Missing Jim Thome
So you miss Jim Thome’s big frame at first base and his crushing hits from home plate at the stadium. The burgers, fries, hot dogs and the beverage of your choice don’t taste the same now that the Cleveland Indians will miss the post season.
Last week the New York Yankees celebrated the 100th birthday of their great first baseman Lou Gehrig and during one of the many interviewers about the legendary Yankee an old timer said that Thome had a similar strong build to Gehrig.
It was a compliment for Thome even though his numbers probably will never match those of Gehrig.
But Thome is now in Philadelphia and whatever he is doing with the Phillies is not helping Cleveland except make fans grumble even louder and wish he was still with the Indians.
So summer in Cleveland is going to be a long one until LeBron James starts working out with the Cavaliers.
Maybe it is time for a change of interest in sport over summer, well, at least, until the Indians start winning more games and become contenders for the post season.
Ever heard of cricket, old boy? That’s the game that is the equivalent of baseball in England, Australia, the West Indies, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa.
Well, this may surprise you, but there are at least 10,000 cricketers in the United States and the game’s governing body, the International Cricket Conference (ICC) in London, strongly believes that the time has arrived for the game to expand even more in the US and the ICC is ready to pump money to promote cricket.
Wait, there is more.
ICC president Ehsan Mani said that there was some chance of the US could host some Cricket World Cup matches in 2007.
Of course, there are a few bridges to cross before this will happen. If it does happen it will be only a few games, but it will not create the same interest as, say, the 1994 soccer World Cup, which was hosted by the US and helped boost the economy as thousands of fans came from all over the world.
“The ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, being hosted by the West Indies, may see some games being played in the United States,” Mani said in a statement. “There is still much work to be done and many hurdles to be overcome before this could happen.”
ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said the ICC was realistic about the difficulties of developing cricket in the US, but with careful management it offered an opportunity to build on the 10 000 senior players in the country.
“America is one of the top three associates members of the ICC in terms of senior players and we would like to see them challenging for a place in the World Cup,” Speed said.
“The ICC board is looking at ways that the development of the game in America can be advanced, but is very realistic about the task ahead and does not see cricket challenging the major established sports in America.
“With the number of people playing the game there, cricket has a foothold and if we are able to manage it sensibly, the game could become a successful niche sport which would be of great benefit to the game globally.
“Having said all this, we are very much at the beginning of this whole process. The ICC executive board has asked management to prepare a detailed paper on the US and it must receive the full backing of all ICC members before we can proceed.
“The reality is that we are talking years not months before the benefits of any program would be realized.”
It is encouraging that cricket might grow in the US and now with the Indians in the also ran class, you can swap your burgers, fries, hot dogs and beer for tea and scones, that’s what the cricket countries have at their ballparks.
It’s very British, you know.
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