Cricket: the smell of the pitch, the beauty of an expertly bowled spinner, the crack of ball against bat, and the cheers of the team when a six has been hit. Indeed, there is not a more pleasant way to spend a blustery fall day in State College.
Alright, I admit it, I’m an American. I have no idea what I’m really talking about.
But that didn’t stop me from trying to learn when, on Friday, October 24th, some of our classmates from India held an informal “Cricket Clinic” to teach everyone what we were missing. The day started with a presentation that went over the rules (I’m still fuzzy on the concept of overs), bowling techniques (my poor shoulder will never be the same), and batting and fielding (just like baseball, right?). We even had the opportunity to watch some video clips of normal and unusual outs, skilled bowling, and famous catches. I still can’t believe the fielders catch the ball bare handed – that’s just insane!
Of course, you can’t just sit through a presentation and watch some video clips to get a feel for the game – the best way to learn cricket is, of course, to play it! So for the next two hours that’s exactly what we did. We didn’t have an official pitch and we used tennis balls instead of a cricket ball, but regardless of the trappings we still had a lot of fun and everyone got the opportunity to bowl, bat, and field. It was a cold day too, but after about an hour a group of undergraduate business students brought us hot apple cider as part of a class project. That’s the kind of class project I can definitely get behind.
As for myself, I think with just a little more practice I might be able to actually hit the ball before it skips past my bat, but I assure you that no amount of bowling practice will ever allow me to consistently hit the wickets. Still, I truly enjoyed the event and the game, and while I don’t foresee going to any matches in the near future, I can at least say that I’ve wielded a cricket bat, bowled an out or two, and hit a few sixes. Which is a lot more than most from the U.S. can boast.
Smeal MBA Class of 2009
Mike is originally from Chicago, where he never played cricket. Primarily concentrating on Supply Chain Management, Finance, and Strategic Leadership, he is aiming for a career in strategy consulting.