Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cricket’s Growing Popularity: France and Beyond

Guest post by Heather Green.

For many years, the popularity of cricket has seemingly been isolated to very specific regions of the globe, usually those that experienced a great deal of British influence during the Colonial Era. In the last decade, cricket is becoming more popular in European countries outside of England.

France Crazy For Cricket
Perhaps the most surprising addition to the newly cricket crazy country list is France. Traditionally, the French have sported a barely-hidden disdain for this traditional pastime of British elites. Today, their enthusiasm for the sport places its popularity nearly on par with America’s recent rediscovery of lacrosse.

Educational Incentive
It all started with a school program introducing children from 200 French schools to cricket. Students now have the opportunity to join one of the only 69 cricket clubs in the country of France as junior members. The initial government program will fund cricket in the public schools for eight years. During this time, schools will be provided with funding earmarked for the development of cricket teams.

A French Future
More young players will potentially translate into an intimidating lineup of French cricket players on the world tour circuit in the coming years. It wouldn’t be the first time the French have stepped up to bat (to borrow American baseball terminology). Some have even argued that the word “cricket” is derived from an old French word. Archeological evidence indicates that cricket was played in France as early as the 1400’s.

Official Participation
While France Cricket, the only regulatory organization in France devoted to cricket, only reports 850 registered players in the country, this statistic has slowly been increasing over the decades. In the past, members of the organization were generally transplanted foreigners from cricket playing countries. Recent years have seen a reverse of this trend as more young people rediscover this ancient pastime.

Heather Green is a freelance writer, mother, professional model and the resident blogger for An Apple a Day... blog, a free informational website offering tips and advice on online nursing schools.


sambarman said...

Now that's what I call a news! I've also heard that Chinese are also learning cricket.

Liz said...

Interesting! Here in the US, we almost never hear of cricket although as you mention, lacrosse has been popular at the high school level for the past few decades. Unfortunately, the popularity of baseball here leads to cricket being perceived as a sillier version of that sport, preventing it from gaining a following.

price per head service said...

for some people it is hard to believe that Cricket is becoming more and more popular in some countries where soccer is number one and I think soon cricket will be close to soccer