Cricket is a very popular game these days. Currently there are 10 test playing members along with 32 ICC associate members and 59 ICC affiliate members showing the popularity of the game all over the world. Cricket has come a long way since its birth in 16th
century in England
and now is popular in most of the commonwealth countries. Colonial nature of the british empire helped cricket to spread all over the world.
The Origin of Cricket
The origins of cricket are obscure and there are several theories on how it started. One is that shepherds used to play it - one would stand in front of the wicket gate to the sheep fold, and another would bowl a stone or something at him, and he would have to hit it with his crook, which was known as a cricce.
Another theory states that cricket has its origin with some kind of bat and ball games played in the Punjab region of southern Asia
as early as the 8th century. It has been migrated to Europe via Persia
and through Constantinople
. There are 8th and 9th century accounts of bat and ball games being played in the Mediterranean region, sometimes as church sponsored events to promote community. The speculations that these activities are direct precursors of cricket then rely on the Normans
bringing them into England
during or after the 1066 conquest of the Saxons.
The first evidence of cricket being played was recorded in the year 1550, by the pupils of Royal Grammar School
, Guildford, Surrey
Derivation of the Name of "Cricket"
No one certainly knows about how the game got its name as cricket
. There are some words which are believed to be possible source of the term cricket.
In old French, the word criquet
meant a kind of club which probably gave its name to croquet
. Some believe that cricket
have a common origin. In Flemish, krick(e)
means a stick, and, in Old English, cricc
means a crutch or staff (though the hard "k" sound suggests the North or Northeast midlands, rather than the Southeast, where cricket seems to have begun).
Alternatively, the French criquet
apparently comes from the Flemish word krickstoel
, which is a long low stool on which one kneels in church which may appear similar to the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket, or the early stool in stoolball. The word stool
is old [Sussex] dialect for a tree stump in a forest, but in stoolball it may well refer to the milking-stools which are believed to have been used as wickets in early times.
Early Days of Cricket
At the end of the English Civil War in 1648, the new government clamped down on recreational cricket that was played on Sundays. Around the year 1784, a London
magistrate deemed cricket to be "respectable" even though there were still problems with wagering.
The first instance of a match to be played between counties in England
is recorded to be on 29th June in the year 1709. This match was played between Surrey and Kent
at Dartford Brent.
In the year 1787, the Marylebone Cricket Club, also known MCC, was born. In the same year, the MCC published a set of Laws of Cricket, which contained the first complete codification of the rules of the game and the dimensions of the pitch and equipment. Other cricket clubs across England
quickly adopted the MCC's Laws and cricket became standardized for the first time.
The late 18th century was a very crucial phase for the development of the game, both within and outside England
. The game was spread far and wide mainly due to England
’s imperialism. Wherever they went, the game went with them and thus spread outside England
. Cricket was introduced to North America via the English colonies in the 17th century, probably before it had even reached the north of England
. In the 18th century it arrived in other parts of the globe. It was introduced to the West Indies by the colonists and to India
by the British East India Company mariners in the first half of the century. It arrived in Australia
almost as soon as colonization began in 1788. New Zealand
and South Africa
followed them in the early years of the 19th century.
In the 1841, General Lord Hill, commander-in-chief of the British Army, issued an order stating that a cricket ground be made an adjunct of every military barracks. This has been a major step for globalization of cricket. The first official international match was held between Canada
and United States
in the year 1844. First over-seas tour came into sight when England
went to USA
In the 1870s, MCC decided to get involved in county cricket, which was growing in popularity, and, in 1877, it invited Middlesex to adopt “Lord's” as its county ground - an arrangement which continues over 125 years later. Official county cricket had its birth this time.
In 1877, an England
touring team in Australia
played two matches against full Australian XIs that are now regarded as the inaugural Test matches following by Australian team touring England
in 1882. The test series played at Oval in this tour is regarded as the start of the famous “The Ashes” Series. South Africa
had its test debut in 1889.
Twentieth and early Twenty-First Century
When the Imperial Cricket Conference (as it was originally called, now its name is changed to International Cricket Council) was founded in 1909, only England
and South Africa
were members. West Indies and New Zealand
came into the scenario with their first test match in 1928 and 1930 respectively. British India
played their first test match in 1932.
In 1932-33, the Bodyline tour of Australia took place in cricketing history in which England bowl at batsmen's bodies with a packed leg-side field to neutralize Bradman's scoring. In 1952, Pakistan
saw its first test match.
Cricket started to get new dimensions with the introduction of the Gillette Cup, the first major one-day tournament in England
during 1963. In 1971, Australia
played the first ever one-day game at Melbourne
. With the growing popularity of one-day games, ICC decided to start an ODI competition involving all the test playing nations and cricket world witnessed the birth of the world cup championship in 1975. No wonder that this tournament became the most popular event of cricket within a very short time.
In 1970, South Africa
was banned from world cricket for racism issues in their internal politics. Sri Lanka
was awarded with test status in 1982 for their continuous good performance in ODI cricket. In 1991, South Africa
returned to world cricket again. Zimbabwe
became the ninth test member in 1992.
And finally in 2000, Bangladesh became the 10th test member in world cricket.
This became one of the biggest events in the history of the nation. A cricket crazy nation finally got its place in the elite family of the cricketing world.
Dates in Cricket History
1550 (approx) Evidence of cricket being played in Guildford, Surrey
1598 Cricket mentioned in Florio's Italian-English dictionary.
1611 Randle Cotgrave's French-English dictionary translates the French word "crosse" as a cricket staff.
Two youths fined for playing cricket at Sidlesham, Sussex
1624 Jasper Vinall becomes first man known to be killed playing cricket: hit by a bat while trying to catch the ball - at Horsted Green, Sussex
1676 First reference to cricket being played abroad, by British residents in Aleppo, Syria
1697 First reference to "a great match" with 11 players a side for fifty guineas, in Sussex
1709 First recorded inter-county match: Kent v Surrey.
1710 First reference to cricket at Cambridge University
1727 Articles of Agreement written governing the conduct of matches between the teams of the Duke of Richmond and Mr Brodrick of Peperharow, Surrey
1729 Date of earliest surviving bat, belonging to John Chitty, now in the pavilion at The Oval.
1730 First recorded match at the Artillery Ground, off City Road
, central London
, still the cricketing home of the Honourable Artillery Company.
beat All England by one wicket at the Artillery Ground.
First known version of the Laws of Cricket, issued by the London Club, formalising the pitch as 22 yards long.
1767 (approx) Foundation of the Hambledon Club in Hampshire, the leading club in England
for the next 30 years.
1769 First recorded century, by John Minshull for Duke of Dorset's XI v Wrotham.
1771 Width of bat limited to 4 1/4 inches, where it has remained ever since.
1774 LBW law devised
1776 Earliest known scorecards, at the Vine Club, Sevenoaks, Kent
1780 The first six-seamed cricket ball, manufactured by Dukes of Penshurst, Kent
1788 Formation of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) by members of the White Conduit Club.
First revision of the Laws of Cricket by MCC.
1794 First recorded inter-schools match: Charterhouse v Westminster
1795 First recorded case of a dismissal "leg before wicket".
1806 First Gentlemen v Players match at Lord's.
1807 First mention of "straight-armed" (i.e. round-arm) bowling: by John Willes of Kent
1811 First recorded women's county match: Surrey v Hampshire at Ball's Pond, London
1814 Lord's third ground opened on its present site, also in St John's
1827 First Oxford
match, at Lord's. A draw.
1828 MCC authorize the bowler to raise his hand level with the elbow.
1833 John Nyren publishes his classic Young Cricketer's Tutor and The Cricketers of My Time
1836 First North v South match, for many years regarded as the principal fixture of the season.
1836 (approx) Batting pads invented.
1841 General Lord Hill, commander-in-chief of the British Army, orders that a cricket ground be made an adjunct of every military barracks.
1844 First official international match: Canada
v United States
1845 First match played at The Oval.
1846 The All-England XI, organized by William Clarke, begins playing matches, often against odds, throughout the country.
1849 First Yorkshire v Lancashire
1850 Wicket-keeping gloves first used.
1850 John Wisden bowls all ten batsmen in an innings for North v South.
1853 First mention of a champion county: Nottinghamshire.
1858 First recorded instance of a hat being awarded to a bowler taking three wickets with consecutive balls.
1859 First touring team to leave England, captained by George Parr, draws enthusiastic crowds in the US and Canada.
1864 Overhand bowling authorised by MCC.
John Wisden's The Cricketer's Almanack first published.
1868 Team of Australian aborigines tour England
1873 First regulations restricting county qualifications, often regarded as the official start of the County Championship.
WG Grace becomes the first player to record 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a season.
1877 First Test match: Australia beat England by 45 runs in Melbourne.
1880 First Test in England
: a five-wicket win against Australia
at The Oval.
1882 Following England
's first defeat by Australia
, an "obituary notice" to English cricket in the Sporting Times leads to the tradition of The Ashes.
1889 South Africa's first Test match.
Declarations first authorised, but only on the third day, or in a one-day match.
1890 County Championship officially constituted.
Present Lord's pavilion opened.
1895 WG Grace scores 1,000 runs in May, and reaches his 100th hundred.
1899 AEJ Collins scores 628 not out in a junior house match at Clifton College
, the highest individual score in any match.
Selectors choose England
team for home Tests, instead of host club issuing invitations.
1900 Six-ball over becomes the norm, instead of five.
1909 Imperial Cricket Conference (ICC - now the International Cricket Council) set up, with England, Australia and South Africa the original members.
1910 Six runs given for any hit over the boundary, instead of only for a hit out of the ground.
1912 First and only triangular Test series played in England, involving England, Australia and South Africa.
1915 WG Grace dies, aged 67.
score 1,107 v New South Wales
, the record total for a first-class innings.
1928 First Test match for West Indies.
AP "Tich" Freeman of Kent and England
becomes the only player to take more than 300 first-class wickets in a season: 304.
1930 New Zealand's first Test match.
Donald Bradman's first tour of England
: he scores 974 runs in the five Ashes Tests, still a record for any Test series.
1931 Stumps made higher (28 inches not 27) and wider (nine inches not eight - this was optional until 1947).
1932 India's first Test match.
Hedley Verity of Yorkshire
takes ten wickets for ten runs v Nottinghamshire, the best innings analysis in first-class cricket.
1932-33 The Bodyline tour of Australia in which England bowl at batsmen's bodies with a packed leg-side field to neutralise Bradman's scoring.
1934 Jack Hobbs retires, with 197 centuries and 61,237 runs, both records. First women's Test: Australia
1935 MCC condemn and outlaw Bodyline.
1947 Denis Compton of Middlesex and England
scores a record 3,816 runs in an English season.
1948 First five-day Tests in England.
Bradman concludes Test career with a second-ball duck at The Oval and a batting average of 99.94 - four runs short of 100.
1952 Pakistan's first Test match.
regain the Ashes after a 19-year gap, the longest ever.
1956 Jim Laker of England
takes 19 wickets for 90 v Australia
, the best match analysis in first-class cricket.
1957 Declarations authorised at any time.
1960 The first major one-day tournament begins in England: the Gillette Cup.
First tied Test
v West Indies at Brisbane
1969 Limited-over Sunday league inaugurated for first-class counties.
1970 Proposed South African tour of England cancelled: South Africa excluded
from international cricket because of their government's apartheid policies.
1971 First one-day international: Australia
1975 First World Cup: West Indies beat Australia in final at Lord's.
1978 Graham Yallop of Australia wears a protective helmet to bat in a Test match, the first player to do so.
1980 Eight-ball over abolished in Australia
, making the six-ball over universal.
1982 Sri Lanka's first Test match.
1991 South Africa return, with a one-day international in India.
1992 Zimbabwe's first Test match.
becomes the first county since Glamorgan in 1921 to attain first-class status.
1993 The ICC ceases to be administered by MCC, becoming an independent organization with its own chief executive.
1994 Brian Lara of Warwickshire becomes the only player to pass 500 in a first-class innings: 501 not out v Durham
2000 Bangladesh's first Test match.
's captain Hansie Cronje banned from cricket for life after admitting receiving bribes from bookmakers in match-fixing scandal.
split into two divisions, with promotion and relegation.
The Laws of Cricket revised and rewritten.
2001 Sir Donald Bradman dies, aged 92.
2003 Twenty20 Cup, a 20-over-per-side evening tournament, inaugurated in England
2004 Lara becomes the first man to score 400 in a Test innings, against England.
2005 The ICC introduces Powerplays and Supersubs in ODIs, and hosts the inaugural Superseries.
forfeit a Test at The Oval after being accused of ball tampering.
made significant progress in world cup 2007 progressing to 2nd
round and making few upsets.