The India Premier League, no doubt faced with the skyrocketing costs of their domestic audiences, is outsourcing to the good old U. S. of A. They come flaunting their flamboyance, their wealthy and attractive movie stars, and... waving our history in our face?
George Washington played the game, Abraham Lincoln was a keen spectator and the first copy of the official rulebook to reach the country was imported by Benjamin Franklin.
Phooey to that, I say. The Powdered Wig Consortium tried to make a comeback on the Forefathers platform in the 80s and it never panned out. But I am excited to exchange cucumber sandwich recipes over tea. Tax-free tea.
Move over Barbara Walters, we'll be hosting Twenty20 matches in the next 18 months, according to Lalit Modi, vice-president of the Board of Control of Cricket in India. So why cricket, and why now?
America is home to the world’s most valuable advertising market and a large population with roots in cricketing regions such as India, Pakistan and the West Indies. It is estimated that the US has 30,000 amateur players and the USA Cricket Association claims that there are 15 million American cricket fans. Mr Modi is betting that large numbers of them will pay to see the superstars of the IPL in action and splurge on merchandise.
I get it, you wave our forefathers in our faces, and we'll wave pieces of paper, with their faces on them, in your faces. Seems like an even trade to me. I can't wait to see what type of merchandise is available. I'd really like a Deccan Chargers hat with the label still on it so everyone knows it's fresh. That, and I need to wash away the buyer's remorse from my Jimmie Johnson jumpsuit, from back when I thought NASCAR was going to be the next hip hop trend.
The article goes on to cite reasons why Americans might have fallen out of love with cricket. From asserting that we're nothing but instant gratificationists, partisan in our hatred for all things British since the American Revolution, to thinking we're still mad about that time in 1909 when the British Empire founded the Imperial Cricket Conference and left us out.
The IPL faces an uphill battle, one marked with obstacles such as indifference and ineptitude. First of all, they hope to emulate the entertainment of baseball and basketball. I love baseball, but I can understand when people say they're bored by watching it, because I am equally bored by basketball. Secondly, Americans are pretty focused on football and football-related sports that aren't soccer. David Beckham's run with the LA Galaxy was met with a giant "meh" from one of the world's largest sports markets. Thirdly, someone thought it was a good idea to build the U.S.'s only cricket stadium in Florida, a state with two Major League Baseball teams struggling to draw a crowd.
No matter the obstacles, I look forward to their attempt to reunite us with our long lost cousin. It's much easier to follow uncommon sports when they happen on your continent.