Cricket’s Coming to YouTube! (But Not for Us)

Good news for (some) cricket fans: The BBC reports that Google and the India Premier League have reached an agreement to broadcast all 60 Twenty20 cricket tournament matches on YouTube when the tournament begins on March 12.

Unfortunately, the games will not be available to YouTube users in the United States, thus becoming the latest indignity the American cricket fan must endure. Indeed, The Los Angeles Times‘ Technology blog describes the YouTube-IPL deal with the contemptuous, sarcastic tone that Americans usually reserve for discussions about professional soccer.

I still remember Tunku Varadarajan’s 1998 New York Times Magazine essay on being a cricket fan in the States:

In this country, a cricket fan must live by his wits, plugging in to a network of furtive fellow travelers. I surf the Internet for sites that serve my needs and pleasures. I subscribe to a daily on-line cricket newsletter and I log in to a bustling cricket chat room. There, I irrigate the fallow playing fields of America. Other tools of the guild include a powerful shortwave radio, which on a good day — when no ill winds blow my way from Yankee Stadium — picks up live commentaries from Adelaide and Port of Spain, Calcutta and Peshawar.

Often, I admit, my tactics are crude: upon hearing a Jamaican accent on a subway platform, I have struck up conversations about cricket. Only once, late at night at the 125th Street station, has the reception been a frosty one: ”Cricket, mon. . .it’s past midnight. You ain’t got no home to go to?”

The sport is making small inroads here in the States. While I was in grad school two classmates and I did a package on cricket and the New York City school system. Check it out here.

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