Progress of the Vatican Cricket Team

Here is something fun, from a reader and friend in London (slightly edited):

The Vatican Cricket Team and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 11 combined to form a Christian Team which played against a multi-faith team made up of Jews Muslims, Sikh and Hindus at the nursery ground at Lord’s today.

The Christian team batted first and in 20 overs scored a mammoth 185 for 4 wickets, which the multi-faith team could not best.

The Vatican team also played against Stonyhurst College yesterday and won.

It’s scheduled to play another game tomorrow at Windsor Castle against the Queen’s Guards, with Her Majesty hosting the team to tea afterwards.

It was a good afternoon of cricket and good spirits. Gin and tonic mainly. With dropped catches by the Christians followed by shouts for ‘excommunication’ of the poor fielder.

Here’s a video I made for Your Reverence.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Charivari Rob says:

    There is no salvation except through Baseball!

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    The #1 stated goal by Father was to “spread the message of the Gospel”, not ecumenism for it’s own sake.
    That’s how to do ecumenism! It’s wonderful.

  3. James in Perth says:

    Loved the rhythm of the music. Congratulations to the combined Vatican-Canterbury team on their win!!

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    Charivari Rob: Amen!

    With all the talk here of castles, excommunication, besting, and gin and tonic this post has the raw materials of an epic poem. The opponents would have to be recast for a Battle Royale in Merrye Englande. The shaggy heathens jumping out of longboats at Lindisfarne would advance under a Red Banner with a Yellow Fish wrapped in Newspaper. The Men of the West would make their stand atop a windswept hill under a White Banner emblazoned with a Blue Lady with Child in Her Arms. Excalibur and Aspergillum would flash in the sun. “Back you foul beasts! Back I say!”

    That cricket score is impressive. I have no idea what it means, but it’s still impressive.

  5. JARay says:

    Just a few things for you Americans. This was a 20/20 match where each side (of 11 men) bowled 20 overs at the opposing batsmen. Each ” over” consists of 6 balls bowled at the batsman for him to score off (or to get him out) So a 20 “over” match will be a total of 120 bowls for each team to score off. Since the Vatican team scored 185 runs off 120 bowls means that the batsmen hit quite a number of 4s and even perhaps a 6 or two! A “4” is scored with a hit to the boundary along the ground. A “6” is scored with a hit in the air all the way to the boundary. 185 is a very good score indeed in 20 “overs”. Clearly the Vatican side has some fine batsmen (most of them from India) And they only lost 4 wickets in scoring those runs…a good show indeed!
    By the way, I LOVE Cricket and have done all my life since being a very small boy.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    Ah, that clears that up, thanks JARay.

    If, along with the gin and tonic, caramel corn and hot dogs are available at cricket matches then the Special Relationship is as strong as ever.

    “A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.” – Margaret Thatcher to Ronald Reagan

  7. teomatteo says:

    Seems the upper echelons are into cricket…the boss keeps throwing us those googlies.

  8. Simon_GNR says:

    Never thought I’d see anything about cricket on this site! Thanks for posting this Fr. Z.

    Perhaps not many readers of this blog will know that a distinguished cricketer who played international (“test”) several times for England went on to become an Anglican bishop. David Sheppard became Anglican Archbishop of Liverpool and during his time became a good friend of the Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool Derek Warlock. Together they made great progress in ecumenism in the city of Liverpool. When JP2 visited Britain Bishop Sheppard was a guest at the Catholic Cathedral when the Pope attended a service there and the Pope, I believe, accepted Sheppard’s invitation to a service at the nearby Anglican Cathedral.

    Another point that came to mind was the case of the Pakistani international cricketer Jousuf Youhana, one of the few Christians to play cricket for Pakistan. He converted to Islam in 2005 and changed his name to Mohammad Yousuf. I suppose one must respect his choice but it’s always regrettable when a Christian apostasizes. At least he didn’t become an atheist.

    The match shown in the link was played on the Nursery ground at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. This is the practice ground behind the main ground and stands at the premier cricket ground in the world, the “Home of Cricket” and the premises of the Marylebone Cricket Club. It is a great honour to play there, even on the practice ground.

    The music on the video is a cover version of “Soul Limbo” originally recorded by Booker T and the MG’s. The original is much better and is available on YouTube here:

    For many years this was the theme music for the BBC’s television coverage and is still used by BBC radio to introduce its cricket coverage. (Sadly, BBC TV hasn’t shown live cricket for nearly 20 years, having been outbid by Rupert Murdoch’s subscription/satellite Sky TV.)

  9. JARay says:

    To “Semper Gumby”
    If Fr. Z will allow me just one more bit on Cricket. Yesterday was the final match of the World Series Cricket. Australia and Pakistan were the finalists. Australia scored 183 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. Pakistan won by beating the score of 183 with 4 balls still to play. Their chief scorer scored 97 runs from only 45 balls (and then Australia got him out). But the damage was done!

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  11. JonPatrick says:

    @Charivari Rob, actually both baseball and Cricket share characteristics that make them the best of all sports and surely their inventors must have been divinely inspired. There is no clock – both games go until all batters have completed their innings (at least for Test cricket – modifications like 20/20 have been imposed else the game goes on for days). Play proceeds at a leisurely pace where spectators can easily follow the action. Unfortunately with modern baseball those overseeing the sport having the usual obsession with appealing to the young, have decreed that things must be sped up for a generation with a short attention span so now we have limits on mound visits by catchers etc. But now they have added “plays under review” so we all sit around while umpires on headsets wait for the reviewers to see if that runner really did touch first before the ball arrived, Oh well. One thing that impresses me about cricket is how the fielders field without the mammoth mitts that we use in baseball, that must sting a little,

  12. JARay says:

    Yes Jon Patrick, a cricket ball is hard, very hard. And it does sting. Fingers get broken!

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    JARay: Thanks for the info. Another fine British export is the Hash House Harriers.

    JonPatrick: You have a point about Major League Baseball and the soul-sapping effects of the TV era: play reviews, commercials, speeding up play. Minor league games also make for a sociable evening at a ballpark, but the pitch clock is an abomination unto the Lord and is to be soundly rejected under pain of excommunication by all God-fearing individuals.

    On the other hand, no one would mind TV commercials during the pennant race and Fall Classic if they were all as brilliant as this one for John West Salmon:

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