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20-08-1900

Cricket's last appearance at the Olympics

Just Isn’t CricketBy now we are sure your Olympic fever has reached its zenith and you’re just a blur of patriotic face paint, broken vuvuzelas and home-made medals clustered around your neck. But today marks one of the more curious summer Olympic events, as, in 1900, the cricket competition got off to a rousing start. Or rather it didn’t, as two of the original teams dropped out, leaving only two competitors: Great Britain and France. And, to be honest, most of the French team consisted of British ex-pats from the embassy in Paris or English workers used to build the Eiffel Tower.Unsurprisingly, Great Britain won by 158 runs, though, more surprisingly they were given silver medals for their victory plus small ornamental Eiffel Towers. And to add to the strangeness, neither team realised they were actually competing in the Olympics, as the match was advertised as being part of the Paris World’s Fair which was going on at the same time. It wasn’t until 1912 that the match was reevaluated as an official Olympic event and the medals upgraded from silver to gold. Cricket has not featured in the Olympic Games since.