The History of Cricket – Cricket is not only a game, a word, or an emotion, but is a religion for millions of fans like you and me, in hundreds of the nations worldwide.
I suppose, you all know about cricket and how it is played, but do you really know about the history of cricket?
the era when it gets started?
the people who took bat and ball for the first time in hand?
No? Don’t Worry.
In this article, I’ll not only let you know about the evergreen and unknown history of cricket but will also discuss several interesting cricket facts you are probably unaware of.
Let’s get started.
Introduction to the History of Cricket
“Cricket is a Team Game Where Individuals Inspire Each Other to Achieve Performances Which Surpass What Might Otherwise Be Beyond Them.”– Richard Lloyd
The invention of Cricket is something we all adore, don’t we? Though we all are cricket fans but still the history of cricket is something which most of the cricket fans still don’t know about.
The history of cricket consists of one of the most fascinating and engaging inventions ever. This wonderful game has been originated in south-east England, which later on became the country’s national game by the mid-18th century.
Besides the beauty of cricket’s history, there are several other aspects and facts about cricket that makes this game an obsession for many. All these aspects are briefly discussed in the upcoming sections of the article.
Origin of Cricket
The origin of cricket took place in the 16th century during the Dark Ages – somewhere in Northern Europe.
According to several historical pieces of literature, cricket was most probably created by the children living in the Weald – an area that lies across Sussex and Kent in south-east England.
There are many suppositions about the game’s origin, just like it was created in France.
It is believed by some that cricket initially was a sport played by children before it moved on to adults, somewhere around the beginning of the 17th century.
“You Don’t Win or Lose the Games Because of 11 You Select,– Rahul Dravid
You Win or Lose With What Those 11 Do On The Field.”
Most of you might already know about cricket very well, but there are still several people in the world who are new to this sport and thus want to know more and more about cricket.
Cricket is a game played by two teams of eleven players, each one of who score runs (points), using the common tools known as bat and ball.
One player from the opposing team throws the ball to the person batting over the other side from another team, in this way the ball has to be hit by the batsman to score points or runs.
Cricket is the second most loved sport after soccer. It is played across the globe and is equally loved by everyone.
If you are new to this game and want to learn to play it, then read this guide to learn how to play cricket.
Deriving the Name – Cricket
Do you really know how cricket got its name?
Cricket in the earliest definite reference was spelt “creckett”. It was derived from different words of multiple languages such as Krick (Dutch Word), Cryce (Old English Word), and Criquet (French Word).
According to a European language expert Heiner Gillmeister, the name ‘cricket’ was actually derived from a Middle Dutch phrase, met de (krik ket) sen, which means “with the stick chase”.
Development of Cricket Rules and Regulations
“Cricket is a Game Full of Hopes and Sudden Dramatic Changes of Fortune. Its Rules are So ill-defined that their Interpretation is Partly an Ethical Business.”– George Orwell
Cricket, like any other sport, also comprises of some of the basic rules. The establishment of these cricket rules took place probably during the 17th century.
During the early period of cricket, the game was played with no proper rules and laws. The bowler used to roll the ball towards the batsman and the batter, sitting on a chair, used to sweep it along the ground.
However, in 1774 the cricket rules were codified and amended, after which it became common to pitch the ball through the air rather than rolling it on the ground.
Thus, the development of cricket rules and regulations was one of the best inventions in the history of cricket.
Growth of Cricket in England
The game of cricket continued to grow its roots throughout the country of origin (England).
The first famous clubs in England during the early 18th century were in London and Dartford. But among all, the most famous club was Hambledon in the Hemisphere.
Hambledon was founded in 1760 and remained as cricket’s focal point in England for about thirty years. It produced many outstanding cricketers including one of the greatest fast bowlers Thomas Brett and an amazing top-order batsman John Small.
Soon the growth of cricket in England took up the pace and several prominent cricket clubs were started such as; Hornchurch, Bromley, Maidenhead, Sevenoaks, Chertsey, Hadlow, etc.
Crisis Over the Cricket
“Only a Crisis, Actual or Perceived, Produces Real Change.”– Milton Friedman
This guide on the history of cricket is incomplete without discussing the major cricket crisis.
Apart from spreading its root, cricket has also faced many crises over the years. The first-ever crises cricket faced was in the early 18th century, when the matches came to a standstill during the Seven Years’ War.
The major reason behind the crisis was largely due to the shortage of players and lack of investment. But the game survived and began to rise again in the mid-1760s during the Hambledon Era.
However, this was not the only crisis that the game of gentlemen had to face.
Another major crisis took over cricket in the 19th century during the period of the Napoleonic Wars. The reason for this crisis was similar to the one in the 18th century, i.e. the shortage of players and lack of investment.
Beginning of International Cricket
In the early 18th-century, cricket arrived in other parts of the world.
Cricket reached Australia in 1788, whereas It was introduced to West Indies by Colonies and in India by the Britsh East India Company.
It is one of the least known facts in the history of cricket that the first international cricket match was played between USA and Canada at the grounds of the St. George’s Cricket Club, New York, in 1844.
The first-ever overseas tour took place in 1862 when the English team toured Australia for their first overseas international cricket series.
Later on, in the year 1882, the Australian team toured England where the victory of the Australian team in the Oval Test gave born to The Ashes.
History of Indian Cricket
Even though the national game of India is Hockey, the people here cherish and are fond of “Cricket”.
Are you one of them? Well, I am.
The history of cricket in India is something that hundreds of cricket lovers want to know.
Cricket was introduced in India by the British East India Company in the 18th century.
The first-ever cricket match in India was played in 1721 by the Britishers. While the first Indian cricket club was formed in Calcutta (Kolkata) in the year 1792. However, the first organized cricket club in India was established in 1848, named as “Oriental Cricket Club”.
Though India started playing cricket in 1721 unofficially, the Indian cricket team was granted test status in the year 1932.
The day of 25th June 1932 is registered as a Golden Day in the history of Indian Cricket. India played its first test match against England at Lord’s on that day. CK Naidu was the first Indian captain who led the Indian cricket team for several years.
The Indian cricket team is considered one of the weakest teams in the history of cricket until the 1950s. After which the rise of Indian cricket took place and the rest is history.
Currently, the team is lead by Virat Kohli, who is one of the most successful batsmen and captains in the history of Indian cricket.
20th Century Cricket
The Imperial Cricket Conference (now known as International Cricket Council) was founded in 1909. During that time, only England, South Africa, and Australia were members of the ICC.
Later on, West Indies (1928), New Zealand (1930), India (1932), and Pakistan (1952) became test nations and joined ICC.
The growth of cricket in the 20th century was rapid and thus the charm of cricket spread all around the world in no time.
Modern Day Cricket
Cricket in the modern world has been drastically changed from what it used to be in the last century.
ICC has made several changes in the rules and regulations of the game. Today, cricket has become highly popular in several nations of the world.
Several small countries like Afghanistan, Nepal, etc. also participates in the big tournaments like the World Cup and Champions Trophy.
Another major update that is related to cricket in the modern world is the introduction of fantasy leagues and games.
People of this 21st century search for today’s match prediction and then participate in fantasy cricket leagues to earn money. This is something which nobody would have thought in the history of cricket.
Important Dates in the History of Cricket
Here are some of the important dates in cricket history, which depicts the evolution of cricket from the 16th century to the present world.
- 1551 – Origin of cricket in South-East England.
- 1598 – The word cricket got indexed in the Italian-English dictionary of Florio.
- 1624 – A man named Jasper Vinall died at Horsted Green, Sussex while playing cricket.
- 1677 – British residents played cricket abroad for the first time in Aleppo, Syria.
- 1697 – The first match played in the history of cricket with 11 players on each side, in Sussex.
- 1709 – The first inter-county match was played between Surrey and Kent.
- 1721 – The first-ever cricket match in India was played.
- 1767 – Hambledon Club, one of the leading cricket clubs in England, was founded in Hampshire.
- 1774 – Cricket rules were codified and amended.
- 1788 – MCC revised the Laws of Cricket for the first time.
- 1807 – Introduction of round-arm bowling by John Willes.
- 1827 – The first match played at Lord’s in the history of cricket between Cambridge and Oxford.
- 1837 – Batting pads were invented for the protection of batsmen’s legs.
- 1844 – The first official international cricket match was played between Canada and the United States.
- 1877 – The first Test match was played between England and Australia at Lords.
- 1900 – Number of balls in an over increased from 5 to 6.
- 1932 – India played its first official Test match.
- 1952 – The first-ever Test match between India vs Pakistan was played.
- 1960 – First-ever match tied in tests, Australia vs West Indies at Brisbane.
- 1975 – The first ODI World Cup was played in England, which was won by West Indies.
- 1983 – India won its first ODI World Cup under the captaincy of Kapil Dev.
- 2001 – The legendary cricketer, Sir Don Bradman died at the age of 92.
- 2003 – A new format of the game introduced in England, i.e. Twenty20.
- 2004 – Brian Lara scored 400 runs in a Test innings against England.
- 2006 – First case of ball-tampering filed against Pakistan.
- 2007 – The first-ever T20 World Cup was played in South Africa, which India won.
- 2011 – India won the ICC World Cup after 28 years, under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.
- 2014 – Virat Kohli became the captain of the Indian Cricket Team.
- 2017 – Pakistan won ICC Champions Trophy in England.
- 2019 – England won its first-ever ODI World Cup by defeating New Zealand in the finals at Lords.
Cricket was one of the most beautiful and successful inventions in history. Cricket that we play and watch today is entirely different from what it used to be in the previous century.
The history of cricket is completely packed with the evolution of the game that the world has seen.
From being played by the kids of a small village to becoming one of the most loved sports in the world, Cricket has come a long way.
Through this article on the history of cricket, I tried to share maximum useful information with you about cricket and its history, which will leave you in amazement.
If there’s something you know or want me to add in this post, feel free to comment below. All your queries are heartily welcome by the Crickclassics.
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I love history and your blog is great.
Thank you Mary…