From: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Cricket is a very old and complicated sport, which is one of the reasons it's so interesting. It occupies the same cultural space as baseball in that history and statistics are fundamental to the game. If you like baseball, you'll almost certainly like cricket. You just need someone to explain it to you over a few strong lemonades In the semi-professional era, it was quite common for Australian cricketers to play baseball in the off-season to keep their skills up.
Cricket was actually quite popular in North America up until the late 19th Century but unlike in much of the British Empire, was associated with the upper classes and didn't develop mass appeal. Also in a catastrophically bad long-term move, England refused the United States entry to the Imperial Cricket Conference. The first international cricket match was between the U.S.A. and Canada in New York in 1844.
Australia and England played the first recognised "test" in 1877. A famous game in 1882 gave rise to the trophy known as "The Ashes" for which the two countries are currently locked in battle. Early cricket is fascinating to read about and to study scorecards but an analysis of photos indicates that cricket didn't achieve anything like its modern form until after WW1. Bowlers who were considered terrifyingly fast back then would be medium pace now and W.G. Grace's batting stance in the photo above looks highly suspect.
Don Bradman, who Warspite mentions above, was a batting freak with an otherworldly record almost twice as good as anybody else in cricket history. He averaged 99.94 runs per innings (each time he batted) where the next best batsmen are clustered around 60. He emerged during the Great Depression and was instrumental in maintaining national morale. If not for WW2 robbing him of about eight years and a serious illness his record would be even more remarkable.
My grandfather used to watch him play and he wasn't necessarily the greatest stylist but rather ruthless and robotic in his run scoring. From wiki..."The statistics show that "no other athlete dominates an international sport to the extent that Bradman does cricket". In order to post a similarly dominant career statistic as Bradman, a baseball batter would need a career batting average of .392, while a basketball player would need to score an average of 43.0 points per game".
Here's a short video explaining cricket
And here's a photo I like from the "Golden Age of Cricket", a nostalgic term for cricket before the First World War, which ended the careers of several famous players. Australia's Victor Trumper, who played from 1899 to 1914, "charging" the bowler (although the photo is obviously staged). People who saw both he and Bradman play said that Trumper was the better to watch.
< Message edited by Neilster -- 8/16/2019 2:51:58 AM >