Pastor Chris Baker, Centralia First Baptist Church
Sports have long been a source of national pride. The Olympics will be upon us before we know it. Team USA will acquit itself well in some sports, and not so well in others.
Each nation has its own quirks when it comes to the sports that resonate with their people. If we were in England, Australia, India, or New Zealand in particular many of you would be fans of Cricket. Not Jiminy Cricket. But the sport Cricket. I know nothing about Cricket and to me it looks like baseball meets bowling meets dodgeball meets a slip-n-slide. But it’s been a very serious sport in many countries for a long, long time.
Way back in 1882, England and Australia played a match that Australia won on England’s home field in rather embarrassing fashion for the home team. The loss was so bad, in fact, that just a few days after the match a prominent English newspaper published a mock obituary for English Cricket in which it stated the sport would be deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances and that the body would be cremated and the ashes taken back to Australia.
It was an embarrassing loss that might have been prevented if the English team had made it to one more batter. The next man up would have been a young man named Charles—thought to be one of the best batters in all of England at the time. But he didn’t have his chance. He was only 21 at the time and was 1882’s equivalent of a famous up-and-coming athlete. He came from a wealthy family, had two brothers who also excelled at Cricket, and seems to have everything going for him. But by the next year he had played the final competitive cricket match of his life.
The next year his younger brother George fell ill and was near death.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.