By Dan Walsh
“Wexford played cricket long before cricket was invented in England, that’s the view of Wexford sports historian James Caulfield and the fruits of his research will be screened in Cricket’s Irish Roots on RTE 1 on Monday night at 7.30pm.
The game we played was catted ‘cattie’ which comes from caith, the Irish word for ‘to bowl or throw’,” says James who is executive producer of this 29-minute documentary which was filmed at Slaney Manor near Barntown.
“I have done a study on it and the shillelagh was central to the games of hurling and cattie because everyone made their own shillelaghs,” said James, who added; “The language of cricket is part of our own Irish language and this came about because of the British recruiting in Ireland for hundreds of years. Soldiers had to make up their own games in those times.”
Historians in England invariably say that the origins of the game are obscure. They do not dispute James Caulfield’s version of events and admit the origins of cricket are difficult to pin down.
This is a documentary well worth watching.