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In Affectionate Remembrance of English Cricket which died at The Oval on 29th August 1882. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. R.I.P. N.B. The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. Sporting Times September 1882, following defeat to Australia
Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended. George Bernard Shaw
In Beyond a Boundary James tells the story of how cricket was used by the British to instil their cultural values on the unruly natives. Great Thinkers: In Their Own Words III: Culture Wars, BBC 2011
It’s more than a game. It’s an institution. Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown’s Schooldays, 1857
Personally, I have always looked on cricket as organised loafing. William Temple, attributed
If the wild bowler thinks he bowls,
Or if the batsman thinks he’s bowled,
They know not, poor misguided souls,
They too shall perish unconsoled.
I am the batsman and the bat,
I am the bowler and the ball,
The umpire, the pavilion cat,
The roller, pitch, and stumps, and all. Andrew Lang, 1844-1912, Brahma
The game is very much as I used to play it years ago: the routine, the regularity, the instinctive discipline of the game that has forced itself back on me very strongly here this morning. C L R James, BBC documentary in West Indies
These magazines [The Captain 6d] all were governed by the principles which you found in the old ideas of public school behaviour. And we accepted that. We swallowed it down and we read them all and taught that that was the way to behave. ibid.
Cricket plunged me into politics long before I was aware of it. When I turned to politics I found I didn’t have much to learn. ibid.
There’s a breathless hush in the Close tonight –
Ten to make and the match to win –
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
But his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote –
‘Play up! Play up! and play the game!’ Henry Newbolt, Vitai Lampada, 1897
From his library in Surrey,
Hung with regimental swords,
Came a cry as Colonel Curry
Read the latest news from Lord’s.
Turning to a bright vermilion,
He could not believe his eyes:
‘jackets off in the pavilion.’
(Members, though, must still wear ties.) ...
Decent standards melt like butter,
Cricket is becoming crude;
Ah, my friend, and oh! Calcutta!
Soon they’ll play it in the nude! Roger Woodis, Nothing Sacred
Cricket – a game which the English, not being a spiritual people, have invented in order to give themselves some conception of eternity. Lord Mancroft, Bees in Some Bonnets, 1979
In 2005 England played Australia in a test that was arguably the most nail-biting finish in cricket history. Hall of Fame: 2005 Ashes
By the end of the day Freddie had annihilated the Aussies. ibid.
England had won the test by two runs. ibid.
The 2005 Ashes are remembered arguably as the greatest cricketing series in history ... The fourth test would be graced by an altogether different class of cricketer – a total unknown by the name of Gary Pratt ... Ponting was dismissed – run out by the most unlikely of men. As he left the field Ponting berated the English management ... Before the end of the year he was all but out of professional cricket. But his name will always be associated with the fourth test at Trent Bridge. Hall of Fame: One-Hit Wonders
Pakistan’s abysmal performance in the opening games of the 1992 World Cup ... Pakistan were on the verge of the most unlikely of comebacks. But they would now play England, the team that had completely outplayed them in the first round ... Imran’s Tigers were not ready to give up ... England went into bat. They looked in command. But then stepped up Wasim Akram. Hall of Fame, Never Say Never
‘We were 50/1.’ ibid. Imran Khan
Cricket in the 1970s and ’80s had been dominated by the West Indies. But by the early nineties ... the rise of a new power from down under ... Australia now had the talent to dominate all areas of the game. Hall of Fame: Dream Teams
Going into the fifth test the English needed a victory to draw the series. But Australia still proved too strong. Australia closed out the decade in style – a true dream team. ibid.
In August 2010 this famous ground was the scene of one of the most scandalous test matches of all time. One of the central characters in the narrative was an eighteen-year-old fast bowler from Pakistan who was on the verge of greatness. The Mohammad Amir Interview, Sky News 2012
‘Salman [Butt] had asked me twice. Once he asked me like a joke.’ ibid.
I didn’t take any of it seriously. ibid.
‘Suddenly he [Salman Butt] said, “Oh, Bro, you’ve got yourself in big trouble. You’re trapped and your career is at stake.”’ ibid.
‘That’s when he said, “Can you do me a favour?” I asked him what favour. He replied, “Do two no-balls for me.”’ ibid.
‘I’d like to say how stupid I was.’ ibid.
‘He didn’t mention money at all.’ ibid.
‘I couldn’t think straight. I panicked.’ ibid.
‘Dead: that’s how I was feeling then.’ ibid.
‘My entire life was destroyed.’ ibid.
‘Everyone thinks that I did it for the money. I want to clarify that is not the case.’ ibid.
The journalists had been given a tipoff that fixing was happening in the Pakistan team. Special Report – Cricket Corruption, Mike Atherton, Sky Sports 2012
There were no bets made on those no-balls. ibid.
‘The judge saw that the villains of the piece were the fixer and the Pakistan captain.’ ibid. Bob Willis
There’s a little bit of the whore in all of us. Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War I, Packer, 2013
Kerry, they’re all getting screwed. ibid. Cornell
It will be a fucking revolution. ibid. Packer
We’re a great family, no doubt about that. ibid. Cricket board bloke
I’m here looking for a compromise. ibid. Packer at Lords
There’s something magic about. This is the heart right here. It’s not just a game. It’s something more. ibid. Packer on Lord’s pitch
We’ll drive a wedge between this man and his players. And we’ll use our best weapon – cricket. And we’ll bring the lawyers in – our lawyers. ibid. Lords’ bloke
Do your fucking job why don’t ya! ibid. Packer
The money doesn’t matter, son. It’s what comes at ya. ibid. Packer to Cornell
To World Series cricket! ibid. Packer’s toast
These blokes are relying on me. I’ve said before I can’t abandon them now. ibid. Packer