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Cricket: it's a-comin', y'all

The latest effort to sell the game to America is on. What's the mood at the top levels of USA Cricket?

Alan Tyers
USA supporter faces up to the grim truth, Australia v USA, Rose Bowl, Champions Trophy, September 13, 2004

Marietta-Lou wonders if anyone else has noticed the umpire is standing at the wrong end  •  Getty Images

The Chairman rose to his feet.
"My fellow cricketeers," he said. "Two years ago, I - Montgomery P Wodgeboggler Junior - made you a solemn promise. I told you that within two years we would have real live cricketry on US soil, and that people would pay good money to come watch it.
"And when those 13 people streamed into the Wodgebogglerdome here in Florida this Sunday, I knew that I had made good on my promise."
A chant of "USA! USA! USA!" went up. Wodgeboggler continued.
"Were all of those people committed fans of cricket? No. Were all of them in full possession of their mental faculties? Perhaps not, but Florida's unrivalled supply of the elderly and befuddled is not a resource we should be ashamed of utilising. Had some been lured there with the promise of free Cheez Whiz, as much Gatorade as they could drink, and a half-time show from Bucky Stetson And The Good Ole Boys? Perhaps.
"But the point remains: that's 13 very satisfied customers, some of whom were not even able to escape by climbing the mildly electrified fencing surrounding the Wodgebogglerdome once the exciting cricket action began."
The crowd began to sing the traditional anthem of USA Cricket, "She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain When She Sees My OffCutter, Whatever In The Goddamn Hell That Is". Wodgeboggler appealed for calm.
"Were there difficulties? Of course there were. Convincing the immigration authorities at Miami International Airport that New Zealand was not in the Axis Of Evil was not easy. Nor was springing the fine cricketists lead by our good friend Mr Kunard Skanar - Sangriakana - Skataranaga - our good friend the esteemed star batter and team captain of the Sir Lankans - from Guantanamo Bay. It took a considerable amount of diplomatic skill to persuade the CIA that a "doosra" was not actually a potential weapon of mass destruction, and for that we are eternally grateful to our friends in the legal profession.
"But we had a dream, ladies and gentlemen, a dream that was passed down to me by my father, Montgomery P Wodgeboggler Senior, from his own daddy, my grandpappy, Ulysses Q Wodgeboggler. That dream is to establish cricket in America and nurture it. Nurture it until cricket is as popular as, if not baseball, or hockey, or that hitting the ball at the wall with the hand sport that my gardener and his friends like to do, or even as popular as the stupid soccerball, at least as popular as keep fit, foreign travel and Hilary Clinton at an National Rifle Association meeting in Alabama. Home run!"

Alan Tyers is a freelance journalist based in London. All the quotes and "facts" in this article are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)