How did you get into cricket? 

Bolisetty: My parents were watching the 2011 World Cup, and when India won I started getting into it. There was a local league and I started playing and it took off from there.

Piedt: Being from South Africa, you play all kinds of sports, and cricket is probably one of the biggest back home. My friends and I were playing in the streets. My dad saw that I had a bit of ability at age 5 or 6. He used to toss balls to me in the backyard. I’ve been playing all my life. 

How big is cricket here in America? 

Piedt: I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of cricket played in the U.S. I didn’t expect it to be as big as it is. The Indian population was surprising to me, too. Wherever the Indian population goes, no disrespect, cricket goes. You look at certain parts of the country, there are hotspots for cricket. 

What strategies do you use in cricket? 

Piedt: Cricket’s all about matchups. Matchups and conditions play a massive part. So it’s not like, if you had a bad game, you’re going to leave [Bolisetty] out just for that bad game. We’re saying, ‘Well, the conditions are favoring spin bowlers,’ or ‘There’s a match-up we want to try so we can nullify [an opposing player].’ 

If you compare it to American sports, it’s like if you put a cornerback on a wide receiver. You’re going to try to get [Jalen] Ramsey on [the other team’s] best wide receiver, so we can have our number two or three player look after the rest. 

As a bowler, what is your role in the match? 

Bolisetty: It’s a big circular field, right? So certain guys will hit the ball in certain spots on the field. If we know that they’re strong, picking it up off their legs, then we won’t bowl there. We’d rather get [the ball] away from them. The basic idea is looking at where the batter likes to score and trying to nullify [his skill set]. 

Piedt: I’m an off-spin all-rounder, a bowling all-rounder. The positions you have in baseball, like outfield, center field, first base, we don’t really have that. We have sort of skill sets that we go by. I started as a batter. Eventually, that’s how my career ended up going, I was a spin bowler who could bat. [In cricket], you’re never just pigeonholed into something.

So are there different kinds of balls you throw, like in baseball? 

Piedt: Yeah, there are variations [on throws] you mess around with over time.You’re not allowed to bend your arm more than 15 degrees, so you’ve got to keep it straight and rotate over. That’s basically the laws of the game.

What is the cricket community like in Morrisville? 

Bolisetty: It’s huge. There’s a lot of people that watch cricket here. Training the other day, we had people come out and just watch. Throughout the  U.S., this is regarded as one of the better cricketing communities because there’s always crowds for games. There’s always a lot of local support whenever we hold events here. 

Piedt: This venue, in my opinion, is the best in the country. It’s beautiful. The sunsets are amazing. Tonight will be a night game. And we get a good crowd. This place is really small. I always say this is the White House for the Morrisville community, where they come look, take pictures and have some fun.

What’s your favorite thing about cricket?

Piedt: I personally love getting people out, as a bowler. I’ve done it my whole life. But also seeing my teammates do well. That, for me, is the best thing to see, your friend or your teammate going out there and doing his best and having a lot of fun.

A lot of pressure gets put on us because if [we get a chance to bowl the other team out and win the game], everyone looks at the bowlers and is like, ‘Don’t f*** it up.’ We’re always in the spotlight. 

Bolisetty, where do you see yourself going in the sport?

Piedt: He’s worried about UNC at the moment. UNC is on his mind.

Bolisetty: College is coming up, but I want to keep playing. Like (Piedt) said, we play the game because we love it. I’ve met a lot of my best friends playing cricket. The good thing about this competition is it’s during the summer, so it’s not going to interfere with college. There’s major league coming up. There’s the World Cup coming up in 2024, which is going to be hosted in the USA, actually, so those are some targets I have on my mind. But at the end of the day, I’m just playing for fun and to see how far it takes me.

Piedt, what has it been like for you playing cricket in America? 

Piedt: When I came to the country, I was pleasantly surprised by the competition. For me, you always wake up to compete. I’ve been a professional (cricketer) for 12 years, so coming from South Africa into this, you always try to compete and try to hand over the baton to the next generation. We’ve all got the ability, we’ve all grown up and been born into playing this game. So that’s what I try to implement into these kids and into the rest of the team.

I want to pass on my knowledge, because when I was 17, 18, I was given a wealth of knowledge. We all play this game to have fun. Then all of a sudden people recognize you, that you’re good enough. Then you get into a position where people expect things from you. Then you get into a position where you win games with the team and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. But if you have people that to pass on knowledge, it’s a lot easier. 

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