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Buckle up your Australian seat belts, you’re going to have an unpleasant ride. Imagine that you and all the other former colonies were still part of a living and vibrant British Empire.
Now imagine that said Empire had a team for every sport and had competed internationally since 1945.
What would the sports world look like? How will he have changed? I know, it’s weird today.
(I will only count countries that were ruled entirely by the British, so French and American athletes do not count. I am, of course, against imperialism, and I am ashamed of my country’s past, that is for pleasure.)
Every World Cup. Yes, all of them.
Isn’t that surprising given that the British invented the sport? France is the only non-Empire country to have made the final, so all but two of the finals could not have happened, as they would have been Empire versus Empire.
In a current world ranking, the British Empire would be miles ahead at the start, France second and Argentina a distant third.
Here, quickly, is my starting Empire XV: J. Barrett, W. Jordan, R. Ioane, L. Am, M. Mapimpi, B. Barrett, F. De Klerk, T. Nyknane, C. Taylor, T. Furlong , M. Itoje, E. Etzebeth, R. Ioane, M. Hooper, A. Savea.
Two sports, two cases where the Empire wins all the World Cups, this time in ODI and T20. I don’t want to repeat myself, but how shocking is that? Cricket would be dominated by the Empire, all of the current top ten in the World Test Rankings would be part of an imaginary British Empire team.
My Empire XI: UT Khawaja, CA Pujara, B. Azam, JR Root, JM Bairstow, BA Stokes, RM Jadeja, DJ Mitchell, JJ Bumrah, MA Starc, TA Boult.
Two World Wars and a World Cup. Amazingly, this chant would remain the same in our alternate universe, without even another World Cup Finals to add. However, the Empire would have hosted one more World Cup, with South Africa in 2010.
Football didn’t quite seem to reach the colonies like rugby and cricket did, but rather spread to other parts of Europe and South America.
My Football Empire XI (maximum five English players to spice it up): M. Ryan, A. Robertson, W. Troost-Ekong, J. Stones, D. Rice, W. Ndidi, M. Mount, R. Sterling, H .Kane, M. Salah.
After football, we move on, once again, to a sport where a team from the British Empire would be, and would have been, completely dominant.
It’s exactly the same as their cross rivals, as every World Cup final would be won by the Empire, and the only other country to take a look at would be the French, who for the second time would eventually lose in two finals.
If you use the official rugby league world rankings, the Empire team would be first, Serbia second and France, to continue the pattern with our alternative rugby union world, would be third.
Of the 44 official men’s outdoor records listed on the World Athletics website, 21 are believed to be held by a member of the Empire, or just under half. The world records that stand out are those for the 100m and 200m, as well as the title of the fastest man over 400m, 800m, 1000m, 3000m, 5000m, 10000m, 21km (half marathon) and 42km (marathon) .
Team Empire would also have won the 2022 World Championships in Athletics, with medals pouring in from around the world to defeat the big boy of athletics, the United States.
In short, a team from the British Empire would be unfair. Unfair to those who would have to compete with it, and unfair to the repressive British regime. Don’t try Empire, kids.