Monday, September 21, 2015

How to describe Cricket to a Baseball fan?

A change of location forces you to change your perspective and more precisely, your choice of words during a discussion. For instance, I was talking to a friend of mine who has spent more than 5 years in the US about how much I love Football. And he was amazed that I was passionate about a game that's primarily played on the American soil. I told him that it's played the world over and hence is known as a global sport. He was unaware that Football was a global sport. This went on for a while till we realized I was actually talking about Soccer and my friend about American Football! For those now in the know, American Football is more like Rugby with helmets.

Another common discussion revolves around an American sport of a different kind known as Baseball and its like-for-like counterpart, Cricket. I found out that a colleague of mine happens to be a Baseball fan. And I am an Indian; that automatically makes me a Cricket fan. Yes, despite the mess that's happening in the administration side of the game, I am still a fan. He wanted to know more about Cricket since he has seen Indians & Europeans play this game during weekends. I was, obviously, interested to know about Baseball. And so we went on exchanging whatever knowledge we had on our respective games. 
Baseball vs Cricket comparison How to explain Cricket to a Baseball fan
This is how I explained Cricket to a Baseball fan - 

  1. Baseball has 4 bases. Cricket has only 2 bases. We call it stumps. I wanted to tell him that these are also called wickets, but that would confuse him more. How can the same work (wickets) be used for an object and an event in the same game? I honestly, have no answer for this.
  2. In Baseball, one batsman (known as batter) starts the game. Cricket has two. Number of batters in Baseball can increase up to 4. In Cricket, it always remains at 2 till 10 wickets go down.
  3. Baseball calls the person who delivers the ball as a pitcher and the person who is stationed behind the batsmen as the catcher. The same are called bowler and wicket-keeper respectively in Cricket.
  4. In Baseball, if the bat hits the ball, the batter has to run towards the next immediate base. In Cricket, the option is provided to the batsmen whether to run or not. The batsman decides according to the situation.
  5. Baseball doesn't allow a batsman to run if the balls ricochets behind him. Cricket provides the batsman with that flexibility.
  6. The maximum runs that can be scored in Baseball is 4 (assuming all 4 bases are occupied). In Cricket, it's 6 (assuming the delivery is legit). 
  7. If the ball crosses the ground boundaries defined without a bounce within the boundary, it's called a "home run". And the runs will depend on the number of bases occupied by the batter. If he was alone, it will result in one run. In Cricket, the batsmen on the ground are always two and run is always six. And, for obvious reason, the event is called a "six". 
  8. All the outfield players in Baseball have gloves on their non-throwing hand. In Cricket, only the wicket-keeper and two batsmen wears gloves.
  9. In Baseball, the running of one batter occupying a base is usually independent of other batter. In Cricket, however, the running is totally dependent and is based on mutual understanding.

Not a bad comparison huh? But as they say - while in Rome, do as Romans do. Or, while in the US, start loving Baseball and American Football. I have already started this process. I am now waiting for my colleague to help me understanding Baseball the way I explained Cricket. Lets see if he's upto the challenge.


  1. Haha... Nice review of baseball Binu. How much did your American friend grasp?

    I think with the number of Indians out there, the interest in cricket is growing... especially after the US has formed its own international team... let's see how long before they catch up with this sport too :)

    1. Thanks Vishal.

      I think, for now, it will remain Baseball. Cricket has to sort out its own internal demons before fully expanding world-wide.. T20 is easily the marketable product and will lead the way.. Anyway, things have started.. We can now wait and watch :)


All yours..

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