Wednesday, March 30, 2011


If you are in the U.S., you are probably not aware that the quadrennial Cricket World Cup is going on right now in South Asia. Cricket originated in England and is played primarily in Commonwealth countries. It is by far the most popular game in India. When you go through the countryside on a train or by car, you will see children (mostly little boys) playing cricket everywhere, with whatever they can find for a makeshift bat.

Traditionally, cricket test matches last five days, consisting of four innings, each team batting and bowling (pitching) twice. For World Cup Cricket, the match is one day, with one innings and a limited number of overs (six bowls or pitches). The first team bats until the overs are completed or it is out and the second team bats until it is out or has more runs than the first team. (I'm sure you can find a more comprehensive description online if you are interested.)

The World Cup matches have been almost daily since starting the second week of February. They generally start around 2:30 PM and go until 10:00 or so. Matches have been in South Asia -- India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Pakistan has a team but could not provide the level of security needed to host matches. Last night was the first semifinal -- New Zealand lost to Sri Lanka. Today is the biggest match of all -- India vs. Pakistan. It is being held in Mohali, near Chandigarh in the Punjab. It is not very far from the Indo-Pak border. Security is very tight and we have heard that scalpers are selling tickets for one lakh and more (about $2400 or so).

Dan came to India in February to watch the matches live on TV with his friend Brij. They got tickets (regular price!) for one match in Delhi which they enjoyed very much. Brij is in Mohali today to see that match. And the two of them are going to Mumbai Thursday to see the finals with their friend Tom. Dan became a cricket fan when we taught at Woodstock in the 1970s -- Brij was the coach of the school team. So this visit has been a long-awaited pleasure for him.

I just learned this winter that Comcast/Xfinity is now broadcasting the Neo Cricket channel, so I suspect there may be more cricket in our future!


  1. I just watched New Zealand trounce Pakistan today, every single bowl (well, I did dishes). Granted, the match was played on March 8th--must be the difference in time zone? The commentary was most helpful.

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