Baseball and Cricket

20 05 2010

Cricket Match in Toronto, 1 August 1914. Source: City of Toronto Archives

Baseball orginated in the British Isles. Cricket was popular in the United States in the 19th century. Yet today, baseball is the national pastime in the United States and cricket is regarded by most North Americans as a British sport. Baseball has died out in the UK. Why is this the case? Sports historians have debated this issue for years. Now, a new exhibition at Lord’s cricket grounds in London is tackling the issue. The online version of the ‘Swinging Away: How Cricket and Baseball Connect’ exhibit includes an audio slideshow.

To listen to a short radio interview about this exhibit, click here.


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21 05 2010
K D Tennent

The Lord’s Museum is well worth a visit, and its interesting to have this debate when cricket finds itself at such a crossroads. There’s a real danger that professional cricket is alienating its loyal fan base, its many ametuer participators, and the casually viewing public by trying to be too innovative, and too much like other sports, such as baseball. Twenty20 is a great innovation but it lacks a lot of the character of proper cricket, while test matches played at night with pink balls risk loosing that sense of continuity with the past. At the same time traditional parts of the sport like Test Cricket are being postively enhanced by new media such as Twitter, in a way that just couldn’t happen in other sports (how many footballers have their own twitter account?). I hope we keep at least one red-ball 5 day test a year at Lords, played on a traditional 11am-6.30pm schedule, in years to come, because there really is nothing else quite like it.

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