Same question, new answer

It’s Christmas morning.

I am up early with the dog and the coffee to watch India play Pakistan in a Twenty20.

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I get asked a lot of if cricket – specifically Twenty20 cricket – will ever take hold here in the states.

Nevermind the fact that the question is mildly, albeit unintentionally, insulting – as in, Americans could never like something as nuanced as Test cricket because they are boisterous and loud and lacking in attention spans – my answer has always been a qualified “maybe.”

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The question, and my answer, invariably revolve around a US-based, T20 league.

A league featuring a smattering of US players and a bunch of international one day mercenaries in cities where there are large ex-pat communities like San Francisco.

But I am watching India vs Pakistan this morning, and it is loud and swashbuckling and entertaining without being annoying (like the IPL; no dancers, no pop music), and I cannot help but retract what I said earlier about insulting and think to myself: Americans would watch this.

If this match was on ESPN, in HD, Americans would watch it.

It would be a novelty at first, like how we all watched Australian rules football in the 80s, but after 10, maybe 15, overs, a good majority of them would be hooked, and would tune in again.

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The key here is the rivalry, and the crowd, and the general atmosphere, and the entertaining cricket.

They would not watch the sub-par mercenary club cricket that a US league would produce, they would not watch England v New Zealand in a half empty Oval, but they would watch India v Pakistan, and other entertaining sides with a well defined rivalry, play Twenty20 cricket.

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And so now I have two answers to the question above: a US league? Maybe. But they would definitely watch big-time T20 internationals.

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Merry Christmas to all my readers.

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One Response to Same question, new answer

  1. Pingback: Obituaries | Limited Overs

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