Podcast: Playing a different sport
As an avid team player and fan of cricket, sophomore Avi Parmar describes his passion and perspective of the sport to staff writer Phillip Leung.
Leung: So to start off our podcast, can you please explain the basic rules behind the sport of cricket?
Parmar: Well, it’s really similar to baseball. The goal for the pitching side or bowling side, as we call in cricket, is to get the other team out. You can do that by pitching the ball near the three sticks behind the batter. If the batter misses and the pitcher hits the ball, then the batter is out. The goal for the batter is to score as many runs as possible. [The field] is like a rectangle [that is] 66 ft. If you go from one end to the other, it’s one run. The number of times you run is the number of runs you get. Usually you can only have to run four times, but if you hit the shot big enough outside the boundary, you might get six runs.
Leung: Can you specify what the boundaries are?
Parmar: They’re usually a 80 meter radius from the rectangle [that is] the pitch, which is in the middle of the field.
Leung: When did you start playing cricket?
Parmar: I’ve been playing for around two to three years.
Leung: What drove you to take up the sport?
Parmar: India winning the World Cup in 2011 made me interested in cricket. I went to a couple of practice sessions, and then I just started going as a routine.
Leung: Why are you interested in cricket, rather than other sports like baseball or soccer?
Parmar: Like I said, since I went to a couple of practice sessions, I just got really interested and continued it. I never really looked toward any other sport.
Leung: How do you think cricket is different from the others?
Parmar: Cricket is a very long game. The shortest game is probably around five or six hours, and it can last up to five days. The short games are called T20s or Twenty20s, the long games are called One Days or One Day Internationals, and the five days are called Test matches.
Leung: What is your attitude toward the sport? In other words, how do you feel about the sport?
Parmar: I’m really passionate for it and I want to do something good. I want to make it to the U.S. senior team. I do almost everything in the sport. I have a major role in the team I play for so I like all aspects of the sport.
Leung: Which role do you play?
Parmar: Everyone has to be in the outfield, so I’m a outfielder, I’m a batter, and I’m a pitcher.
Leung: Are you currently or have been involved with a cricket team? If so, which team? And what position do you play?
Parmar: I play for two, and both of them are in Southern California. One’s called Hollywood Cricket Club and one is just called Youth.
Leung: Have you won any major cricket competitions?
Parmar: There are not many tournaments that go on, but sometimes teams from Northern California come over and play. We have a couple of those friendly matches and we win quite a bit of those.
Leung: What is your perspective of those matches?
Parmar: Well, it’s good to see the competition level of cricket players in the U.S.
Leung: In what ways did playing cricket change your physicality and mentality?
Parmar: In cricket, you need a lot of patience, so I’m becoming more patient. You also need to control your temper, too. Physically, I’ve gotten more fit since I’ve played cricket, and I’ve started to play more.
Leung: Why is controlling your temper important?
Parmar: See, sometimes when the ball doesn’t hit the bat or you miss a lot while batting, you kind of get mentally overwhelmed. You’re trying to score a lot of runs for your team, but it gets to you when you can’t hit. It’s important to stay calm.
Leung: What about patience?
Parmar: The game is pretty long, and you have to find the right ball to hit. You have to pick and choose, because if you hit the wrong ball, you could edge it for a catch and get out.
Leung: In your opinion, what skills are necessary in cricket?
Parmar: Definitely fitness, because every run saved is almost every run earned in the outfield. That’s mainly it. If you have fitness, you have everything else.
Leung: How about mental processes you need?
Parmar: If you’re batting in the second inning, and you want to chase runs. You have to break it down; you can’t overwhelm yourself. You just have to stay calm.
Leung: Have you learned any skills that can be applicable in real life?
Parmar: Physically I’ve gone more fit. That’s really the only skill.
Leung: What was your most memorable moment while playing cricket?
Parmar: Winning the game for my team. That was a friendly match against San Jose or Northern California. My team sent me in second, but then I didn’t get too play much. People on my team were getting out, and I was just standing there watching. Finally, we needed a couple of runs and a couple balls, so it was kind of pressuring. Then I got bat-on-ball [hit] and was able to get a free run, and we won the game.
Leung: How are you planning to continue your passion for cricket in the future?
Parmar: There are more tournaments coming up now in the summer since the sport is becoming more popular in the U.S. I look to do well in those tournaments and continue to practice more.
Leung: Do you plan to play cricket professionally?
Parmar: For me, academics are the most important things, but I would also like to continue cricket.