Cricket is believed to have been invented in South England. Some researchers claim that the game was played from as early as the 13th century. In the early days, cricket was played by children in the countryside. A stone was used in the place of a ball, and the players used a simple bat shaped from a branch. A tree stump or a wooden stool acted as the wicket. As time passed the game developed and the tools used during matches evolved as well. The game’s popularity grew throughout England and later spread to other parts of the world.
Origin Of Cricket
The earliest form of a cricket game is said to have been a children's game in parts of England. The game may have derived its name from an old English word ‘cryce’ which meant a crutch or rod. It could also have borrowed the Dutch term – krick(-e) which means a stick. Other researchers suspect the name could have been derived from a French word ‘criquet’ which translates to ‘wooden post.’ English, Dutch, and French were the popular languages spoken in Southern England in the 15th century.
History Of Cricket
The game of cricket evolved from a simple game whereby a player bowled a ball at a tree stump or wicket gate, and another player stopped the ball with a simple bat. A variety of similar games were played in England between the 13th century and 16th century. The earliest bats used in matches were like hockey sticks, which were long and heavy. The ball was bowled along the ground in the early stages of the game, unlike today where it is tossed in the air. The earliest cricket match ever recorded took place at Kent in 1646. The basic rules of the game were modified and recorded in 1744. The game of cricket grew in popularity in many parts of England in the 17th and 18th centuries. Major cricket clubs were formed in London, Dartford, Slindon, Hadlow, and Bromley. Cricket advanced in the 19th century with the mode of playing being modified several times. It also reached other countries such as the United States, Australia, and South Africa.
International Cricket Matches
The first international cricket game was played in 1844 in New York. The players were teams from the US and Canada. Afterward, different nations developed their cricket by having local competitions between counties. Countries that held national cricket competitions in the late 19th century include England, South Africa, India, New Zealand, and Australia. The Imperial Cricket Conference – cricket’s first international organization, was created in 1909. Its members were; England, Australia, and South Africa. The cricket body was re-branded to International Cricket Conference in 1965 and currently goes by the name; International Cricket Council. The Cricket organization has twelve member states and many more associate members.
The International Cricket Council has heavily invested in popularizing cricket around the world. The organization has development programs aimed at growing national teams in Africa, Asia, and the United States. Cricket’s latest innovation is the twenty20 Cricket tournament. The new game is so popular among cricket fans. England and India are among the leading nations in the world of Cricket matches.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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