Ichiro: Making of a Great Cricketer
Ichiro Suzuki, the Japanese all-star should be playing cricket,
not baseball. He has all the makings of a great cricket bat and
could be a dream fielder for any professional team where cricket
is played. On the international level, baseball has a very limited
audience compared to cricket.
Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, where cricket is the
national sport, alone add up to approximately 1.3 billion people.
Including the other professional cricket playing countries like
United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and of course
the West Indies and others the number adds up to many more millions.
Not to forget, baseball after all, is an offshoot of cricket. Nobody
knows for certain but according to some observers baseball comes
from a form of cricket called "rounders", that was played
over 400 years ago. In cricket, there are two teams of eleven players
each. The game play and rules are obviously quite different, but
the main focus of cricket is similar to that of baseball. Just like
in baseball, cricket teams bat in successive innings and attempt
to score runs, and the team with the most runs wins.
Keeping that in mind, it is Ichiro who is an absolute delight to
watch when he hits lovely cover drives (like line drives between
second and third bases) and his majestic point or cut shots (line
drives close to the third base foul line). Not to mention his elegant
on drives (line drives close to first base) and of course his occasional
powerful sixes (home runs) to the right bleachers.
It is not only his offensive strokes that captivate the cricket
and baseball fans but his fearsome throws from right field. At times
with the bases loaded and a fly ball to Ichiro in the outfield,
it could be intimidating for a player on third base to move toward
home, given the magnificent prowess of his right arm. Absolutely,
a rare sight to watch.
Ichiro's agility on the field was so eloquently summed up by Lou
Piniella, the Mariners' manager, when he said, "And it's not
just his arm. It's his range in right field. It's like we've got
a center fielder playing right field."
In cricket, Ichiro would be a dreaded outfielder for any opponent
team. He could be selected for any professional cricket team just
for his fielding let alone his stylish batting. He is a complete
baseball player, but he is also a great Cricketer on the baseball
Member of Seattle Cricket Club