The Spirit Of Cricket

The Nightwatchman Podcast

18-05-2022 • 51 mins

Guest: Mike Brearley

Jon talks to Mike Brearley about whether there is there such a thing as the spirit of cricket? After all, if the spirit of cricket exists in our physical world, it is as a single paragraph that prefaces the current edition of the Laws of the game. And from its inception, cricket seems to have been open to different moral interpretations. Its early years saw a sport full of skulduggery, gambling and general notoriety, frowned upon by the church and the crown for filling the pubs on a Sunday. It was the Victorians who adopted it as a symbol of virtue, and Christian fair play, developing an image and language that offered the game a new kind of morality even as its empire exported British superiority around the globe. The story of cricket is still in many ways the story of empire.

And Cricket is played by Muslims, Hindus, Christians, atheists… even by Australians. Is there a single spirit that can unite and define us all?

Mike's book The Spirit of Cricket - Reflections on Play and Life is available here

The Nightwatchman Podcast

Written and hosted by Jon Hotten

Produced and edited by James Wallace

Sponsored by Rathbones