July 17, 2016
The Birth of Cricket in the Caribbean
Cricket is deeply rooted in the Caribbean culture. It was a game first enjoyed by the English around the year 1598. It then quickly caught on in India and the islands. One popular account of its history is that the game began in the southeast part of England, where the sheep’s paddock gate was the ball’s target while being defended by a Shepard’s staff. Nowadays, cricket is related to a sport with two teams containing eleven players each. Similar to baseball, each team bat in innings and will try to score runs while the opposing team tries to stop the runs. In the end, the team with the most runs win. Also, like baseball, a team might get ‘out’ in certain conditions. Some of the many ways to get ‘out’ in cricket is when the ball is caught by a fielder, when the ball hits a wicket (three small wooden poles rooted in the ground at the end of the field), or when the new batsman takes longer than two minutes to get on the field.
Unlike other games, cricket has two forms of itself. The first and most prestigious form is First Class Cricket. These games are played at the professional level and are usually played between countries called ‘Test’ matches. Each Test match lasts over five days and up to six hours each day with each team having two innings. This form of cricket is highly revered and reserved for those with skill and professionalism. The second type of cricket is One Day cricket. The difference between this type of cricket and First Class cricket is that it’s less prestigious and only lasts, as the name suggests, one day. Additionally, each team only gets one inning and are restricted by the number of overs (six deliveries of a ball).
To play cricket on a professional level, you must possess a few qualities; the first is you have to be athletic as cricket can be a very rigorous sport and your must be prepared to travel to various parts of the world for Matches. Joining clubs and cricket divisions can also help those interested in a career in cricket. When cricket began to rise in fame, many saw it as an opportunity to become professionals in the sport, as this would allow them to gain attention on an international level. In light of this, many kids started to play Cricket in the streets of their hometown. The sport has been the beginning for many long and fruitful careers.
Former cricketer and captain, Sachin Tendulkar who hails from Mumbai, India, started his career at the age of eleven. All he had was a cricket bat, passion and an innate talent. These qualities along with rigorous practice sessions eventually led to him becoming the first international player to join England’s Yorkshire Club and a role model to many.
Another famous cricketer is Chris Gayle from Jamaica. His start in cricket was small and a bit quiet, but he continued and made a name for himself with his aggressive plays and leadership style. Soon, he began rewriting history with shattering record and his impressive performances. With his memorable games and powerful playing style, he has paved the way for many to follow. In addition to the popularity that comes with playing the game, there are many social and health benefits. Playing cricket can help one develop a healthier physique, hand-eye coordination, and excellent upper body strength. Socially, cricket offers an opportunity to meet and possibly build beneficial relationships. Since a game of cricket can last several hours, strong bonds are built. In all, the game has piqued the interest of many who live in the warm climate of the islands because of the skills it teaches and has made itself a pastime to most and an opportunity to others.