History of Cricket

History of Cricket
History of Cricket
History of Cricket: England’s summer sport, is played worldwide, especially in Australia, India, Pakistan, West Indies, and British Isles

History of Cricket: Cricket, England’s summer sport, is played worldwide, especially in Australia, India, Pakistan, the West Indies, and the British Isles.

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Two 11-player teams play cricket with bats and balls. The oval field has a 22-yard (20.12-metre) by 10-foot (3.04-meter) pitch in the middle. Each end of the pitch has two wickets or three sticks. Bails cover each wicket. Each “inning” involves batting and bowling (always plural). Depending on the match length, teams have one or two innings to score the most runs. Straight-arm bowlers strive to break the wicket to drop the bails. Batsmen can be rejected in numerous ways. After completing an “over,” a bowler bowls six balls to the opposing wicket. The batting team defends.


Cricket was first mentioned as an adult sport in 1611, and a dictionary defined it as a boys’ game in the same year. The game of cricket may have evolved from bowls by a batsman hitting the ball away to prevent it from reaching its target.


Cricket is thought to have started in the 13th century when boys from the countryside would throw a ball at a tree stump or the hurdle gate into a sheep pen. This gate had two uprights with slots on top, and a crossbar that rested on the slots. The crossbar was called a bail, and the whole gate was called a wicket. This was better than the stump because the bail could fall off when the wicket was hit. Later, the stump name was given to the uprights of a hurdle. Early manuscripts disagree about the size of the wicket, which got a third stump in the 1770s, but by 1706, the pitch, which is the area between the wickets, was 22 yards long.

Since the 1600s, not much has changed about the ball, which was probably once a stone. In 1774, it was decided that its modern weight is between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces (156 and 163 grams).

The early years:

Sussex held a 50-guinea 11-a-side match in 1697. Kent and Surrey played the first recorded intercounty match in Dartford in 1709, and it is possible that a game code of laws existed at this time, but the earliest known version is from 1744. In 1744, Kent and All-England played at the Artillery Ground, Finsbury, in London, where cricket was limited to the southern counties. Fans and bettors were raucous. Before the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London, the Hampshire-based Hambledon Club dominated cricket. A cricket club from White Conduit Fields moved to Lord’s Cricket Ground in St. Marylebone borough in 1787 and became the MCC, issuing its first updated statutes in 1788. Lord’s has three locations. In 1814, Lord’s became world cricket’s headquarters.

Cricket spread with the first North-South match in 1836. The All-England XI, founded by William Clarke of Nottingham, began touring the country in 1846, and from 1852, when some of the leading professionals (including John Wisden, who later wrote the first Wisden almanac on cricketing) seceded to form the United All-England XI, these two teams monopolized the best cricket talent until the rise of county cricket. They supplied the players for the first English touring squad overseas in 1859.

Technical development:

Before the 19th century, bowlers favored the high-tossed lob. “The round-arm revolution” raised bowlers’ ball release point. The MCC legalized shoulder-raising in 1835. Bowling speed increased. Bowlers eventually broke the law. In 1862, England left Kennington Oval after a “no ball” call. The bowler’s arm-over-shoulder ability was the issue. This allowed overhand bowling in 1864. (without cocking and straightening the arm).

Batsmen found it harder to judge the ball. Before, bowlers could run from anywhere. Overhand, the bowler could hit 90 mph (145 km/hr). Cricket balls often bounce before the hitter can hit them. The ball may curve right or left, bounce low or high, or spin toward or away from the hitter. The 20th century aided bowlers and sped up the game. By the mid-20th century, both teams played defense, slowing the game. One-day cricket was created to increase attendance. After a Test match was rained off, a limited-overs match was played on the last day to give fans a game. One-day cricket emerged.

This cricket is faster and different since each side gets 50 overs. One-day cricket restricts fielders. This led to paddle stroke and lofted shot batting strategies (where the batsman tries to hit the ball past the fielders and over their heads). Twenty20 cricket, with 20 overs per side, debuted in 2003 and became a global hit. After the 2007 Twenty20 world cup, one-day cricket—especially Twenty20—surpassed Test cricket worldwide. Late-20th-century bowling methods accelerated Test matches.

Organization of sports and types of competition

County and university cricket:

The first organized cricket matches were amateur-professional. The Gentlemen-versus-Players competition pitted amateurs against pros from 1806 through 1962. The MCC and counties abolished amateurism in 1962, ending the series. British universities played other early cricket contests. Since 1827, Lord’s has hosted London’s summer highlight, the Oxford-Cambridge match.

County cricket—matches between England’s counties—grew from university cricket. The newspapers declared Sussex a “champion county” in 1827, although county cricket qualification standards were not established until 1873, and the county championship format was ratified by the counties in 1890. W.G. Grace and his brothers E.M. and G.F. ruled Gloucestershire in the 1870s. Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Kent, and Middlesex ruled county cricket from the 1880s through World War I. Yorkshire and Lancashire, mostly professional teams, led after World War I. Surrey ruled the 1950s with seven consecutive championships, Yorkshire in the 1960s, and Kent and Middlesex in the 1970s. Middlesex ruled the 1980s. Leicestershire, Somerset, Hampshire, Durham, Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Sussex, Northamptonshire, and Glamorgan play first-class cricket.

After a postwar boom, slow play and fewer runs defined the 1950s, and county cricket’s defensive approach lowered attendance. In the 1960s, the MCC and counties introduced a one-day knockout competition—the Gillette Cup (1963–1980), the NatWest Bank Trophy (1981–2000), the C&G Trophy (2000–06), and the Friends Provident Trophy (2006–09)—and a Sunday afternoon league (the two competitions were merged in 2010 as the Clydesdale Bank 40), which revived public interest, but most counties remained financially dependent on football pools and Tesco. Since the early 1980s, each county could register one abroad player, who could still play for his national team.

The Cricket Council and the ECB:

The MCC lost control of English cricket in 1969, but it still enforces the laws. With the foundation of the Sports Council (a government organization that controls sports in Great Britain) and the possibility of government help for cricket, the MCC was requested to develop a governing body for the game along the lines of other British sports. The TCCB, NCA, and MCC formed the Cricket Council from these efforts. The TCCB oversaw all first-class and minor-counties cricket in England and abroad tours. The NCA included clubs, schools, armed services, umpires, and Women’s Cricket Association officials. The TCCB, NCA, and Cricket Council were merged into the England and Wales Cricket Board in 1997. (ECB).

International cricket:

England, Australia, and South Africa dominated early 20th-century international cricket. The International Cricket Conference, later the International Cricket Council, steadily took over more game management and changed its power base from west to east. In 2005, the ICC moved from Lord’s in London—home of the MCC, the game’s original rulers, and still its lawmakers—to Dubai, marking the end of the old governance model. Game priorities changed. Only Australia and England played Test cricket to full houses in the 21st century.

Limited-overs internationals were popular everywhere, especially in India and Pakistan. Test cricket almost disappeared. The ICC’s Code of Conduct for players, officials, and administrators outlines disciplinary procedures and preserves the game’s ethos, although the MCC has the ability to amend the rules. It also organized the Champions Trophy, one-day, and Twenty20 World Cups. The ICC established the Anti-Corruption Unit in 2000 to combat illegal gambling and match-fixing. The ICC had 10 full members and dozens of associate and affiliate members in 2010.

Test matches:

Australia defeated England in the first Test match in Melbourne in 1877. After Australia triumphed again at the Oval in Kennington, London, in 1882, the Sporting Times published an obituary saying that English cricket would be buried and the ashes sent to Australia, introducing the “play for the Ashes.” The Ashes, maintained in an urn at Lord’s regardless of the winner, are said to be from a bail burned on England’s 1882–83 tour of Australia. The two nations met virtually annually throughout the 19th century. Despite having F.R. Spofforth, the best bowler of the day, and J.McC. Blackham, the first great wicketkeeper, England was often too powerful for Australia.

The “bodyline” bowling methods used by the English team in 1932–33 in Australia strained relations. D.R. Jardine, the English captain, designed this technique of fast, short-pitched deliveries to the batsman’s body to knock him on the head or upper body or catch him out on the leg side (the side behind the striker when in a batting stance). The effort to limit Bradman’s scoring resulted in many catastrophic Australian team injuries. Australians strongly denounced the conduct as unsportsmanlike. England won 3–1, but Australia was furious for a long time. Post-series bodyline bowling was outlawed.

21st-century developments:

In the first decade of the 21st century, Twenty20 cricket (T20) and the IPL sparked innovation in the game. By limiting fielder positioning and decreasing boundaries, the new game favored batting. Bowlers perfected several balls to counter heavy-batted batters (deliveries). Bowlers needed a disguise. Slow spin-bowling, which forces the batsman to generate “pace” to drive the struck ball, was unexpectedly effective. In T20 cricket, right-handed batsmen switched hands mid-delivery to swing like lefties (or left-hander swings like a right-hander).

From 1992, only line decisions like runouts were referred to an off-field third umpire. In 2008, players were allowed to refer any on-field judgment to the third umpire in a series between India and Sri Lanka (it had been put on trial in English county cricket in 2007). Each team gets two referrals in each inning (down from three when the system was first tried out). This total does not include umpire-changed referrals. Players are more enthusiastic about the system than umpires because it eliminates an umpire’s innocent but blatant mistake.

Play the game

Field of play, equipment, and dress:

Village greens and small meadows to enormous stadiums like Lord’s (5.5 acres [2.2 hectares]) and the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The best surface is level, fine-textured turf, however, coir (fiber) matting or artificial turf on a firm base can be utilized. Boundary lines or fences mark the playing field. Three stumps, or stakes, 28 inches (71.1 cm) high and 1.25 inches in diameter, are driven into the ground and spaced such the ball cannot pass between them. Two 4.37-inch (11.1-cm) bails are in grooves on the stumps.

The bowling crease is a whitewashed line drawn through the base of the stumps and extending 4.33 feet (1.32 meters) on either side of the center stump; the return crease is a line at each end of and at right angles to the bowling crease, extending behind the wicket; and the popping crease is a line parallel to the bowling crease and 4 feet in front of it. The popping crease, 62 feet (18.9 meters) from the opposing bowling crease, indicates the batsman’s ground, while the bowling and return creases define the bowler’s back foot’s delivery area. When a batsman is running between wickets, the crease signifies the area where he is “safe” (in baseball lingo), hence he will often place only the tip of the bat over the crease line and run for the opposing wicket.

Rules of the game:

Each team captain. Two umpires—one behind the bowler’s wicket and the other at the square leg approximately 15 yards from the batsman’s popping crease (see figure)—regulate the game, while two scorers keep score. The goal is to score more runs.

The captain who wins the coin toss chooses which team will bat first—the first two batters together strive to score as many runs as possible against the opposing team’s bowling and fielding.

An innings is completed in three ways:

(1) when 10 batsmen have been dismissed (the remaining batsman, having no partner, is declared “not out”); (2) when the batting captain declares his innings closed before all 10 men are out (a captain may declare if his team has a large lead in runs and he fears that the innings will continue so long that the opposing team will not have time to get in their full innings and the game will end); or (3) Results are recorded. For one-day matches, matches are determined by each team’s runs in one innings or in two innings. Test matches last five days (30 playing hours), first-class matches three to four days, and most club, school, and hamlet match one day. The nonbiting team fields. One man is the bowler, another is the wicketkeeper (like the catcher in baseball), and the remaining nine are positioned as the captain or bowler directs (see the figure).


The batsman tries to keep the bowler from hitting the wicket while hitting the ball hard enough to score a run and sprint to the other end of the pitch before any fieldsman can pick up the ball and throw it to either wicket to knock off the bails. If the wicket is shattered before either batter is on his ground, the batsman is out. The striker does not have to run after hitting the ball, and missing or being hit by it does not matter.

If he takes a good hit and thinks he can score, he dashes to the opposite wicket and his partner runs toward him. Each will run back for second or more runs, crossing again, after touching his bat beyond the popping crease at the other end. If an odd number of runs is scored, the no striker will face the following ball, while the striker would receive the next ball if an even number is scored. Otherwise, they’re extras. When a hit or extra ball reaches the boundary, the runners stop and four runs are scored. The batsman scores six runs if he strikes the ball full pitch over the boundary on the fly.


Extras can be added to the side’s score, but only runs scored from the bat count to the batsman: (1) byes (when a ball from the bowler passes the wicket without being touched by the bat and the batsmen are able to make good a run); (2) leg byes (when in similar circumstances the ball has touched any part of the batsman’s body except his hand); (3) wides (when a ball passes out of reach of the striker); and (4) no balls (improperly bowled balls; for a fair delivery the ball must be bowled, not thrown, the arm neither bent nor jerked and in the delivery stride some part of.


An over is completed when a bowler bowls six (sometimes eight) balls without wides or no balls. The batters stay still as a new bowler starts an over at the other wicket and the fielders move. A bowler has a maiden over if he bowls a full over without allowing a run, even if the opposition scores byes or leg byes. In 50-over one-day cricket, no bowler can bowl more than 10 overs.

Methods of dismissal:

Cricket batsmen do not require to hit the ball to continue at bat. The batsman can stay at his wicket if he smacks the ball and believes he cannot reach the other wicket before a fielder can control it. Batting follows wicket defense. There are 10 ways to dismiss a batsman or striker, from most common to least:

  • A batter is “caught out” if a ball he hits is caught before it hits the ground.
  • The batsman is “bowled out” if the bowler breaks the wicket, dislodging a bail, even if he smashes the ball into his own wicket.
  • The batsman is out “leg before wicket” (lbw) if he intercepts with any part of his body (except his hand) that is in line between wicket and wicket a ball that has not first touched his bat or hand and has pitched (hit the ground) in a straight line between the wickets or on the offside if the ball would have hit the wicket. If the batsman intercepts the ball outside the off-side stump without trying to play it, he may be lbw.
  • If his wicket is broken while he is out of his ground, either batter is “run out” (that is, he does not have at least his bat in the crease). If the batsmen have crossed, the one going for the broken wicket is out; if not, the one running from it is out.
  • He is “stumped” if the wicketkeeper breaks the wicket when he is outside the popping crease.
  • The batsman is out “hit wicket” if he breaks his wicket with his bat or body while playing the ball or running.
  • If a batsman touches the ball without the bat, he is out unless the opposition team consents.
  • After hitting the ball, unless, in defense of his wicket, a batsman is out.
  • If either batsman obstructs the other, he’s out.
  • If a batter deliberately takes more than two minutes to enter, he is “timed out.”
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