A British national sport adopted by Commonwealth nations – Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, the English West Indies – and South Africa, cricket is often little known and misunderstood in other countries. . In New Zealand, the national team is known as the “Black Caps”.
A story of social class
Unlike many English sports like rugby, cricket is not popular outside of Britain. Until the 16th century, this discipline was practiced by the popular classes and despised by the rich. From the middle of the 17th century, the aristocracy took an interest in it to maintain relations with the rest of the population and increase its prestige. The lords employed as gamekeepers or grooms people who were above all excellent cricketers and thus formed their team.
Around 1820, the sport had two versions: cricket for the upper classes who practiced it on their country estates or in clubs from which representatives of the working class were excluded; and a cricket for the petty bourgeoisie. The latter introduced the professionalism that lasted until 1870.
The “test cricket” was then organized, a series of national matches between England and the countries of the British Empire. Cricket rose to prominence and became the national summer sport. As the club that controlled the game was the very aristocratic Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC founded in London in 1788), the problem then arose of the presence of the working class. Finally, the roles are distributed. The drummer had to come from a high social class (this role gave him the opportunity to show his skill and personality). While the places of throwers and ball collectors were entrusted to members of the popular class.
The English like to believe that they invented all sports, which is – it must be said – almost true. The origins of many of the most popular sports today come from the improvement and modernization of many traditional games from many countries, especially Great Britain.
The British have indeed codified the rules of many sports. The current rules of football, rugby, golf, tennis, cricket and netball all have one thing in common: they all originated in the United Kingdom. Some
of these sports are world famous, but others are only practiced in a few Commonwealth countries (association of countries that were part of the former British Empire). This is the case with cricket. It is particularly popular
in India but also in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The rules of this sport are very complex and often remain obscure for the uninitiated. Cricket games are usually played in one afternoon, but
can also last several days… there is no time limit. The overall concept of cricket is very similar to that of baseball, teams batting
successively to throw it until they score, while one of the teams plays on the ground and tries to complete a full turn before the point is scored.
There are several national level competitions in the UK. Every four years the cricket world cup is organized. The United Kingdom has already hosted four on its territory (in 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999). Cricket is not an Olympic sport today. The only cricket event at the Olympic Games
took place in 1900 in Paris, with two men’s teams competing against each other in a single match. Britain was officially credited with the victory