Hola. Buenos dias. Estas bien? Pues…I could compose this blog post in Spanish, but English is my first language. But just know that I could totally write this in Spanish…if I wanted to. Yes, yes I could. That being said, let’s do this in English-shall we? Gracias.
Here in the UK, cricket is part and parcel of living on this not so small island. You may not like cricket, you may not even understand it. But guess what-it is a part of our everyday lives. Personally, cricket is ok. I mean, if you want to watch a game with 11 members on each side, batting a ball for 5 days straight…then by all means, go ahead and watch it. Me? I would rather watch paint dry for 5 days- as I would find that far more interesting. But, that’s just me. Please know we are all different. Yup.
Cricket is called: ‘the gentleman’s game.’ The first reference to cricket appeared in the 13th century but the game only gained popularity in the 17th century, when English aristocrats started playing it. Those pesky aristocrats decreed (yes, ‘decreed’) that cricket would be played in a ‘gentlemanly manner’ which means no sledging, cheating, bodyline bowling, temper tantrums or excessive appealing. If the batsman knew he was out, he should ‘walk’ even if the umpire decided otherwise. Sounds very civilised, does it not? Apparently, AUSTRALIA did not get this memo. Those guys are simply the worst at sledging, cheating, bodyline bowling, temper tantrums and they make excessive appealing into an art form. Yes. I said it. There go my Australian readers. Oh dear. Come back, Shelia!
See the picture of above of Australian fast bowler, Mitchell Starc? He is not acting in a gentlemanly sort of way-which is why he got reprimanded for behaving so badly towards India’s Murali Vijay. Very naughty indeed.
As you know cricket is associated with England (well, they did invent it) along with most of Commonwealth nations- if not all, but cricket is not really associated with Peru. Most South American countries play football. Peru plays both footie and cricket. Oh you didn’t know they played cricket in Peru? Allow me. You are welcome, amigo.
Cricket has been played in Peru for over 150 years now. Wow. That is a long time. The Asociación Peruana de Cricket or Cricket Peru is the official governing body of the sport of cricket in Peru. Cricket Peru is Peru’s representative at the International Cricket Council (ICC) and is an affiliate member and has been a member of that body since 2007.
In Peru, there is a long-established outdoor cricket season running from January to April. This includes Twenty20 Competition, loads of numerous ‘friendly’ matches and visits by touring teams. Of course, football is alive and well in Peru but they play cricket there too. Wow, that fact ‘knocked me for 6.’ That was a cricket joke BTW. And yes, there is a Peruvian Women’s national team as well. Woot woot. The Vicuñas are the Peruvian Women’s national team, and they have now competed in four South American Championships. Here they are pictured below. Yay.
Image: Peru this Week
So, now we get to the crux of this post. Yes, finally. Cricket has been played in Peru since 1859 with the founding in that year of the Lima Cricket and Football Club (LCFC) by the British community, whose ranks had grown during the “railroad and guano” era, when Peru, newly independent, relied on British expertise and investment to modernise its transportation system and subsequently monetise the abundant supply of seabird excrement. Despite its long pedigree, cricket never really caught on (initially) but was played rather, by expatriates whose main interest included weekend knockabouts rather than long-term development of the game. In brief, the cricket craze in Peru has been fuelled by cricket-crazed gringo expats. And a cricket nation was born. Yes, yes it was.
So, that is how and why cricket came to be played in Peru. Knowledge is power, people. That is all.