British favourite sports
Those who have had the opportunity to travel to Anglo-Saxon countries, including the former British colonies, will certainly have noticed that their sporting traditions are not based only on football, but also on disciplines that are less practised all around the world.
Sports such as Cricket or Rugby, for example, are almost more popular than football in several Anglo-Saxon countries, finding a huge space in sports newspapers, in television coverage and on English betting sites in the best promo codes in the UK.
Rugby is by far one of the most loved and practised sports in Anglo-Saxon countries, ranking immediately after football. Just think of the national teams that have always been at the top in this discipline, to get a clear general picture: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales are four of the six teams that compete annually in the Six Nations tournament (together with France and Italy), while the former colonies such as Australia and New Zealand (the so-called All Blacks) can boast amazing international Palmares.
Rugby was officially invented in Great Britain in 1823, well before football was made official, according to Football Ground Guide. The two teams face each other by deploying 15 players each, whose purpose is to score a try, that is to lead a player to crush the oval ball at the opposite end of the field, defended by the opponents. It is possible to play the ball with your hands, only backward from the line of the ball, or hit it with your feet forward.
Cricket is probably the English-style sport practised for the longest time, having very ancient origins, with documents that attest its existence as early as the 14th century. This sport is not only very popular in Great Britain (England currently holds the title of World Champion), but it can be considered the national sport of many countries of the Commonwealth and Asia, such as Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh.
The matches are played on the famous “Cricketgrounds” between two teams made up of eleven players and have a duration that is sometimes almost prohibitive (the most of the times match last around five or six hours, but they can continue for days). Due to the complexity of its rules and the duration of the matches, Cricket is a sport for true fans, which requires very thorough terminological and regulatory knowledge to be fully appreciated.
Golf and Badminton
Despite being regularly practised by athletes from all over the world, the relationship between the Britons and disciplines such as Golf and Badminton is really close. Golf is one of the most popular sports in Great Britain, especially in Scotland, which many consider the cradle of this discipline since 1200; others instead attribute the invention of golf to the Dutch, as there is some evidence of this discipline in the Netherlands prior to the Britons. Both hypotheses are valid, also strengthened by the direct commercial relationship since ancient times between Holland and Scotland, across the North Sea.
Similarly, Badminton is now a sport practised in every corner of the globe, which has its roots as far back as 3000 BC. It is said that this game was already well known in India when some British military “imported” it to Great Britain, in the castle of Badminton House, where it was played for the first time in a competitive way.
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