Best of British: 60 things that make Britain great

Imagine you're cut off in a far-off land. What longings would be uppermost in your mind? Here we celebrate those aspects of life that make our islands distinct and beguiling.

60. Cricket bat


The origins of cricket are lost in the mists of time, but it’s thought to have evolved in Kent and Sussex in the Middle Ages. Now, it’s played predominantly by countries in the Commonwealth, but Lord’s is still considered to be the ‘home of cricket’. Five-day Test matches remain the gold standard of international competition, but the shortened versions of One Day Internationals and T20 have broadened the appeal. At amateur level, the thwack of willow on leather remains one of the summer sounds of the English village.

‘Cricket to us was more than play. It was a worship in the summer sun’
(Edmund Blunden)

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