How Cricket Makes the World Safer

Many Americans find the wonderful game of cricket too complex and long winded. But it turns out this Brit invention accounts for the success of UN peacekeeping around the world.

I confess my own cricketing skills are weak. My bowling is devastatingly fast but no more accurate than a Russian ICBM, and my batting is similar – I either hit boundaries, or miss.

Gandalf Junior extended this inadequacy, gaining a school report that said “He Makes a Mockery of the Game of Cricket”.

Still, a first class match is a pleasure to watch, demonstrating advanced strategy, tactics, athleticism, and courage. International matches are painful, since England almost invariably loses.

Anyway, here’s the legacy:

Some 40 percent of UN peacekeeping troops come from South Asia, and the UN wishes it could get more. Currently India, Pakistan and Bangladesh each contribute about 10,000 troops to UN peacekeeping efforts…

The South Asian troops are noted for their discipline and skill in combat, and talent for the less violent aspects of peacekeeping…

But you never have to worry about the South Asian troops. They are always ready. One reason for that is a competitive spirit. The three nations have mutual antagonisms, and sporting rivalries (especially cricket), so none of them wants to be accused of making a poor showing while on peacekeeping duty.

I suspect the peacekeeping skills themselves stem from the essence of cricket – standing still while someone hurls a rock-solid ball directly at your head at a speed of 100 MPH. That’s how schoolboys play the game, and several of my friends lost many teeth as a result. That’s perfect training for steadiness under fire (or learning how to duck).

I suspect England tends to lose these days because its kids are now nannied with face protectors and body armor.

Anyway, the UN would work a lot better if its membership was restricted to nations that play cricket.

And baseball, of course.


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