One of the many things about cricket that amused the comic genius Groucho Marx was the fact that at some point in the day, the two teams battling intensely on the field abruptly broke for tea. There is something archaic about the tea interval in a cricket match - perhaps it is a concession to modernity that the limited-overs games do not have a tea interval stitched into the fabric. It is not as if the urge to have a cup of tea disappears once you wear coloured clothes.
Archaic maybe, but sacred too. The tea interval is as much a part of cricket as the toss before the start of the game and the appeal for leg before. Theoretically, you could do away with either, but then why would you? Interestingly, Test match cricket preceded the tea interval, which means that around 1881-82 when it was first tried out in Australia, it must have caused an uproar.
Few changes in cricket have arrived without an uproar, and although television pundits did not exist then, you can imagine the pro-tea and the anti-tea factions battling it out, throwing into the mix such elements as patriotism, the paying customer, the rhythm of the game and the absurdity of a 20-minute break about two-thirds of the way through a day's play.