Cricket is a game that brings people together. It is played across the world and is enjoyed in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Cricket is a sport that is accessible to many as it a game of skill more so than an athletic activity, although as with most sports, the fitter you are the more likely you are to be good at it. With such global interest, there are many different cultures and societies brought together through their love of the game. Let’s have a look at the cultural significance of cricket.
Cricket is believed to have originated back in the 17th century and evolved over the next hundred years to becomes established in the 18th century – when it would become England’s national sport. With the English Empire trying to take over the world it makes sense that this popular game found its way to all corners of the globe. Unsurprisingly cricket is very popular in the Commonwealth countries, including Australia.
Sport transcends politics
Cricket is loved in India, and the players are treated as though they are royalty such is the esteem placed on the game there. India is historically a very divided nation politically, but cricket really helped to bring their society together. There are officially 22 different languages in India, so bringing all of these people together can’t have been too easy.
India found the courage to fight for independence from British rule in the 20th century and many people attribute that to a game of cricket played in 1932. A test match was played between England and India in front of 25,000 people, one of whom was the King of England, George V. As well as being the King of England, another of his titles was Emperor of India. This match awoke a national pride in the people of India, and it was an instrumental moment in them gaining their independence.
Shifting the balance of power
Naturally, England were once the best cricket team in the world, they developed it, and it was a big passion in the country. As the game spread in popularity, many other nations became better and better at cricket. India managed their first victory over England in 1952, and this was a sign of the tide changing. Pakistan developed their own cricket team around the same time of this victory, and so began a great sporting rivalry between Pakistan and India.
Australia and South Africa were also developing into strong cricketing nations and soon built teams capable of beating England and the other great cricketing nations. Australia has developed a great rivalry with England over the years, and they frequently meet to play each other in The Ashes series. The two teams play for the ashes of a burnt cricket ball.
English cricket has struggled to maintain its supremacy, but the cultural significance of cricket can still be seen in English team selections. They now boast players who come from South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and even an Irishman. The female English team are the current world champions, so England can still boast they are the best cricketing nation in the world.
Cricket has the amazing ability to bring people together from all walks of life. It even managed to inspire a fight for independence and is still one of the most loved sports in the whole world.