The primary school children do seven hours of English a week. One of the hours is usually spent playing a game of some sort. The idea is that they have to listen to instructions in English. This week I tried to teach my grade 6 and 3 class how to play French cricket. For Australians, the link between normal cricket and French cricket is quite easy. We understand how the bat is normally held, the purpose of wickets and how important it is to protect them, that underarm bowling is only acceptable while playing French cricket and finally that by saying telephone you can throw the ball to someone closer to the batsman.
The nearest cricket bat is some thousand miles away so we had to make do with a little baseball bat. The children here are used to playing hockey and chasing a ball with murderous intent. Those that were fielding had their hockey instincts activated and dived on the ball like rabid meerkats. The boys chased the ball all over the field, pushing and shoving. There were tears and sit-down protests by those who didn’t have a turn at batting. The concept of hitting catches was lost in translation. I have a feeling that 2017 won’t be remembered as the year that French cricket became a sporting phenomenon in 9 de Julio.