History of Cricket: The origins of cricket from Pre 1799 to the 21st Century
Cricket originates from England, and is now popular all over the world, notably in Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the West Indies, and the British Isles.
- Cricket is thought to have originated in the 13th century as a pastime in which village lads bowled at a tree stump or a hurdle gate into a sheep corral.
- This gate was made up of two uprights and a crossbar that rested on the slotted tops; the crossbar was known as a bail, and the complete structure was known as a wicket.
- Because the bail could be removed when the wicket was struck, it was preferred over the stump, which was eventually adapted to the hurdle uprights.
- Early manuscripts dispute on the size of the wicket, which gained a third stump in the 1770s, but the pitch the space between the wickets was 22 yards long by 1706.
- Experts agree that cricket was created during the Saxon or Norman periods by children living in the Weald, a region of thick forests and clearings in south-east England.
- Cricket was first mentioned as an adult activity in 1611, and a dictionary categorised it as a boys' pastime the same year.
- There is also the possibility that cricket evolved from bowls due to the intervention of a batter attempting to prevent the ball from reaching its goal by striking it away.
- By the middle of the 17th century, village cricket had evolved, and the first English "county teams" were created in the second half of the century, when "local specialists" from village cricket were hired as the first professionals.
- In 1709, the first documented game in which teams used county names was played.
Cricket Ball Weight Origin
Since the 17th century, the ball, which was apparently made of stone, has remained mostly unchanged. In 1774, the contemporary weight of 5.5 to 5.75 ounces (156 to 163 grammes) was established.
Cricket Bat Origin
The original bat was undoubtedly a shaped branch of a tree, similar to a modern hockey stick but more longer and heavier.
- The straight bat was developed to defend against length bowling, which had originated among cricketers in Hambledon, a tiny community in southern England.
- The bat's grip was reduced, and the blade was straightened and expanded, allowing for forward play, driving, and cutting.
- Batting dominated bowling during the 18th century due to the lack of effective bowling technique at the time.
When was the first cricket match played?
The first mention of an 11-a-side match, played in Sussex for a stake of 50 guineas, is from 1697.
- Kent played Surrey in the first documented intercounty match in Dartford in 1709, and it is likely that a set of laws (rules) for the game existed about this time, however the earliest known form of such regulations is dated 1744.
- According to sources, cricket was restricted to the southern counties of England in the early 18th century, but its popularity rose and finally moved to London, most notably to the Artillery Ground, Finsbury, which hosted a historic match between Kent and All-England in 1744. Heavy betting and rowdy spectators were usual at contests.
Women's Cricket Origin
Cricket became a major sport in London and the south-eastern counties of England in the first part of the 18th century.
Travel limitations hampered its expansion, but it was gradually gaining popularity in other regions of England, and Women's Cricket dates back to 1745, when the first known match was played in Surrey.
Cricket Laws Origin
The initial Laws of Cricket were published in 1744 and were later changed in 1774, when innovations such as LBW, a third stump, the middle stump, and a maximum bat width were added.
- The regulations were created by the "Star and Garter Club," whose members went on to build the illustrious Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord's in 1787.
- MCC was immediately appointed as the keeper of the Laws, and changes have been made ever since to the present day.
When did the cricket bowlers stop rolling the ball down the ground?
When bowlers began to pitch the ball after 1760, rolling the ball down the ground became obsolete, and the straight bat replaced the traditional "hockey-stick" kind of bat.
For approximately thirty years, until the founding of the MCC and the opening of Lord's Cricket Ground in 1787, the Hambledon Club in Hampshire was the focal centre of the game.
Origin of cricket in India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies
Colonists brought it to the West Indies, and British East India Company seafarers brought it to India.
It came in Australia nearly immediately after settlement began in 1788, and the sport spread to New Zealand and South Africa in the early nineteenth century.
Cricket in the 19th century
Napoleonic Wars and the game of Cricket
- The game overcame a lack of investment early in the nineteenth century as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, and recovery began in 1815.
- Sussex was the first English county club to be established in 1839, and the rest followed suit by the end of the nineteenth century.
- A travelling "All-England Eleven" was created in 1846 as a commercial operation that did much to popularise the game to places that had never seen top-class cricket before.
Role of the British Railways and Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the promotion of cricket
The expansion of the railway network aided the growth of cricket by allowing teams from large distances apart to play one another without the need for a time-consuming travel.
- Not only that, but viewers may travel longer distances to matches, boosting crowd size.
- British army forces across the world encouraged people to play, resulting in an increase in the number of teams throughout the former British Empire.
The way cricketers bowled changed in the 19th century
Until the early nineteenth century, all bowling was underhand, and the majority of bowlers preferred the high-tossed lob.
- Following that was "the round-arm revolution," in which many bowlers began to raise the point at which they delivered the ball.
- The MCC rewrote the legislation in 1835 to enable the hand to be lifted as high as the shoulder, which sparked a passionate debate.
- The new technique resulted in a significant improvement in bowling speed. Bowlers gradually lifted their hands higher and higher in defiance of the law.
When was overhand bowling in cricket allowed?
In 1862, an England team playing Surrey left the field at London's Kennington Oval in protest at a "no ball" call (i.e., an umpire's ruling that the bowler had bowled an improper pitch).
- The debate was over whether the bowler should be permitted to elevate his arm above his shoulder.
- As a result of this argument, the bowler was formally granted the right to bowl overhand in 1864. (but not to cock and straighten the arm).
- This modification significantly affected the game, making it much more difficult for a batter to assess the ball.
- A bowler could already take a running start from any direction and for any distance.
- When the bowler was allowed to release the ball overhand, the ball could reach speeds of more than 90 mph (145 km/hr).
- Though not as rapid as baseball pitching, cricket has an added twist in that the ball is normally pitched so that it bounces on the pitch (field) before the batsman can strike it.
- As a result, the ball may curve to the right or left, bounce low or high, or spin toward or away from the batter.
Cricket Batsman's Pad Origin
Batsmen learned to protect themselves with padding and batting gloves, and a cane handle made the bat more resilient.
- Only the finest hitters could cope with quick bowling, because the poor condition of most pitches made it even more difficult for a batsman to predict the movement of the ball.
- However, when the grounds improved, batters became acclimated to the new bowling technique and went on the attack.
- Other new bowling types were found, leading batters to fine-tune their technique even more.
When was Leg-before-wicket (LBW) introduced in Cricket?
In the early twentieth century, so many runs were scored that a controversy erupted over revising the "leg-before-wicket" ban, which was enacted in the 1774 statutes to forbid a batsman from using his body to prevent the ball from striking his wicket.
However, the high scores were attributable to the efforts of numerous exceptional batsmen, including W.G. Grace, Sir John Berry Hobbs, and K.S. Ranjitsinhji (later the maharaja of Nawanagar). This was the heyday of cricket.
Legalization of Overarm Bowling
Overarm bowling was legalised in 1864, and the year also saw the release of the first Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, which is still in print today.
W. G. Grace began his long and prominent career the same year, greatly increasing cricket's popularity.
When was the first cricket ODI played and where? Which two teams played this match?
The first international cricket match was played in 1844 between the United States and Canada at New York's St George's Cricket Club, and in 1859, a team of prominent English pros toured North America on the first-ever overseas tour.
The first English team visited Australia in 1862, and six years later, a team of Australian Aborigines visited England, making them the first Australian cricket team to travel abroad.
Development of Women's cricket in the 19th century
Women's cricket was important in the growth of the sport in the nineteenth century, with the first women's county match taking place in 1811.
Women's matches were frequently played in front of big crowds, notably in the south of England, and the first women's sides began playing the sport in Australia in the 1890s.
Cricket in the 20th Century
International Cricket Council (ICC) Origin
- Only England, Australia, and South Africa were members of the Imperial Cricket Conference (as it was originally known) when it was created in 1909.
- However, before the Second World War, the West Indies (1928), New Zealand (1930), and India (1932) all became Test countries, followed by Pakistan (1952).
- With the introduction of Test Cricket, the popularity of cricket in these countries skyrocketed, and domestic competitions gradually became more formalised, with the West Indies establishing an island-based First-Class competition, New Zealand retaining the Plunkett Shield, which dates back to 1906, India introducing the Ranji trophy in 1934, and Pakistan establishing the Quaid-e-Azam trophy in 1953.
Women's cricket in the 20th century
Women's cricket made its first big international strides at the beginning of the twentieth century, with England and Australia playing the first ever Test Match in 1934.
- The International Women's Cricket Council (now amalgamated with the ICC) was established in 1958 to further promote the women's game, and the first Cricket World Cup of any type was held in 1973.
- England hosted the Women's World Cup and went on to win the inaugural trophy, led by captain Rachel Heyhoe-Flint.
Limited-overs Cricket Origin
Following a wartime boom, sluggish play and fewer run totals typified the 1950s, and the defensive style of county cricket contributed to a gradual decline in attendance.
- In response, English county teams began playing a form of cricket in 1963, with games consisting of only one innings and a maximum number of overs each innings.
- As limited-overs cricket developed in popularity, a national league was formed in 1969, resulting in a drop in the number of matches in the County Championship.In England, the formal County Championship was established in 1890.
- The Currie Cup was established in South Africa in 1889-90, and the Sheffield Shield was established in Australia three years later.
- The era from 1890 until the commencement of World War I has come to be recognised as the "Golden Age of cricket," as it had many legendary players such as Grace, Wilfred Rhodes, C. B. Fry, Ranjitsinhji, and Victor Trumper.
Racism in Cricket and the South African Apartheid
South Africa was excluded from international cricket competition indefinitely due to apartheid in 1970, and as a result, deprived of top-level competition, the South African Cricket Board began supporting so-called "rebel tours," in which foreign players formed teams and toured South Africa.
- The rebel tours lasted throughout the 1980s, but with the end of apartheid in sight, South Africa was welcomed back into international sport in 1991.
- South Africa competed in the 1992 World Cup, followed by a'return' Test match against the West Indies in Barbados in April.
Origin of Limited-overs ODIs
The inaugural limited-over international match was played at Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1971 as a filler after a Test match was called off due to severe weather on the first two days.
- The International Cricket Conference (as it was known at the time) responded to this trend by hosting the inaugural Men's Cricket World Cup in England in 1975, which included all of the Test-playing nations at the time, with the West Indies triumphing in the final at Lord's.
Private Local Cricket Leagues Origin
Kerry Packer signed some of the world's greatest players to a privately managed cricket league outside the system of international cricket in 1977.
- World Series Cricket hired some of the banned South African players and gave them the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in an international setting against other world-class players.
- This only lasted two years, but the long-term effects of World Series Cricket include much greater player wages and novelties like coloured uniform and night games.
- Many of these ideas quickly made their way to international cricket.
Cricket World Cup Origin
Because the initial World Cup was such a success, it was agreed that it would become a permanent fixture on the calendar with future Cricket World Cups.
- World Cups were hosted in England in 1979 and 1983 before moving to India and Pakistan in 1987, which was the final event to be played with a red ball and white apparel.
- Floodlights, coloured apparel, and a white ball were used for the first time in 1992, ushering in a new era of World Cup Cricket.
Cricket Third-Umpire Origin
For the first time in a Test series between South Africa and India in 1992, a third umpire was used to evaluate run-out claims using television replays.
The third umpire's responsibilities have now grown to encompass judgements on other parts of play such as stumpings, catches, and boundaries.
When did Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh join international cricket?
With numerous ICC Associate and Affiliate Members being active in increasing domestic competitions and later on the international stage, the international game continues to flourish.
And three of those countries became Test nations in the last years of the twentieth century: Sri Lanka (1982), Zimbabwe (1992), and Bangladesh (2000).
Cricket in the 21st century
The twenty-first century has witnessed some of the most rapid developments in the history of the game, perhaps none more significant than the birth of a new format of the sport, the three-hour spectacle of Twenty20 cricket.
When was the first T20 cricket match played?
The introduction of Twenty20 cricket, which was first played in county cricket in England in 2003, has resulted in significant innovation in the game.
- To counter free-scoring batsmen with huge hits and strokes played in all directions, bowlers began to polish a wide range of various deliveries, while fielding quality has skyrocketed.
- The first Women's Twenty20 International was played in 2004, while the first Men's Twenty20 International was played the following year, with the format becoming the sport's third official format.
Indian Premier League (IPL) Origin
The win of India over Pakistan in the final of the first-ever ICC World Twenty20, played in Johannesburg in September 2007, had a worldwide TV audience of more than 400 million.
- This served as the impetus for the establishment of the Indian Premier League the following year.
- With the expansion of Twenty20 leagues throughout the world, contemporary cricketers in the twenty-first century are forced to play year-round.
Origin of Test and ODI Championship Table
In the new century, the ICC also introduced a "Test Championship Table" in 2001.
- A "One-day International Championship Table" was added the following year.
- These have grown into the official ICC Team Rankings across all three formats of the game, with the Test rankings bearing the ICC Test Championship Mace.
When did Kenya, Ireland, Afghanistan, and the Netherlands join international cricket?
The ICC also increased its development programme, with the goal of producing more national teams capable of compete across many forms.
- In 2004, the ICC Intercontinental Cup introduced first-class cricket to 12 nations, mostly for the first time, while the World Cricket League structure introduced competitive limited overs cricket to many new countries and some associate nations had memorable successes on the global stage, with Kenya, Ireland, Afghanistan, and the Netherlands all producing famous victories at ICC Global Events.
When was Afghanistan and Ireland given the full-member status in the ICC?
Afghanistan and Ireland were awarded Full-Member status in June 2017 for their continuous performances both on and off the field, which resulted in considerable development and expansion of cricket in their respective nations, bringing the total to 12.
Power-plays in Cricket Origin
On the field, there have also been developments, such as the introduction of Power-plays in Limited Overs cricket, which impact fielding constraints, the use of two new balls in One Day Internationals, and even dug-outs for entering batters in Twenty20 cricket.
The Adelaide Oval hosted the first-ever day-night Test Match between Australia and New Zealand, utilising a specially manufactured pink ball.
Use of high-tech technologies in modern-day cricket
There have also been many recent technological advancements in the game, such as ball tracking, flashing stumps and bails to ensure accurate run-out decisions, infrared cameras and edge detection technology to see whether the bat has hit the ball, and the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method to calculate targets and results in limited-overs matches in the event of inclement weather.
Origin of Decision Review System in Cricket
In a series between India and Sri Lanka in 2008, a novel referral system in which players were able to refer some on-field decisions to the third umpire made its international debut.
This has since grown into the official Decision Review System.
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