Did you know that cricket was invented by Flemish weavers?

29/03/2017

Cricket, the pride of England. While it is true that England is the home of cricket, what is less well known is that the sport originally found its way to England from Flanders. It was first brought over by Flemish weavers in the late middle ages.

You may be wondering who found this out? Well, an Australian scientist discovered it from a poem published in 1533 by John Skelton, called 'The image of Ipocrisie'. Paul Campbell from the Australian National University noticed that Skelton points the finger to the Flemish immigrants who crossed the Channel, and has called them the 'kings of cricket'. At the time, the Flemish weavers apparently used their herding staffs as bats. The sport has obviously evolved since then, but the foundations were already laid back then.

Moreover, cricket is a Flemish word. This was established by the German academic Heiner Gillmeister. He and Paul Campbell worked together to further investigate the origins of cricket. The word originates from the expression 'met de krik ketsen', meaning 'chase with a curved stick'. You can see the link here with the herding staffs of the Flemish weavers. Cricket apparently existed in Flanders as early as the 12th Century, a long time before finding its way to England. In addition, the spread of the sport throughout England followed the same routes as were taken by the Flemish weavers themselves. Next time you are in England, you can reveal this little known fact and see what the reactions are! We are curious to find out.

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