After living 37 years in California never once seeing cricket, hearing about it, or in fact even knowing it existed, I have within one week of being back played a match! A couple of days after arriving here in SoCal, I went to the Indian store to get some spices for dinner. Knowing that cricket is a very popular sport in India I asked the owners if they knew anywhere I could find out about cricket leagues. They took my phone number and a guy called me that evening. Awesome.
Two days later I am at Starbucks getting a horrible cup of coffee, and I see two guys that appear ready to go to some athletic event or another and read USA Cricket on one of the guys jumper. I asked the two of them about cricket and got another number.
The first gentleman I talked to said they had a game on Sunday (today) and that I could probably play, woo hoo. So this morning after considerable hassle I wound up in Fontana, the last place you would expect cricket to be played, and played my first game of cricket in America. The ground was one of the best grounds I have played on, it was a turf wicket, with short boundries square of the wicket, but the pitch was great. The ground was owned by a doctor that bought the property and mantained the ground as a way to teach cricket to his sons and a host of other young people in the area. It was a great day.
I batted at number six, and was part of a good partnership. I turned over the strike but didn't score that many runs. When we were told to pick up the pace I played and missed a few times to some pretty good balls. Then I walked down the pitch and launched the bowler way way over mid on for the first six of my life. It was awesome.
When I bowled I took the wickets of their two best batsman in consecutive balls, and was feeling pretty special looking at a hat trick. The hat trick ball turned nicely and missed the edge by a few centimetres. But all in all it was a great day. Our side won, but it was a fun game. How great it was to get to play cricket. I might stay in the country for a while :)