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A cricketer at Comerica Park? Our resident Brit explains why it just might work for the Tigers

Or: Why West Indian cricketer Kieran Powell playing baseball isn't as outlandish as it seems.

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I say, old chap! What a rum turn of events! A Brit writing on a baseball blog espousing the merits of cricket. The perfect thing for you would be to look up and read some PG Wodehouse. He's bally good, by Jove! Just the ticket, in fact!

Current West Indian international player Kieran Powell wants to make the leap to Major League Baseball. Already a successfully established cricketer, he's now working out for several Major League ballclubs, the Tigers reportedly among them.

Now we all know about the Tigers and their rather Cespedes-sized hole in the outfield, but, bonhomie aside, while the mere premise that someone so alien to the sport of baseball could have even the slightest chance of being any good at it may seem a little far fetched, could finding a cricketer actually work? I put it to you that it's not beyond the realms of possibility.

Ah, the thwack of willow on leather, the quaint English afternoon, the runs, the wickets, the wonder of cricket.

Yes, you read that correctly my baseball loving friends.


The genteel summer pursuit of my nation, the village green game, the game anyone outside of the Commonwealth will no doubt find unnecessarily bewildering and downright bizarre. It reminds me of the time time I was in the Boer War ... it seems we'd run out of tea ... flumgh flumgh flumgh.

Cricket, you see old chaps, is so quintessentially superior to Baseball that any old Tom, Dick and Harry can simply decide he's had enough of the British summer sport and smoothly transition to the American pastime.

And so what seems a highly improbable scenario with Powell perhaps isn't so. Powell has been in the US for some time now, where he's worked out alongside current big league players (Dee Gordon, notably), and appears to have made enough of an impression to be given more time to prove the transition can work.

To you reading this but not your author, cricket is more than a trifle baffling; however, the closer one looks at the two, there are obvious similarities. For starters, the setup of the fielders in terms of the outfield at least is somewhat close...

At its core both of these marvelous inventions have striking likenesses. In baseball a bloke throws a ball while a fella tries to smack the leather off it, and in cricket a bloke throws a ball while a fella tries to smack the leather off it. Sure, one man is pitching while the other is bowling, but what's a bounce of the ball between mates eh?

But I hear you ask, what is cricket? And how the bloody hell does one play it?

In very short summary ... two teams. Each has 11 players and 10 of them have to be got "out" before it's the other team's turn to bat. However, failing that, the team needs to declare (if it’s a test match) or run out of their allotted overs (if it’s a limited overs game, generally known as a One Day International or Twenty 20).

No one can get tagged or struck out; this isn’t a New Hampshire county fair and we’re not talking about kids called Chet or Britney playing hopscotch. You can, however, get "run out", which is essentially the same thing as the being thrown out in baseball, only the objective in cricket is to wallop the stumps out of the ground, not hit the fielders mitt. Other ways to get out include bowled, caught, stumped and LBW (leg before wicket), which is basically when the ball hits the batsman on the legs when his legs are in line with the three aforementioned stumps, known as the wicket.

I'm starting to lose you now, aren't I?

Here for your amusement are the ruddy hilariously named fielding positions in cricket. If straight hit is the mound in baseball, then deep square leg is J.D. Martinez, mid off is Jose Iglesias and deep point is previously the Yoenis Cespedes territory part of Comerica Park.

Like baseball, the team with the most runs wins, yet draws are possible, even after five days of play in a test match.

I know!

Skills are without doubt transferable, from the bowler/pitcher to the batter/hitter, the mechanics of the two games are not so far apart that someone with excellent ability in one could not potentially be good at the other. Much of it is excellent hand-eye coordination, sharp reflexes and predictive judgement, for the off stump in cricket think strike zone in baseball.

Hitting the ball over the rope in cricket is akin to hitting a home run in baseball -- the power required is comparable. For someone with the skill-set needed, with the correct coaching, not to mention patience, it's indeed possible a good batter on the cricket field could indeed become a good batter on the diamond.

Whether the Tigers would ever consider looking beyond the workout into someone from such a background, who knows, but the way in which even the smallest advantage is sought these days should mean all possibilities are at least considered.

And then there's me

I do however offer this piece of anecdotal evidence, courtesy of myself. I've played cricket my whole life to a reasonably good standard. I then played baseball for the first time in my life this year and the resulting slash at the end wasn't too bad (granted a severe lack of slug aside), but who can moan at 1.173 OPS...

That'll do for this weeks British interlude, so toodle pip old fruits and have a bloody large scotch on me!

Finally, if you haven't got the foggiest idea what this English rapscallion has just wittered on about, then here's a helpful guide, you uneducated scoundrel!