Great Britain beat France in cricket in Olympic Games 1900!

Great Britain beat France in cricket in Olympic Games 1900!

Image: Representative (Youtube / Arvind Shrivastav)

While cricket lovers around the world are waiting to see their favourite game to be a part of the Olympic Games, the game itself had already entered Olympics, that too in the first modern Olympic games! Yes, you hear right, but only a few know about it.

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The Summer Olympics Games 1900 also known as Jeux Olympiques 1900 held at Paris witnessed the first play of cricket in an Olympic Games. Infact, the game was scheduled as an event at the first modern Olympics, the 1896 Summer Olympics which later was revoked as there was insufficient number of entries. The same situation happened in the next edition when the games was held in Paris. Only four nations  Belgium, Netherlands, Great Britain and France entered to play the game, however Belgium and Netherlands withdrew from the tournament. Finally, Great Britain which was represented by Devon and Somerset Wanderers beat French team which was made by the club member clubs of the Athletic Club Union.

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Interesting part is that the match was played by twelve members each! And the result? Who could beat a Great Britain team at that time?. The match was played in a test match format and Great Britain batted first which were bowled out for 117 in the first innings. William Wallace Anderson of France took four wickets against Britain. The English bowlers led by Frederick W. Christian who took seven wickets tore apart the French team which were bowled out for 78. The English could batter their batting in the second innings with 145 runs for the loss of five wickets and declared their innings closed which made France needing 185 runs to win. Again, this time too, the English bowlers completely dominated and bowled out the entire team with a meagre score of 26 runs only. Thus Britain beat France by 158 runs and they became the first teams to play cricket in an Olympic games which later never took cricket as a part of the games.

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Now, here another interesting part is that Britain were awarded silver medals and French were awarded bronze medals.  The match was later recognised as an Olympic event by the International Olympic Committee in 1912 and medals were upgraded to gold and silver medals respectively.

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