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It’s cricket’s turn at bat at Dodger Stadium, where all-stars will play

November 13th, 2015 | by admin
It’s cricket’s turn at bat at Dodger Stadium, where all-stars will play
Cricket All Stars
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It was almost a year ago that Shane Warne picked up the phone to call his friend in India.

As one of the top cricketers in history, the Australian had an idea he wanted to share with another great from the sport, Sachin Tendulkar.

“We are both very passionate about the game,” Warne said. “And we both love America.”

It was a simple plan: Assemble two all-star teams for a tour of the U.S. and play the games in Major League Baseball parks.

The tough part? Getting people to come watch.

“It’s a sport-loving nation,” Tendulkar said. “But this would be a challenge.”

The Cricket All-Stars series, which began in New York, makes its final stop in Los Angeles this week. Saturday’s match will mark the first visit to Chavez Ravine for an ancient game of bats and balls.

“I’ve seen Dodger Stadium only in photographs,” Tendulkar said. “To go there and play cricket, for a sportsman, it’s something special.”

Though cricket is played by an estimated 120 million people worldwide, it has never caught on in America.

The game is similar to baseball in that each team sends a series of batsmen to face a pitcher — known as a bowler — who throws a ball made of cork and wound string, covered in leather.

There are also big differences.

Pitches known as googlies and yorkers bounce before reaching the batsman. The bat is broad and can hit in a range of directions around an oval-shaped field.

Defensive players manning positions such as slips, fine leg and gully spread themselves in a wide array, trying to catch the ball barehanded and stop runners who sprint back and forth within a rectangular pitch in the middle of the field.

Innings can stretch for hours.

The Cricket All-Stars tour features 29 of the best players from the past two decades, with a roster including renowned batsman Brian Lara of Trinidad and Tobago and bowlers Wasim Akram of Pakistan and Glenn McGrath of Australia.

Warne, famed for his bowling skills, has come out of retirement to be one of the captains. Tendulkar has done likewise after a career that saw him help India to the 2011 World Cup and become the only player to complete 30,000 runs in international competition.

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