What Yoshi Thinks About Cricket

I am still on a break from writing about footy. As cricket has been the hot topic for the Footy Almanac, today I am writing about the sport even if I do not think I know much about cricket.

My first time to watch cricket was January 2001 on the Gold Coast. It was also the first time for me to travel outside Japan. I flew from Sapporo to Osaka and then to Brisbane. As an organised trip, I met a local couple as guides and drivers at the airport and then we went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

After having enjoyed seeing koalas, I was dropped off at a house where I spent a week with a local family (although a wife and mum of the family was originally from Malaysia). Then we were at a lounge to watch a cricket game.

Sadly cricket is a long game and the tiredness from my long flights (I had difficulty in sleeping on the over-night flight), I fell asleep.

Even if I had not thought that cricket was interesting (I am afraid to say), an English couple who were staying in the same backpackers’ hostel invited me to watch the Boxing Day T-20 Match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in 2006 at Eden Park in Auckland. I accepted and we agreed to meet at the venue.

I walked to the venue and searched for them, but it was not successful. However, failing to meet them was not the end of the world.

As the game was not too long for me, watching a cricket match was good experience. It was also good for me to distract myself from mixed and funny feelings due to personal circumstances at the time. And I did not need to be alone. At the last half of the game (I think – I am not sure what point it happened), I was able to talk to surrounding spectators – a young couple (a Canadian woman and her Kiwi boyfriend) and his sister and mates. The Canadian soothed me well about my sentimentality.

New Zealand won the match! I have just Googled the score – Sri Lanka 115 (18.2 overs) and New Zealand 5-116 (18.3 overs). After the game, we hit a nearby pub and celebrated the young Kiwi woman’s 19th birthday. All good!

Then early the following year, my workplace (a hotel) held a cricket match on Sunday. Indeed it was the first time to play cricket. I did a bit good and enjoyed it. A maintenance guy organised very well and I appreciate him and other colleagues for giving me such a wonderful opportunity.

One and half years later, my friend’s friend allowed me to stay a night when I had a job interview at a countryside hotel. The manager and local people were nice and friendly that made me happy and big smiles. At my friend’s friends’ farm house, their young son liked playing cricket and indeed I was happy to play with him. It was another great experience for all of us – minus the wife and mum (playing tennis at their daughter’s school tennis court).

After that great time in the Wairarapa region back in November 2007 (I got a job from the hotel and worked there for several months), I barely have been watching cricket. Even if had a chance to do so, it does not last so long each time.

Now seeing Almanackers’ great contributions of cricket articles makes me to follow cricket. Like old immigrants in Australian from other countries, my willingness to be westernised (Kiwinised in the mid to late 2000s and now Australianised, or mixture of both countries) has come back and applies to having interests in cricket.

The first task started with researching cricket rules. Google hit with the Cricket Rules website. The beginning of the site saying ‘there are many more rules in cricket than in many other sports’ seems complicated to learn its rules. But I wondered if it was true or not because I had sensed that cricket rules seemed not complicated from past viewing.

Meanwhile I remembered that baseball – which is popular in the US and Japan – was said to be developed from cricket* that I learned from an English text book at high school. Then I thought that learning cricket rules would not be hard for me.

I surveyed the website to gain knowledge of the rules. My main concerns about timing when an inning is over and how to count runs are well explained. It is not hard to understand.

Wickets had been what I understood without referring rule books – I have just learned from watching games on TV.

Back on the website, I was confused with learning about no ball and wide ball. Then I did not hesitate to watch videos and thanks to YouTube, cricket laws videos from the UK helped me learn very well!

It seems that I just need to learn more and more about cricket by watching matches. However I am less likely to watch here in Sapporo, sadly due to financial circumstances and time (I wish I could watch the Boxing Day Test match).

Merry Christmas to you all and enjoy watching the Boxing Day cricket and the cricket season!!


* I have also researched about relationships with cricket and baseball, and found that the theory was incorrect. The unreliable Wikipedia says that the origin of baseball was cricket is controversial. Also International Baseball Federation says that the origin of baseball is uncertain. In addition, I used to watch baseball, but have no interest in the sport any more. This has been replaced with rugby union, footy and cricket (also watching football – soccer – is alright and I would like to play tennis again in Australia).


About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. matt watson says

    Cricket must be a strange game to watch for the first time.
    I remember trying to explain the LBW rule to a Brazilian bloke back in the 90s at a Test at the Gabba. He’d been brought along by another mate.
    I kept it simple, but the Brazilian didn’t understand how the umpire could correctly judge if a ball would hit the stumps after hitting a batsman on the pad.
    You’ll get it, I said.
    Thankfully, with our explanations and the booze, he enjoyed the day.
    Never saw him again. I wonder if he ever watched another day of Test cricket again…
    Thanks for your story. The more you watch Test cricket, and the other forms, you’ll appreciate how difficult it is, especially when some players make it look so easy.

  2. G’day Matt,

    Thanks for your comment on my writing on cricket. I guess it must have been hard to explain rules to the Brazilian bloke who was new to the sport. Maybe like myself, he remembered about the unique sport (for him) and wanted to watch cricket again. Was he a visitor (traveller)?

    Judging movement of balls can be hard, I reckon. Even umpires misjudge strike or ball in baseball games. Also many footy fans are unhappy with umpires’ judging.

    Merry Christmas to you mate!


  3. John Ambrose says

    Fell asleep watching cricket……… such an Australian thing to do. Tell them that story at Immigration and you’ll get citizenship. But do not mention supporting the All Blacks! I think cricket is so slow it is a great way to drift off on a hot afternoon. My son loves the game and you are correct scoring is a nightmare and I was regularly given scorers duty at his games.

  4. G’day John.

    Thanks for your tips appealing Australian Immigration to allow me to work and live. And indeed I would not mention them about All Blacks!

    It’s good to hear that you are helping your son’s game. Is he still playing?



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