparently weren’t interested. They scored 163 runs for 5 wickets.
There were long periods where no runs were scored. At one point a batsman actually hit a boundary, whereupon a spectator cheered. A stentorian voice from the Pavilion promptly replied “Shut up! Don’t you know how to behave?”
The match was drawn two days later. I didn’t go back.

Cricket is once of the nicest games to play and watch.

Yes, you need good weather, but the pace of the game means you can really savour it.

There’s the overall sweep of the game, which takes shape gradually like a chess match. A team that seems to be winning can, in moments, find themselves struggling, only to pull it back with a determined spell.

Then within the overall battle there are individual duels - batsman vs bowler - with each side having moments of success and failure.

It’s satisfying on so many levels - hitting a perfect cover drive, bowling a batsman’s middle stump, diving full-length to prevent a boundary.

There are also moments of wonderful synergy - the captain makes a tactical field adjustment, the bowler takes note and uses his skill to pitch the ball in the right spot, and an althlectic catch is taken at first slip, just where the captain planned it.

It’s sooooo worth giving it a chance, the basics are easy to pick up, and then the endless nuances will keep you fascinated for years to come.

One of the joys of summer (OK, not this summer so much!!) is an evening cricket match on a village green, with the swallows darting and the ripe corn rippling to the horizon… lovely stuff. :slight_smile: