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“It Was Pretty Neat”- Michael Phelps Once Opened Up About His First Cricket Experience on His Visit to India

Published 07/24/2022, 8:15 AM EDT

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Michael Phelps had quite an illustrious career in swimming at the Olympics and World Championships. He has proved himself in the sport enough times to be deemed the GOAT of the sport. However, he retired from the sport since and went on to try his hand at golf.

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But he has kept his mind open and tried different sports at various points. Similarly, the swimmer tried a new sport during his maiden visit to India.


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Michael Phelps learns cricket from a prominent cricketer

Phelps visited the country as a brand ambassador of Under Armour to inaugurate the opening of its first retail store in March 2019. During his visit, the 2019 Indian Premier League was underway. And the five-time Olympian did not miss the chance to try a new sport.

The 28-time Olympic medalist spent some time with the Delhi Capitals team. Rishabh Pant, who played for the team at the time and currently captains the team, taught Phelps a few things about the sport. Following the session, the Baltimore Bullet attended an IPL match between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings.


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After the match, the Flying Fish attended an interview where he shared his experience. The Olympian said, “This was my first time. The first (cricket) match I’ve ever seen. I’ve always been around sports, I love sports, every kind of sport. And to be able to see a sport that is played and watched by so many millions of people was an experience of trying to learn a new game.”

Drawing parallels between some of the prominent US sports with cricket, he continued, “It was like a mixture between baseball and basketball in the way that they work together as a team and the strategy of it all.”

Speaking about his experience with the sport, the winningest athlete added, “It was pretty neat to be able to dive into the sport.”

Phelps could not believe an aspect about cricket

Phelps had a wonderful time during his visit to India and learned the basics of a sport with a little fanbase in the US. However, the swimmer became amazed upon learning about the different formats of the game.


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He had trouble grasping the fact that some cricket matches last for several days. The athlete has become used to the fast-paced competitive style that swimming offers. In swimming, events last between sub-20 seconds to 14 minutes, depending on the distance.

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Therefore, this format was new to the swimmer. However, after retiring from swimming, the athlete has become quite an avid golfer. Although the structures of golf and cricket are very different, they share some similarities. For one, they have a longer duration of time than swimming events.


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However, a cricket league still outlasts a golf meet, considering the duration. Hence, the swimmer found it hard to wrap his head around the concept.

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Written by:

Aklanta Chetia


One take at a time

Aklanta Chetia Wanniang is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi. With an interest in learning about multiple sports, Aklanta himself is a former sportsperson and has participated in state and national level swimming events.
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