Sunday, 22 January 2017

Cricket and the Romans

The origins of the game of cricket are unknown, though Wikipedia says that the general consensus is that it was 'probably created during Saxon or Norman times by children living in the Weald, an area of dense woodlands and clearings in south-east England that lies across Kent and Sussex'. It appears, however, that there may be a Roman connection. Below is part of a photograph I took in October last year of a statue of the Emperor Constantine that is outside York Minster.
You can see that he is holding a ball in his hand and looking a little puzzled, as if he's a bowler trying to work out the correct grip for either a leg-spin or off-spin delivery. The two illustrations below, courtesy of WikiHow, show the correct grip for these two deliveries.

The Emperor Constantine appears to be left-handed and it's possible that because leg-and off-sides are the opposite way round when compared to a right-handed bowler he's confused as to which grip he should employ. My theory is that the Romans brought cricket to England and taught the native people the game only to give the game up themselves because Constantine couldn't resolve this conundrum. The evidence for this is that the game is now virtually unknown in Italy; and the proof is that the game is hardly played in Scotland - and as everyone knows the Romans didn't conquer that country, and even built a wall to keep them out of England.

Historians in York claim that the statue of Constantine originally had him holding a sword with his left hand, but it was vandalised by the sword being broken away leaving him holding just the pommel, but quite frankly that story just sounds ridiculous.

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