Attempting to explain the finer points of a googly or silly mid-off to the Japanese would appear, at first glance, one of the most thankless tasks in sport.
Japan's national cricket coach Richard Laidler not only relishes the task, he believes he can get his team to qualify for the World Cup in the next decade.
"I think we could see it happen in 10 years," the jovial Australian told Reuters. "The Japanese are really good learners. To get through the door would be fantastic.
"Japan are ranked 29th in the world now -- 28 behind Australia."
But while Laidler's boundless enthusiasm gives the impression he could flog Michael Schumacher a second-hand Skoda, selling cricket in baseball-mad Japan is a tough ask.
The subject of cricket is often met with blank stares or confused with croquet and an Oscar Wildean picture of manicured lawns and cucumber sandwiches.
"No one here understands what cricket is. It's very frustrating," said Laidler, who led Japan to a creditable victory in the East Asian Pacific Cricket Trophy last December.
"It's the number two sport in the world. It's played in more than 100 countries."
Despite being Japan's national coach Laidler is reduced to begging for grounds to train on.
"Local officials refuse -- they tell you their grounds are for baseball," he shrugged. "We're training at an indoor tennis centre at the moment."
One foreign bar-owner took matters into his own hands, building his own cricket pitch outside Tokyo and then ignoring subsequent demands from the local council to rip it up.
"That's one we use," laughed Laidler. "It just got left there. All the wickets are concrete with astro carpet on top or roll-out strips. There's no turf cricket pitch in Japan."
A lack of facilities makes Japan's recent success in New Zealand against the likes of Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and Indonesia all the more remarkable.
"We shocked a lot of people," said Laidler, who selects his teams from a pool of around 400 players, mainly students from the relatively few Japanese universities where cricket is played.
"We were undefeated. Most Japanese have the fundamentals because of baseball. Unfortunately we lose a lot of players after they graduate and go off and work. But you teach them the basics and the rest comes naturally."
For team captain Ko Irie, almost too naturally.
"I love (Sachin) Tendulkar's on drive," he said, quite possibly the first Japanese to utter that particular sentence. "I prefer classic players rather than sloggers."
Irie, who has played in Australia for Sydney's Eastern Suburbs side, switched from baseball to cricket at university and exudes a Tendulkar-like confidence.
"I've been hit a few times but I've never felt scared," he said. "It's a thrill. I enjoy the spirit of cricket. At the end of the day you have a drink and it's about respect."
The prospect of playing against India and Pakistan at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou prompted a wince and a sharp intake of breath from Laidler.
"That would be a fair crack," he said, breaking into a broad grin. "We're amateur. We don't get paid. The boys travel and have to pay for it themselves."
Japan take part in World Cricket League competitions in Jersey and Tanzania this year and Laidler warned rivals to expect some sledging -- albeit gentle sledging -- from his side.
"They have got a bit of temper and a bit of fire," he said. "You'd be surprised. There's (Masanori) Abe, a big boy who likes to bowl fast and he knows how to intimidate.
"It's sledging in the right manner. We have another fast bowler, Alex (Miyaji), whose mother is Scottish. He likes to come down and have words with the batsman."