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CricketHome » Themes » Cricket
Cricket originated in England, and so it is hardly surprising that the first county sides were formed in the anglicized towns of Monmouth and Brecon. Even so, clubs had been formed all across south Wales by the 1830s and regular matches were being played between them.
Cricket has always been strongly associated with the gentry and it was the eagerness of wealthy patrons to attract talented players to their clubs that led to early signs of professionalisation in the mid-nineteenth century. At the same time, cricket’s increased popularity in schools and developments in industry and transport led working-class men to play the game.
Although cricket is not as popular as rugby or soccer in Wales, the two sports have a strong connection in south Wales. The rugby clubs in Cardiff and Swansea were both formed by the cricket clubs which were looking to extend their activities into the winter. Cardiff Arms Park and St Helen’s were therefore used as cricket fields long before they became rugby grounds. Also, it was cricket players at Wrexham who formed Wrexham Athletic Football Club in 1872.
Wales does not have a national cricket team and its only professional club is Glamorgan County Cricket Club.
Items on the Gathering the Jewels website:
Martin Johnes, A History of Sport in Wales, (Cardiff, 2005)
The Welsh Academy Encylopaedia of Wales (Cardiff, 2008)