Crickey! It’s Cricket!

Part of the County Cricket Ground in Sussex.

Over the weekend our group took a trip to Brighton, a lovely coastal town about an hour and a half south of London, which was made even better with the wonderful 70-degree weather we had (I guess I should say wonderful 21-degree weather since I am in the UK now). Anyway, on Saturday afternoon we were fortunate enough to be able to attend a game at the County Cricket Ground in Sussex (about a fifteen minute bus ride from our hostel in Brighton) where professional, recreational, and community levels face off. I was very excited to see my first live cricket match, which happened to be a county-level game. I was surprised to see that our class made up about a quarter of the total attendance despite it being a beautiful day. However, I later read that this particular stadium made an operating profit of just £1,000 in 2016 following an operating loss of £139,000 in 2015, which suggests that watching cricket may not be at the top of the to-do list for people (namely young people) in this area (“Sussex Cricket”).

The view of the field from our front-row seats.

After the match, I wanted to learn more about cricket as an international sport. I was surprised to find out that there is an international governing body of cricket, called the International Cricket Council (ICC) which currently has 105 members. It used to be called the Imperial Cricket Conference, but the word “Imperial” was replaced by the word “International” in 1965 when England finally started to allow for the input of other countries. The term “Conference” was replaced by “Council” in 1989 when new rules were adopted (Williams and Longmore). I also was surprised to find out that there are two Cricket World Cups, one for men and one for women (“Live Cricket Scores & News”). It’s no surprise that the best teams typically hail from England or one of its former colonies: Australia, India, Pakistan and the West Indies (Williams and Longmore). It is unclear exactly where cricket originated, although it could be as early as the 13th century (“Cricket”). The rural pastime became a sport, popular among the upper classes, during the 17th century, and written rules were confirmed in London in 1835 (“Cricket”). As the British Empire grew, so did the influence of the popular English sport of cricket. It provided an opportunity for the colonies to beat the English at their own game, something they have done many times. In fact, Australia beat England during the first recorded international cricket match in 1877, and again in 1882 (“Cricket History”). I love that in this sport, the colonized have become stronger than the colonizers.

Our class arriving to drive down the average age of attendees at the cricket match.

I found the game itself rather interesting, and exciting to follow once I learned some of the rules (there are many of them, to learn about all of the rules please go to At one point during the game, Arnab pointed to baseball as “the bastardization of cricket,” and I must say that in many ways I agree. Not only were the umpires much better dressed (think white topcoats and cream-colored boater hats) than in baseball, but the game itself was much more gentlemanly. The batters don’t have to run each time they hit the ball, there’s no sliding or shoving a player with a ball in a mitt, it’s quite a strategic game and is much more civilized than baseball. It’s definitely a game for patient people, as there can be quite a bit of time that passes between runs (in this way it’s similar to baseball), and the matches can last for days. However, I am very happy that I got to go to a game and had a great time as a general admirer of sports. Although the fans at this stadium (with a mean age of approximately 70.5) were not the loudest bunch, Arnab promises that the crowds at big matches can get quite rowdy, and I hope that I can go to one someday and experience that. At this match, the environment was definitely not like that. Every time we cheered we got strange looks from the other cricket-goers; though, that could be due to the fact that we were fourteen college kids cheering for whichever team did something well at any given time.

-Kayla Frank, ’18


Works Cited

“Cricket.” Edited by David Ross, Britain Express, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.

“Cricket History.” Cricket Rules, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.

“Live Cricket Scores & News.” International Cricket Council, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.

“Rules of Cricket.” Marylebone Cricket Club, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.

“Sussex Cricket: County makes £1,000 profit in 2016.” BBC News, 02 Mar. 2017. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.

Williams, Marcus K., and Andrew Longmore. “Cricket.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 11 Apr. 2017.

Author: frankk

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