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Friday, September 08, 2006

As American as Cricket?

If you are a stranger and don't know me, then you must be unaware that I am a die hard cricket fan. Now cricket is a very interesting sport. Those who are alien to the sport, see it as being more complicated than rocket science. Many consider it as being foreign and distinct from American culture. But those people are mistaken. Cricket is as much American as American Pie!

Cricket is interwoven in this nation's history. During the 17th Century, when the first immigrants came to this land, they brought cricket with them. The English gentleman who were part of the British Army in the Colonies, occupied themselves with this sport. Even Many of the founding fathers were avid cricketers. One of them, our second president, John Adams, stated in the US Congress in the 1780s that "if leaders of cricket clubs could be called 'presidents', there was no reason why the leader of the new nation could not be called the same!"[Source]

USA and Canada had a strong cricketing history, participating in an annual Cricket match since the 1840s, making it the oldest international sporting event, predating the Olympics by more than 50 years. The USA is among the pioneers of cricket! "By 1860 an estimated 10,000 Americans were playing the game. Presidents turned out to watch. When Chicago hosted Milwaukee in 1859, Abraham Lincoln was among the spectators."[Source]

After the civil war, America changed. The elite class had declined, the cricket grounds had been devastated, and there was an upsurge in the urban working class population. These factory workers, mostly in New York City and Boston, adopted a new game for their leisure. They took an English girls' game which had derived from cricket and started playing that. Some advantages of the game was that it could be played in a square city block, and it took a shorter amount of time, fitting perfectly in the factory worker's long hours. This game, known as rounders, is still played by girls in England, today.[How Baseball REALLY developed from Cricket]

Had things been a little different, there would still be cricket played in the US, and baseball would never have existed. And now when you see FOBs play cricket, don't accuse them of bringing something foreign into the lands. They are simply reviving an old American tradition.

2 Comments:

  • There's only one thing that's worse than an 'American'.....a 'wannabe american'!!!

    By Blogger Believer, at 9/10/2006 5:12 PM  

  • I wonder if Soccer would have been big as it is internationally if Cricket had really been taken up here. A world where I could have been a bigger Cricket fan than you, whoa, that's scary. I wish it had a following here then I may have taken an interest.

    Certainly an informative blog. What else is new or old or new or ... well you get it.

    M

    By Blogger M, at 9/11/2006 3:04 PM  

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