Baseball Vs. Cricket - A Primer
Throughout Outta The Park’s history, there have been various mentions of the mysterious game of cricket, most recently on Episode 30, which saw a brief discussion of the main differences between Baseball and Cricket.
This blog post aims to flesh these out some more and shine a light on this most gentlemanly of sports.
It’s important to note that there are different types of cricket, namely One-day—played between 20 and 50 overs of six balls (the cricket equivalent of a pitch)— and First Class cricket. Test cricket is the highest level of First Class cricket—all Test Matches are First Class but not all First Class matches are Tests.
The table below attempts to summarise the key differences between these two types of cricket and baseball. The nomenclature of baseball and cricket do differ (sometimes confusingly so), but I’ve tried to explain the Cricket side using equivalent baseball terminology.
It’s important to note that, unlike baseball, cricket isn’t a game of failure. A cricket batsman isn’t required to run on making fair contact (there’s no foul territory), and there are no balls and strikes—a batsman can simply let any wayward ball sail past with no worry about being struck out. Because of this—and since scoring a run only involves batsmen running 22 yards—cricket has significantly more runs in a game than does baseball. A good batsman would expect to score an average of 45+ runs per inning at the highest level—the highest individual score in an inning is 400 (not out) in Test cricket and 501 (not out) in First Class cricket.
The biggest similarity between Baseball and Cricket is, undoubtedly, their ability to generate interesting stats. ESPN CricInfo is the go-to source for any cricket statistics, though anyone searching for weird and wonderful sabermetrics, unfortunately Cricket’s numbers are much more matter-of-fact.
Another key similarity is the crowds, particularly for One-day games, where the fans are animated for much of the game. As with Baseball crowds, attendees at Cricket matches do enjoy a few beers (except in some parts of Asia) whilst watching the play unfold. The benefit of being at a Cricket match: they don’t stop serving alcohol until the day is over. At the Lord’s Cricket Ground (considered the home of Cricket), there’s even a special rule allowing fans to bring in a small amount of their own beer or champagne, unique in all of world cricket!
The video below will give you some idea of what it’s like to be at a cricket match on Day 5 of a Test match, with India beating England in Chennai in 2016:
Hopefully, that has helped shine some light on the mysterious sport of cricket. In short, apart from the beer-soaked crowds and the fact that both sports use bats and balls, there really aren’t that many similarities between baseball and cricket! My next post will focus on arguably the fiercest rivalry in Cricket – England v Australia, going back to the 1870s!
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