The Other Game with a Bat and Ball!
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
Before we start this we request all of you to stay home and stay safe! So, anyways since everybody is locked down in their houses, let's play a game! This Game charades! We will describe a sport, you just need to identify it! So, let's start This game involves a player throwing the ball and a batter trying to hit it out of the park and fielders trying to either catch the batter shot of his destination or try to catch the ball directly from the batter's bat. We hope you have your answer in mind and probably might be smiling as well thinking “what an easy, stupid and silly question it is!” And the answer is “Baseball!”. Yes, you read it right it is baseball. And in this article, we will try to understand why Baseball which has eerie similarities to Cricket was not able to take off in India!
Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images
In 1991, when the Indian economy opened up the country started to welcome all the foreign brands into Indian Lives. Indians have loved the KFC’s, McD’s, BurgerKings and Hollywood. But, people who fell in love with the American way of life, could not fall in love with the American way of sport! We try to decode the reason behind this and what can MLB do to improve the game In India.
Space! Now, cricket can be played everywhere, you can play it in a very busy narrow lane and also in a spacious ground. You can argue Baseball can be replicated in the same environment. But, Baseball requires a diamond-shaped field and at least 5 players. Anything less than this, Baseball will have an identity crisis!
Rules! Yeah so I hit the ball and I have to run to the other base and I have to wait until 2 or 3 times to get a chance to bat? And why are the teams playing in minute duration? Yeah, we understand rules can be complicated when compared to cricket or should I say Gully cricket?
Timing, well when the games are played on the other side of the world you can’t expect them to suit your timings.
Long distant cousin, when you have a long distant cousin (Cricket) who is much popular here, it's difficult to grab people’s attention!
But, this all is going to change. We won't say the fortunes of Baseball will change in a Fortnight. Major League Baseball or fondly know as MLB has opened their office in New Delhi to create awareness in India. Now, you think why this sudden love on India, to give you an idea Cricket is viewed by around 2.5 billion people and most of them are concentrated in the India Subcontinent region and Baseball is viewed by 500 million people, do the math! MLB sees India as Golden Goose waiting to be hatched. They have first tried this in China with a little success. They believe that the Chinese have very little knowledge about sport-related with Bat and Ball. MLB believes that India is a different country in this aspect. They believe with the country’s existing knowledge on cricket they can cash on that interest and divert it to Baseball.
So, how can MLB improve their position in India? One strategy then can deploy is “The Japan Nescafe Strategy”. To give you a brief Nescafe wanted to enter the Japanese market in the 1970’s and ironically Japan was a tea-drinking nation with no inclination to coffee. People at Nescafe thought they should include coffee in peoples culture. So, they introduced coffee flavored candies to children. They targeted the children of Japan rather than the adults. Now, Japan is the 3rd largest importer of coffee! MLB might also have to try to improve there position by tapping into the children of India. They might need to invest in infrastructure, educating children about the sport. This might take a very long time to shape up but, if executed properly the returns will be infinite home runs!
Until then try to hit corona for a home run!
About the Author
The post is written by Himanth. He is an alum of IIMV ,a potter head, considers cricket his religion and sachin his god.