Cricket vs. Baseball: Which Wins for Fun?
By Kristina Newsam
In sport, "fun" tends to be measured by the rate of enjoyment and emotional reactions conjured up by the performances of athletes. Thus, the more excitement felt by a spectator, the more "fun" a sport is deemed to be.
"Fun" can also be measured via the amount of controversy that is generated by issues in and around the particular sport, proving the reach of the sport by the local or international appeal and interest that is shown when "things happen". If the world is talking about it, then the sport is viral, and if it's viral, then that means more fun for everyone!
It is with these views that we take a closer look whether cricket or baseball is more fun. We will consider this from the viewpoint of spectators in particular, as they are the people who depend on the sporting industry for entertainment.
It's no secret that when it comes to baseball, they have a tournament with a slightly overblown title... It's called the "World Series". Now, based on that name alone, you would think that the "world" is invited to come and have a go at the US-based competition. However, what we have seen from this league is mainly local talent, with the introduction of players from other countries, especially in recent times.
On the other hand, cricket, across all formats, features international teams venturing sometimes halfway across the world to match skills with their international counterparts. This has developed even further into the establishment of T20 Premier Leagues, such as the Caribbean Premier League, the Indian Premier League and Bangladesh Premier League, which all feature the greatest names in current cricket, with players from across the world all playing together on mixed teams.
This dynamic melting pots of players, cultures and spectators, sparks an undeniable flavour, sense of unity and healthy competition amongst cricket fans.
Patience vs Instant Vibes
In the game of cricket, especially regarding the Test format of the game, patience is a virtue by which all purists and Test cricketers abide by in order to harvest the best from the game; in order for players to score runs effectively, it is far more important for players to showcase their ability to endure and stay the course rather than attempt to go for quick runs.
On the other hand, in the baseball arena, the central highlight of the game is the intense and often nail-biting race between the hitter and the catcher at base, as if a countdown clock had been set, to determine whether the hitter will reach his base in time, or whether the fast-handed catcher will snatch the ball out of the air before the hitter has gotten a chance to outwit him and be deemed "safe".
The game of the purists and the more fast-paced baseball will probably find it harder to reconcile their differences without further debate. However, one cannot sidestep the fact that the fast-flowing entertainment of baseball is equally matched and perhaps outdone by the modern T20 format, which features not only quick runs thriving on the confidence of the batsmen, but also dancing girls, crazy costumes and fans in a frenzy from vibrant musical interludes.
Shot Selection vs Curve Balls
In the game of baseball, there is a very crucial factor that can deceive the hitter and cause tension to soar sky-high in the hearts of spectators, as their hearts pulsate rapidly when the ball leaves the pitcher's hand and glove and takes an unexpected turn in the air, throwing the hitter for a loop and causing him to miss the ball.
With cricket, the feat is somewhat similar, as the same tension and fever-pitched emotions start to rise when the bowler carefully and strategically selects the line and length that he believes will give the batsman the most trouble. One would undoubtedly say that the elements that can affect the bounce and swing of the ball are far more in the game of cricket than the dynamics brought about by curve balls in baseball.
The wind, the nature of the pitch, the grip of the ball, the specialisation of the bowler, all come together to form a full-steaming attack by a bowling camp that can use them to his advantage. The outcome of the game could change on a dime!
When it comes right down to it, each sports fan will have to choose which sport is their fine "cup of tea", whether it be cricket or baseball. There are perhaps more similarities than differences between the two, especially in modern times, with T20 taking the unstoppable surge across all borders and elevating the intensity and increasing the overall pace of the game. As for us, cricket will always be lovely, while baseball comes a close second.