Baseball may be America’s favorite pastime, but in certain countries, it’s cricket that they love to watch. What used to be a sport that was played only by Commonwealth countries has gained popularity and is now played even in countries that are not part of the Commonwealth.
The sport has always been compared to baseball because of the many similarities between these two sports. Each team also takes its turn to bat and have the same goal of accumulating as many runs as they can; even each turn is called an innings. However, one of the less-known differences between these two sports is that cricket is a more demanding sport to play than baseball. Why? Listed below are some of the reasons:
Right off the bat – Compared to baseball, batting in cricket can take extremely long periods of time and under varying pitch conditions. This can easily tire a player, especially if they’re playing test cricket.
The weight of the protective gear – Both sports require the players to run in order to score. However, what makes running in cricket more challenging is that a player, known as a cricketer, has to do the running with the added weight from his pads and other gear. A typical gear set for a cricketer would include leg pads, helmet, thigh guards, arm guards, gloves, and even the bat itself.
Weather conditions – Believe it or not, if the weatherman forecasts an overcast day when the game will be played, it could significantly affect a batsman’s performance. This is because when the sun is out, the ball has more swing through the air. It’s like a curveball in baseball, except that the ‘curve’ is not caused by the pitcher (that’s bowler for cricket). On a sunny day, on the other hand, a player can sweat buckets since the temperatures where cricket games are played can soar well into the 40s centigrade.
Catch 22 – Well, we’re not actually talking here about an absurd or paradoxical situation. What we mean by the phrase here is how tougher it is to catch a cricket ball than a baseball. This is because a cricket ball weighs at least half an ounce heavier than a baseball; however, the former is smaller than the latter, making it a bit more difficult to catch. Its circumference is between 22.4 – 22 cm, hence, the neologism ‘Catch 22’ in this article.
These are just some of what make cricket a much tougher game compared to baseball, and we haven’t even mentioned what bowlers have to go through when delivering the ball.
If you haven’t watched any cricket game, the things mentioned here would hopefully give you an appreciation of the game should you decide to watch it next time you turn on your sports channel.
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by Shaan Berg