Cricket originated in England and is now played in many countries. It is a club game played between two teams of eleven players each. The game’s objective is to score more runs than the other team.
The game of cricket has a long and complex history. It is believed to have originated as a children’s game in the south-eastern counties of England in the 16th century. However, by the end of the 17th century, it had become a men’s game and was played by adults in villages and towns all over England.
The first definite reference to cricket being played as an adult sport is dated 1697 and comes from a court case concerning a dispute over land in Guildford, Surrey. The case involved a match that had been played on the common ground two years earlier and was won by one team after the other team had been forced to retire due to bad light.
Cricket quickly became famous as a gambling sport, with matches being staged between teams of players from different villages and towns. Professional players soon began to appear, and by the early 18th century, cricket was firmly established as a major sport in England.
The first reference to cricket in America dated from 1709 when it was mentioned in a report of a British Navy vessel anchored off Staten Island. In 1751, an English woman named Anne Austin visited America and wrote about playing cricket with some local boys.
The first recorded match in Australia occurred in Sydney in 1803, while the first in New Zealand was in Wellington in 1842. Cricket quickly became popular in both countries, with matches being played between teams from different regions.
Today, cricket is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, both as a spectator sport and a participation activity.
The development of cricket
Cricket is thought to have originated as a children’s game in the south-eastern counties of England sometime during the medieval period. Although there are claims for earlier origins, the first definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597 (Julian calendar; equating to 30 January 1598 in the modern Gregorian calendar). The case concerned ownership of a particular plot of land, and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness.
Given Derrick’s age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school, and so it is inevitable that cricket was being played. The view that it was initially a children’s game is supported by Randle Cotgrave’s 1611 English-French dictionary, in which he defined the noun “crosse” as “the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket” and the verb form “crosser” as “to play at cricket”. Controversially, there has also been speculation that cricket could have been derived from bowls since Norman times.
The spread of cricket
Cricket originated in the 16th century. By the end of the 17th century, it had become so popular that it was being played for high stakes between village teams. The earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a hanged murderer’s trial in Sussex in 1597. The game spread gradually to other parts of the country and was being played regularly in London by the middle of the 18th century.
The first ever cricket match was played in Kent in 1646. In 1709, an article in The London Gazette mentioned a game of cricket that had been played at Brasted, a village in Kent, on Easter Monday. Ten years later, another article described a match between teams from Chatham and Dartford. These two villages are now part of Greater London but were then separate communities.
The popularity of cricket
Although cricket was initially developed as a children’s game, it soon became popular among all classes of society. By the 18th century, cricket was established as a national sport in England.
The development of cricket was closely linked to the growth of the British Empire. As a result, cricket became popular in many parts of the world, especially in countries that were part of the British Empire. The first international cricket match was played between Canada and the United States in 1844.
Cricket continued to grow in popularity throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, it is among the most popular sports in many countries, including India, Pakistan, Australia, England, and South Africa.
The rules of cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the center of a square 22-yard (20-meter) pitch. Each group turns it to bat, attempting to score as many runs as possible while their opponent’s bowl and field, trying to reduce the number of runs scored. When each team has batted an equal number of times, the units are said to have completed an innings each. The winning team is the one that scores the most runs, including any extras gained (except when batting last), during their innings.
In cricket, extras are classified as runs that are not scored off the bat by the batsman himself or by his fellow batsmen running between wickets while the batsman is running towards the crease at the striker’s end pitch. By definition, extras also include any run scored due to overthrows by the fielding side. However, by convention, extras are not included when calculating a player or team’s batting or bowling average.
The equipment used in cricket
The leading equipment used in cricket is the bat, a wooden blade with a curved edge designed to hit the ball. The ball is made of cork wound with string and covered with leather. It is 5.5 inches (14 cm) in diameter and weighs between 4 and 5 ounces (113-142 grams).
The other cricket equipment includes protective gear for the players, such as helmets, pads, and gloves, fielding equipment, such as stumps (used as wickets), boundary markers, and catcher’s gloves.