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Cricket and the English Hero

Episode 16 of 30

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 20 February 2012

Clare Balding continues her investigation into how sport shaped Britain and Britain shaped sport.
In this weeks programmes she looks at how sport unites us all when we get behind out national teams and no more so, than when the character of that team can be personified by one person.
If there's one sport that embodies Englishness, it's cricket and in this programme she looks at how and why W.G.Grace, in the nineteenth century and Jack Hobbs, in the twentieth, became the epitome of a national sporting hero. Clare visits Lords Cricket ground and the Oval to discover more.
She also talks to Professor Richard Holt from The International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University, Simon Rae, a biographer of W.G.Grace and broadcaster David Rayvern Allen. The readers are:Jo Munro and Brian Bowles.
The programme is produced in Birmingham by Garth Brameld.

  • Jack Hobbs batting in 1936

    Jack Hobbs batting in 1936

  • The Long Room at Lord's during a Test match

    The Long Room at Lord's during a Test match

  • The Formal Empire

    The Formal Empire

    Clare Balding explains how sport, particularly rugby and cricket, became a way of transmitting British values around the globe.

    Listen to The Formal Empire
  • A Level Playing Field

    A Level Playing Field

    Clare Balding wonders whether the French would have had a revolution had they played cricket.

    Listen to A Level Playing Field


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  1. Image for Sport and the British

    Sport and the British

    Clare Balding charts the role sport has played in Britain. This 30 part series will be broadcast…

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