Also…a game.  A game similar to baseball played all over the world, but especially popular in England, India, Pakistan, Australia, and South Africa (among other places).  Sure, I had heard of it before.  I even saw a game being played while I was cruising Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.  There were a bunch of grown men dressed in white suits trying to hit a ball with something that looked like a baseball bat.  And that was all I knew about it…

Until now.

Now, I am an expert.  Well, sort of.  For the newspaper, I had to interview the coach of the Bulgarian National Cricket Team.  Who knew there was a national team?  I sure didn’t.  Turns out, most of the Bulgarians I asked didn’t know there was one.  But, alas, there is, and how it got started is a pretty cool story.

This guy moved here from Pakistan and decided that he wanted to have a cricket team here.  He asked some friends to meet him one day and he was going to teach them.  Unfortunately, he asked them to come play during the winter!  Cricket, like baseball, entails a lot of standing around, waiting for something to happen.  So these poor guys were standing around in the freezing cold, learning how to play a foreign sport.  Can you imagine it?

Well, that’s how it all started.  They formed a team of Bulgarians (with one or two guys from India) and went to the European cricket tournament, where they finished 6th in their division.  They were pretty proud of themselves, since all the other countries either had played cricket for a long time or had recruited foreigners to play on the team.  Now, Bulgaria has 8 cricket teams, and they are starting to teach kids in elementary school how to play so they can build the program up.  Neat story, huh??

But here’s the best part.  After my interview, I went to watch a practice and the coach convinced me to try the game.  Yes, folks, I played cricket! HA!  And I liked it.  A lot!  The bat is waaaaaayyyyyy heavier than a baseball bat and the ball is much harder.  Here is a picture of the equipment:


I think I even got cricket shoulder (like tennis elbow…you know what I mean?), but I hit the ball a few times.  Granted, they didn’t do the crazy pitch, mostly a nice soft lob, but I hit it.  In cricket, there are not four bases like in baseball—there are only two, so once you hit the ball you just run back and forth (there’s a teammate at the other base and you keep switching places).  So a game could have like 300 runs.

Oh yeah, and here’s the funniest part.  There are two different types of cricket games, one that lasts just one day (like 8 hours with a lunch break) and one that lasts 5 days and they have a lunch break AND a tea break.  Funny, don’t you think?  We could try that in baseball—stop the game for a tea time.


They actually have an American baseball team here, too.  I don’t know who they would play since there really aren’t any European teams.  The coach from that team was also at the cricket practice and he thought it was hilarious that an American girl was playing cricket.  So he took a picture of this phenomenon with his cell phone camera.

Glad to see I’m so entertaining to others!