Monday, March 12, 2007

Cricket


The brothers Taskin and Tafhim settled in Blissville three years ago. By chance, they moved into the building directly across the street from boys their same ages, Nabil, Abrar and Faraz.

Perhaps they were shy, perhaps they had other things pulling them, for they didn't meet each other on the block. They noticed each other on the school bus. Back then, only Taskin and Nabil went to school. The others were too little for that.

As boys will do, they began to play ball together. They played the street games New Yorkers have always played – soccer and volleyball and basketball and handball and dodgeball. When their brothers grew old enough, they included them. I caught them playing basketball and soccer.

When I learned that their parents were from Bangladesh, I asked them about cricket. They shook their heads. They didn't know how to play that game yet. The two older boys thought they might learn this year. They've watched their fathers bowl and bat, and sat with their fathers while they watched the game on TV, too.

But they didn't know that tomorrow marks the start of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, to be played in Kingston, Jamaica. Surely they will know by Saturday, though. For Bangladesh will play its first match on Saturday, against its rival India.

And anyone could win.

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