Cricket - The Age Of The Empire

While it is true that the Chinese originated the art of growing and cultivating tea, as well as the consumption of tea, it can equally be said that it was the English who took tea to the world – principally through the spread of the British Empire to far parts of the world creating their own special protocols, creating their own traditions such as High Tea and Afternoon tea.

The British East India Company may have brought tea to England, but it also established many of its own English mannerisms, rules of etiquette, and work ethics in the colonies that it established. Wherever the Empire went, Rule Britannia went with it, and so too did the game of cricket.

In the hot and humid tropics, in Africa and India, the English had to adapt to the new world in which they found themselves – but that was not to say that the women should not ‘take their afternoon tea’ and enjoy it with cucumber sandwiches or other dainty treats, or the men stop playing cricket to ‘break for tea’ – very much part of the game, and a tradition still in practice wherever cricket is played.

At Lords, just as in the County matches, play is stopped at regular points of the game ‘to break for tea’, and this tradition has passed to all those countries where the British sport of cricket is played today – India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), the West Indies and Australia and New Zealand.