Laws of cricket made available in isiXhosa

Cricket bat and ball (Getty Images)
Cricket bat and ball (Getty Images)

Cape Town - In a groundbreaking move, the laws of cricket have been published in isiXhosa, one of South Africa's 11 official languages.

It is the first time ever that the laws of the game have been published in an African language. 

The news was announced on the official ICC website on Tuesday.

Beresford Williams, Cricket South Africa (CSA) board member and President of the Western Province Cricket Association, was presented with a copy of the booklet last week at Newlands.

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport in the Western Cape, linguist and isiXhosa language specialist Xolisa Tshongolo, and cricket historian André Odendaal were among those who worked with CSA and the Marylebone Cricket Club for the translation.

Peter Bacela, a former selector and Xhosa commentator, too was consulted.

Now, when bowlers ask 'Kunjani!' of the umpires rather than 'Howzat!' they can know they have the Laws of Cricket in the same language to guide the umpire's decision.

The project aimed to take sporting codes to rural areas and previously disadvantaged communities, and bridge social gaps.

Prof Odendaal said the book, produced around 160 years after cricket was first played by Xhosa-speaking South Africans, came "a century too late", but was an act of recognition and redress, much more than a mere translation.

Prominent isiXhosa speakers to have played for South Africa in the past include Makhaya Ntini and Mfuneko Ngam.

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