Tuesday, June 15, 1999 Published at 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
Americans bowled over by cricket
Cricket fever: Thanks to the Cricket World Cup
By BBC Entertainment Correspondent Tom Brook in New York
Cricket fan Shahbano Aliani says "It builds up and gets you going. You get into the game."
"This will be a jump start for cricket in North America," explained Max Shalkat from the World Cricket League. "People will be able to come and see cricket the way it is played, the way it is enjoyed by people in the British Commonwealth countries."
And other people connected with sport in New York are equally excited.
Even with the full support of the city authorities, cricket faces a tough and uncertain future in America. Most people here know little or nothing about the game, but those who do tend to regard it as an eccentric British past time.
Some locals I spoke to on the street proved this theory. One told me "I don't know anything about cricket. I'm American. We don't have cricket here. I've never heard of it." Another thought cricket was a type of bug.
One of these new converts is Mustafa Jaffrey. "This proves to people that cricket is a huge, huge sport here. It makes people realise that when you step out of America, this is the biggest game in the world, next to soccer and the Olympics."
Still, it is going to take a lot of effort before wicket, lbw or googly, terms understood by cricket fans in the rest of the world, mean anything at all in America.