Until recently. Like this morning they're talking about Roger Clemons. Baseball. Boring. Too many teams. Too many games (162 games per team every year, plus post-season). Too many stats - "Batting average against left handed pitchers on Tuesdays after Sunday road games to teams east of the Mississippi with losing records before the all star break." I don't care!
There's a void in my life every year from the day after the Superbowl until that September Thursday when NFL begins the new season. Life without football is pointless. Thank goodness for the Outlaws filling some of that emptiness, giving us football until June.
Their last game was June 18.
Now what? No NFL. No Outlaws.
I live near a Williamson County park. A cricket league has a field there. Cricket is an internationally popular sport followed with near religious fervor. It must be exciting. So I grab my camera and head to the park.
|Bowler throwing ball towards batsman. Note the wooden stakes behind|
bowler and batsman. Those are wickets. The bowler flings the ball rather
than throws it and bounces it a few feet in front of the batsman, just to make
it difficult to hit or block.
Cricket is a little like baseball. But not much. A pitcher - cricketers call him a bowler - flings a ball, which is like a hardball in baseball but harder and colored red - at a batsman who wields a wide flat bat and attempts to hit the ball. That's about the extent of any similarity between baseball and cricket. Cricket is like football only in that it has eleven players on a team. It is similar to hockey only in that the batsman wears pads that look like goalie pads,to protect his legs.
The bowler/batsman duel takes place on a mat in the center of a large oval shaped field. So the batsman hits the ball into play in any direction. I suspect the fun of the game involves the batsman maneuvering to place the ball in the perfect spot. Watching batsmen twist their bodies to direct the ball reminds me a little of basketball players jumping toward the basket. Just a little.
|In this photo and the following the batsman is twisting his body|
in unnatural ways to direct the ball exactly where he wants it.
Note in this photo the ball has already been hit and is high right
in the photo.
|You can see one of the blue stumps flying in the air and the red ball |
bouncing off of it.
|Batsman looking with dismay as the white stump is knocked flying|
by the red ball that got buy him.
|Bowler airborne as he |
flings the ball toward batsman.