Cricket's Early History

Cricket's Early History


English summers around the middle of the 16th century witnessed the emergence of the country's most popular sport.


Cricket first appeared during the Saxon era in the weald's wooded clearings in Southeast England. The first time the name "creckett" is used to describe the game is in a document from 1598.


The 17th century saw an increase in the popularity of cricket, which was especially loved on Sundays after church, as a leisure activity and break from the demanding workweek.


Wickets were typically only a few inches high and up to six feet broad. The size of the pitch, the tools used, and the judgments made during play were all inconsistent. Four ball overs were bowled underarm around the surface of the wicket using a bat that resembled a GAA hurling stick. Pitching the ball became a common delivery technique around 1760. Overarm deliveries did not become common until 1864, which was also the year the first Wisden Cricketers Almanac was published.


In England, betting was becoming more popular at the time, and soon the country's game would take center stage.


Around 1660, county cricket teams started to develop. The local aristocracy, nobles, and landowners of the Shire, who were now exhibiting interest in village green cricket, often encouraged the locals, some of whom may have gone on to become the first cricket pros. In English cricket, the difference between amateur and professional was not entirely eliminated until 1963.


The Stars and Garter club, subsequently known as the Marylebone Cricket Club, was responsible for creating the game's official rules in 1744.


The first interschool game was played in 1794 between Charterhouse and Westminster.


The inaugural Gentlemen v Players game was played at Lord's in 1806; it would eventually become the MCC home.


First Test played in England in 1880 resulted in a 5 wicket victory over Australia at the Oval; this was also the site of their defeat to Australia in 1882. In 1877, England played in Melbourne and lost their first Test Match against Australia by 45 runs.


The Ashes era began when a Sporting Times contributor wrote, "The England squad is in ashes."


A little ceramic urn with the remains of a bail is still hotly argued today.


The urn has a label attached to it with a six-line poetry on it. The fourth verse of the following song's lyrics was printed in Melbourne Punch on February 1 of that year:


Ivo will bring the urn back when he returns. The welkin will ring loudly when Studds, Steel, Read, and Tylecote return; the large crowd will feel happy to see Barlow and Bates carrying the urn; and the rest returning with the urn. A velvet bag fashioned by Mrs. Ann Fletcher, the daughter of Joseph Hines Clarke and Marion Wright, both of Dublin, was given to Bligh in February 1883, just prior to the contentious Fourth Test, to house the urn.


The MCC has continued to be in charge of maintaining the cricket laws, and Lords Cricket Museum continues to house the most renowned collection of cricket artifacts in the entire globe.


Cricket, which dates back to its early days, is today played in more than 100 nations worldwide.

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