A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 15, 2016
“Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties”

"The glorious uncertainty of the law” was a toast made in 1756, after Lord Mansfield overruled some old legal decisions. Several sports and games have been noted for their “glorious uncertainties,” with the term usually applied to the game of cricket.

“This innings amounted to only 28, thus losing the match by 11; and fully proving the glorious uncertainty of cricket” was printed in Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle (London, UK) on June 21, 1835. “The Sheffielders then took the bat, appearing confident of success; but the ‘glorious uncertainty’ of this noble and manly game (cricket—ed.) was again made apparent” was printed in the Sheffield (UK) Independent on July 1, 1837. “Nothing could shew the ‘glorious uncertainty’ of ‘cricket’ as well as ‘law’ than the result of two Matches in the same week” was printed in The Sporting Magazine (London, UK) in August 1840.

“Cricket is an uncertain game”—without “glorious”—has been cited in print since at least 1848.


infoplease
Glorious Uncertainty of the Law
(The), 1756. The toast of Mr. Wilbraham at a dinner given to the judges and counsel in Serjeant’s Hall. This dinner was given soon after Lord Mansfield had overruled several ancient legal decisions and had introduced many innovations in the practice.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894

Wikipedia: Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players each on a field at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch. The game is played by 120 million players in many countries, making it the world’s second most popular sport after association football. Each team takes its turn to bat, attempting to score runs, while the other team fields. Each turn is known as an innings (used for both singular and plural).

21 June 1835, Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle (London, UK), “Marylebone and St, John’;s Wood,” pg. ?, col. 3:
This innings amounted to only 28, thus losing the match by 11; and fully proving the glorious uncertainty of cricket.

6 August 1836, Berkshire Chronicle (Reading, UK), pg. 3, col. 4;
Such is the “glorious uncertainty” in the game of cricket, that the Winchester beat the Harrow Boys easily, ...

25 June 1837, Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle (London, UK), “Cricketting: Marylebone Club, &c., Against Sussex,” pg. ?, col. 1:
The “glorious uncertainty” of cricket, however, was never more exemplified than in this contest.

1 July 1837, Sheffield (UK) Independent, “Sporting Intelligence: Cricket,” pg. 3, col. 6:
The Sheffielders then took the bat, appearing confident of success; but the “glorious uncertainty” of this noble and manly game was again made apparent,—the whole of the Sheffielders’ wickets being lowered for 36 runs.

Google Books
August 1840, The Sporting Magazine (London, UK), pg. 348:
Nothing could shew the “glorious uncertainty” of “cricket” as well as “law” than the result of two Matches in the same week.

Google Books
18 September 1847, The Anglo American, “Toronto and Hamilton Clubs,” pg. 525, col. 2:
Long as we have known the Toronto Club, and conversant as we have been for more years than we perhaps might care to own with the glorious uncertainties of Cricket, we hardly remember to have witnessed so much weak play as was shown by the TOronto Club in their first innings.

Google Books
Who was guilty?
By William James Lacey
London: SUnday School Union
1888
Pg. 66:
The “glorious uncertainties” of the game of cricket have long ago passed into a proverb; and they were newly illustrated this season in our hero’s experience.

Google Books
1894, Chatterbox, “British Athletic Games,” pg. 170, col. 2:
... aye, in every village green all over merry England’s breast, where on calm summer evenings man is pitted against man in the noblest, manliest game of all, and the best man wins, despite the old saying about the glorious uncertainties of cricket.

29 January 1896, New-York (NY) Daily Tribune, “The Great Chess Tourney,” pg. 6, col. 4:
Truly, chess is a game of glorious uncertainties!

Google Books
The Magic Wand
Volume 1
1911
Pg. 36:
Sportsmen declare the game of cricket as a glorious uncertainty, and magicians glory in the fact that conjuring has its glorious uncertainties.

Google Books
May 1926, Popular Science Monthly, pg. 20:
It’s a Game of Glorious Uncertainties
By GEORGE LEE DOWN, JR.
(Horse racing.—ed.)

26 August 1927, New York (NY) Times, pg. 16, col. 4:
THE GAME OF GLORIOUS UNCERTAINTIES.
(Golf.—ed.)

16 November 1929, The Nation & Athenaeum, “Auction Bridge” by Callaban, pg. 262, col. 2:
Cricket, like our Auction, is a game of “glorious uncertainty”; there is a certain leisureliness, a certain haphazardness, about its methods; innovators, especially those who seek to make it more strenuous or more scientific, are looked upon with scorn.

26 July 1933, New York (NY) Amsterdam News, “Cricket” by B. M. Clarke, pg. 8, col. 4:
Both Trinidad and United are playing pretty ball—even if they are engaging in too many drawn games—and cricket is a game of “glorious uncertainties.”

30 April 1936, The Palestine Post (Israel), “Cricket Takes the Arena on Saturday” by Stumper, pg. 11, col. 2:
As, however, most countries have a good array of young players in their nurseries, and as cricket is always a game of “glorious uncertainty” it is more than likely that the coming season may produce a surprise team.

4 March 1962, The Times of India (New Delhi), “Prasanna and Borde Shake Bowling Honours” by K. N. Prabhu, pg. 13, col. 2:
TRULY is cricket a game of glorious uncertainties.

17 December 1966, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), “Cricket,” pg. 3, ol. 4:
However, in this game of glorious uncertainties, Saracens, boasting three Colony caps, could check the Optimists’ progress.

Google Books
The Statesman (Pakistan)
Volume 22
1976
Pg. 76:
However, what they did not reckon with was the fact that cricket was a game of glorious uncertainties.

Google Groups: rec.sport.cricket
Cricket game of glorious uncertainties
vash...@my-deja.com
4/14/00
Cricket has gone from being a glorious game of uncertainties to “An inglorious game full of certainty”.

Twitter
VINCENT MARTIN
‏@martinv17
@CricketNDTV Why Our commentators still not have learnt that ‘Cricket is a game of Glorious Uncertainties’@bhogleharsha @VVSLaxman281
12:42 PM - 15 Mar 2016

The Economic Times
Is Cricket generally more ‘gloriously uncertain’ than other popular sports?
October 14, 2015, 5:39 AM IST
By: Joy Bhattacharjya
‘Glorious uncertainties of the game.” The original cricket cliché, the one which you can’t even blame on Ravi Shastri. The earliest use of the phrase in cricket writing that I could trace was an article by the great Neville Cardus on Don Bradman in 1930, and scores of other writers and commentators have appropriated the phrase, including an extremely irritating gentleman with a fake Aussie accent on All India Radio.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Tuesday, March 15, 2016 • Permalink