An Audio News Blog for the WBTN-AM Listening Area

Chris Sobolowski discusses the new Bennington cricket club

In Sports on September 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

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Story by Community Journalist, Bill Densmore

John Sobolowski

Bennington, Vt. — Do you know anything about the sport of cricket? Today we got a primer from Chris Sobolowski, a graphic-artist by day who spends his weekends playing the classic British sport which was popular in the colonies until the faster game of baseball became America’s favorite pasttime.
    “Now cricket is starting to make a comeback,” Sobolowski told Shires Media-WBTN-AM host John Likakis during a Morning Show interview on Wed., Sept. 29. “The passion engendered by it is like nothing we have in this country.”  A bowler bowls the ball and tries to get it past one of two batsmen, who are sort of like  goalies on the oval-shaped field. They are defending two wickets about 20 years apart. The game lasts over five days. Each team bats twice and has up to five days to get a result.  And after all that, says Sobolowski, there can be a draw. “It’s a worthwhile thing, it just needs a little time for you to get your American brain around it,” he says.The leather-lined ball is half an ounce heavier than a baseball and sometimes the cricket player catches it with bare hands. There are few rules about how the ball may be used:  “They can put one up in your ribs five times in a row, perfectly legal.”  At the Bennington Cricket Club play takes place with a much softer ball than the regulation type.

    The regulation cricket ball

    Batting is a cross between baseball, Samuri swordsmanship and dancing, says Sobolowski. You can move all around within a space much larger than a batting box.  There are normally 11 people on a side but the Bennington Cricket Club allows teams of any size depending on who shows up. Play starts on Sunday’s at 10 a.m. at Willow Park in Bennington. You can bring a lawn chair a picnic snack.

    “In two years the interest and attendance has exploded,” says Sobolowski, with people coming in from Albany and Manchester and other locations.

    You can learn about the origin of the term “hat trick” — which came from cricket, by listening to the interview with Sobolowski.  “It’s a thinking-man’s sport,” says Sobolowski, who also coaches sixth and seventh graders on Wednesday at Mount Anthony Union District middle school. He says it takes about a half hour to teach the teens the game “and they run with it.”

    Want to follow Bennington cricket? Check out the club’s Facebook page, or the club’s blog, or email benningtoncricket@gmail.com for more info or call Sobolowski at 802-379-4163.

    Click above to stream audio of the interview or DOWNLOAD Interview

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