"Watch the Cricket World Cup at Tadkaa’s

It’s March and time for the world to come together in the spirit of sports. Across the world, people are glued to their television sets rooting on the underdogs, sweating out their predictions and hanging every single fiber of their being on one team. It’s time for the ... 2007 Cricket World Cup?

While Americans are up to their ears and eyeballs in Billy Packer and basketball brackets, the rest of the world turns to the West Indies for a month and a half of world-class cricket. The Cricket World Cup, like the Olympics, comes along once every four years and features numerous competing national teams.

This year, the Kansas and North Carolina of the cricket world are perennial powerhouses South Africa and Australia, while Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid are the Cricket World Cup’s version of Kevin Durant and Greg Oden.

This year, the World Cup is only shown on Pay Per View, but can be seen for free at Tadkaa’s on 4150 Lafayette Road. The Indian sports bar will show every match and will have happy hour during those matches. Owner Pradeep Asher said he will also show the NCAA basketball games simultaneously.

Tadkaa is barely six months old and trying to make its mark as Indianapolis’ only Indian sports bar.

“It’s still in the growing stages,” Asher said. “It’s a challenge, but we’ll get there.”

Asher hopes that Tadkaa broadcasting the matches will not only provide a means of entertainment for cricket fans, but also educate those not familiar with the sport.

To most non-cricket fans, the game is a confusing cross between baseball and croquet that features a large fraternity paddle and men in shiny neon slacks and polo shirts.

Baseball has curve, knuckle and fast balls. Cricket has yokers, googlies and leg swings.

The final scores read like a Suns-Mavericks game on crack: 220-210, while the average match time of eight hours seems equally absurd. (A traditional cricket match is played over five days, but the matches are tailored to one day during the Cricket World Cup. This is called the one-day international format.)

The object of the game is to score more runs than the other team. One team of 11 players plays defense against the batting team. The defending team has five bowlers (like pitchers) on the field who can throw a maximum of 10 overs. There are six bowls (pitches) in one over, thus giving each bowler 60 bowls to throw, equaling a total of 300 maximum bowls for each team.

Two batters are on the field at all times and run between wickets to score. However, if a batter hits the ball, he does not have to run between the wickets if he thinks he will be thrown out. Batters are out if they fly-out or if a wicket is hit by the ball. Batters can also hit the ball out of the playing boundaries for six runs and the ball can roll out of the field for four runs.

Think Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Mariano Rivera and Greg Maddux all playing defense at once — with six other fielders — rotating on and off the pitcher’s mound trying to get Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa out. Except Barry is at the plate and Sammy is at first. If Barry hits it and decides to run, he and Sosa must exchange bases before a fielder throws the ball and hits the base (or wicket). Barry and Sammy will continually run between first and home as long as they don’t fly-out or a defender hits the base in a grown-ups version of “pickle.”

Sosa and Bonds’ team will continue to do this until Schilling, Johnson, Clemens, Rivera and Maddux pitch 300 times or Sosa and Bonds and their teammates are all out.

Watching this meticulous sport — “baseball on valium,” according to Robin Williams — is as confusing and intriguing as it is to figure out who will bust this year’s bracket.



4150 Lafayette Road



Daily lunch buffet, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday, noon to  3 p.m.



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