Wickets, bats & Moeen Ali: Why I fell in love with Cricket

Cricket. Perhaps one of the most remarkable sports out there and yet the majority of the world doesn’t exactly know what it does entail. When I was a bit younger, I always  was confused watching it. It didn’t feel like a real sport at the time. But now I do now better and I thoroughly enjoy watching it.
I’ve always been an avid football fan and the only time I would read something about cricket, was in the histories of certain football clubs. Those clubs had been established as consequence of cricket clubs. I didn’t fully understand cricket and I thought it was quite weird to be honest with you. But this all changed with the World Cup of 2011. I was having a hard time with my heart condition. I was in and out of the hospital visiting the cardiologist and had to rest at home. It was the time of the cricket World Cup and as I couldn’t move I started to watch it. The semi-final between India and Pakistan was the moment that I fell in love with cricket. It was such an exciting match and my enthusiasm has grown enormously since.
If you want to know more about the rules of cricket, I suggest you look elsewhere. It’s not that I don’t know the rules, but I’m just really terrible at explaining it. But I really do think that cricket is so interesting. I think I could it like this; cricket is appealing to me, exactly because of it’s unknown qualities, me thinks. The fact that I knew little about the sport and its culture, made me very interested. This ultimately led to enormous cricket enthusiasm this day. I think it’s great.
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Englishness
Somehow I always associated cricket with a form of Englishness. It always had this typical English vibe attached to it eat. Cricket to me was as English as drinking tea or organising gardening competitions. This was strengthened by the fact that most of the nations that do play cricket, once were part of the Common Wealth. Perhaps that is why we non-cricketing nations knew or know so little about this sport. However the sport has been growing in popularity over here in the Netherlands. This growth got a huge boost when we beat England in the 2014 Twenty20 World Cup. To beat such a great cricketing nation rekindled some enthusiasm for the sport over here. Yet to this day, it’s a minority sport over here.
Different forms
What I thought was pretty cool as well, was the diversity of the game. Not so much in terms of different personalities, but in different forms of the game. There’s only one form of football on the field, but cricket has different forms of the game. There’s Test Cricket (matches over several days), One Day Matches and Twenty20 ( a shorter and very popular form). All with different rules and traditions. They all have their charms and these forms make cricket what it is today, thoroughly enjoyable for me.
World Cup
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In 2019 the next World Cup will be held and you can be sure of it, that I will watch it. In 2011 and 2015 I didn’t yet fully grasp the meaning and culture of cricket, but now I do. I’m ridiculously excited and I can’t wait to follow all the new surrounding it, possibly talking about it as well. The power of a World Cup can’t only be measured in how many times a nations wins the cup. It’s also about unity and coming together. Trying to forget political and religious rivalries, concentrating on the sport. It makes for breathtaking and heartbreaking moments, which we all should cherish, because that is what makes sport so beautiful. It tells a story, a different story every single time.
Heroes
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I don’t what it is, but every sport I follow, I develop some affection for some certain players. Players who become heroes in my perception. It’s hard choosing a hero when it comes to a sport like cricket, for several reasons to be honest. It’s not my first sport and I’ve only become really interested in the sport, a few years ago. But there are two men who definitely caught my eye. The first one is Sachin Tendulkar, a former Indian international who has retired now. He was one of the players that really appealed to me in their style of play. He played with some kind of grace and had very good statistics as well, that’s why he became the first player I really was a fan of.
The second one is Moeen Ali, an Englishman with Pakistani descent. I don’t really know why I think he’s amazing other than that he’s a good player. I think it’s mainly because he has this awesome beard and has been outspoken on several topics. I also like that he’s still active in the game, because than I know that I can still follow him on the different platforms.
I find it hard to describe my feelings regarding cricket into words, but I’ve tried to do it anyway. Hopefully I’ll write more on the sport in the future and I think it’s great that there are so many different sports out there.

Which sports do you enjoy playing or watching? Let me know!

 

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