For most Latin Americans, who are themselves no strangers to sporting eccentricity, cricket remains a baffling proposition. The game is dismissed as being far too English (for that read ‘bizarre and snobbish’) and is often confused with croquet. Ignorance, however, does not preclude peculiar theories on how the game is played. I remember a Uruguayan diplomat attempting to explain the rules to a colleague who had recently arrived in London. ‘It’s very simple, che. All you need to know about el críquet is that when the ball hits those three little sticks, it’s a goal.’
Nowadays it tends to be forgotten that in the 19th century, cricket was played across Latin America. Matches were sometimes held in fantastic surroundings: Emperor Maximilian I donned his white flannels in the grounds of Mexico City’s neoclassical Chapultepec Castle.