2016
01.19

Considering that the main of objective of both cricket and baseball is one team trying to score runs by hitting a ball thrown by an opponent, there hasn’t been a ton of crossover.

In the olden days of baseball, there’s was a bit of crossover between the two sports. Brothers Harry and George Wright, the sons of a English cricketer, both played in the major leagues while having a background in cricket. As did Jim Creighton, who later died after possibly rupturing his bladder while swinging, but that’s another story. Back in their time, cricket was a popular sport in the United States, possibly more so than baseball. Obviously, that’s changed quite a bit over the years. In more recent times, Bahamas-born Andre Rogers played 11 major league seasons, in the 50s and 60s, after transitioning from cricket.

The Yankees gave English bowler (the player who throws the ball) Ian Pont a tryout in the 80s. And yes, there are also the two minor league pitchers from India that the Pirates signed, the story of which became the Jon Hamm vehicle Million Dollar Arm. But there’s not much recent overlap between the two sports other than that. Which is what made this Jack Curry tweet interesting:

Powell has played a total of 50 times for the West Indies national team. (The West Indies team is made up of several Caribbean nations that team up and compete as one.) In 21 test matches (the famous five-day matches, which may or may not be the one thing you might have heard about cricket), he has a 27.48 batting average, which is not very good for a batsman. (Yes, cricket also has a batting average. The statistician who came up with baseball’s batting average is from a cricket background, so this is all his fault.)

While Powell is young and showed flashes in cricket, his relative meh-ness in top level cricket, along with the fact that West Indian cricket is kind of a mess right now, is probably why he is giving baseball a go. Despite once being the best team in cricket in the 80s to early 90s, the West Indies can’t really pay their players as much as a team in one of the world’s most popular sports should. In 2014, the West Indies were forced to cancel a series against India due to payment disputes with the governing body of West Indian cricket. That’s just a taste of why Powell may be trying to test the waters in baseball.

So how did that workout go? Via Wallace Matthews from ESPN:

The unidentified Yankees scout came away unimpressed, and there is no chance the “batsman,” the cricket term for hitter, will be wearing Yankees pinstripes this season.

A member of an MLB organization who had been briefed on the workout told ESPN.com: “He sucks. He’s not worth any time.”

Oh. Well, that’s no fun. So Kieran Powell may not be coming to a stadium near you anytime soon, it’s nice to know the Yankees are thinking outside of the box a little bit.

- pinstripealley.com

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