This history of cricket remains a rather hazy record of childish games played by 14th Century children and / or shepherds. This information has been ascertained largely by the fact that there are few records about the sport, so it must not have been a sport of the adults, even those of the working class.
What is known is that it was played before 1550 of our Common Era (CE), and that its roots can be traced to South East England. In those days, right up until 1760, the ball was delivered along the ground, meaning that it could only be played in short grass.
Close fielders put pressure on the batsman duringa game of cricket.
So, the players would be restricted to areas in which sheep were grazing (hence the reference to its being a popular game amongst shepherds) or in certain clearings in the forest or bush. The ball was made of rags or wool that had been bound closely together to form a rounded shape. The bat was likely a shepherd’s staff or a stick of sorts.
When working men began to play the game during the 1600’s was when cricket emerged as a more viable, recognised sport. The spectators were attracted by the fact that they could bet on winners at first, but soon became wrapped up in the game itself. As the English people spread abroad, occupying areas like America, India and southern Africa, they took this game along with them.
Cricket achieved its test status in 1877 and the first test match was played in March of that year against Australia. In 1971, England played the first One Day International, also against Australia.
The modern rules of cricket were devised by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which were formalised in 1835 by the club itself. These laws remain relatively unchanged.
Cricket soon became the sport of the elite and the gentlemen. Renowned schools like Eton encouraged their students to play and support it, creating a culture of sophisticated fans. Today, the major identities in cricket include England, India, South Africa, Pakistan, Australia and the West Indies.
England plays test cricket, One Day International matches and the fast-paced Twenty20 games. Every year, England plays seven test matches against two other international teams. There are various One Day games played too.
Cricket is the official summer sport of England. England’s main cricket rival is believed to be Australia.
Unlike the cases of rugby and football, the cricket players in England do not achieve quite the level of celebrity status as other sports players might. However, there are well-known names in this sport, many of whom are used for campaigns and charities. Cricket matches are well attended, but do not generally break out into the raucous cheering and celebrations typical of rugby and football. Indeed, this sport has maintained its culture of being the more sedate gentleman’s game.
For more information, please view: http://www.ecb.co.uk/