The Wonderful World of Oz

August 28, 2019

Sportball

Filed under: Uncategorized — B @ 11:53 am

In anticipation of this trip, I learned the rules of cricket. As a huge baseball fan, I figured that familiarizing myself with its closest cousin would be only right. I primarily did this in anticipation of visiting the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the largest cricket ground in the world, which we visited during our time in Melbourne. Visiting the MCG was indeed one of the top experiences of the trip - we got to visit many of the “backstage” areas of the stadium (now I want to tour Dodger Stadium) - but actually I think the most enjoyable outcome of my studies was that we ended up watching a fair bit of cricket on TV over the course of the trip, and I was able to follow the game. It was imperative that I had studied in advance to understand the game, as its similarity in baseball is actually much more surface than I ignorantly presumed it was. In a way, cricket is baseball inverted. Whereas in baseball, outs are plentiful and runs are a precious commodity, in cricket, runs can number in the hundreds (this is a bit inflated because scoring a run is cricket is more like scoring a hit or advancing a base in baseball, but still runs are a plentiful commodity in cricket) and outs are scarce. Whereas in baseball, scoring a run is often extremely pivotal, in cricket one run is essentially meaningless. Achieving an out is pivotal in the way that scoring in baseball is. While I didn’t turn into a cricket fan by any stretch, I was able to immerse myself a bit in a game that is part of the local culture, something I have not often done on my travels. This was definitely a highlight of the trip, and my spending time preparing before departure certainly paid dividends in this case.

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