In history, there are many cases when colonizers, developing new lands, brought their native flavor to the local culture. So often new traditions, customs, and laws appeared. Sports that spread like viruses are no exception. In some cases, there is a full-scale dispersion – take, for example, the same football that is played today even in the most remote corners of the planet. And in some cases, the distribution is spot-on, and clearly reflects the boundaries of the cultural influence of the monopoly on its colonies. An extremely significant example in this sense is cricket – an internationally recognized sport that is played professionally exclusively in the former British Empire.
The first reports of the existence of cricket date back to the XIII century. The County of Kent is considered to be the birthplace of peasant entertainment, but the game quickly covered the surrounding area. However, cricket flourished in England in the XVIII century. It was then that the world’s first cricket club was founded in Hampshire. A little later, the entertainment reached London, and the townspeople enthusiastically began to sort things out on the grass lawns. At the same time, the British Empire was rapidly expanding. Expansion into the countries of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific region required strength, resources, and most importantly people who went to the outskirts of the world for easy earnings. Some were simply sent to distant countries, for example, to hard labor. In any case, the result was the same – more and more people familiar with cricket appeared in the British colonies. Homesickness and sporting interest made the settlers remember the rules of a simple game, which is also completely unpretentious: for the game, it is enough to have a bat, a ball, a couple of primitive wooden structures called wickets, and a little open space. Often in poor countries the game was a great success,
it gained new popularity, won the hearts of fans and became almost the most popular sport.
Currently, the distribution area of cricket has changed little: the game is developed in England, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean. Cricket has long earned international recognition – back in the XIX century, an international Federation was created, which greatly helped in promoting the sport on the international stage. Currently, the cricket world Cup is held every four years, which has so far been won only by Australia and countries historically associated with India. Women also successfully engage in high-performance sports. It is noteworthy that cricket has its own Olympic history, which is unique in its own way: extremely short, but at the same time full-fledged. The fact is that a single cricket match was played during the Olympic games. In 1900, the British team beat the French team. Since no one else participated in the tournament, the British won Olympic gold medals, while the French won silver. However, this draw did not impress the organizers of the Games, and cricket lost its place in the competition program. From time to time, there is talk of cricket returning to the Olympic family, but so far it doesn’t seem too close to the truth.