April 27, 2007

USA

Cricket's popularity growing in USA

Martin Williamson

It’s not often that the mainstream US press takes much notice of cricket, but a feature in The New York Times this week bucks the trend. Some of the writing is fairly predictable, but it does off a few interesting insights.

The sport of googlies and wickets, of five-day games and breaks for lunch and tea, has gained a toehold in this land of baseball and apple pie. Increasingly, immigrants from countries as diverse as England and Bangladesh are congregating in neighborhood parks, setting up pitches and reconnecting with lands left behind.

The report cites the success of the Atlanta Georgia Cricket Conference, which has has grown to 18 teams:

They don't come close to matching the influx of Latin Americans who have transformed soccer into an leisure-time phenomenon north of the border. But cricket has a strong following among those who emigrated from the former British Empire to the ex-colony that came up with its own bat-and-ball game.

And it concludes with an interesting report on a game between North Atlanta and the JP Gymkhana Cricket Club:

In the middle of the oval-shaped field, there's a 22-yard-long strip of packed dirt, which is where the bowler bounces the ball toward the batsman. Wickets stand at each end, the all-important wooden pegs that must be defended by the batting team. The outer boundary is staked out by small red tags, the kind the water company leaves when it's about to dig up a yard.

The North Atlanta team is a downsized version of the U.N. In addition to Bangladesh, the players hail from India, Pakistan, Jamaica and England -- a diverse group that puts aside cultural differences and any simmering rivalries. India and Pakistan may be blood enemies on the subcontinent, but they get along just fine in Dixie.

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by jasneet on (October 20, 2009, 16:42 GMT)

I agree with vinod, the only way cricket can be famous in usa is by showing cricket matches on cable. The other way it can be famous by bring cricket into the schools.

Posted by Olympic Cricket on (July 25, 2008, 5:22 GMT)

It's wrong that for 100 years the cricket playing countries have been deprived of the chance to win Olympic Medals in a sport they are good at.....cricket.

Reintroducing Cricket to the Olympics at the 2012 London Games would be perfect, as England has the Infrastructure,cricket stadiums & fans.

The exciting Twenty 20 format is ideal for the Olympics and could spur the development of a professional league in the US and Canada ,motivate athletes everywhere, and make cricket even more popular worldwide.

So sign the petition to get cricket into the 2012 Games at www.cricket2012games.com and tell your, family, friends & colleagues.

Why shouldn't the top cricket countries like Australia get the chance for Olympic Glory ? - It only takes seconds to sign the petition

Posted by mithun raj on (June 21, 2008, 7:25 GMT)

cricket is the only game in world which is associated with life of people....its not just wiining the game but love towards the game...... each and every country should play cricket

Posted by Adam Scholem on (June 20, 2007, 20:33 GMT)

For cricket to succeed in the US, a development program like the Play Cricket initiative in England is needed. We don't need high-profile matches of old West Indies players (though those have their place as well) marketed to people already familiar with the game. We need to put bats and balls in the hands of school children, introduce the game to summer camp athletic programs, and get kids playing on their own. Too many people try to focus of training up a world-class team from the tiny cricket playing population, rather than spreading the game's base. Once there are thousands of kids playing all over the country, the rest will sort itself out. We needs lots of low-grade cricket, rather than trying to produce an internationally competitive team.

Posted by jai on (June 10, 2007, 23:40 GMT)

yes cricket will eventually be big in USA. We have the talent..and the officiating. Guys we have two of the best Umpires in the world living here...nizamuddin baksh and mohammed baksh we have the money, sponsors and lets settle our differences.please

Posted by steve malarney on (June 4, 2007, 23:32 GMT)

I hope to see cricket get more popular in the states. As an American living in Australia for the past three years I found cricket irresistible. I would go as far to say that I enjoy cricket more than my beloved baseball. Hopefully more come to realize what this sport has to offer and what a joy it is to play and watch.

Posted by VENKAT -> EAGLE on (June 1, 2007, 15:43 GMT)

CRICKET WILL BE FAMILIAR SOON, BUT NOT ON TEST OR ONE DAY - ONLY SUCESS CAN GET THRU IS 20/20 FORMAT GOOD LUCK -

Posted by Sumair on (June 1, 2007, 1:01 GMT)

Cricket can be a popular sport here if rightly so it is televised in California on the cable.There are teams that trying to come up with good cricket but they need to be supported by the government too.

Posted by Venki on (May 26, 2007, 10:38 GMT)

Cricket can succeed in US only if it is redefined to combine the plus points of baseball and cricket. It should be called SLAMBALL and bring in a shorter format the good points of both the games. Anyone interested ??? I have some concepts. Cricket as it is now will not click in US where baseball is firmly embedded as a spectator sport.

Posted by Vinod on (May 19, 2007, 8:26 GMT)

Cricket should be telecasted live on main cable channels. If Cricket gets televised on pay per view basis, no one will watch cricket. And there is no way it can become popular.

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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