April 15, 2009

Olympics

France v England in cricket

George Binoy

Question: Who are the current Olympic silver medalists in cricket? Answer: France, and they want a re-match against England, who won gold at the Paris Games in 1900. France Cricket, the governing body for the sport in the country, is preparing to issue a challenge to England – a return game in Lille ahead of the London Olympics in 2012.

"It would be a one-day game," Maxime Parent, spokesman for France Cricket, told the Independent "I don't think that the French public is quite ready yet for a Test match stretching over five days. Perhaps, one day, who knows? Cricket is advancing quickly in France but it needs a match like this to capture the imagination of the public. France v England is always a big event in France, whatever the sport."

Cricket in France has come a fair way since it was banned as an "alien" sport in 1940 by the Vichy government. There are now ten clubs in France’s super-league and about one-third of its players are French. It might have been very different if the MCC had gone ahead with its first foreign tour – to France – in 1789. They had to cancel because of the French revolution.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Keywords: Olympics

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