A well-known tradition for Cricket began in the late 16th century. It grew worldwide in the 19th and 20th centuries, having arisen in southeast England. International matches have been played since 1844, and Test cricket has been conducted since 1877, which is acknowledged to be retroactive. Following football, Cricket is the second most common spectator sport in the world. Though the ICC has over one hundred member countries and territories, only twelve countries participate in Test cricket.
Cricket may have been developed during the Middle Ages in the Weald, an area of dense woodlands and open fields spanning Kent and Sussex in southeast England. The game of Cricket has long been viewed as an activity for children by society. It is also thought that this began to change beginning in the late 1600s when adults first used it. If bowls are the older sport, a batter could have batted a bowl to halt the ball’s progress and have Cricket evolve from that. An original implement (perhaps a stone, a small piece of wood, or a portion of wool) served as the ball; an ordinary stick or crook, gate, or stump as the bat; and a stool or a tree stump or other piece of farm equipment as the wicket.
Cricket emerged after the English Civil War and, at this point, had turned into an adult sport played by parish clubs. At this time, there are no records of any county power teams. This statement has no basis as well, and there is little proof that gaming was as prevalent in the 18th century as it is today. County cricket did not exist during this period. Still, it is thought that village cricket began developing in the mid-17th century but that investment in the game did not start until later.
Gambling brought the first patrons into being. It is thought that the “county teams” of the Restoration era were formed after that period, as the nobility was hiring “local experts” from village cricket to be the earliest professionals. It’s doubtful that the earliest games of the teams using county names would have taken place before 1709. Sussex likely played another county in 1697.
The earliest notable patrons included aristocrats and people in business involved from about 1725, and press coverage began to increase in frequency as a result.
Development of the Laws
The origin of the basic rules of Cricket like the bat and ball, the wicket, pitch dimensions, innings, etc., is unclear. The two dukes drew up an agreement for a set of rules to govern a specific game in 1728, and this became widely adopted because of the importance of gambling.
The Laws of Cricket were codified for the first time in 1744 and were amended in 1774, adding lbw, middle stump, and maximum bat width. It stated that the principals could appoint two umpires who could make final decisions in all disputes. The club that helped establish the Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord’s in 1787 was the “Star and Garter Club.” The MCC has become the keeper of the Laws and has subsequently amended and restated them.
Beginning of international Cricket
In 1844, the first-ever international cricket game was between the US and Canada. The match was played at the St. George’s Cricket Club Grounds in New York. The first-ever overseas tour of England was undertaken in 1859, and in 1862, the first team from England visited Australia. May to October 1868 was the first time an Australian cricket team had travelled overseas.
The 1877 English cricket team toured Australia and played two Test matches that are now considered the inaugural matches. This popularity ultimately set the stage for more English tours the following year. The 1882 Test match, which featured a nerve-wracking finish in The Oval, would prove to be the beginning of The Ashes rivalry. South Africa was the third Test nation in 1889.
The first cricket game was limited to four balls in each over. In 1889, the four balls per over-rule were replaced by a five-ball rule, later modified to the new six-ball law in 1900. Following that, several countries tried eight balls per over. Only in Australia was the number of balls per over changed from six to eight in 1922.
Modern Day Cricket
English county teams started playing one-innings, single-innings Cricket in the 1960s. From 1963 to 1969, only knockout Cricket was played in England, and during this period, the number of first-class games in the County Championship decreased. List A categorisation determines the status of limited-overs matches. Despite significant protest from “traditional” cricket fans, limited-overs Cricket had some advantages. The games took place in a single day, meaning they were accessible to younger or busier fans. They proved popular commercially, too.
A time-filler for an abandoned Test match in which all but the first two days were washed out, the first limited-overs international was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1971. It was done as an experiment to see if it would work and get the players in shape, but the program was wildly successful. One-day internationals (ODIs or LOIs) have increased popularity and become particularly popular with busy people who want to see a whole match. This led to the creation of the Cricket World Cup, with all of the Test-playing nations participating.