Jane Austen and Cricket??

Well, we are all quite aware that Jane Austen invented Baseball, but it is nice to know that she can also be of service in one’s understanding of the various international combatants in a World Cup game of Cricket

[Image: Sparosport.com]

I append here the whole text of this post by Ben Roberts on the World Cricket Watch website  –  this fellow has his Pride & Prejudice down pat (except for that “Victorian Tale” piece – we will forgive him for this common mistake and send him an ebook of Jane Eyre so he understands the difference] – as for the international issues, I will have to take his word for it…


by Ben Roberts

For Anita, a Jane Austen lover and wife of a cricket tragic.

It is often said that sporting teams will take on individual characteristics that differentiate them from others. Describing these characteristics need not be limited merely to the mundanely clichéd terms of sport; they can come from the literary world.

Lying in bed thinking of how best to describe each of our World Cup challengers I realised how each of them fit seamlessly (in my own mind) into Jane Austen’s Victorian tale of Pride & Prejudice. See below, team’s are in alphabetical order.

AustraliaLydia Bennett: Gets what they desire in the end, however do not please others with the manner in which they do so, including their own ‘family’.

BangladeshMr Bennett: Have some talent within them but are rarely taken seriously.

Canada & KenyaThe Bingley Sisters: Serve no purpose in the tournament except to ruin the future ambitions of Ireland.

EnglandElizabeth Bennett: Like Lizzy, the English supporter lives a life of undue frustration and complication.

Ireland Jane Bennett: With their coloured hair and pure joy in victory they are the simple souls of this competition.

IndiaMr Wickham: Describe their motives as being pure however are believed by many to just be in it for the money.

NetherlandsMr Collins: Existence is based purely on the patronage of one individual.

New ZealandMary Bennett: The poorer sibling of many, they have little talent but try hard.

Pakistan Mrs Bennett: Can hold it together for short periods of time but likely to collapse into tantrum at any moment.

South AfricaMr Darcy: The look and resource of a champion team however regularly cock it up at inappropriate moments.

Sri LankaMr Bingley: Talent and riches and a zest for the game.

West Indies Charlotte Lucas: Well past their glory years now, will settle for anything resembling success.

Zimbabwe Lady Catherine de Burgh: More a reflection on the administrative leader of Zimbabwean cricket, a dictatorial and manipulative individual only concerned about their own end.

Like Austen’s tale we already seen the Netherlands bother England with more attention than one would feel comfortable about, and seemingly Ireland have a greater ability to woo victory than the English.

Do these undoubted parallels mean that England and South Africa or Ireland and Sri Lanka will be tied together at the end of the story…I mean tournament? Or will Australia and India elope in the final act of debauchery? This story is still to be written.

Ben also contributes regularly to the following two Blogs:
http://balancedsports.blogspot.com/ – The thinking fans sport opinion and analysis site.
http://bookswithballs.blogspot.com/ – Reviewing the literature of a number of genres but definitely no Danielle Steele.
[Text from the World Cricket Watch website]
[Image: University of Alabama Cricket page]
Want to know more about cricket?  Go to “Cricket Made Easy” at the University of Alabama website.
Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum at Jane Austen in Vermont

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