Missing a great opportunity?
I was born and raised in Canada and of east Indian decent. Some people may believe that is justification enough to assume "he must love cricket". This is definitely true! I do love cricket but this love has only come to being in the past 8 years. Why didn't I follow cricket in the past? First it was not accessible through local tv stations. To watch cricket would require getting pre recorded video tapes, not very good for the entertainment value of any sport. The next reason was that I thought of it as a more boring version of baseball. The third was that it was from the land of my parents and everything Indian back in the 80's was pretty much put down by this society. Sports commentators would always put cricket in a negative light, basically suggesting that it's of lower value compared to north american sports.
Now its a new age. Here is how I think cricket can be sold to north american audiences
- Explain the rules of cricket using baseball as a reference due to their similarities.
- Only have twenty/twenty matches. The regular games are days long and impossible to market because we are accustomed to most of our sports running for about 3 hours.
- Have a north american tournament where you bring 6 to 8 teams with at least 4 of the south asian teams.
- The tournament should be played in pockets where many South Asians live i.e. California, New Jersey, Toronto, Vancouver etc. I watched this strategy for soccer. In the past teams would come from europe would play here in Canada in front of a mainly latin Canadian crowd. Now we have two teams one in Vancouver and the other in Toronto.
- Creating cricket pitches on school grounds to allow the youth to play. This field conversion from baseball to cricket is possible
- Once interest is generated, create a national team for the U.S. to allow kids to have something to aim for. Canada already has a national team that played at many world cups.
- Educate sportscasters and sports journalists on the history and rules of cricket. This will allow for the sports enthusiast to become more accustomed to the game of cricket.
Cricket has been around since the 16th century. Something played that long must have many redeeming qualities. If given the chance to flourish this sport can add to the flavour and enjoyment of many fans and players all around this great continent of ours.