The Englishness of English cricket

John Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The game cricket has become almost synonymous with all that is English. Of the three major British sports, which are soccer, rugby and cricket, the later has taken on board a cultural weight which has projected it out of the realm of the competitive and professional. The origins of cricket are not known, it is just certain that the game is very old. Primarily, from this sense of age, the sport has derived the aura of value which influenced its popularity. Although cricket is reliably recorded as an organized sport in the early 17th century, it became a national part-time in the 18th century. While cricket has thus taken its place as a professional sport, played for the amusement of the wealthy aristocracy, it was also being played in the great Public Schools. In the realm of political and education reform, cricket still find its way in the system. The traditions which the sport had cultivated, enabled a sustaining view of an England based on the county and the village in which essentially organic ties of service and social responsibility formed the matrix of power. Cricket was able to offer a vision of a pastoral and rural England in which the social classes could unite to defend hereditary rights against the encroachment of the modern society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Popular Culture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996


Dive into the research topics of 'The Englishness of English cricket'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this