French Cricket: The Past, the Present, the Future?

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Given that I’m bossing the France national cricket team in virtuality on Cricket 19, it seemed appropriate to report on the reality of French cricket.

For those of you that aren’t in the know, my other half is French hence my reasoning for creating the team on the game. To be clear, the players that I’ve created are completely fictional.

There is a suggestion that cricket actually originated in France but don’t tell that to the English! Cricket may have been on the map in France as early as 1478 but the first recorded match was not until 1864. Technically France are the reigning Olympic silver medalists having finished second at the 1900 Olympic Games. The team consisted entirely of Englishman however and the ‘final’ was the only match of the competition!

Cricket seemed to be taking off in France early in the twentieth century but World War I put paid to that. France withdrawing from NATO in 1966 also had a detrimental effect.

Much later in 1987 France gained Affiliate membership then in 2008 they became an Associate member. As was the case for all members France acquired Twenty20 International status in 2018. As of the latest T20I rankings published on 15th February this year, France sit in 49th place sandwiched between Argentina and Vanuatu…

https://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/mens/team-rankings/t20i

France have been reliant on mainly Asian and sometimes English immigrants/expats in order to field a team and it’s to be hoped that French nationals can help fulfil a playing squad in the near future. Cricket has been on the school curriculum since 2010 which should help. The below video is fantastic but as with all developing cricket nations immigrants, expats and locals must come together. Nationality is not so easily defined in the modern era. People travel and relocate, for good reason as the below video demonstrates but it’s to be hoped the the French cricket team will have the odd Pierre, Gilles et Jean playing alongside Ahmed, Imran and Abdul.