French Cricket Anyone?

5 06 2010

There are truly earth shattering events taking place in Europe at the moment. Indeed in France, where these major ructions are taking place, the whole French way of life is being threatened. This is not, you may think, anything to do with the wobbles and uncertainties currently surrounding the Euro; neither is it anything to do with that great French patriot President Sarkozy, although you suspect he may have strong opinions on the matter, but is in fact all to do with the greatest game on earth: namely cricket!

It seems that the French, despite years of mocking ‘les rosbifs’ for our supposedly eccentric ways and delight in playing an apparently incomprehensible game, have decided to take up cricket themselves. It appears that due to the major influx in recent years of large amounts of  Brits, West Indian’s of various nationalities, Bangladeshi’s and especially Sri Lankans, the demand for cricket has been rising by as much as 10% year on year. Quite astonishingly, as much as 40% of these players are actually French nationals themselves, which is a surprisingly high number and brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘French cricket’! The stated aim is to have a semi professional league as early as 2015 which would be no mean achievement. Ireland, for example, long more of cricketing nation than France, are unlikely to achieve this in the foreseeable future.

Cricket is a sport that is currently taking off around the world in all sorts of unlikely destinations. China is another area in which the sport, similarly to France, is being introduced into the schools curriculum and which in 20 to 30 years could easily change the face of world cricket. What is unusual though is the language issues faced by both of these countries as to play in English, especially for the French, would be unthinkable! What this means is that a whole new lexicon of cricketing terms could become common in cricketing circles over the next few years. As per the Times article (click here); these are some of the translations in use:

  • Fielder chasseur (literally, hunter)
  • Batsman batteur (drummer)
  • Bowler lanceur (thrower)
  • Bouncer rase-tête (head shaver)
  • Donkey drop balle en cloche (bell-shaped ball)
  • Duck zéro pointé (zero points)
  • Four touche indirecte (indirect touch)
  • Six touche directe (direct touch)
  • Googly bosanquet (after Bernard Bosanquet, the inventor of the googly)
  • Stump piquet (post)
  • Wicket maiden vierge couronnée (crowned virgin)
  • Corridor of uncertainty le couloir du doute (corridor of doubt)

Great stuff altogether. Thinking about it further, the Compulsive Hooker quite fancies playing some cricket over there – after all the teas must be excellent… Visions of fine cheeses and freshly baked baguettes in between innings sound just fine to us!

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