Here's another supplement to Mark's now famous series of posts:
In the first of my posts in the series How to cope without British TV and Radio (see also Part 2; Part 3 and Football Supplement), I included a paragraph about cricket:
Dish Network have the rights in America. Details are at Dish Pay Per View: Sport Listing and see also Dish Network Programming Pay Per View Cricket and Summer of Cricket schedule. It's more expensive than I had realized (above), but apparently $199.95 gets you all seven test matches (three v. Sri Lanka and four v. Pakistan) and a bunch of One Day Internationals too. (I am take it or leave it with the One Days, but heck, if it's in with the price, all the better). Of course to get to that point you first have to have a Dish, so we have made the switch from the more expensive Time Warner Cable to Dish, and our new system is to be installed on Wednesday. In theory, therefore, I should be able to get up early on Thursday morning (5.45 a.m. ET start) and watch live cricket from Lords. It's a mouth-watering prospect, but I tend to be pretty pessimistic, believe-it-when-I-see-it, with exciting things like this, so I have made the decision not to look forward to it yet.
Sky Sports. We used to have Telewest when we were in Birmingham, and it seems that they are charging £22 a month for Sky Sports (in addition to all the other charges), so at £100 for the summer, it's not a lot different from the $199.95 we will be paying. At this point, I have no idea what the Dish Network coverage will be like but I'd assume that they simply grab the Sky Sports coverage and take that over direct for all eight of us in the US who will be watching. What Fox Soccer Channel do with the football is to take over the Sky commentary but to repackage it with their own introductions and conclusions.
Speaking of the paucity of cricket fans on this side of the Atlantic, it is unremarkable to see how little there is on the web for American cricket lovers. The international cricket site, CricInfo, has a nice article on Cricket in America: An Historical Survey, from which this is an excerpt:
The article goes on to explain how the sport declined in the US at the turn of the century; it remained "stubbornly elitest" at a time when baseball was taking over the American scene. The article claims (and I have not checked the validity of these claims) that baseball "created its independent mythology, and obviated the sport that gave it birth. In a few decades, cricket in America had become only a memory."
USCricket.com, the United States of America Cricket Association and Cricket for America, all of which do a great job, but these are all focused on playing the game. I am delighted to see that interest here, but there is next to nothing for those of us who would love to be players but who are not, on account of being so rubbish. The last time I played cricket was for our Dept of Theology cricket team in Birmingham, captained by Professor David Parker, and I came back injured or exhausted after each match and haven't played since. What is lacking over here is anything for those of us for whom cricket is all about watching others do the hard work, while enjoying a beer in the sunshine. On the off-chance that there are others like me, stranded in the States and missing the sights and sounds of first class cricket, I've set up a Yahoo!Group for English Cricket Fans in America. You never know, there might just be others out there, and I'd be interested to hear how others have coped. For one thing, what about Test Match Special? In the winter, it was unavailable over the net here, and I am guessing that the same is going to be true this summer. Is there any way around it?
May 10, 2006An update to this post can be found at:
How to cope without British TV and Radio: Cricket Supplement Update