Ask your average American today whether they play cricket, and the response will most likely by one of confusion or amusement; possibly both. But in fact, the sport of cricket was once a very popular pastime in the United States (that is, until it was superseded by golf and tennis in the early 20th century). But despite its waning popularity across the Atlantic, cricket remains one of the most popular and widely played sports in the world, with millions of followers throughout England, Australia, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa and The West Indies. Why is it so big? For one, it’s incredibly fun. As well as that though, it’s also great for fitness.
What Are the Rules?
There are many rules in cricket, but here’s a crash course. At a base level, the underlying premise of cricket is not a million miles apart from baseball. If you’re on the batting side, the object is to score points (known as ‘runs’). If you’re fielding, the object is to get the members of the other team out (known as ‘taking wickets’). Both sides will have the opportunity to bat and bowl, and the team with the highest score wins. Runs are scored by either running between the wicket (the central playing surface) after hitting the ball, or by hitting the ball to the boundary line, or over the fence. The fielding team can dismiss the opposition’s batsmen through a number of methods. The most common ones are: bowled, caught, leg before wicket, or run out.
What Are the Health Benefits?
Though there are quieter periods of the game, cricket both necessitates and encourages a high level of personal fitness, balance and hand-eye coordination. Batsmen must be able to sprint between the wicket. And the fielding/bowling side must be able to sprint after balls, leap into the air for catches, and throw the ball long distances. For these reasons, cricket is a game which is physically demanding. Only those with a very high level of stamina, endurance, balance and general fitness will succeed.
An American Renaissance
Though cricket in the United States has not maintained the same level of popularity that it has in other countries, there is no reason why this shouldn’t change in the future. Given that it is so good for personal fitness, and requires only some basic equipment (from Talent Cricket or a similar distributor), it wouldn’t be surprising to see this sport experience an American renaissance in the coming years.
Brought to you by our friends at Talent Cricket.