As the World T20 continues to run like a virus scan in the background, I thought I would hit on a few other topics, and then return to the tournament tomorrow as it really starts to kick off with the Super 8s:
This article from ESPN gives credit to, of all things, the FIFA video game series for the recent surge in popularity of soccer in America (number two sport for 12-24 year olds). The author of course also gives credit to things like, you know, the Internet, but the crux of the piece is that MLS and US Soccer and definitely the European leagues owe a debt of gratitude to EA Sports.
The cynic might read that as ESPN giving a reach around to one of its favorite advertisers but I must say that I agree with the writer. I also give credit to FIFA for soccer’s recent surge, just as I give credit to Fantasy Football for its role in the growth of the NFL over the last 20 years.
And so I say to the ICC, if you want to build cricket’s brand in America, partner with EA Sports and develop a high quality cricket video game series.
When I first started following cricket, I looked around for a video game, as I have always been a fan of that particular form of entertainment, and really loved the FIFA franchise, but I was unable to find one. They were all region specific and, based on reviews, pretty terrible for the most part either way.
What cricket needs is its version of FIFA, its version of Madden, its version of Tiger Woods Golf…
If you build it, they will come.
Minor League Baseball
I posted a link to this video on Twitter yesterday but I thought I would post it here, too.
Midway stadium is only about a mile from my current house (we are moving in two days, however) and I always forget what I wonderful piece of Americana I have in my backyard. Railroads, baseball, summer nights. I talk a lot on the blog here about County Cricket and its ties to the past – I need to remember that those same ties exist here in America in the form of baseball. Attending a game at Midway is like being transported back to a simpler time that never really existed in the first place.
Watch the video. It’s great.
Even with instant replay, the call was still blown.
What does this have to do with cricket? I am not sure. I wrote this part of the post in my head last night as I was drifting off to sleep, and I really cannot remember what my point was.
Though I guess we should be thankful that cricket’s officials, while not infallible, do a better job of using technology than the current lot of replacement referees in the NFL. We should also hope that nothing like what happened on Monday ever happens during a match, say, between India and Pakistan. Green Bay and Seattle don’t have nukes and haven’t been inches from all out war multiple times over the last 60 years.
Now that they are done blaming the rain for their quick exit from the World T20 (failing to mention of course that they were positively hammered by Australia a few days earlier), it seems Ireland want the ICC to get them on the Future Tours Programme so they can play more quality sides and, theoretically, get better and not be an embarrassment next time around.
While I agree with the theory, I don’t think it is necessarily fair for them to be added to the FTP instead of other quality Associates such as Kenya, Afghanistan, Canada, or even Scotland. There is plenty of quality cricket out there for you, Ireland. Play in the CB40, for starters. Snubbing your nose at that tournament did you no favors, in my opinion.
The ICC cannot handhold Ireland and shun the other Associates, is what I am trying say. Sorry, Irish cricketers, you are going to have to do it the hard way, just like everyone else, and now you are going to have to do it with out Niall O’Brien, too.
My wife and I are moving on Friday, as I mentioned above. It is sad and bittersweet and hard and exciting. The next blog post you read will have been written in my new kitchen. So until then…