What could be more English than the thwack of leather upon willow under a leaden spring sky, the cries of bowler and fielders, and the scent of tea being dispensed from a Thermos flask on the boundary?
Appearances can deceive. Look closer; listen harder. This pitch was not a pristine strip of pampered turf, but a length of damp, green carpet. The frustrated fielders were not complaining in English, and the scorer, dispensing refreshment between overs, asked: "Thé ou café?" This was the opening day of the cricket season in France. Not to be confused with the French Cricket season, which opens anywhere in the world at any time where there is a tennis ball, bat and people willing to wield the latter with one hand while standing on one leg.
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