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A Brief history of Cricket

Cricket is one of the oldest games played by people in the world. The game of cricket is said to have been played from the 16th century and international cricket from 1844; however, the first official international test cricket was played in 1877.

The origin of cricket is said to be from England; it was a child’s game during Saxon and Norman times across Kent and Sussex. From the beginning of early 17th century, adults started adapting to cricket. It is assumed that the game is derived from the very old game Bowls in which the batsman tries to hit the ball away without reaching its target. With a matted lump of sheep wool or a stone as a ball, a stick or a crook as the bat and the gate or a tree stump as the wicket, cricket was played on the sheep-grazed land.

17th century cricket

In the middle of the 17th century, village cricket was established and adopted as one of the village games.After the civil war in 1648, during Oliver Cromwell’s regime, cricket was banned but the authorities lifted the ban as there was no breach of the Sabbath.

After restoration in 1660, cricket attracted gamblers making huge bets at the time. However, the Gaming Act 1664 was passed restricting the betting amount to £100. In 1696, freedom of press was granted and newspapers were allowed to write articles about cricket matches in detail.

18th century cricket

The first known use of county names for the teams were in 1709. It was during this period of time that cricket was introduced in various other countries where British colonies were established, including West Indies, India, and Australia. It was in the early 19th century that cricket entered New Zealand and South Africa.The law of cricket was codified for the first time in 1744 and amended in 1774. Members of “Star and Grater club” founded MCC at Lord’s in 1787. Around 1760, bowlers began to learn different variations in line, length and pace. Scorecards were maintained on a regular basis from 1772.

19th century cricket

International cricket started in 1844, the first match being between USA and Canada. National championship matches were also started during this period – county championship in England, Ranji trophy in India,etc.The period from 1890 until the outbreak of first world war was called the golden age of cricket. In 1889 four balls over was replaced by five balls over, and later converted into six balls over in 1900. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa adopted to eight ball overs. The six balls over has been used internationally and the latest law of cricket in 2000 permitted only six balls an over.

20th century cricket

In 1909, England, Australia and South Africa were test nations. Before the second world war, India, West Indies, New Zealand and Pakistan became test nations and were later joined by Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. South Africa was suspended from international cricket from 1970 to 1991 due to the South African policy of racial segregation.

Around the 1960s, limited-over matches were introduced and named one day cricket. From then, it grew very popular and the first cricket world cup was played in 1975 in England. In 1992, third umpire was introduced to judge run out appeals, stumping, boundaries, and catches.

21th century cricket

In 2001, test championship table was introduced and in 2002, one-day international championship table was introduced. Cricket’s new invention is the Twenty20, which has gained popularity tremendously. In 2007, ICC Twenty20 world cup tournament was held and in 2008, Indian premier leagues matches started.