June 18, 2011

So, Cricket, Maybe?: With the NFL and NBA potentially going dark in the fall, Michael Schur and Nate DiMeo of Grantland.com decided to watch the India-Pakistan cricket match to see if it can be a suitable replacement (via MetaFilter).

posted by rcade to other at 12:17 PM - 17 comments

Absolutely funny. I was flipping through the BBC Radio channels a few weeks ago; cricket definitely is a sport for watching. Listening to commentary makes tennis sound like the Super Bowl.

posted by jjzucal at 01:41 PM on June 18, 2011

In the middle of reading this myself from elsewhere. Damn good read.

I'm a Brit, and miss cricket. Though I've always maintained the notion I once heard that NOBODY actually knows how to play cricket, they're all just winging it.

jj: BBC Test Match Special on the radio is one of the finest things ever created. Marvelous, relaxing stuff.

Checked my cable service here in Canada. I get cricket on two channels. Both specialist. Both expensive:(

posted by Drood at 07:12 PM on June 18, 2011

Thanks. For someone who grew up with and played cricket and has had to explain it to many, many Americans, that was well done without being too cringe worthy.

NB: I watched that particular game in full, and live. And I totally understand the Afridi man-crush.

posted by owlhouse at 09:45 PM on June 18, 2011

[C]ricket definitely is a sport for watching. Listening to commentary makes tennis sound like the Super Bowl.

You are incorrect. Cricket and radio are made for each other, because cricket as a spectator sport is a game of continuous partial attention, and radio fills in the gaps. So the premise of the piece is kind of flawed, because cricket, even in its one-day incarnation, isn't the same kind of sporting event.

Still, it's a fun piece, and a testament to the writers that they managed to engage with it. I'd definitely like them to give Aussie Rules or perhaps this year's deciding State of Origin match that kind of treatment, because I suspect they'd do a good job -- especially with AFL, which is idiosyncratic enough to give American neophytes plenty to talk about. (Oval field? "Holding the ball?")

posted by etagloh at 02:56 PM on June 19, 2011

I would watch it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:08 PM on June 19, 2011

or perhaps this year's deciding State of Origin match

Man, they're doing it WITHOUT HELMETS!!!!

/seriously, even Victorians don't get State of Origin.

posted by owlhouse at 11:04 PM on June 19, 2011

Ditto LBB.

I learned to appreciate cricket when I lived in Canterbury 1999-2001. At first I thought I'd be bored to tears, but once I got to understand the game it hooked me. Towards the end of our stay in England, my wife and I used to finish off the evening watch the "Today at the Test" highlights. On EXTREMELY RARE occasions it is on cable here in Japan (think I've caught it twice in the last 8 or so years). When it is, I usually watch--at least for a while.

posted by billinnagoya at 08:59 AM on June 20, 2011

I ended up watching quite a few hours of the IPL this year (including PVR'ing a whole match). It was on one of the Canadian sports channels, and it was quite interesting. I was able to figure out almost everything about the sport just by watching, but did ask my Indian co-worker a couple of questions about the stats and obscure rules (like PowerPlay) that they didn't explain.

Things I enjoyed about the IPL:

- the quickest form of cricket, it is about as long as an NFL game
- the great team names: "Super Kings", "Tuskers", "Knight Riders", "Royal Challengers"
- the great team jerseys
- the fact that it was a straight-up auction to add players to each team, and the players would indicate the minimum bid. Players went for as much as $2.4million, and as little as $20,000. (Salary cap of $9million)

A little research shows me that there is a T20 Champions League in the fall. I hope that's available on my sports networks.

posted by grum@work at 09:56 AM on June 20, 2011

I love the IPL's auction set up. I have a dream where the lockout goes horribly wrong and so the NFL hit the reset button and set up a salary-capped player auction, where the winning bid for the player becomes their salary.

But then I eat a lot of cheese before bed.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:27 AM on June 20, 2011

If you have X-Box Live, the ESPN3 app offers some cricket coverage, though mainly from the Caribbean. It's actually a pretty terrific offering in general, given the relative crappiness of ESPN: you can get a fair amount of rugby, La Liga and Bundesliga plus all manner of weird baseball leagues.

posted by yerfatma at 10:48 AM on June 20, 2011

I watched a great deal of IPL this year as well, really got me hooked. I also have quite enjoyed watching Tests since the Ashes this year, but T20 has different appeals. Wish I could get it on my TV, but that's not going to happen in suburban Iowa without paying hundreds for a good while yet.

posted by boredom_08 at 01:16 PM on June 20, 2011

I have never seen a cricket match, although I would if I knew where to do so. I also would have had no clue what was going on, but now I feel like I at least have the slightest idea. That was a rather entertaining read.

posted by bender at 02:35 PM on June 20, 2011

Many years ago (early '70s), when I was working in Thailand, the only English-language radio station I could get was the BBC's Far East service. They were broadcasting the test matches, and although I knew nothing about cricket at the time, I found the commentary interesting. For the US audience, I don't think the test match version of the game would do well. Even a limited overs match would have to be done in a format that finishes in 3 hours or less. We Yanks do have a limited attention span.

posted by Howard_T at 02:40 PM on June 20, 2011

T20 is the Arena Football of cricket, and as long as it's taken with the right amount of seriousness (i.e. not much) then I'm fine with it; if anything, I think that it's helped to revive interest in Tests, because it creates such a contrast with the long form. Though the end of Aussie dominance may also have had something to do with that.

I really couldn't tell you who won the IPL this year.

posted by etagloh at 05:57 PM on June 20, 2011

I really couldn't tell you who won the IPL this year.

Chennai Super Kings!

According to my co-worker, they would be the equivalent of the New York Yankees of the IPL.

posted by grum@work at 06:24 PM on June 20, 2011

I really couldn't tell you who won the IPL this year

Agreed. Also, can you remember who won any of the interminable 50 over series (apart from the World Cups) in the last 30 years? No, I thought not.

Yet everybody remembers who holds The Ashes, and some of my young self's fondest and most vivid memories are from Test Matches at the SCG.

/I'm now officially an old fart, aren't I?

posted by owlhouse at 09:32 PM on June 20, 2011

Yerfatma, the ESPN3 content seems to be available on espn3.com too, at least much of what you mentioned.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:06 PM on June 21, 2011

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