December 10, 2010

The right balance

Selling cricket to newer markets doesn't need added promotion of Twenty20s, which will adversely affect the balance between the three forms
23

An opinion commonly heard is that the Twenty20 version of cricket is likely to appeal most to the American masses. So administrators here should raise its profile, and market the Twenty20s more in America. The Twenty20 format is considered cricket's ticket to capture American attention, and also the game's ticket to becoming an Olympic event.

I am not so sure of this theory. I realise growing the popularity of the game is important, but not at the cost of altering the structure of the game. Using Twenty20s to proselytize cricket only means more Twenty20s added to the calendar, at the expense of other formats. I am also not comfortable partitioning the game and selling different parts to different audiences. By pushing only Twenty20s at the USA, an American fan might think India isn't doing so well in cricket having lost three of their last five Twenty20s (won 2 against Zimbabwe). Whereas in reality, as the No. 1 test and No. 2 ODI side, India is doing decently enough overall. The excitement of a traditional Test series like the Ashes or a top-of-the-table India-South Africa contest would be lost on a Twenty20-only audience.

The now ousted CEO of the USA Cricket Association, Don Lockerbie, firmly believed - contrary to this majority opinion - that even Test cricket can be popular in America, not just the shorter forms. He didn't buy the argument that Tests simply take too long. People say it's hard to get anyone to watch a single game played for five days, which might not even end decisively in either contestant's favour. In reality though, even the keenest fans of Test cricket don't watch every minute of every day. They watch while they can, watch highlights, keep tabs on the score, and watch live when the game gets really intriguing. Lockerbie said that this is exactly how people in America watch a golf tournament, so they might do it for cricket too.

To me, the fact that the game might end without a 'result' only makes it more appealing. A draw is a result too, and the more the number of possible outcomes, the more open and unpredictable the contest. You try to win, but if you can't, you at least try and draw. This makes the game-plan more interesting. After all, chess, the mother of all strategic games, can end in a stalemate too. Making cricket an Olympic sport isn't all that high a priority for me. A top cricket contest like the 2005 Ashes, the 1999 World Cup semi-final, or the 2007 World Twenty20 final, can be a spectacle in its own right, and doesn't need to be assimilated into the Wal-Mart of sports. Even if the highest rated cricket competition is just the third or fourth most popular sporting event in the world, during a 4-year cycle, that's fine.

I personally like all three forms of cricket. I like the fact that the game of cricket - with the same basic rules - can lend itself to an explosive three-hour contest, a middle-distance, drama-filled encounter, or a five-day marathon full of twists, turns, strategies, and sub-plots. I'm disappointed when fans of one form of the game put down the others.The challenge for the administrators is to manage schedules so that each form gets its time in the sun, and yet none of them is overdone.

One of the problems in achieving this balance is understanding the role of Test cricket in the game. Even the most ardent fans of Test cricket probably don't watch more than one or two tests a year in their entirety. Watching five days of a Test doesn't equate to any other form of entertainment. With drama interspersed with periods of calm, pressure interspersed with periods of serenity, excitement interspersed with phases of boredom, the ebb and flow of a Test match is a microcosm of life itself.

With not too many people watching test cricket, TV ratings are poor. For most Test matches, attendance at the stadium is also poor. On the other hand, ODIs and Twenty20s play to largely sold-out houses. I'm guessing there are people who tune into a Test only when Tendulkar comes in to bat, and turn the TV off the moment he's out. Some people might watch only to pass the time, because watching any cricket - even the 'un-entertaining' kind - is preferable to hobby No. 2.

This leads to the oft-repeated "Test cricket is dying" argument. And if it's dying in its existing markets, how can it be used to draw in newer audiences, and grow the game? Test cricket might be the most affected when more Twenty20s are scheduled, to attract newer fans. Personally I'm not that sure Test cricket is dying. Firstly, I don't think viewership is a proper metric for the popularity of an event which may not even qualify as entertainment. If it's not entertainment, people aren't going to watch continuously. What we ought to have is a statistic for number of people “following*” a Test match, people who are finding out the score at the end of the day, from the news, working out the permutations for the next day, and discussing the game. These folks don't show up in the TV ratings and the stadium attendance numbers. All the same, I believe they would be devastated if Test cricket died.

In one respect, Test cricket is like soccer, even though a soccer game lasts only 90 minutes. If you don't understand the subtle momentum shifts, the sub-plots, and the individual match-ups, then it's just one or two scoring plays in 90 minutes. Even the first morning of a Test has a couple of scoring plays every 5 minutes. This is why I don't buy another argument that Tests are 'slow.' The score moves every few minutes, via a flurry of action. There are many ‘fast’ sports in which the score doesn't move as often.

So my overall argument is that selling cricket to newer markets doesn't need added promotion of Twenty20s, which will adversely affect the balance between the three forms. It is not proven that promoting Twenty20s is guaranteed to draw in new fans of the game as a whole. What administrators must do is achieve the right balance among all the forms of cricket, recognising that each is popular in its own way. Such a balance would be healthy for the game itself, and I believe not necessarily injurious to achieving the secondary goal: that of drawing in newer audiences.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nauman on December 13, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    Great Article..Nicely written !!

  • Amy O. on December 13, 2010, 1:02 GMT

    Very well written -- I'm always going to agree about how frustrating and disappointing it is to see fans polarize to one format and scorn the rest. I still agree that T20 is the way to go to break the US into cricket (being American myself) as to show off the excitement of cricket within the typical sport fan's attention span (golf fans, though a good exception and example, are a much smaller percentage of sports fans in the States than any of the other major sports). That said, I think you'll find that once they have the taste in their mouths, fans will quickly warm to the other formats as well. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see a sort of T20 backlash after a while, as people start to perceive ODIs and Tests as REAL cricket and T20 as over-hyped fluff (which I don't believe, but I still can see happening.) If T20 can be the gateway drug to get a whole new audience addicted to the game, I'm all for it. But grassroots interest has to come even before that. Kids first.

  • LeScotsman on December 12, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Quality and context are what fans want more than anything. Saturation of any format makes it boring. When teams play 7 ODIs, followed by a mini world cup, followed by the real world cup, followed by another 7-match ODI series where half the team are injured, games become meaningless.

    The rise of Associates has injected much new interest into cricket. We're seeing new players, new styles, new stories and more unpredictability. Alas, the flawed thinking from the ICC is that every team bar full members will do better on a strict T20 diet. While T20 (formerly midweek evening cricket) can be a ton of fun, it doesn't produce quality cricketers on its own. It doesn't allow time to learn technique. Quality can only come about by facing or bowling a large volume of deliveries. Without longer formats, Associate standards will slide.

    A recent poll in Australia showed less than 16% of fans favoured T20s. In my playing experience, I've never met anyone who liked it more than a longer format.

  • shabin on December 12, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    certainly.... al hardcore cricket fans love test matches wher the real cricketers gets tested.long live test cricket!

  • rob on December 12, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    Well said! I follow cricket closely,on the Net and on TV.I have played the game in the Caribbean and in England,in my youth.I have lived in North America for decades.I have followed "American" sports for decades too,and know the pros and cons associated with them.

    Cricket doesn't need "America".I would be fearful of cricket's future if it ever became an American sport.

    Cricket also doesn't need to become an Olympic sport,there is enough cricket played already on the world stage.However 20/20 as an Olympic sport probably would be a positive for the game if it was incorporated into the 'regular' ICC world schedules.

  • chirag on December 12, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    i think the usa should be the icc main goal, in bringing them into the cricketing world, though i have still not forgiven them for letting the usa play the great australian team, i still remember glenn mcgrath bowling to the most ameature team ever, it was kinda like dale steyn bowling to a villager like cricketer in the world t20 in april.

  • landl47 on December 12, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    As a British-born, cricket-loving resident of the USA, I have every sympathy with Samarth Shah's arguments. The only problem is he's wrong. American society has no background in cricket and simply won't accept the long form of the game. Cricket has been around long enough to find that out. People I talk to here look at me blankly when I tell them that a game features 20 outs for each side (as opposed to the 27 in baseball) and lasts 5 days. 20/20 is short enough to be followed and the game is simple in strategy; just hit the ball as hard and as often as you can. Personally, I don't care for 20/20 cricket and hope that test cricket thrives, but it's no good being unrealistic. The only type of cricket that has any hope of success in the US is 20/20.

  • Randy on December 12, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Nice argument for test cricket, so where's the USA cricket news?

  • henderson Clarke on December 11, 2010, 22:56 GMT

    Having lived and played cricket in New York for over 35 yrs.I can't see test cricket making it in America,and for all the reasons that were mentioned in the above article.Americans thrive on a fast pace game,they wont sit through a five day game,no way no how.The authoities need to give New york a proper cricket stadium and for sure the game would take off in the north east.Already plenty of cricket is being played in this part of the country,all we lack are the proper facilities.We can easily draw crowds of 15-20000 people for international games in this area.Cricket can grow in America,just market it & as i said previously give us the proper facilities.

  • Nilesh on December 11, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    Very well written article. Yes, I agree. One should not forget that cricket started in the format of test cricket and that should remain as a face of the game not T20 or ODI. Sachin Tendulkar once said: “Twenty20 is like desserts,It tastes good but you can't fill up your stomach with it. You have to have a main course and that's Test cricket. I couldn't survive without main course.”

  • Nauman on December 13, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    Great Article..Nicely written !!

  • Amy O. on December 13, 2010, 1:02 GMT

    Very well written -- I'm always going to agree about how frustrating and disappointing it is to see fans polarize to one format and scorn the rest. I still agree that T20 is the way to go to break the US into cricket (being American myself) as to show off the excitement of cricket within the typical sport fan's attention span (golf fans, though a good exception and example, are a much smaller percentage of sports fans in the States than any of the other major sports). That said, I think you'll find that once they have the taste in their mouths, fans will quickly warm to the other formats as well. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see a sort of T20 backlash after a while, as people start to perceive ODIs and Tests as REAL cricket and T20 as over-hyped fluff (which I don't believe, but I still can see happening.) If T20 can be the gateway drug to get a whole new audience addicted to the game, I'm all for it. But grassroots interest has to come even before that. Kids first.

  • LeScotsman on December 12, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Quality and context are what fans want more than anything. Saturation of any format makes it boring. When teams play 7 ODIs, followed by a mini world cup, followed by the real world cup, followed by another 7-match ODI series where half the team are injured, games become meaningless.

    The rise of Associates has injected much new interest into cricket. We're seeing new players, new styles, new stories and more unpredictability. Alas, the flawed thinking from the ICC is that every team bar full members will do better on a strict T20 diet. While T20 (formerly midweek evening cricket) can be a ton of fun, it doesn't produce quality cricketers on its own. It doesn't allow time to learn technique. Quality can only come about by facing or bowling a large volume of deliveries. Without longer formats, Associate standards will slide.

    A recent poll in Australia showed less than 16% of fans favoured T20s. In my playing experience, I've never met anyone who liked it more than a longer format.

  • shabin on December 12, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    certainly.... al hardcore cricket fans love test matches wher the real cricketers gets tested.long live test cricket!

  • rob on December 12, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    Well said! I follow cricket closely,on the Net and on TV.I have played the game in the Caribbean and in England,in my youth.I have lived in North America for decades.I have followed "American" sports for decades too,and know the pros and cons associated with them.

    Cricket doesn't need "America".I would be fearful of cricket's future if it ever became an American sport.

    Cricket also doesn't need to become an Olympic sport,there is enough cricket played already on the world stage.However 20/20 as an Olympic sport probably would be a positive for the game if it was incorporated into the 'regular' ICC world schedules.

  • chirag on December 12, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    i think the usa should be the icc main goal, in bringing them into the cricketing world, though i have still not forgiven them for letting the usa play the great australian team, i still remember glenn mcgrath bowling to the most ameature team ever, it was kinda like dale steyn bowling to a villager like cricketer in the world t20 in april.

  • landl47 on December 12, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    As a British-born, cricket-loving resident of the USA, I have every sympathy with Samarth Shah's arguments. The only problem is he's wrong. American society has no background in cricket and simply won't accept the long form of the game. Cricket has been around long enough to find that out. People I talk to here look at me blankly when I tell them that a game features 20 outs for each side (as opposed to the 27 in baseball) and lasts 5 days. 20/20 is short enough to be followed and the game is simple in strategy; just hit the ball as hard and as often as you can. Personally, I don't care for 20/20 cricket and hope that test cricket thrives, but it's no good being unrealistic. The only type of cricket that has any hope of success in the US is 20/20.

  • Randy on December 12, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Nice argument for test cricket, so where's the USA cricket news?

  • henderson Clarke on December 11, 2010, 22:56 GMT

    Having lived and played cricket in New York for over 35 yrs.I can't see test cricket making it in America,and for all the reasons that were mentioned in the above article.Americans thrive on a fast pace game,they wont sit through a five day game,no way no how.The authoities need to give New york a proper cricket stadium and for sure the game would take off in the north east.Already plenty of cricket is being played in this part of the country,all we lack are the proper facilities.We can easily draw crowds of 15-20000 people for international games in this area.Cricket can grow in America,just market it & as i said previously give us the proper facilities.

  • Nilesh on December 11, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    Very well written article. Yes, I agree. One should not forget that cricket started in the format of test cricket and that should remain as a face of the game not T20 or ODI. Sachin Tendulkar once said: “Twenty20 is like desserts,It tastes good but you can't fill up your stomach with it. You have to have a main course and that's Test cricket. I couldn't survive without main course.”

  • Mark Demos on December 11, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    Remember when....that will be what is said of 50 over and test cricket sooner than later. I suspect that within 3-5 years 50 over cricket will be done except in clubs and other social venues. I suspect within 10 years test cricket will also be relegated to the rememberances of the grand old days of "Real Cricket". Reality is that if advertising does not support it, it will no longer be viable. Sports ministries and charity will not support such ventures either for the sake of nostalgia and purity of original game. The future growth and development of cricket will be what is supported by advertising and what fits in the proven format of spectatot supported sports around the world. That is 3 hours at a maximum. Football, baseball, soccer, basketball are all 3 hours or less. Even golf viewership is only measurable on Sunday afternoons if a particular golfer os on display or there is a rivalry brewing. I love your sentiments and optimism the growth and devlopment of cricket is T20

  • Xubair Sheikh on December 11, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    I agree to the concept but the writer has an extremely biased eye to look at things and to explain the idea to masses.

    "By pushing only Twenty20s at the USA, an American fan might think India isn't doing so well in cricket having lost three of their last five Twenty20s (won 2 against Zimbabwe). Whereas in reality, as the No. 1 test and No. 2 ODI side, India is doing decently enough overall"

    That can no way be and should be sold to audiences as reason enough, but yes if your aim is to only keep announcing how well indian team is doing just to get the attention of one group and hide your convincing capabilities.

  • AJ on December 11, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    India is simply NOT a great T20 team and will never be. Pakistan will always have the edge.

  • TD_160 on December 11, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    Samarth, if Americans are going to start following cricket scores on the internet or the newspapers, that's great; but if they don't watch it on TV or at the cricket grounds (I note the low attendances at the New Zealand - Sri Lanka games in Florida earlier this year) then who cares? You're not naive enough to think the ICC's investment in expansion into China and the USA are about anything other than increasing future revenues, do you?

  • Swapnaneel Baishya on December 11, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    I firmly believe that the americans will enjoy cricket much more then baseball and basketball. Cricket can be a giant entertainment sport in the united states and it needs INDIA,AUSTRALIA,ENGLAND and SOUTH AFRICA to promote cricket. Frequent international matches should be held there and automatically the interest will be generated amongst the people!!

  • Gary Crocker on December 11, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    I must agree with Samarth Shah on his statements he has made above but I think that cricket must be taken to grassroots level for it to even start to become accepted in the USA by Americans. By saying grassroots levels, I mean making it a youth recreational sport and taught at kids levels. Why I say this is that in the country I come from, Zimbabwe, I saw this game introduced to the young blacks in the rural areas in a basic form of the game. Bat, ball, wickets. Bowl the ball, hit the ball, run to score. Make it exciting to play and to watch. Blacks hardly played or watched the game and yet, it is played so much amongst them now and what, with so many of the whites leaving that country, the games only hope to prosper there is for it to be taught to the majority and that is with the blacks, many of who cannot afford to go to the rich private schools in the cities. USA needs to do the same. It is no good teaching to a generation of baseball lovers. We need to take it to the kids.

  • Rahulbose on December 10, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    Selling cricket to Americans is analogous to attempting to replace all the coffee shops with tea stalls or substituting the football stadiums with Soccer.In other words, a pipe dream that is never going to happen.

    I agree with you on the point that T20 doesn't make cricket more attractive, but cricket community should stop dreaming about becoming a major sport in US. It would be better if we focus on reviving the sport in places where it is dying (i.e Zim,WI,Pak, Nzl, etc).

  • John on December 10, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    I agree with what you are saying Samarth. As an American who plays cricket, I am more drawn to the longer formats. People say that they want to market T20 because it is similar to baseball, but I think that is a problem. Baseball already fulfills the sports void in America that T20 could slot into. There is nothing like ODIs or Tests that we have.

  • Tim on December 10, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    Let me start by saying that I also appreciate and enjoy all three forms of Cricket, and I would like to see all three flourish. That said, I have to disagree with much of this argument. If cricket is going to grow people who don't know or understand cricket are going to need to be able to sit and watch entire matches from beginning to end. This is particularly true in the United States. In order to get people with no current understanding of cricket to come to the game, they need to be able to see the whole thing. It is much easier to keep people's attention for 3 hours than for 8 hours or 5 days. And since telecasts are going to have to teach people the rules and strategy of cricket, there will be plenty of opportunity talk about the other formats as well. Twenty20 cricket doesn't have to lead to the exclusion of other formats, but it is more likely to bring people to the game in the first place. Once they come to appreciate cricket, then we can introduce them to the other formats.

  • Jamie Harrison on December 10, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    Speaking as a converted American cricket fan, and as someone who has devoted himself to selling the sport to other Americans, I'll give you my personal view of things. I think that all three forms have a place in American cricket. I do, however, believe that there will be a progression of appreciation for the novice American fan. Here's what I mean: Just as a young child's palate will reject filet mignon in favor of flavored gelatin, so will the novice fan prefer the T20 game to longer forms. As that fan learns the subtleties and nuances of the game, he or she will gradually acquire a taste and appreciation for longer forms, but this will take time. To "sell" the sport to the uninitiated, especially in America, we must first promote the version that is closest to its local market competition - T20. Twenty20 also has the biggest commercial potential, a key element in a region that lacks traditional sources of funding and is desperately in need of major corporate sponsors.

  • Ken on December 10, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    I have to say I don't quite agree. I am an American who came to love all three forms of the game through T20. I think that T20 is the best way to get Americans introduced to the game because you can sit them down and convince them to learn the game. I have two friends who had a wonderful time at the NZ v SL match in Florida last May. I do agree that T20 should not be the focus of cricket worldwide. Test matches must be preserved and promoted.

    However, since it will be a very long time before the U.S. will actually play a test match, We must promote those forms of the game that we do play. I for one am very hopeful that we will qualify for the next World Cup. That said, I would pay good money to see an exhibition test match played on American soil.

    T20 is the head of the spear, but the spear must be driven all the way. It is not enough to get Americans to love one form of cricket. All three have a place, and Tests should always remain at the top. www.americancricketfan.com

  • Vikram on December 10, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    Good Article and I agree with a lot of it. But the reality is that in today's financial landscape, administrators have to pay a hell of a lot of cash to entice the best players to embrace test cricket. This whole business of sport runs primarily on broadcasting rights/advertising revenue. The people who are spending the big money want return on their investment and they believe that the ROI is higher with International LOIs or T20 Leagues. Can't begrudge the players either for taking the "greener" path!

  • West Indian on December 10, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Fantastic piece

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • West Indian on December 10, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Fantastic piece

  • Vikram on December 10, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    Good Article and I agree with a lot of it. But the reality is that in today's financial landscape, administrators have to pay a hell of a lot of cash to entice the best players to embrace test cricket. This whole business of sport runs primarily on broadcasting rights/advertising revenue. The people who are spending the big money want return on their investment and they believe that the ROI is higher with International LOIs or T20 Leagues. Can't begrudge the players either for taking the "greener" path!

  • Ken on December 10, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    I have to say I don't quite agree. I am an American who came to love all three forms of the game through T20. I think that T20 is the best way to get Americans introduced to the game because you can sit them down and convince them to learn the game. I have two friends who had a wonderful time at the NZ v SL match in Florida last May. I do agree that T20 should not be the focus of cricket worldwide. Test matches must be preserved and promoted.

    However, since it will be a very long time before the U.S. will actually play a test match, We must promote those forms of the game that we do play. I for one am very hopeful that we will qualify for the next World Cup. That said, I would pay good money to see an exhibition test match played on American soil.

    T20 is the head of the spear, but the spear must be driven all the way. It is not enough to get Americans to love one form of cricket. All three have a place, and Tests should always remain at the top. www.americancricketfan.com

  • Jamie Harrison on December 10, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    Speaking as a converted American cricket fan, and as someone who has devoted himself to selling the sport to other Americans, I'll give you my personal view of things. I think that all three forms have a place in American cricket. I do, however, believe that there will be a progression of appreciation for the novice American fan. Here's what I mean: Just as a young child's palate will reject filet mignon in favor of flavored gelatin, so will the novice fan prefer the T20 game to longer forms. As that fan learns the subtleties and nuances of the game, he or she will gradually acquire a taste and appreciation for longer forms, but this will take time. To "sell" the sport to the uninitiated, especially in America, we must first promote the version that is closest to its local market competition - T20. Twenty20 also has the biggest commercial potential, a key element in a region that lacks traditional sources of funding and is desperately in need of major corporate sponsors.

  • Tim on December 10, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    Let me start by saying that I also appreciate and enjoy all three forms of Cricket, and I would like to see all three flourish. That said, I have to disagree with much of this argument. If cricket is going to grow people who don't know or understand cricket are going to need to be able to sit and watch entire matches from beginning to end. This is particularly true in the United States. In order to get people with no current understanding of cricket to come to the game, they need to be able to see the whole thing. It is much easier to keep people's attention for 3 hours than for 8 hours or 5 days. And since telecasts are going to have to teach people the rules and strategy of cricket, there will be plenty of opportunity talk about the other formats as well. Twenty20 cricket doesn't have to lead to the exclusion of other formats, but it is more likely to bring people to the game in the first place. Once they come to appreciate cricket, then we can introduce them to the other formats.

  • John on December 10, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    I agree with what you are saying Samarth. As an American who plays cricket, I am more drawn to the longer formats. People say that they want to market T20 because it is similar to baseball, but I think that is a problem. Baseball already fulfills the sports void in America that T20 could slot into. There is nothing like ODIs or Tests that we have.

  • Rahulbose on December 10, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    Selling cricket to Americans is analogous to attempting to replace all the coffee shops with tea stalls or substituting the football stadiums with Soccer.In other words, a pipe dream that is never going to happen.

    I agree with you on the point that T20 doesn't make cricket more attractive, but cricket community should stop dreaming about becoming a major sport in US. It would be better if we focus on reviving the sport in places where it is dying (i.e Zim,WI,Pak, Nzl, etc).

  • Gary Crocker on December 11, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    I must agree with Samarth Shah on his statements he has made above but I think that cricket must be taken to grassroots level for it to even start to become accepted in the USA by Americans. By saying grassroots levels, I mean making it a youth recreational sport and taught at kids levels. Why I say this is that in the country I come from, Zimbabwe, I saw this game introduced to the young blacks in the rural areas in a basic form of the game. Bat, ball, wickets. Bowl the ball, hit the ball, run to score. Make it exciting to play and to watch. Blacks hardly played or watched the game and yet, it is played so much amongst them now and what, with so many of the whites leaving that country, the games only hope to prosper there is for it to be taught to the majority and that is with the blacks, many of who cannot afford to go to the rich private schools in the cities. USA needs to do the same. It is no good teaching to a generation of baseball lovers. We need to take it to the kids.

  • Swapnaneel Baishya on December 11, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    I firmly believe that the americans will enjoy cricket much more then baseball and basketball. Cricket can be a giant entertainment sport in the united states and it needs INDIA,AUSTRALIA,ENGLAND and SOUTH AFRICA to promote cricket. Frequent international matches should be held there and automatically the interest will be generated amongst the people!!

  • TD_160 on December 11, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    Samarth, if Americans are going to start following cricket scores on the internet or the newspapers, that's great; but if they don't watch it on TV or at the cricket grounds (I note the low attendances at the New Zealand - Sri Lanka games in Florida earlier this year) then who cares? You're not naive enough to think the ICC's investment in expansion into China and the USA are about anything other than increasing future revenues, do you?