Western Samoa: Unsticking the Wicket

Half of Western Samoa's foodstuffs were gone: banana, breadfruit and cocoa trees, all flattened by a 100-m.p.h. hurricane. It was the worst since 1889, when another keening, killing wind sank three American and three German warships in Apia roadstead.

And what did the Samoans do? They played cricket.

Trouble was, Samoans have rarely known hunger. And cricket, played Samoan style, is so much fun. Each village has a concrete pitch tucked in among the breadfruit trees; sides number a definitely non-U60 to 100 men, women and children clad in lava-lavas and urged on...