up! Cricket club finds new home in Renton
Hill / Renton Reporter
Shimoga Srinath shows how in the game of cricket batters defend
the wicket, behind him, by hitting a ball that is pitched to them.
HILL, Reporter August 18, 2003
Batters and bowlers play matches at Ron Regis Park
During intermittent rain on a recent Sunday morning, members of
the Seattle Cricket Club tested out the pitch, which had standing
water on it, while others stood under umbrellas near an SUV, waiting
for the umpire to arrive to officially declare the match washed
the meantime, Shimoga Srinath demonstrated the basics of cricket
with the help of Seattle A teammate Tito Sarai.
Srinath, who is an engineer with The Boeing Co. at its Renton plant,
has played with the Seattle Cricket Club since 1968.
In his left hand he held the cricket bat, which is shorter than
a baseball bat and has a flat surface, so that the end of it was
pointing downward. Behind him was the wicket. In the middle of the
60-foot pitch, which is in the middle of the rectangular cricket
ground, stood Sarai, who bowled the ball.
Bowling is similar to pitching. Except the batsman hits the ball
off the ground.
is believed by many to be the foundation for baseball. But it's
far more complicated and it lasts longer than the typical baseball
abound between the two sports.
who play baseball can pick (cricket) up fairly quickly - people
who are sports-minded. But it still takes a long time to learn,"
learned to play the sport as boy in India.
kind of grew up with it. As a kid you start playing in the alleys
and at school," he said. "Just like kids here grow up
differences between the two sports, Srinath said, is that there
are 10 outs in an entire cricket match, as opposed to three per
inning during nine innings of baseball. Once you're out in cricket,
you're done for the game. But an at-bat in cricket can last much
longer than in baseball.
are two bases in cricket, instead of four in baseball. A bowler
only throws six pitches at a time, so each team, or side, must have
as many as eight bowlers to get through a game. Every six pitches
is called an over.
are quite a few guys who have played baseball who can do it,"
Srinath said of learning the rules of cricket. "But cricket
is more subtle."
is more variety in the types of pitches and there are several batting
strokes that can be used to defend the wicket, which is three wooden
posts with two small wooden pegs resting atop it. A batsman defends
the wicket, so he doesn't necessarily run every time he hits the
a slow game by American standards, typically lasting five hours
or more for amateur contests. In some ways, though, it has more
action, as the scores are usually in triple digits.
has never really caught on in the United States, where baseball,
football and basketball dominate the sports scene. But it has legions
of fans around the world, from Britain to India to New Zealand.
a sport that's one of the most widely played in so many parts of
the world," Srinath said.
was brought to the Pacific Northwest in the 1940s by Indian students
and professors at the University of Washington, said Jack Surendranath,
chairman of the Seattle Cricket Club. But those games were informal
the Seattle Cricket Club joined the British Columbia Mainland Cricket
won the Division 1 title that year and we haven't won anything since,"
Surendranath said. "We are the nucleus and all the other clubs
grew around us."
has two teams that play in he league, one in the premier division,
Seattle A, and one in the first division, Seattle B.
year we are playing most of our games in Vancouver, B.C., because
immigration laws have become so strict, it's hard for Canadian teams
to cross the border," Surendranath said.
they do play home games, it's at the city of Renton's Ron Regis
Park off the Maple Valley Highway.
this year the club had played and practiced at Fort Dent Park in
Tukwila, which was formerly a part of the King County Parks Division.
When the city of Tukwila's Parks and Recreation Department took
it over with the help of a private organization, Starfire Sports,
they cricket ground was converted into a soccer field.
the help of Renton's Parks and Recreation Department staff, the
club was able to make use of the open space at Regis Park next to
a baseball field for a new cricket ground. The cricket pitch - where
the batting, bowling and base running happens - was moved from its
former home at Fort Dent and relocated.
had a nice ground at Fort Dent," Surendranath said. "People
would come to the park for a picnic and there would be a cricket
match going on, so it was a cultural event, too. We lost that one
due to circumstances beyond our control, so we needed to find something
worked out well, he added, because of the club's 55 members, he
estimated about 25 percent come from South King County.
used to play, but now he spends most of his time overseeing the
organization and serving as an umpire, as he said he is too old
now to keep up with the youngsters.
a lot of ways cricket is like baseball, but with lots of traditions
and customs," Surendranath said. "It teaches you to lose.
It's a game where you learn discipline, competition and appreciation
for others play. The game is bigger than any one person."
Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253)