Cricket has never really crossed the English Channel. Perhaps because of his complex rules, perhaps because of his image of aristocratic sports only played by English lords. At the time of the final of its eleventh World Cup – this Sunday in Melbourne, the two organizing teams, New Zealand and Australia, face each other – it might be time to get excited about cricket, this sport with a billion fans. The reasons are not lacking.
1] This is the sport of all sports
The origins of modern cricket date back to the 18th century. It is at this time that the game is codified, regulated and clubs are set up. “This representation at club level will inspire all other sports thereafter, reveals Sebastien Darbon, anthropologist at the CNRS specializing in sports. Cricket is the foundation of so-called modern sports. “Clubs that can be of considerable importance: the London-based Marylebone Cricket Club was the governing body of cricket until 1993, and still holds the rights on the laws of sport. A little as if the PSG had the power to change the rules of football.
2] The rules are not so complicated
In summary, two teams of 11 players take turns to compete. The first bat (the order is decided to turn heads at the beginning of the match): the goal of each drummer is to score the most points possible without being eliminated. For this, several solutions: the first is to send the ball far enough to run and cross the pitch, a 20-meter long strip in the middle of the field. Each time he gets to the other end, the drummer scores a point (“run”). The other way to score points is to send the ball off the field, a kind of home run that is worth six points (four points if the ball touches the field before going out).
Meanwhile, the opposing team tries to eliminate the drummers as quickly as possible. Several ways are possible, too: the pitcher can try to touch the wicket, the three stakes posted behind the drummer, or the other players can catch the ball before it hits the ground once it has been hit. Once the ten drummers of a team eliminated, the round is over. The other team beats and must then try to exceed the number of points of the first team. Depending on the format of matches, there may be one or two rounds per team, the meeting may stop after a certain duration or a certain number of throws. All this is decided in advance, between gentlemen.
3] It promotes peace in the world, just that
“Cricket Diplomacy” is a formula now used every four years at every World Cup. Also in February, it was cricket that allowed India and Pakistan to resume diplomatic relations six months after they broke up because of the conflict in Kashmir. After an India-Pakistan match in the first round of the World Cup, the Indian Prime Minister proposed to his Pakistani counterpart to meet with his Foreign Minister. An immediately accepted proposal. “Historically, whenever India and Pakistan have gone through a period of tension in bilateral relations, cricket has come to the rescue,” said Cricket historian Boria Majumdar in 2009. This was particularly the case in 1961 and 1978 after a diplomatic rupture between the two countries following the partition of India.