A New Game In Town
IF THERE IS ONE THING YOU CAN SAY about Terre Haute (That’s French for “What time does the game start?”) it is that this town loves Sports. Basketball is the King of Sports around here. It is as close to a secular religion as one can get without taking vows. After basketball you can always find an organized football game going on any time of year.
Terre Haute is the home of the Terre Haute Rex minor league baseball team. Just about any sport you can name will find avid aficionados here along the banks of the Wabash, but now a newcomer has joined the list of sports being enjoyed here: Cricket.
In colonial days cricket was the game in America, but baseball, football, and other games supplanted it over time until it was isolated inside East Indian cultural communities and some university clubs
For a town the size of Terre Haute (about 60K people) we have a surprisingly large Indian community. With three universities and expanding medical centers Terre Haute has attracted people from around the world. When students and medical professionals came to Terre Haute they brought their games with them. Now in the green spaces by the river you can find pick-up cricket games as well as football and basketball.
Personally, I know next to nothing about cricket other than a game go on for days. In that respect, in my world, that is a lot like Monopoly, except that it is played outdoors and involves a lot of running. I don’t do running so, chances are, I will not be suiting up to get into the game. I might, however, haul my carcass down to the “pitch,” as the cricket playing field is called, to catch the action. When it comes to sports I am best as a spectator. I can watch other people play a game for hours.
There was an article in the local newspaper about the nascent cricket scene in Terre Haute and, after allowing for the poor spelling and grammar, it was quite interesting. Hopefully some other people also deciphered the article and will also join in the public wave of support for the game.
Terre Haute is in Sports mad state and I’ll wager that within a year or two regular teams will appear and the universities might start playing in intercollegiate competition. Cricket is already an NCAA Sport. Last year (2016) South Florida University was the National champ. The year before that it was the University of Texas. If they play it at that level in Texas, Terre Haute can’t be far behind. I mean, if Zimbabwe goes gaga for cricket I’m sure that our Hautians can make a good showing.
During my not very extensive research for this posting I found a list of celebrities who are cricket fans. I could not think of anything more irrelevant, but…
Mick Jagger is a big cricket fan so Rockers of any age can feel comfortable getting into the game. So is Russell Crowe – so followers of scenery chewing actors will fit right in.
Perhaps becoming a fan of the game is a way to express one’s hipness.
“Oh, yes. I spent the weekend at the cricket pitch with Mick, Elton, and Katy. We missed you. You must join us next week when Terre Haute takes on Zimbabwe.”
P.S. I have to admit that, aside from that article in the local rag and a quick dip into Google, I know nothing about cricket. Luckily, I have never let my total ignorance get in my way.