My recent sports obsession has been with the NCAA men's basketball tournament -- the Big Dance. Both my alma maters, Vanderbilt and Indiana, are still alive; both are playing this evening for a shot at the Sweet Sixteen. Many sports fans in the US, including me, were thrilled last night as Norfolk State and Lehigh pulled off monumental upsets.
Amidst all the basketball excitement, I couldn't help but notice the sports news coming out of the cricket world. India's great Sachin Tendulkar scored his 100th international century yesterday against Bangladesh. If you are reading this and know nothing about cricket, take a few minutes and read a story or two online about Tendulkar's achievement. India has nearly four times the population of the US, meaning there are a lot more people celebrating what Tendulkar has done compared to those of us who live and die with each basket during March Madness.
I was introduced to cricket in my mid 20s. The aerodynamics of the cricket ball is of great interest to me, but I only began following the sport once the 2011 Cricket World Cup got underway. India won its second World Cup last summer after beating Sri Lanka. Working with my colleague, Chin Liyanage, who is from Sri Lanka, and researching with Aakar Verma, an Indian student who came to Lynchburg College last summer to work with me, have given me opportunities to broaden my understanding of cricket. Whether or not you get into the big numbers in sports, and even if cricket is not so familiar to you, Sachin Tendulkar is a name a fan of sports should know.
Is Sachin Tendulkar the greatest batsman that cricket has ever seen? I invite those more familiar with cricket's storied history than I am to answer that question either by commenting here or by e-mailing me.