Baseball + Euchre = Cricket

In Uncategorized on June 14, 2010 at 12:10 am

For some reason, I’ve always wanted to play cricket.  The first time I saw a game was on Mrs. Stockdale and my honeymoon in Bermuda, which was years and years and years and years ago.  Ever since then, I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that should the opportunity every present itself, I’d like to give it a try.

Last week, while doing nothing around the apartment, (because the Assistant Stockdale was doing everything else) I decided to search out a way to play the game.  The first place I found was called ‘The Singapore Cricket Club.’  It is the second oldest club in Singapore and after Mrs. Stockdale asked around at the office about the group, I quickly learned that a schmoe like Dale Stockdale probably wouldn’t be permitted within 43.9 meters of the joint.  Even if they did let me in, I’d never have time to go because I’d have to return to work in order to afford it.

However, whoever informed Mrs. Stockdale that ‘The Singapore Cricket Club’ was a tad out of my league, told her about ANZA, which stands for ‘Australia and New Zealand Association’.   If ‘The Singapore Cricket Club’ is full of a bunch of upper crust bluebloods who drink single malt scotch and smoke cigars, ANZA is a bunch of guys who drink PBR at 8:00 in the morning.

Cricket is played like intramural softball over here and probably anywhere else in the world that has, or has had, a British influence.  There are various leagues for various players at various levels.  I contacted someone on the ANZA website who asked me to join them on Saturday afternoon for their weekly game.   I think they were short of people and desperate for a warm body.  On a good day, I qualify as just that.

Learning to play cricket is exactly like learning to play euchre.  Just when you think you’re starting to figure things out, everyone just throws in their cards for no apparent reason.  The ‘left Bauer’ and ‘right Bauer’ are replaced with the ‘wicket’ and the ‘over’.  Plus, don’t let the ball hit your legs and bowling the ball just looks like a controlled fall.  There are definitely some aspects of baseball in there.  Or maybe, more appropriately, there are some aspects of cricket in baseball.  My guess is that cricket is older, but we Americans have never been big on history, so who cares.

If you’ve ever taken anyone who is new to baseball to a game and they complain about it being slow, introduce them to cricket.  Baseball moves at the speed of light compared to cricket.  A regular old intramural game is scheduled to run 5 hours.  I don’t understand how, but they refer to professional cricket having ‘5 Day’ matches.  It’s really only slow half the time, but half of a lot is still a long time.  Basically, one team bats and the other team fields.  Once all 11 guys on the first team have gotten ‘out’, then you take a break, then the other team bats.  The second team to bat, then has to try to beat the score of the first team.  So, for half the game you sit there and wait for your turn to bat, and then for half the game you stand in the blistering sun and sweat in white polyester pants.

This probably goes without saying, but after the game is over, you go out for beer.

They invited me back to play again next Sunday morning.  I must have done a great job at that warm body thing.

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