Wednesday, November 21

Cricket ≠ Baseball

Recently, Ezra had the occasion to visit a former British Colony. "When in Rome" is Ezra's Mantra when visiting Far-Off Lands. As such, Ezra took the opportunity to watch a fair amount of Cricket. Cricket, truth be told, has always intrigued Ezra because of its close relation to Baseball. Yea, at the grossest level, both Sports rely on the batted ball to generate Runs. More specifically, both Sports utilize the pitched (or bowled) ball, a wooden bat, fielding Defense, and the distinct lack of a clock. Ezra felt that the aesthetic, philosophical and tactical differences between Baseball and Cricket would allow Him to appreciate both Sports on their own unique merits. In the Hallowed Halls of Sport, Cricket should be nestled among Baseball, Football, Ice Hockey, and Soccer. In short, Ezra was primed to become a fan of Cricket.

After hours of Study, Ezra achieved a sense of Enlightenment in one Simple and True Maxim: Cricket does not equal Baseball.

The aforementioned Maxim has nothing to do with the differences in Form and Style between Cricket and Baseball. Ezra foresee Himself adapting to the action of the Bowlers, the wacky get-up the Batsmen wear, and the silly looking Wicket (however the blast that thing came into Existence). The Cricket Oval lends itself to new and different strategies relative to Baseball. All idiosyncrasies could be incorporated into a genuine Appreciation for the Sport of Cricket. Unfortunately, Cricket, like Basketball, suffers one Fatal Flaw that relegates it to Second Tier Status in the Pantheon of Sports; to wit, too much scoring.

A recent Match - termed a One Day International (ODI) in which each Innings is limited to 50 Overs, or 300 legitimate Bowls (read: pitches) - between India and Pakistan ended with the score 294-248 in India's Favor. What kind of Cockamamie Score is this?!? A Run (or Point or Goal) ought to be the Exception, not the Rule. How can Ezra get excited about a Run when it occurs so bloody often?

Ezra officially consigned Cricket to the Second Tier Status when watching an ICC World Twenty20 Semifinal Match between New Zealand and Pakistan. New Zealand scored an abnormally low number of Runs during their Innings, thereby providing an opportunity for an inferior Pakistan team to take the Match. In a Twenty20 Match (or ODI), it's a race between the number of Overs the Bowlers bowl and the number of Runs the Batsmen drive in. As the Match wound down, Pakistan needed 42 Runs from 42 Balls (or, alternatively, 8 Outs); then, 17 Runs from 18 Balls (or 6 Outs); and finally, 12 Runs from 12 Balls (or 6 Outs). Given the Ease with which Runs are scored (Pakistan averaged 7.8 Runs/Over, or more than 1 Run/Ball), even a Novice like Ezra knew that Pakistan would win. Where is the Drama? Where the Tension? Where the Anxiety? Nay, Cricket offers none of these.

It is for this Reason - this Reason alone - that Cricket will forever be the amateur, 8-year-old deadbeat to the superior Sport that is Baseball.

1 comments [add yours!]:

spanky said...

What a zoo!

How about adding a photo or two, so we can laugh at the brown people too? I can mentally add the clownshoes myself.