Emma Levine from http://emma-levine.com/journey.asp … Cricket a Kind of Pilgrimage
If I were to be asked what I thought was the best example of audience participation in sports, it would be a close-run finish between a Calcutta Test match (an occasion I had the pleasure of witnessing in 1993, and provided the nearest feeling to a religious experience 1 have had) and school cricket in Sri Lanka.
Two years ago I had the good fortune to learn of the unique and mad world of the Royal-Thomian (the most notorious and best known match in the country) and during England’s tour of Sri Lanka I broke off from their Test match to go and see it. It was beyond my wildest expectations, and I made sure that the next time I went I would be better prepared for it. It was one of the highlights when I returned for a grand tour of Sri Lanka’s end of year big matches. It was a tour that took me to many of the school matches, which were usually between rival colleges placing a highly competitive and celebrated two- or three-day match. My first taste of these matches was at the Royal Thomian, which is the most famous cricket match in the country. For this reason it is also the match responsible for the greatest number of hangovers that a cricket match could ever be responsible for! This is because the whole occasion is one great drunken tradition. This should have come as no surprise, as the very nature of cricket is conducive to tradition, whichever country it is played in. Read the rest of this entry ?