Thursday August 28, 2014

Giving cricket the old college try


This past Saturday I found myself down at the Gallagher Centre watching some riveting curling action in between some delightful figure skating.

Then I spotted some of Yorkton’s newer residents making their way into the building, covered in snow from head to toe, sporting cricket bats and carrying wickets (the things that “bowlers” that is, cricket pitchers, try to hit).

Upon seeing this, the first thought that sprang into my usually full, sometimes empty, head was: “Boy howdy! There’s an opportunity for a good story!”

So I went over to introduce myself.

Two hours later I emerged from the Gallagher Centre Flexihall sweating and somewhat exhausted, having played cricket for the first time in my life (despite being asked to be the bowler on my university cricket team in England).

No, the experience wasn’t like that of the sacrificial human in the hit 1984 movie “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” where the Indian witchdoctor (played by the late Ambrish Puri) reaches into the chest of a strapped down person and removes his heart, all while shouting “Kali Ma Shakti de”.

The actual experience was something I never thought I’d find myself saying about cricket: It was fun.

Really, it was. That is, once you get used to swinging at balls that are bouncing off the ground, something that, as a baseball person, I am not used to doing.

Honestly, I used to view cricket as a boring, terrible sport that I would never, and I mean never! Give a chance.

And although it’s not like I’m going to be an avid cricketer I do have to say it’s worth trying out.

Anyone who wants to learn a new sport, or is simply looking to get active again, should seriously look into cricket.

Sure, you won’t follow the conversations amongst your new teammates (for all I know they could have been mocking the token white guy, or “gora”, right in front of me without me having a clue).

But you will end up having a great time trying to hit and bowl the ball.  All while having advice hurled at you in both English, and, if there is excitement in the air, Hindi, Bengali and possibly Urdu.

And let me tell you that the hardest thing will not be trying to understand excited teammates. No, no, no.

The hardest thing you’ll have to do is understand how to score a cricket match.

But don’t let that discourage you. Just give cricket a shot and make your mind up yourself!



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