By Darsh Mirchandani
Source by Saanvi Mirchandani
Cricket is a game played all over the world and involves players using a bat and ball to score runs.
Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the international community. There are about 2.5 billion fans globally and the World Cup is the third most-watched competition in the world. Cricket originated in England during the 16th century, and it began to gain traction when it became England's national sport in the 18th century.
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played on a field, at the center of which there is a pitch with a wicket on each side. If the bails fall off the wicket, then the batsmen know that the wicket has been hit. The batsmen score runs by hitting the ball and running between the stumps. A batsman is out because of three possible reasons: the wickets are hit while he is running in between wickets, the bowled ball hits his stumps, or the hit ball is caught mid-air.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is hosting cricket matches this year. Sixteen countries participate in the competitions, including India, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, and England. This makes the ICC one of the largest tournaments in the world, but it varies in popularity in different regions of the world. One example of this is in the United States, people who follow cricket are relatively rare compared to countries such as India or Pakistan. However, this does not mean that there are no fans or players here in New Hyde Park.
“My dad introduced me to cricket because he played when he was a kid and we used to just play for fun. We then moved to Long Island and found a team called Queens United Cricket Academy. Our team has gained more players and we have kids from all over Queens and Long Island coming to play for multiple age groups,” said eighth grader Sahir Bhatia.
Source from Lalit Bhatia
Eight grader Sahir Bhatia practices cricket and plays on the Queens United Cricket Academy youth team.
Cricket varies in popularity simply because it gets pushed out of the spotlight by other sports. In the United States, cricket gets beaten by baseball as the most popular bat-and-ball sport. However, this may not remain so because in the background, the sport has quietly been gaining popularity. It has a strong following in the tri-state area with hundreds of youth and adult teams participating in leagues and tournaments. Despite this, there is more that can be done to grow cricket.
“In the Long Island area, adult cricket is very popular, but we are lagging behind as far as youth cricket goes. I have occasionally come across some boys playing softball cricket in New Hyde Park and Hicksville areas, but there is no formal participation, which I feel can only happen once the school systems start to recognize cricket as an athletic option,” said NHP dad and Queens United Cricket Academy coach Lalit Bhatia.
Overall, the ICC is still holding a tournament in what they see as a COVID-19 safe fashion. Cricket in America is growing at a swift rate and will only continue to grow as more people begin to find and play the sport.