Cricket reminds Carribean students of home

Where they are from, 60 degrees might as well be 60 below. Nonetheless, on Friday nights, members of the Caribbean Student Association brave the elements as much as possible to play some cricket.

The game, not the insect.

For many Americans, the questions that come to mind are: There is a sport called cricket? How is it played? Who would play such a game?

For members of the CSA, and many other people around the world, the questions they ask are: Where is the game? Who brought a bat? Do we have enough people to play?

Although cricket is not very popular in America, it is played across the world. Played on six continents, cricket is the national pastime of Australia, along with a half dozen Caribbean countries.

Even though cricket does not have a large following in America, along with rounders, it was one of the sports historians claim Abner Doubleday used when he invented baseball in 1839.

While cricket and baseball have numerous similarities, some stark differences reside in the size of the ball, which is about the size of a grapefruit. Also, the size of the playing field in cricket is bigger than that of baseball, being there is no foul territory. But the toughest adjustment an American would have when he or she plays cricket is in the scoring of overs, which occur when a batted ball lands over the boundary, or home runs.

In baseball, the amount of runs scored off a home run depends on how many runners are on base. In cricket, the amount of runs scored in an over depends on how many bounces, if any, the ball takes before crossing the boundary.

“Its fun,” said Ayana Matthews, a freshman business administration student from Trinidad.

“It’s something to remind us of home. It’s a nice game to share with your friends.”

“Not all of us can play, (but we play) for the fun of it,” said Cherise Charles, a freshman animal science student from Trinidad.

Cricket matches had been discussed at CSA meetings in the past, but until someone brought a “bat,” which looks more like a paddle, from home, matches floated solely on hopes and dreams.

On a night when the temperature dropped to the mid-40s, members of the CSA; who hailed from countries across the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago, St. Martin, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, played for nearly three hours.

Though everyone who was playing seemed to enjoy themselves, one sentiment of most of the players was that cricket was a game primarily reserved for children.

“They don’t do stuff like this back home,” said Nicholas Bembridge as senior mechanical engineering student from Jamaica.

“It’s fun because we don’t normally do stuff like this at this age. You don’t see any grown people playing cricket.”

Though only members of the CSA were playing that particular Friday, CSA president Melissa Bridgewater encouraged students, whether from the Caribbean or not, to attend meetings and the cricket matches that follow.

“I wasn’t very good at it, but you just need people,” Bembridge said.

Lililita Johnson, a senior musical education student from St. Martin, said trying to explain cricket to Americans would be similar to describing American football to someone from the Caribbean.

“It’s an acquired taste. (You) don’t know (about) it until you’ve tried it.”

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