CHAMPS BRING OUT CRICKET FANS : SRI LANKANS FILL PARK FOR EXHIBITION AGAINST AMERICAN TEAM.Byline: Lee Barnathan Daily News Staff Writer
They were dancing and singing, waving the national flag, playing music and cheering their cricket team Saturday at Woodley Park Woodley Park refers to the following:
Actually, cricket - the game invented in England that the British introduced to this empire; the one many consider the ancestor of baseball, the sport that can require as many as five days to complete a contest - is played every week in the park.
But Saturday was special for the hundreds of Sri Lankans This is a partial list of notable individuals from the island of Sri Lanka Actors/actresses
1. Happening once in four years.
2. Lasting for four years.
quad·renni·al n. world championship earlier this year in Lahore, Pakistan.
The champions played an exhibition against a United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. team made up of one native American and 10 naturalized citizens. The one native, San Deep Harida, has lived most of his life in India, said Naseer Khan, U.S. Cricket Association president.
Most of the Americans were born in countries or areas where cricket is most popular: Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (srē läng`kə) [Sinhalese,=resplendent land], formerly Ceylon, ancient Taprobane, officially Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, island republic (2005 est. pop. , the West Indies West Indies, archipelago, between North and South America, curving c.2,500 mi (4,020 km) from Florida to the coast of Venezuela and separating the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean. , India, Pakistan, England, Australia, New Zealand New Zealand (zē`lənd), island country (2005 est. pop. 4,035,000), 104,454 sq mi (270,534 sq km), in the S Pacific Ocean, over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) SE of Australia. The capital is Wellington; the largest city and leading port is Auckland. , Zimbabwe and South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. .
Still, it was a thrill for Sri Lankans, even if they weren't piling up the runs as they were expected to do against the Americans, who Khan said would be like a minor-league team Noun 1. minor-league team - a team that plays in a minor league
farm club, farm team - a minor-league team that is owned by a major-league team (especially in baseball)
team, squad - a cooperative unit (especially in sports) to the world champions.
``We may never see these guys,'' said Nick Perera, who was born in Sri Lanka but has lived in this country for 14 years. ``These are the world champions. Twenty years TWENTY YEARS. The lapse of twenty years raises a presumption of certain facts, and after such a time, the party against whom the presumption has been raised, will be required to prove a negative to establish his rights.
2. ago, they were not allowed to play in the World Cup league. This is definitely a big deal.''
``They are not professionals,'' said Bertrand Desilva, a Sri Lankan who played in London. ``They might be doctors or heads of businesses. Cricket is part-time. They don't have an income from cricket, and that was so disgusting for the other teams. They got beat by part-timers.''
Many a Sri Lankan said they spent many a sleepless night watching the World Cup on satellite dishes a month and a half ago. Matches would start at 11 p.m. and end by 8 a.m., just in time to go to work.
One of those people was Desilva, who not only eagerly described cricket to anyone who didn't know, but was very aware of the following cricket enjoys in this country.
He seemed to be enjoying himself as he described some of the terms and positions on the field. The one who pitches the ball is a ``bowler''. The one who hits is a ``batsman.'' A ``wicket keeper'' is the player who, among other things, returns the ball to the bowler.
When the bowler pitches six legal balls, he is said to have pitched an ``over,'' and another bowler comes in. On Saturday, 40 overs made up an inning, and one inning constituted a match, which was expected to last eight hours.
``Cricket is more international than baseball. There are teams from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Pakistan and the West Indies,'' Desilva said. ``Even in Southern California, there are English, West Indies, Pakistani and Sri Lankan teams, and they play against each other.''
Americans such as Theo Hayes plays, too, for the L.A. Krickets. He fell in love with the game about a year ago when he was introduced to it in England. He also met the Sri Lankan team on Friday.
``They treated us with love. That's something Americans need to get a grip on if they want to bring the sport to this country,'' Hayes said.
And the odds of cricket catching on in this country? Some of the Americans present Saturday gave soccer a better chance.
PHOTO Arjuna Ranatunga, left, the Sri Lankan team captain,displays his skills in an exhibition at Woodley Park.
Gus Ruelas / Daily News