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Cricket is a bat-and-ball sport contested by two teams, usually of eleven players each, which is played in over 100 countries.
- Of all the races in the Galaxy, only the English could possibly revive the memory of the most horrific wars ever to sunder the Universe and transform it into what I'm afraid is generally regarded as an incomprehensibly dull and pointless game.
- Douglas Adams, Life the Universe and Everything (1982)
- In Affectionate Remembrance of ENGLISH CRICKET, which died at the Oval on 29th AUGUST, 1882, Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances R.I.P.
N.B. - The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.
- Reginald Shirley Brooks, published in The Sporting Times (1882)
- See Wikipedia on The Ashes
- I think sledging is healthy for the game. I don't really call it sledging -- at the end of the day it is gamesmanship. What you are trying to do is put the opposition off their game.
- He is the below average cricketer, and there are many of him. But he is more important to the game than the most eminent test player or the most authoritative administrator. Without him, the game would not survive, because it would be meaningless.
- Dick Brittenden, Postscript to New Zealand Cricketers (1961)
- After years of patient study (and with cricket there can be no other kind), I have decided that there is nothing wrong with the game that the introduction of golf carts wouldn't fix in a hurry.
- Bill Bryson, Down Under (2000)
- It is not true that the English invented cricket as a way of making all other human endeavours look interesting and lively; that was merely an unintended side effect. I don't wish to denigrate a sport that is enjoyed by millions, some of them awake and facing the right way, but it is an odd game.
- Bill Bryson, Down Under (2000)
- What is human life but a game of cricket?
- 3rd Duke of Dorchester, Ladies and Gentlemens Magazine (1777)
- [T]hroughout the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries, the English have gradually lost their political control over the game. The most significant development being how the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) headquarters have relocated from Lord’s to Dubai. The importance of this relocation, not only concerns the decline of England as a political power, both literally and symbolically, but also the rise of so-called lesser nations, such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the governance of world cricket affairs. The global success of the IPL is another case in point. Given the IPL’s global appeal and the unprecedented level of interest in cricket in India, many now believe India represents the game’s political and financial epicenter. The rapid rise of nations from the Indian subcontinent as cricketing superpowers has arguably contributed to the emergence of a series of more confident ethnic identities amongst the British Asian diaspora. Many of the Asian respondents in this research, for instance, expressed delight that the baton of power had moved from England to the Indian subcontinent. Though it should be noted that, as all the Asian respondents in this research were of Pakistani descent, many were not necessarily of the fact that it is India and not Pakistan that has developed the lion’s share of power.
- Thomas Fletcher, “The making of English cricket cultures: Empire, globalisation and (post) colonialism Paper”, Sport in Societ, p. 9.
- Nandy’s challenge to the view of cricket being the quintessential English game goes some way to dispute the idea that cricket was merely handed down by the British and compliantly absorbed by the local inhabitants of Empire. This idea was supported by a number of the Asian respondents. Ali, for instance, told me that, for him, cricket would always be more Pakistani than English because of the importance of cricket within Pakistani culture. Similarly, Aylesworth’s Jimmy argued that football was the national sport in England and thus, as Pakistanis offer unrivaled enthusiasm for cricket, they should have the right to claim it as theirs: ‘You guys [English] don’t even like cricket. You’re all into your football. In Pakistan, the only thing that matters is cricket. Twenty four hours a day, cricket. You can have your football, but cricket is ours.’
- Thomas Fletcher, “The making of English cricket cultures: Empire, globalisation and (post) colonialism Paper”, Sport in Society, p. 13.
- The core elements of rule of law discourse which are so deeply embedded in cricket as a practice became basic normative references for opponents of the imperial master and the hypocrisies and contradictions of colonial rule. The role of cricket in the former English colonies demonstrates most clearly its contradictory character and its dialectical potential as a text which can and does provide a utopian vision for the future of the interpretive community. Cricket is both an imperial Victorian game and the 'national' game of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the West Indies, Bangladesh and Australia. 'Each of the interpretations is true and each has the capacity to serve as the basis of a myth. The interpreter has to choose. At this level, at least, cricket far outstrips law as an important national social artefact.
- David Fraser, “Cricket and the Law: The Man in White is Always Right”, (2005), p. 327
- One more aspect of the cultural heritage of the interpretive community of cricket (at least in [[Australia)], the West Indies, South Africa, [[New Zealand)], and England) is the historical 'fact' of the link between cricket and both the traditional values of Christianity and the emerging Victorian ideological practice of muscular Christianity in the English public schools and the tradition of imperialistic missionaries. The Protestant ethic which informed Victorian social and legal practices and norms permeated cricket as well. Erich Geldbach goes so far as to propose a Weberian analysis positing the theory that:
Both the socio-economic...system of capitalism and modern athletics can be traced back to the setting of ascetic Protestantism which acted as a 'cultural catalyst' to bring about modern capitalism and modern sport.
Whatever the final resolution of the Weberian and anti-Weberian chicken and egg debate about Protestantism and capitalism, it is quite clear from out understanding and knowledge of the game that there are obvious parallels between the ethical content of the 'spirit of the game' and certain popular versions of Christian morality. 'It's not cricket' resonates as condemningly as does 'It's not the Christian thing to do', in what many continue to assert are 'our' moral practices.
- David Fraser, “Cricket and the Law: The Man in White is Always Right”, (2005), p. 332
- Despite the obvious historical and ideological unity of cricket and imperial Christianity, we are faced here again with competing versions of the truth. If such a connection really exists, why did it take Knott's conversion to illustrate for him the error of his ways? Why were the imprecations of those who condemned the events in question as violations of the moral code of cricket ineffective? Does this indicate that there is a conflict or that while there may be a practical conjunction one can heed the code only when its source is not human law but God's Law? Can only Christians be true cricketers? Can true cricketers be non-Christians? In the Indian context, can only Hindus be 'Indian' cricketers? What are we to make of the 'Islamic' nature of Pakistan and Pakistani cricket and Yusef Youhana, a Christian Test player? The debates over natural law versus human positivism are as central to the understanding of Noonan's jurisprudence as they are to the understanding of cricket. There are, of course, counter-Christian narratives or different Christian narratives in cricket which contradict and enrich the story just as there both secular and competing Hindu or Islamic renderings of the complex texts and practices of Indiana and Pakistani cricket. A triumph over one narrow view of Christianity served to 'democratize' the game permitting the playing of the game on Sundays in England by melding capitalism and anti-Puritanism in an interesting and textually complex Weberian interpretive ploy.
- David Fraser, “Cricket and the Law: The Man in White is Always Right”, (2005), p. 333
- That cricket is going to stay in India there cannot be a shadow of a doubt; it has taken hold all over the country, and chokras can be seen playing in every village with any sort of old bat and ball that they can lay hands on. I should hope that it will do something to get over any racial antipathy; for instance, it must, I think, bring the several races together more and more, in a spirit of harmony that should be the spirit in which cricket is played. Unquestionably, it arouses excitement and enthusiasm, and extreme ambition that one's own side should succeed, bit it also ought to lead to friendliness, and that is what is needed in India. East will always be East, and West, West, but the crease is not a very broad line of demarcation – so narrow, indeed, that it ought to help bring about friendly relations.
- Lord Harris, A Few Short Runs (1921)
- I was brought up to believe that cricket is the most important activity in men's lives, the most important thread in the fabric of the cosmos.
- Bernard Hollowood, Cricket on the Brain (1970)
- Before we were old enough to practise at the nets with the Burslem men, we played most of our cricket on waste land that had been trampled flat by the clogs and boots of generations of miners.
- Bernard Hollowood, Cricket on the Brain (1970)
- The true charm of cricket and hunting is that they are still more or less sociable and universal—there's a place for every man who will come and take his part.
- There is a consensus of expert opinion that cricket may have been invented during Saxon or Norman times by children living in the Weald, an area of dense woodlands and clearings in south-east England. The first reference to cricket being played as an adult sport was in 1611, and in the same year, a dictionary defined cricket as a boys' game. There is also the thought that cricket may have derived from bowls, by the intervention of a batsman trying to stop the ball from reaching its target by hitting it away.
Village cricket had developed by the middle of the 17th century and the first English “county teams” were formed in the second half of the century, as “local experts” from village cricket were employed as the earliest professionals. The first known game in which the teams use county names is in 1709.
In the first half of the 18th Century cricket established itself as a leading sport in London and the south-eastern counties of England. Its spread was limited by the constraints of travel, but it was slowly gaining popularity in other parts of England and Women’s Cricket dates back to the 1745, when the first known match was played in Surrey.
In 1744, the first Laws of Cricket were written and subsequently amended in 1774, when innovations such as lbw, a 3rd stump, - the middle stump and a maximum bat width were added. The codes were drawn up by the “Star and Garter Club” whose members ultimately founded the famous Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord's in 1787. MCC immediately became the custodian of the Laws and has made revisions ever since then to the current day.
- Cricket had plunged me into politics long before I was aware of it. When I did turn to politics I did not have too much to learn.
- C. L. R. James, Beyond a Boundary (1963)
- There is so much uncertainty in cricket. One day you can get a hundred, the next day you can be dismissed for a zero. It makes you become practical about things. Teaches you to accept both success and failure. I think I have learnt a lot about life from cricket.
- Mahela Jayawardene, quoted in S. Dinakar, "I have learnt a lot about life from cricket," Sport Star, vol. 24, no. 38
- How to explain the fascination that cricket exerts? It is not simple. That it should attract the proficient is understandable, although they are liable to continual mischances and mortifications such as no other game presents; but the curious thing is that it attracts the incompetents as well; those who never make a run, and cannot bowl, and yet, doomed only to dreary waiting in the pavilion and to fatiguing fielding, turn up punctually on every occasion, hoping for the best, and even (such is the human heart's buoyancy) expecting it. There is no other game at which the confirmed duffer is so persistent and undepressed. It is for the experts, victims of misfortune, that depression waits; it is they who chew the cud of bitterness.
- E. V. Lucas, "The English Game", in Cricket All His Life (1950)
- When's the game itself going to begin?
- Groucho Marx, watching a match at Lord's, attributed in Colin Jarman, The Guinness Dictionary of Sports Quotations (1990).
- Cricket can stand up to sustained contemplation on other than statistical or merely sensational levels, and return to the careful and sympathetic watcher some reward more enduring than the fun of a good game would seem to promise or warrant.
- Ronald Mason, Batsman's Paradise (1955), chapter 1.
- If this game and its incidents were continually hoisting the spectators breathlessly half out of their seats it would soon be found unnecessary to provide seats at all and the atmosphere would become superficially (and, I think also, essentially) indistinguishable from Highbury on a damp Saturday afternoon in November.
- Ronald Mason, Batsman's Paradise (1955), chapter 1.
- It is this seminal simplicity of rhythm, expressed in its curious ritual form, that is at the heart of cricket's peculiar attraction. The tempo of the rhythm, against which all non-cricketers so persistently rail, provides the element of hypnotism necessary to the charm, like the tick of a grandfather clock in a quiet room.
- Ronald Mason, Batsman's Paradise (1955), chapter 1.
- Cricket was first recorded in 16th-century England, and it was played in grammar schools, farm communities and everywhere in between. But things really took off when 18th-century nobles realised that not only was it a great sport but also an excellent opportunity for betting.
With sky-high stakes being wagered, it was deemed necessary to come up with agreed rules. The oldest surviving set of cricket laws date from 1744 – printed on a handkerchief, naturally. It's now in the MCC Museum at Lord’s in London.
The oldest permanent fixture is the annual Eton v Harrow match, played since 1805. A young Lord Byron turned out for Harrow in the first match, though history doesn't record how poetic – or “mad, bad and dangerous” – his bowling was.
The first international match was in 1877 when Australia beat England in Melbourne. The match was dubbed a “Test”, since the gruelling nature of playing over five days was deemed the ultimate “test” for any side.
- Norman Miller, "Very Brief History of Cricket", The Telegraph, (17 June 2016).
- Cricket civilises people and creates good gentlemen. I want everyone to play cricket in Zimbabwe; I want ours to be a nation of gentlemen.
- Robert Mugabe, attributed in Helen Exley, Cricket Quotations (1992)
- It is hard to tell where the MCC ends and the Church of England begins.
- In spite of recent jazzed-up one-day matches, cricket to be fully appreciated demands leisure, some sunny warm days and an understanding of its finer points.
- J. B. Priestley in The English (1973)
- If a cricketer, for instance, suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat, which he could do very easily, I mean, are you going to ban cricket bats?
- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as quoted in "48 of Prince Philip's greatest gaffes and funny moments", The Telegraph (2 August 2017)
- Sledgers try and put you off but the way I look at it, people who sledge probably aren't at the top of their game so they have to try and use underhand methods to put you off your stride.
- Cricket is desecrated by futile levity, but elevated by a certain high-spirited detachment: between the extremes of indifference and over-anxiety there lies a proper mean.
- R. C. Robertson-Glasgow, "Envoi", in The Brighter Side of Cricket (1950)
- Cricket is not so much a game as an extension of being English: a gallimaufry of paradoxes, contradictions, frightening logic and sheer impossibilities, of gentle courtesy and rough violence.
- Rowland Ryder in Cricket Calling (1995), p. 19.
- Sledging is not required in cricket. It's not good for the game, cricket is a gentleman's game, not a contact sport. We don't see why there should be any abusive language at all.
- Niranjan Shah of the BCCI (Board of Cricket Control in India) thinks that it should be abolished.
- India board proposes sledging ban (2008-02-14). Retrieved on 2008-02-15.
- Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.
- George Bernard Shaw, attributed in Colin Jarman, The Guinness Dictionary of Sports Quotations (1990).
- I think once it broaches personal issues and once it sort of supersedes your moral boundaries of what language is tolerable, and also when it sort of gets a bit mundane and boring to the point of just going on all the time.
- Today, many Americans dismiss cricket as an elitist game played by girlie-men. That may be because the game is superficially slow. Or because the players still tend to dress in traditional whites and, during four-day international matches, break for tea. Or maybe it's because, in a sporting world that seems to have turned increasingly nasty, the game's code of sportsmanship remains rectitudinously strict. (The recent unpleasantness during Pakistan's tour of England—an umpire ruled that Pakistan had doctored the ball; Pakistan staged an after-tea protest; the umpires declared the game a forfeit—set off a crisis that made baseball's steroids scandal seem subdued.)
But in most of the former Commonwealth, cricket is a game of the masses. This is especially true in cricket-mad South Asia, where last year's match between India and Pakistan was hailed as a sign of warming in the chilly relationship between the two countries (until, that is, India suggested it would side against Pakistan in the ball-scuffing affair). And most cricketers would argue that the game is far more dynamic, and dangerous, than baseball. For starters, a cricket ball is heavier—by half an ounce—than the ball used in the American game. With a core of cork, sheathed in layers of twine and cork shavings, and wrapped in a bright red leather casing (it is sometimes called a "cherry"), a cricket ball is a fearsome projectile when launched at a batsman. Unlike in baseball, the bowler (the equivalent of the pitcher) is in full flight after sprinting for up to 30 paces before launching the ball. Nor is it usually bowled through the air; that is a "full toss" and considered easy to hit. Far more often, the ball is bounced off the ground, whose grass has usually been trimmed and rolled to a concrete-like hardness, and it may rise toward the batsman's head as a "bouncer" or "bumper." Balls have been clocked at 95 miles per hour or more (as fast as a major-league fastball); before the introduction of safety helmets, in the 1970s, it was not uncommon for batsmen to be felled, or seriously injured, by bouncers.
- Simon Worrall, “The History of Cricket in the United States”, Smithsonian Magazine, (October 2006).