Sport in the UK

Страница: 6/13

Cricket is also played by women and girls. The governing body is Women's Cricket Association, founded in 1926. Women's cricket clubs have regular weekend games. Test matches and other international matches take place. The women's World Cup is held every four years. But There is The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and Lord's cricket ground in the United Kingdom. The MCC was founded in 1787, and is still the most important authority on cricket in the world. As a club it is exclusively male. No woman is allowed to enter the club buildings. There are special stands for members and their wives and quests.

Organised amateur cricket is played between club teams, mainly on Saturday afternoons. Nearly every village, except in the far north, has its cricket club, and there must be few places in which the popular image of England, as sentimentalists like to think of it, is so clearly seen as on a village cricket field. A first-class match between English counties lasts for up to three days, with six hours play on each day. The game is slow, and a spectator, sitting in the afternoon sun after a lunch of sandwiches and beer, may be excused for having a little sleep for half an hour.

When people refer to cricket as the English national game, they are not thinking so much of its level of popularity or of the standard of English players but more of the very English associations that it carries with it. Cricket is much more than just a sport; it symbolizes a way of life - a slow and peaceful rural way of life. Cricket is associated with long sunny summer afternoons, the smell of new-mown grass and the sound of leather (the ball) connecting with willow (the wood from which cricket bats are made). Cricket is special because it com­bines competition with the British dream of rural life. Cricket is what the village green is for! As if to emphasize the rural connection, ‘first class’ cricket teams in England, unlike teams in other sports, do not bear the names of towns but of counties (Essex and Yorkshire, for example).


Traditionally, the favourite sports of the British upper class are hunting, shooting and fishing. The most widespread form of hunting is foxhunting — indeed, that is what the word ‘hunting’ usually means in Britain. Foxhunting works like this. A group of people on horses, dressed in eighteenth century riding clothes, ride around with a pack of dogs. When the dogs pick up the scent of a fox, somebody blows a horn and then dogs, horses and riders all chase the fox. Often the fox gets away, but if not, the dogs get to it before the hunters and tear it to pieces. As you might guess in a country of animal-lovers, where most people have little experience of the harsher realit­ies of nature, foxhunting is strongly opposed by some people. The League Against Cruel Sports wants it made illegal and the campaign has been steadily intensifying. There are sometimes violent encounters between foxhunters and protestors (whom the hunters call 'saboteurs').Foxhunting is a popular pastime among some members of the higher social classes and a few people from lower social classes, who often see their participation as a mark of newly won status. The hunting of foxes is sport associated through the centuries with ownership of land. The hounds chase the fox, followed by people riding horses, wearing red or black coats and conforming with various rules and customs. In a few hill areas stags are hunted similarly. Both these types of hunting are enjoyed mainly by people who can afford the cost of keeping horses and carrying them to hunt meetings in 'horse boxes', or trailer vans. Both, particularly stag-hunting, are opposed by people who condemn the cruelty involved in chasing and killing frightened animals. There have been attempts to persuade Parliament to pass laws to forbid hunting, but none has been successful. There is no law about hunting foxes, but there is a fox-hunting seasons – from November to March.

Реферат опубликован: 27/06/2007