July 4, 2014 / 1:03 PM / 4 years ago

Rounders in, cricket out at Bank of England

LONDON (Reuters) - Cricket has lost its central billing at the Bank of England’s annual sports day as former governor Mervyn King’s favourite sport makes way for rounders, a game similar to softball.

At the sports day for staff and their families, King - a cricket fanatic - used to captain a side which often included ex-professional cricketers against a team made up of BoE employees.

But under Mark Carney - a Canadian who played ice hockey at university - the central bank will not continue the tradition at this year’s sports day on Sunday.

“The arrangements for the day were in the hands of staff,” a BoE spokesman said on Friday. “They chose a number of sports such as rounders, football and a tug of war.”

The Bank was at pains to emphasise the decision to jettison cricket - a sport whose arcane rules are a mystery to much of the world - had been made by its employees not by Carney himself.

More staff would be able to take part in rounders games compared to the cricket match, which for most bank staff was a spectator event, the spokesman said.

Rounders is rarely played outside Britain and Ireland, but casual games are common at British parks and beaches in summer, where mixed-sex teams swing a bat less than half the length of one used to play baseball.

Records of games similar to rounders being played in England date back to the 16th century.

Carney this week marked his first anniversary at the helm of the central bank.

Reporting by David Milliken

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