Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph could have potential as a cricket star

Posted by: Updated: March 28, 2013 - 1:21 PM

If you thought Kyle Rudolph’s ascension to become Pro Bowl MVP in January came out of the blue, then what would you think if we alerted you to the promise that Rudolph is suddenly showing as a cricket player?

This week, as part of an overseas trip to Ireland and England to promote the Vikings’ Sept. 29 game against the Steelers in London, Rudolph, Harrison Smith and John Sullivan have all been expanding their horizons. On Wednesday, that included a visit with the Yorkshire Vikings cricket club in Headingley.

According to a press release from the UK, three Yorkshire Vikings – Phil Jacques, Liam Plunkett and Jack Brooks – spent time teaching the trio of Minnesota Vikings about the nuances of cricket. And then Rudolph, Smith and Sullivan were allowed to test their skills.

From the official press release (courtesy of Yorkshire Vikings Head of Media Danny Reuben), Rudolph showed “he can bat with the best.”

More from that release ...

Plunkett, Yorkshire’s new signing for this year and an England international, showed Rudolph the basics and within a few balls he was middling the ball with ease.

The most impressive aspect of his net was smacking the ball through the covers with the bowling machine ramped up to 99 mph - even Plunkett was in awe of Rudolph’s hand-to-eye coordination.

“I was very surprised how good Kyle’s (Rudolph) batting was,” said Plunkett. “Boy he could hit a ball. He creamed it a few times through the covers – he could well be a pinch hitter for the Vikings in this year’s Friends Life T20 competition. He could well follow in the footsteps of another famous Yorkshire player Jaques Rudolph."

Added Kyle Rudolph: “I didn’t know much about cricket before coming to Headingley today. This is a great tie up between two big sports organizations in Minnesota and Yorkshire. I will certainly be following the Yorkshire team this year, via social media, and hope they have a big season. We have been made to feel very welcome and love the Yorkshire hospitality.”

If you’re struggling too much to decipher what all that means, here are at least a couple photos from that event.






Washington 0
Pittsburgh 7 FINAL
Detroit 3
Miami 3 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Boston - WP: K. Couch 11 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Reavis 8
NY Yankees - LP: M. Tanaka 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: T. Milone 3
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Baltimore 3
Philadelphia 6 FINAL
Toronto 10
Chicago Cubs 15 FINAL
Texas 10
Cincinnati - WP: M. Lorenzen 10 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Chicago WSox 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Seattle 6 FINAL
Cleveland 8
Oakland - WP: J. Fuller 13 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: B. Loconsole 10
Texas 7 FINAL
Arizona 8
Houston 8 FINAL
Atlanta 5
Kansas City 4 FINAL
San Diego 1
Atlanta 95 FINAL
Detroit 105
Indiana 106 FINAL
Brooklyn 111
San Antonio 95 FINAL
Miami 81
Golden State 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 106
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 3
Carolina 2 FINAL
Washington 4
Florida 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Detroit 1
Tampa Bay 1 FINAL
Toronto 3
NY Rangers 3 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 5 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
UT Martin 66 FINAL
Evansville 79
Miami-Florida 60 FINAL
Temple 57
Northern Ariz 68
Stanford 67 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




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