Sports have a unique way of bringing people together through their differences and similarities. Even if a sport is not commonly played in one country, it can still provide opportunities for athletes to excel in other countries. Two sports that showcase this are cricket and baseball. Many Americans are unfamiliar with cricket, but if they cannot play baseball in their chosen country abroad, they may find a spot on a cricket team.
Did American baseball evolve from cricket?
Interestingly, baseball evolved from the earlier form of cricket known as rounders dating back to the 1700s. In the US, rounders originally began as a two-base game during the 1750s, which is still how modern-day cricket is played. Over time, as more people joined the game, the four-base game of townball was created. The name was changed from rounders to townball, showcasing the rise of intensity in the sport. In the 1850s, the distinctive differences between baseball and cricket were developed, creating the two separate sports we know today.
Despite their differences, cricket and baseball share some similarities. For instance, the aim of both sports is to score runs. In baseball, a batter hits a ball thrown by a pitcher and runs around a diamond-shaped field, while in cricket, a batsman hits a ball bowled by a bowler and runs between two wickets. A pitcher in baseball and a bowler in cricket both play a crucial role in their respective sports. They both have to bowl the ball with speed, accuracy, and precision to prevent the batter/batsman from scoring runs.
How do baseball and cricket athletes compare?
Both sports require athleticism and hand-eye coordination. In baseball, batters need quick reflexes to hit a pitch thrown at speeds of over 90 mph. Likewise, in cricket, batsmen face fast-paced deliveries bowled at speeds of over 90 mph. They need to have sharp reflexes to react quickly and hit the ball in the right direction. In both sports, successful batters/batsmen have excellent hand-eye coordination, allowing them to track the ball and time their shots perfectly.
To excel as a batter or batsman, one must have a good eye for the ball. They need to be able to read the trajectory of the ball and determine its speed, spin, and direction. This is especially important in cricket, where a batsman must quickly decide whether to hit, defend, or leave the ball. A successful batter/batsman must also have a strong mental game, which helps them remain focused and composed in pressure situations.
Another important aspect of cricket is the role of the fielders. Fielders play a vital role in stopping the opposition from scoring runs. They need to be agile and have good reflexes to move quickly and field the ball. In baseball, fielders also play a crucial role in preventing runs, but they cover a larger area than in cricket. They need to be fast, agile, and have good throwing accuracy to get the ball to the right base quickly.
In conclusion, while baseball and cricket have their unique differences, they share some similarities as well. Both sports require athleticism, hand-eye coordination, and good reflexes. Successful batters/batsmen need to have a good eye for the ball and a strong mental game. Both sports also require agile and fast fielders who can cover the field and stop the opposition from scoring runs.
Is Cricket A Professional Sport?
Yes, cricket is a highly recognized professional sport around the globe. It was declared a professional sport in the early 1960s. Cricket has developed an extremely high level of professional play, and professional cricket players can earn a substantial income. As of 2022, Virat Kohli is one of the highest paid cricket players in the world, making $690,000 dollars per month. On the lower end of the cricket pay scale, Kane Williamson is paid $37,000 dollars per month as a professional cricket player.
Are there any cricketers who have also played professional baseball?
Former England cricketer, Andrew Flintoff, thought about playing baseball during his off-season in 2005. However, he did not pursue baseball professionally.
"When I was 17, I was at Lancashire as a young cricketer and we had a baseball coach come over (from America) to teach us how to field," detailed the former England captain...He asked me if I'd go back to America (with him) and trial with the Yankees or someone. I said 'no, I'd sooner play cricket'." -Cricketer Freddie Flintoff on playing for the New York Yankees
While Flintoff is one of the few cricketers who considered (even jokingly) to baseball professionally, there probably are several athletes who share the talent and coordination to play both cricket and baseball at a high level.
Alex Blackwell is a former Australian cricketer who represented the Australian women's cricket team as a right-handed batter and wicketkeeper. She made her international debut in 2003 and went on to play 251 matches for Australia. She promotes the use of baseball-hitting techniques in cricket.
Another athlete who has played both sports is former Indian cricketer, Dinesh Karthik, who played baseball during his school days in Chennai. He was a pitcher and outfielder for his school team and was reportedly scouted by Major League Baseball (MLB) teams. However, he ultimately decided to pursue a career in cricket.
While there may be other examples of cricketers who have played baseball and vice versa, it is still relatively rare for athletes to switch between the two sports at a high level.
Why Cricket Is Loved All Around The World
Even if you do not want to play cricket at the professional level, there are still a plethora of opportunities to play on club teams all over the world. Cricket is a sport loved by many, and here are a few reasons as to why people around the globe have such a fondness of the sport.
Playing Cricket Internationally
Whether you seek to play at the professional level or recreationally, playing cricket can provide many opportunities for athletes looking to take their careers overseas. Baseball players who will have a strong knowledge of the game without realizing it, will be able to expand their horizons when searching for international destinations. Baseball is a professional sport around the globe, but cricket has taken on the world by storm having professional teams in over 108 countries.