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In Cricket-Crazy India, Baseball Finds a Foothold :: Wall Street Journal

Shefali Anand (Wall Street Journal) *



In Manipur, one of India’s most conflict-ridden states, some locals this summer have picked up different types of armaments: bats, balls and gloves to play baseball.

In cricket-crazy India, Manipur has many fans of America’s favorite pastime. Recognizing an opportunity, America’s Major League Baseball International this week sent two coaches to train local coaches with the hope that they can further promote the game locally.

This is the third training camp of its kind to be held in Manipur’s capital of Imphal. The initiative was put together by New York-based First Pitch: The U.S. Manipur Baseball Project, a non-profit organization founded by 54-year-old film curator L. Somi Roy.


Major League Baseball International coach Robert Buskett, who was in India for the first time, said he’s “impressed” with the local coaches and, in less than a week, he has “seen progress already.” He said that MLB has similar coaching camps in other parts of Asia as part of its efforts to increase awareness of the game.

Within India, Manipur is a good base because its people have long had a strong sports culture. Many of India’s national-level sportspeople come from Manipur, including weight-lifting champion Nameirakpam Kunjarani Devi, boxing medalist Dingko Singh, and several players in India’s soccer team. Also, contrary to the rest of India, Manipuris are not crazy for cricket. Football is their first love.
Read the entire article in Wall Street Journal (on June 11, 2010 issue) here.




* This article was sent to e-pao.net as a Link by Shefali Anand (Wall Street Journal) This article was webcasted on June 13, 2010.

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