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Don’t call it a home run: Two Americans experience cricket for the first time

At full capacity, the temporary Nassau County International Cricket Stadium can house 34,000 fans – and it was almost packed when India took on Pakistan in the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup on Sunday.

As cricket rookies, we didn’t expect the number of people that we saw in Eisenhower Park on Long Island in New York. We had no idea there were that many cricket fans in the US, a country that is relatively new to the game.

However, we had known that the India v Pakistan game would pit the sport's biggest rivals against each other.

With geopolitical tension and a long history between the two sides, we weren't sure what to expect.

There was a sense of respect among both sides, though: India fans, who far outnumbered those supporting Pakistan, were mostly kind in their comments on the skill shown by the opposing team, while Pakistan supporters were gracious when India won.

An India fan told The National after the game that “both teams are great”, adding, however, that “India is the best”.

In conversations around the stadium, which was built in only a few months, most fans seemed to be talking about how new the grass was and as such how it would affect the outcome of the game – interesting to us, as it's not something one hears when walking into a Yankees or Giants game.

Usman Khan, a Pakistan fan and recreational cricket player from New Jersey, told The National that “it is very uncertain; the pitches are uncertain”, but he said he believed it would be “a good match”.

We tried to learn cricket through YouTube videos, making comparisons to baseball. Those around us were happy to explain the game, however, and share updates on how the match was going.

Fans who spoke to The National were elated to have the T20 World Cup tournament in

Read more on thenationalnews.com