Joyce and Cricket

IRELAND’S historic World Cup cricket win last month over the “Gentlemen of England” before 40,000 fans was truly astonishing since cricket is not a popular sport in Ireland.

In 1904, the GAA banned “foreign games” such as cricket, replacing them with national sports.

Nevertheless, James Joyce always liked cricket.  ìThe fellows were practicing long shies and bowling lobs and slow twisters . . . the sounds of the cricket bats: pick pack, pock, puck.î (Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man).

Also in Ulysses, Leopold Bloom commented, "Cricket weather . . . they can’t play it here.  Duck for six wickets . . . Donnybrook fair (hurling, rugby, Gaelic football) more in their line. And the skulls we were acracking . . ."

Joyce would have been very proud of Ireland’s cricketers.

Brother Ed Kent
Fresh Meadows, New York

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