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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 10:42 GMT
Is England still the true home of cricket?
The current Cricket World Cup is the biggest ever, with 14 countries competing in 54 matches.

However, some people feel that the indecision of the England team over whether or not to go to Zimbabwe might call into question the notion of cricket as the embodiment of British values.

According to the historian CLR James, a good cricket player is also an all-round Englishman "with positive virtues - loyalty and self sacrifice... a sense of honour and the capacity to be a 'good loser'".

But if England can't compete with the likes of South Africa, Australia, Pakistan and India, can it really claim to be the home of cricket?

A World Today debate on this subject was broadcast on BBC World Service Radio on Thursday 20 February. Select the link at the top of the page to listen to the discussion.


This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Historically Yes. However, the question you should be asking is "Can English football survive" especially after it's trouncing by Australia.
George Murphy, Australia

England lost its place as the home of cricket on the day it began to compete with other nations
Hely Chavan, India

To all the Indians and Pakistani's going on about not mixing Politics and sport. How many of them would have argued against the sporting sanctions imposed upon South Africa during Apartheid? Not many, I'm sure, a blatant case of double standards.
Ed, Melbourne, Australia (British)

England may be the home of cricket but the kids have left home and all that's left are a pair of grumpy grandparents living in the past.
James, London,UK

Although the quality of English cricket has slumped, I still think that it deserves to be called the home of cricket. After all it was where the game was invented. It still has a very well developed internal league(county) system where many international superstars play.
Prashant, Nepal

Cricket is a more international game than ever before
Sameer Verma, Canada
I'd like to think of the game as an international one with growing allure. It originated in the British Isles but hopefully has a broader definition that that. Look at the English team for example. There are people in it from all over. Cricket is a more international game than ever before.
Sameer Verma, Canada

England founded a great game that I wish every country in the world would learn to play. Rarely do Aussies have a picnic without a bat, ball and wickets. I wish England would put more resources into cricket as it is becoming a little too experienced at being a "good loser".
Louise, Sydney, Australia

It is not new for countries to implement their foreign policy through sports. In the past, the ICC has blocked countries from playing against South Africa. Currently the Indians disallowed Pakistan to play India. To go with the current trend, the English government has pressured their cricket board to not participate in the Zimbabwe match.
Clear-cut definitions have to be defined by the ICC in regards to using politics in this sport. If countries like India and England want to implement their foreign policy in sports they should be banned. Just as the church must be separated from the state, the state must be separated from the sports.
Fahad Qureshi, Canada

If "Harare" is not safe for England then it's not safe for any team so if Pakistan, India and Australia are going there why shouldn't they.
Moazzim Gulzar, UK

Moazzhim; It may be safe in Hararae for Asian nations, but don't forget that Mugabe saves his worst invective for Britain and all things British. And Britain may not be the best, but it is still regarded as the home of cricket.
David, Bahamas

I think Cricket was born in England but to say that it's the home of cricket today is difficult. By not playing a country just for political reasons is not cricket. They should not bring politics into cricket and at time when cricket is expanding in all continents not playing is not the way to follow.
Imran, USA

It's really sad to know that the popularity of cricket in England has gone down terribly. But I feel England is the home of cricket as they gifted the world with this great game.
Santhosh, USA/India

The current home of "The Ashes" should be Australia. England has had eleven years to package it up and send it over. Small, cheap, fake, plastic copies are not acceptable.
Louise, Sydney, Australia





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World Today debate: Cricket World Cup





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