Sport: Players & Gentlemen

In England, metaphysical concepts in public life are tended as lovingly as peonies in back gardens. There is the fine distinction between the Queen as monarch and the Queen as head of the Church of England; there is the way in which India is, but at the same time is not, part of the Commonwealth. Almost as subtle are the differences in cricket between a "gentleman" (i.e., amateur) and a "player" (i.e., professional).

Today, the distinction is only evident in the annual game: Gentlemen v. Players. Until recently, in all games the players (paid by...

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