A Village Cricket Match: MBOSE Class 12 English Supplementary notes

A Village Cricket Match
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Get summaries, questions, answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF of Class 12 Voices (English Supplementary reader textbook) chapter A Village Cricket Match by AG Macdonell which is part of the syllabus of students studying under MBOSE (Meghalaya Board). These solutions, however, should only be treated as references and can be modified/changed.

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“A Village Cricket Match” by A.G. Macdonell narrates a humorous and vivid account of a cricket match between a team of villagers from Fordenden and a visiting team of gentlemen from London. The story highlights the eccentricities and charms of village life while capturing the essence of the game and the characters involved.

As the story begins, the villagers eagerly await the start of the match, which is a significant event for them. They exhibit patience, an inherent trait of village folk accustomed to the unpredictability of life. The scene is idyllic, with dragonflies, swans, and a serene landscape setting the stage for the match.

Mr. Hodge, the captain of the visiting team, encounters initial difficulties arranging the match. He negotiates with the Fordenden captain to borrow two players, ensuring each team has enough members. Just before the match begins, three late arrivals from the visiting team complicate matters, necessitating further negotiations and resulting in a twelve-a-side game.

Mr. Hodge wins the toss through a peculiar method and sends in his opening batsmen, James Livingstone, a proficient club cricketer, and Boone, a massive and imposing figure with the prestigious Cambridge Blue, though later revealed to be for rowing, not cricket. The Fordenden team, led by their baker-captain, positions themselves amidst the flowers and grass, ready for the challenge.

The match starts with the blacksmith as the bowler, taking a long run-up from a slope that makes him invisible until the last few yards. His first ball is a fast, erratic delivery that results in four byes. The village umpire reluctantly signals the runs, causing the spectators to react with surprise and calls for more beer.

Livingstone adeptly scores a six off the third ball but is soon dismissed. The professor, next to bat, is injured by a fast delivery, and the third player, Harcourt, hits his wicket before the ball is even bowled. The formidable Boone is stumped quickly, revealing his lack of cricketing prowess. The score stands at ten runs for three wickets and one player hurt.

Robert Southcott, a famous novelist and an unexpectedly modest figure, comes in next. Encouraged by Mr. Hodge to play cautiously, Southcott surprises everyone by hitting the first two balls for six. His unorthodox batting style baffles the rate-collector bowler and delights the crowd.

A dramatic moment unfolds when the blacksmith, determined to prove his worth, delivers a powerful ball only to be interrupted by a humorous call of “No ball!” from the tipsy umpire, Harcourt. This leads to a chaotic scene where the blacksmith falls, injuring himself, and the fielders and spectators erupt in laughter and confusion.

As the innings progress, the score reaches sixty-nine for six, with Southcott contributing significantly. The final incident involves Shakespeare Pollock, an American journalist unfamiliar with cricket. His comical attempt to play the game like baseball leaves the field in stunned silence before he realizes his mistake and laughs it off.

The story concludes with a reflection on the team spirit and the unique character of village cricket, where the game is played with passion, humor, and a sense of community. The vivid descriptions and the light-hearted tone make “A Village Cricket Match” an enjoyable and memorable portrayal of English village life and its love for cricket.

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Textual questions and answers

Answer these questions briefly

1. The text recounts a cricket match. Who were the two teams that played the match? Who were the two captains?

Answer: The text recounts a cricket match between the Fordenden Cricket Club and a team of gentlemen from London. Mr. Hodge captained the visiting team from London, and the Fordenden baker captained the home team.

2. What ‘tricky negotiations’ did Mr Hodge have to complete with the captain of the home team?

Answer: Mr. Hodge had to arrange for two substitutes to be lent by Fordenden so the visitors could field eleven men, and that nine men on each side should bat. This was because two of Mr. Hodge’s players didn’t show up.

3. Who arrived in the motor-car? What did this result in?

Answer: The motor-car brought Mr. Hodge’s two missing players and a third gentleman in flannels who insisted on playing. This meant that more negotiations were required, and eventually the game began with twelve players on each side.

4. Which team batted first? Who were the opening players? What word has been used to describe their skills?

Answer: Mr Hodge’s team batted first. The opening players were James Livingstone and Boone. James Livingstone was described as a very sound club cricketer, and Boone was described as a huge, awe-inspiring colossus of a man.

5. What effect did the slope of the field have on the batsmen?

Answer: The slope of the field made it difficult for the batsmen to see the bowler until the last few yards of his run. This was especially true for the blacksmith, who took a long run.

6. Why has the first bowler been compared to Roman gods? What effect did he have on the batsmen?

Answer: The blacksmith, who was the first bowler, is compared to Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, and Venus Anadyomene, the goddess of beauty, because of his strength and powerful delivery. His speed and ferocious bowling scared the batsmen and resulted in several runs being scored, including a six and a wicket being taken.

7. How was the second bowler different from the first bowler?

Answer: The second bowler was different from the first bowler as he was a slow left-hand bowler, a local rate-collector, known for his patience and guile.

8. Why has the second batsman been described as ‘a singular young man’? Who did this person turn out to be? What did he achieve on the field?

Answer: The second batsman is described as a singular young man because of his quiet and unassuming nature, his refined clothing, and his gentle movements. This person turned out to be the famous novelist Robert Southcott. He hit sixes off the first two balls he faced, one over the Three Horseshoes and another into the saloon bar.

9. ‘He had never known such a travesty of the game.’ Who is being referred to? What does the word ‘travesty’ convey in the context? What did the umpire decide?

Answer: The rate-collector is being referred to. The word “travesty” means a mockery or distortion. He was surprised and upset because Mr. Southcott’s batting was so unconventional and effective, mocking the skills he had relied on to bowl. The umpire decided to call “Over” and bring in a new bowler.

10. ‘No Ball!’ Describe the scene that followed. Why did this happen?

Answer: Following the call of ‘No Ball!’ by Mr Harcourt, the blacksmith bowler released the ball which hit third-slip on the knee, causing chaos and a lot of laughter. This happened because Mr Harcourt, slightly drunk, mischievously decided to call ‘No Ball!’ at a critical moment.

11. Who was Mr Pollock? Why was he the centre of attention in the second incident in the story? Why was there a paralysed silence?

Answer: Mr. Pollock was an American journalist roped in at the last moment to make up the eleven. He was the centre of attention because he confused cricket with baseball, resulting in a paralysed silence as he ran towards the cover -point instead of running towards the other end of the pitch.

12. Explain with reference to the context:

a. ‘It was the team spirit at work.’

Answer: ‘It was the team spirit at work’ refers to the moment when Mr. Hodge instructed Mr. Southcott to play carefully for the sake of the team, and Mr. Southcott suppressed his own instincts to follow his captain’s instructions.

b. ‘Village folk are seldom impatient.’

Answer: ‘Village folk are seldom impatient’ refers to the villagers’ patient and calm demeanour while waiting for the cricket match to begin, showing their general contentment and lack of urgency in life.

Answer these questions in detail

1. What is the central theme of this story? Did you enjoy the story? Why or why not?

Answer: The central theme of this story is the charm and eccentricities of village life as exemplified through a cricket match. The narrative highlights the quirks and character of the village players and their interactions with outsiders. It underscores the idea that village life, with its simple pleasures and unique characters, holds a special kind of joy and amusement.

Yes, I enjoyed the story because it is light-hearted and humorous, with a focus on the characters and their individual personalities rather than the game itself. The author’s use of vivid descriptions and witty dialogue makes the story engaging and entertaining.

2. The author has made the game vivid and interesting by his detailed descriptions of the various players. Choose any one character you find the most interesting. Describe him, his qualities and explain why he is your best choice.

Answer: One of the most interesting characters is Boone, the huge, awe-inspiring colossus of a man who wore the majestic trappings of a Cambridge Blue. Despite his intimidating appearance and impressive background, it turns out that Boone gained his Blue at Cambridge for rowing, not for cricket. This twist adds a humorous element to his character, making him memorable. His presence on the field, despite not being a skilled cricketer, highlights the eccentricities and unpredictability of the village cricket match.

3. Mr Southcott gazed modestly at the ground. Mr Harcourt gazed at the heavens. Compare these two men and their game of cricket.

Answer: Mr Southcott and Mr Harcourt present contrasting characters in their demeanor and approach to the game. Mr Southcott, a famous novelist, is depicted with a gentle and modest demeanor, treating the game with a delicate touch. His style is understated yet effective, managing to hit impressive shots despite his unassuming nature. On the other hand, Mr Harcourt, who is described as having a sense of humor, especially when rather drunk, adds a chaotic and comical element to the game. His actions, such as calling a ‘No ball’ in a crucial moment, disrupt the match but also add a layer of humor and unpredictability. The contrast between Mr Southcott’s modesty and Mr Harcourt’s impishness enriches the narrative, highlighting the varied personalities involved in the match.

4. The story describes a simple cricket match. Yet, it forms the most celebrated episode in Macdonell’s famous novel England, Their England. How do you think the writer has achieved this? What words would you use to describe Macdonell’s writing style?

Answer: The writer has achieved this by infusing the narrative with rich, detailed descriptions and humorous anecdotes that bring the characters and the setting to life. Macdonell’s writing style is vivid, engaging, and full of wit. His ability to capture the essence of the village and its inhabitants through humorous and exaggerated portrayals makes the story memorable. Words to describe Macdonell’s writing style include “humorous,” “vivid,” “engaging,” and “detailed.”

5. What is the tone of the author throughout the piece? Is it serious or light-hearted? Substantiate your answer with instances from the text.

Answer: The tone of the author throughout the piece is light-hearted. The humorous descriptions of the players, such as the blacksmith who bowls with the combined energy of Vulcan and Venus Anadyomene and the comical mishaps on the field, contribute to a playful and amusing narrative. For instance, the scene where the blacksmith’s ball hits third-slip on the knee-cap and the subsequent chaos is described in a way that evokes laughter rather than seriousness. Additionally, the light-hearted exchanges between the characters, such as Mr Hodge’s rustic roars and Mr Southcott’s modest replies, further illustrate the humorous and whimsical tone of the story.


1. Write a notice to be displayed in the village square of Fordenden about the forthcoming cricket match. Give all the relevant details, using information from the story.

Answer: Notice to be displayed in the village square of Fordenden:

Notice: Upcoming Village Cricket Match

Date: 3rd June
Time: 2:30 PM
Location: Fordenden Cricket Ground

We are excited to announce a thrilling cricket match between our local Fordenden team and a team of gentlemen from London. This match promises to be a significant event in our village, with plenty of excitement and competition. Come and support our players as they showcase their skills and sportsmanship. Refreshments will be available at the Three Horseshoes pub. Let’s make this a memorable day for everyone!

Fordenden Cricket Club Committee

2. It is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. Do you agree? Give your views on this in a paragraph.

Answer: Yes, I agree with the statement, “It is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” The true spirit of any sport lies in the way it is played, emphasizing fair play, respect, and teamwork over the final outcome. Winning or losing is a part of the game, but the manner in which the game is played reflects the character and values of the players. Good sportsmanship, respect for opponents, and integrity are essential qualities that make the game enjoyable and meaningful for everyone involved. This ethos fosters a positive environment and ensures that the game remains a source of joy and learning.


The game of cricket can be compared to the game of life. Discuss.

Answer: Cricket, like life, is a game filled with uncertainties, challenges, and opportunities for growth. Both require strategy, patience, and perseverance. In cricket, players must make quick decisions, adapt to changing circumstances, and work as a team to achieve their goals. Similarly, in life, individuals face unexpected situations, need to adjust their plans, and collaborate with others to succeed.

Just as in cricket, where a single moment can change the course of the game, life too can be altered by seemingly small decisions or events. Both involve periods of calm and intense activity, demanding a balance between action and reflection. The values of fair play, respect for others, and integrity are crucial in cricket and are equally important in life.

Ultimately, both cricket and life are about enjoying the journey, learning from experiences, and striving to improve oneself, regardless of the outcome. The true measure of success lies not in winning or losing, but in how one plays the game and lives their life.

Extra fill in the blanks

1. All round the cricket field, small parties of villagers were patiently waiting for the great match to ______. (End/Begin)

Answer: Begin

2. An ancient man leaned upon a ______, his sharpening-stone sticking out of a pocket in his velveteen waistcoat. (Scythe/Bat)

Answer: Scythe

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20. The score at this point was sixty-nine for six, last man ______. (Fifty-two/Forty)

Answer: Fifty-two

Extra true or False

1. Village folk are often impatient.

Answer: False

2. A magpie flapped lazily across the meadows.

Answer: True

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20. The captain instructed Mr Southcott to play his own game after an incident on the field.

Answer: True

Extra questions and answers

1. What were the villagers doing around the cricket field?

Answer: The villagers were patiently waiting for the great match to begin, as a match against gentlemen from London is an event in the village. Some of them had been waiting for a long time but were not impatient.

2. How is the patience of the village folk described?

Answer: Village folk are very seldom impatient. Those whose lives are occupied in combating the eccentricities of God regard as very small beer the eccentricities of man.

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27. Evaluate the portrayal of village life and the significance of the cricket match in the community.

Answer: The portrayal of village life in the story is rich with detail and affection, capturing the patience, simplicity, and community spirit of the villagers. The cricket match is depicted as a significant event, bringing together various members of the village, from the parson and the squire to the blacksmith and the rate-collector. The meticulous preparations, the interactions among the villagers, and the excitement surrounding the match reflect the importance of such events in fostering a sense of community and camaraderie. The cricket match serves as a microcosm of village life, showcasing the unique characters, their relationships, and the collective joy derived from a shared experience. The story highlights how a seemingly simple event can become a celebrated and cherished memory in the life of a village.

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