Sunday, August 17, 2008

Any Questions About Cricket in Stamford?

Because I totally got the scoop. As of yesterday, I know how the game is scored, and I know how to find info on matches in Fairfield County. I have achieved my dream of getting into the Stamford cricket scene. Next Sunday, Aug 24, there’s going to be a big match in Stamford. It sounds like a great party, and I’m going to be there.

Yesterday's match is a tournament organized annually by Asha to raise money for schools in India. It's the match I was unable to find online last year, which whipped me into a frenzy and caused me to start Stamford Talk. The tourney wraps up today in Lione Park on Stillwater. The Advocate has an article about it, but I'll provide much juicier info, because I, a blogger and columnist, am allowed to speculate, embellish, and opine.

Yesterday's cricket experience started off with intrigue. When I walked up to the match, here is what I saw: Indian people gathered under one tree, quietly watching cricket, and African-Americans under another tree, laughing, eating, drinking, and talking. Oh my god, how awkward! I thought. The cricket match is competing against a family BBQ for shade. I had a feeling this could really add drama to my blog post. I opened my lawn chair, sat between the two groups, watched cricket and spectators, and snapped some photos.

Over the next 20 minutes, while trying not to stare, I began to notice that more than one person in the group to my left were wearing baseball caps that said "Barbados." Then I noticed that a few from the group were watching the cricket match rather avidly. After more casual spying, I noticed one man wearing a very nice shirt that said "Cricket USA" and windbreaker pants that said "Cambridge Athletic Club" or something like that. Ohhhhh, I thought to myself. Maybe some of these guys are going to play in the tourney, and these are all their fans and family!

However, only a couple guys looked dressed for the possibility of cricket, and most people were socializing and not paying a lick of attention to the match being played on the field. It was a real Stamford Talk mystery.

Then, a couple of men came over to the Indian group. I, of course, strenuously eavesdropped. "I play for St. John's here in Stamford," one of them said. "St. John's" I scribbled in my notebook. I was lying low, feeling a little shy, not wanting to approach anyone yet. I knew I’d figure out the mystery eventually, and I was enjoying observing. Sometimes I get tired of hearing my own voice, and I just want to be quiet.

Finally, someone from the cricket match came over and asked if I was enjoying the cricket. I proceeded to talk his ear off/interview him and got the scoop on all the local cricket teams and leagues and generally how things work.

Turns out the group from Barbados thought they were supposed to practice at the Lione cricket pitch, but City of Stamford had promised it to the ASHA tourney. I guess they stuck around to watch. Some of the guys were from St. John’s, which is one of Stamford’s teams in the Southern Connecticut Cricket Association (SCCA). That league has 11 teams, including teams from Bridgeport, New Haven, and New Milford. The other team from Stamford is a UBS team.
(See match schedules under “fixtures” button at SCCA's website.)

Next Sunday, Aug 24, St. John’s plays Bridgeport at Lione Park in Stamford. I hear that the match attracts an enthusiastic crowd of revelers. The players will be wearing all that crazy equipment you see in photos. This is going to be serious cricket, people. (The Asha tourney was more casual, with shortened matches, a softer ball, and hence no pads.)
Don’t let it scare you that Lione is located across from Vidal Court, the housing project often named in articles about crime. I love sports, and I love people watching. I think it’s going to rock.

Cricket is totally easy to understand, by the way. It has a couple more variables than baseball, but it’s the same basic idea.

Related Stamford Talk posts:
--December 20, 2007-- Guns: Busy on Stamford's West Side (post about a spate of shootings on or near Stillwater Ave. last fall)
--July 29, 2008-- Meet the Catalyst for Stamford Talk!

Past Stamford Talk mysteries:
--February 11, 2008-- Stamford's Very Own Authentic Voodoo Doll (I absolutely am not kidding about that.)
--February 26, 2008-- Stamford's Napa and Co: Information Blackout?!?


Bruce Beckett said...

I never thought I'd hear the day when an American described cricket as an "easy game to understand." It took me five years to work out baseball and its many nuances. Cricket is even more complex. It's the one sport I really miss since leaving England so I really hope it takes off here in the States. The shorter version of the game - called Twenty20 - lasts about the same length as a baseball match and features a lot of big hits. It has become massively popular on the subcontinent, particularly India, and the players are now earning big bucks. In the words of 10CC, I don't like cricket, I love it!

Nikhil said...

Hi Kristine,
i am your "someone from the cricket match came over and asked if I was enjoying the cricket".

Good description :)


Mark said...

There are 3 St. John's churches in Stamford, so for the record, I believe the team is associated with St. John's Episcopal Church, 628 Main Street - on the other side of the mall.

Always Home and Uncool said...

Sorry I missed it. It's like baseball ... yet even slower. You'd think there would be more drunken riots at cricket than soccer w/ all that downtime.

JR said...

Darn it, I missed it!! And I'll be away next Sunday! I miss all the cool things in town :(