#BEDA No. 2 – A Sticky Wicket

So I did my first VEDA and you can see that here if you want to leave comments, otherwise you’ll find it at the bottom of this post.

Yesterday’s intro BEDA was a bit of a rant written in the heat of the moment on the subway. Today, I want to bring it down to more of a lowkey discussion and talk to you about something that is very foreign to me as far as a measure of British & Indian culture.

Cricket.

My manicurist Fahmida and I were discussing the latest world news and she said “Right now, we have a World Cup for cricket in Southeast Asia.” She’s supporting Sri Lanka to win and even though I only know one other person who is following this sporting event (Hi Rashmi!) it got me thinking.

Baseball is America’s pastime, but it’s popularity extends to Latin America, Japan, and beyond. Football, known to Americans as soccer, is the world’s favorite pastime, even though it’s popularity on our shores is not as great as in the United Kingdom.

But is cricket only popular in countries where British power once ruled?

Without looking at Wikipedia (so as not to misrepresent my knowledge of the sport) I think I can say my knowledge of cricket doesn’t extend past certain glossary terms: wicket, runs, bat, goal, and rounds. Even these could be completely inaccurate.

From my understanding, the game is incredibly long, only holds the attention of the most devoted fans, and is regarded as a precursor to baseball in America. Again, this could also be wholly false.

What I do not understand is the ability cricket has to capture the emotions of just a few countries for weeks at a time. Marathons take hours, FIFA’s World Cup lasts just over a month, and the Olympics are about five to six weeks in length. But more than a small subset of countries have a stake in these events. What countries actually play cricket other than once and former British municipalities? Does France play cricket? Does Italy?

I watched “that cricket movie” once. Lagaan I think it’s called. Like the game probably is, it was long, drawn out and felt like it lost it’s path half way through. Contrary to popular belief this is not just a characteristic of all Bollywood movies. I believe it is just a characteristic of cricket.

Obviously, I need to watch a cricket match to fully understand the fascination. I’ll probably appreciate it on some level, if not enjoy it for it’s competitive merits. But I can barely get through a midseason baseball game without a yawn, so a game which lasts substantially longer has me worried.

I make exceptions to the yawn rule however for first time trips to new baseball stadiums. And for Shake Shack at Citi Field.

Here’s my first VEDA below. Stay tuned for another one today to keep current my attempt at a full month of blogging and vlogging.

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