Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

I can’t help but be psyched about the All-Star 20Twenty Series coming up next month, and if anything, my excitement level’s risen even further since we announced the venues for the games.

One reason is that all three of the ballparks we’ve signed up for the All-Star Series are right now hosting Major League Baseball play-off games, so we’ve had a great opportunity to see them all in action. Haven’t those American crowds been going off!

Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, and Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, have seen some incredible games since the playoffs began, and there’s every chance they’ll keep featuring as their home teams continue toward the World Series later in October.

These fabulous, 40,000-plus capacity, stadiums are like the MCG, SCG and Lord’s of baseball, iconic landmarks in three massive cities with a combined population of over 50 million cricket-starved Americans (and home to hundreds of thousands of cricket-hungry Aussies, Poms, Kiwis, Yaarpies, Indians, Pakistanis and West Indians).

As I’ve watched the baseball action, I’ve realised that, in many ways, 20Twenty Cricket is similar to MLB baseball, where 120 pitches per team – the equivalent of 20 six-ball overs – is common, and games also last around three hours.

Did you also know that the distance between bowler and batsman is almost identical to the distance from pitcher to batter, and the ball travels at around the same speed – between 90 and 100 miles an hour for the fastest balls.

It won’t take American baseball fans long to recognise what a great game we have in cricket, especially when they see the likes of Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, and of course the little master himself, Sachin Tendulkar, smashing the cherry out of the park. There’ll be lots more home runs in All-Star 20Twenty Cricket than Major League Baseball!

Mind you, the bats will have to do some dodging of their own, with Wasim Akram, Curtley Ambrose and Glenn McGrath steaming in at them.

So catch a bit of the baseball playoff action over the next couple of weeks, and imagine, like I am, some of the greatest names in the history of cricket playing in those mighty coliseums. It’s enough to send shivers down your spine!