Seattle Cricket Club

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Aslam Khan







Ichiro: Making of a Great Cricketer

Ichiro: Making of a Great Cricketer
Aslam Khan

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 field.

Aslam Khan
Member of Seattle Cricket Club


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