bubbleblower: cropped head shot of me with nebula background (Default)
[personal profile] bubbleblower
There's a park near here where I often go walking. It has much of the usual park-type stuff, including two baseball (or maybe softball or Little League -- the dimensions are different) diamonds.

Although baseball is not currently in season, the weather is often such as to allow it to be played, even if it doesn't get played because nobody is interested in playing it.

But even though there seems to be no one interested in playing baseball right now, there are people interested in playing cricket, which needs conditions similar to those that are good for baseball. And it turns out that one of the baseball diamonds has characteristics (dirt infield rather than grass, no real pitcher's mound) that make it a decent place for cricket.

Well, maybe it's not "real" cricket, but some informal variant, analogous to the versions of basketball that get played when there's just one hoop on a wall over a driveway and not enough people for two full five-person teams.

They use flat-bottomed wicket stumps that will stand up on hard surfaces without having to poke holes in the ground like you do with traditional cricket wickets, and they usually appear to be using baseballs instead of the traditional red cricket balls. Creases are just lines scratched in the dirt at the approximate appropriate places. There is usually only one wicket, thus only one batsman on the field.

Wikipedia mentions "Single wicket cricket" but I don't know if they're specifically playing that or whether it's some less formal improvisation.

The cricket pitch is inside the baseball diamond, with the batsman (and the wicket) near home plate. The bowler throws the ball from about the same place the baseball pitcher does. Balls that aren't hit by the batsman or caught by the wicket keeper are stopped by the baseball backstop, so people don't have to go running after them.

It's rather interesting to read the various Wikipedia articles, since cricket has concepts that are rather alien to sports more commonly seen in the US. For example, wear and tear on the ball, which changes such properties as the aerodynamics and how it bounces, and thus how easy it is to throw or hit, is considered part of the game. This is in contrast to major league baseball, where the policy is replace balls as they become worn or dirty or damaged,
so the ball is close to being eternally brand new.

Is cricket being played in other parts of the US? This is Silicon Valley, and the place is full of technical people from India, where cricket is popular. So it's only natural that they would bring the game here.

Date: 2015-02-11 05:33 pm (UTC)
weofodthignen: selfportrait with Rune the cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] weofodthignen
There are also both pick-up soccer games and soccer coaching for young kids at the other end of the playing fields, nearer the tennis courts.

Sunnyvale and Santa Clara both have cricket clubs, and there was an article in the Sunnyvale Sun a year or two ago about organizing youth cricket, that I believe may have been about the California Cricket Academy, which is in Cupertino. As to the mechanics of play, though, I can't offer any insight :-)

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