A few years ago, I had a spare Tuesday evening with nothing else to do so naturally I learned how to play cricket. Perhaps "play" cricket is a stretch. All I did was enlist my good buddy Wikipedia and scour the internet's vast knowledge using the page titled Cricket as a launching pad. I figured as an American enthralled with baseball that fewer elements would be lost in translation. A deep knowledge of cricket's American cousin helped in some ways, but hurt in others. I did learn most of the rules and boy are there a lot of them. Batters and wickets and overs and outs. Test versus Twenty20. Bradman and Richards and Tendulkar, oh my.
Later this month, the Cricket World Cup will be held jointly in Australia and New Zealand. Fourteen teams will participate in 49 matches played over a six-week period. In anticipation, Will Davies and his team at The Wall Street Journal have been investigating the intricacies of the game while teaching readers how to follow a tournament expected to reach over 1 billion people worldwide via television alone. The video below is their crash course at the Hong Kong Cricket Club:
Building off the Journal's silly introductory lesson, there's a wealth of knowledge out there on the web to help you become acquainted with cricket. Justine Larbalestier has a nice write-up on her site explaining the basics of the game. Robert Eastaway's 1993 book Cricket Explained is among the definitive remedial biographies of the sport. And, of course, you can never go wrong with a little foray into the world of Wikipedia.
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We don't have any videos related to cricket (yet!) but here's a nice glimpse into the decision that a professional athlete has to make when it comes time to retire, from former soccer player Jimmy Conrad: