USA September 24, 2007

The rise of cricket in New Jersey

Cricket’s popularity in the USA continues to rise, no more so than in New Jersey according to the Daily Record .

Cricket’s popularity in the USA continues to rise, no more so than in New Jersey according to the Daily Record.

And cricket is fast emerging in this country, after lying dormant for some two centuries under the wraps of old Philadelphia money, snoozing behind the walls of the Merion Cricket Club, or across the tracks at Quaker-strong Haverford College, where young scholars have been "cricketing" since 1833. Cities have always seen their immigrant newcomers bring pastimes to U.S. playing fields. The first recognized, modern baseball game, descended from cricket and a game called "rounders," was played in 1846 at Hoboken's Elysian Fields. […]

"The unique thing about cricket is you bring so many different peoples from so many walks of life, so many nationalities, ethnicities, religions," said Rouse, whose novel "Sticky Wicket, Volume I -- Watkins at Bat" is a cricketing story set in the imaginary Fernwood, N.J., which Rouse modeled after a Cherry Hill or an Edison. "These are people who ordinarily would not have much in common. But you mention cricket and they all can identify with it," said Rouse, a college educator. Cricket's rise is not without conflict. There are more teams vying with one another for playing space, and thereafter vying for the same space -- called "the pitch" in cricket parlance -- with other more-common sports, such as soccer or softball.

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

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