French cricketers plan to outclass Brits at their own game

Posted By: Staff

London, June 5 (ANI): France is planning to outdo the English at the most quintessentially British game there is -- cricket and with a view to achieve this they have set up cricket 'primary schools' where students will learn the finer points of the game like coup d'iquerre (the square cut), la balle courbie vers l'extirieur (the outswinger) and a triumphant cry of et alors (howzat).

Contrary the popular belief of French disdain for the game, France Cricket, the country's national cricket body, is serious about its pursuits and its chairman Tony Banton claims that there are many promising players that will emerge from France in years to come.

"We have several buds which we are nurturing," The Times quoted Banton as saying.

France's cricket renaissance is a result of the increased settlement of Britons, Pakistanis, Indians, West Indians, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans in the country. These emigrants form a sound and devoted base of cricket lovers that has resulted in heightened awareness about the game.

The newcomers are responsible for forming 42 clubs but the sport is also attracting Gallic interest for almost the first time since 1900, when a French side was beaten by England in the Paris Olympic Games final, the paper reports.

France has a national side, which plays in the European second division, and 1,200 registered players - a number that is rising by about 10 per cent a year, according to Adrien Geille, the general manager of France Cricket. About 40 per cent of the players are French. "Our goal is to have a semi- professional tournament by 2015," Geille told The Times.

The efforts are being strengthened by the support of French primary schools who have introduced a variation (plastic bats and balls) of the game as part of their sports curriculum.

Moreover, in case France's new coaches struggle to understand the 42 laws and five appendices published by the MCC, France Cricket has translated them and published them on its website for the first time.

Thus it is that the wicket-keeper is now officially known as le guardien de guichet and lbw as jdg (jambe devant guichet).

In the French version of the gentleman's game, the aim of this traditional game is for the bowler to hit the legs of the batsman with an underarm delivery. There is only one batsman, whose sole aim is to stay "in" for as long as possible by shielding his or her legs with the bat.

In some versions of the game, runs can be scored by passing the bat completely around the body until the ball has been fielded.

Batsmen (or women, for that matter) can move their feet only after they have hit the ball - if they miss, they must stay rooted to the spot and defend their legs as best they can. (ANI)

Story first published: Saturday, June 5, 2010, 15:14 [IST]
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