No one knows when or where cricket began but there is a body of evidence, much of it circumstantial, that strongly suggests the game was devised during Saxon or Norman times by children living in the Weald. It is generally believed that cricket survived as a children’s game. Adult participation is unknown before the early 17th century. Possibly cricket was derived from bowls
Derivation of the name of “cricket”
A number of words are thought to be possible sources for the term “cricket”. In the earliest known reference to the sport in 1598 (see below), it is called creckett. The name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch krick(-e), meaning a stick; or the Old English cricc or cryce meaning a crutch or staff. Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word krickstoel, meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket.
Early 17th century
Gambling and press coverage
Cricket certainly thrived after the Restoration in 1660 and is believed to have first attracted gamblers making large bets at this time. In 1664, the “Cavalier” Parliament passed the Gaming Act 1664 which limited stakes to £100.With freedom of the press having been granted in 1696, cricket for the first time could be reported in the newspapers. During the first half of the 18th century, press reports tended to focus on the betting rather than on the play
Patronage and players
Gambling introduced the first patrons because some of the gamblers decided to strengthen their bets by forming their own teams and it is believed the first “county teams” were formed in the aftermath of the Restoration in 1660, especially as members of the nobility were employing “local experts” from village cricket as the earliest professionals.
Cricket moves out of England
Cricket was introduced to North America via the English colonies in the 17th century, probably before it had even reached the north of England. In the 18th century it arrived in other parts of the globe. It was introduced to the West Indies by colonists and to India by British East India Company mariners in the first half of the century. It arrived in Australia almost as soon as colonization began in 1788. New Zealand and South Africa followed in the early years of the 19th century.
Development of the Laws
In 1744, the Laws of Cricket were codified for the first time and then amended in 1774, when innovations such as lbw, middle stump and maximum bat width were added. These laws stated that the principals shall choose from amongst the gentlemen present two umpires who shall absolutely decide all disputes.
Cricket and crisis
Cricket faced its first real crisis during the 18th century when major matches virtually ceased during the Seven Years War. This was largely due to shortage of players and lack of investment. But the game survived.Cricket faced another major crisis at the beginning of the 19th century when a cessation of major matches occurred during the culminating period of the Napoleonic Wars. Again, the causes were shortage of players and lack of investment. But, as in the 1760s, the game survived and a slow recovery began in 1815. In the 1820s, cricket faced a major crisis of its own making as the campaign to allow roundarm bowling gathered pace.
International cricket begins
The first ever international cricket game was between the USA and Canada in 1844. In 1859, a team of leading English professionals set off to North America on the first-ever overseas tourIn 1877, an England touring team in Australia played two matches against full Australian XIs that are now regarded as the inaugural Test matches. South Africa became the third Test nation in 1889
When the Imperial Cricket Conference (as it was originally called) was founded in 1909, only England, Australia and South Africa were members. India, West Indies and New Zealand became Test nations before the Second World War and Pakistan soon afterwards in the closing years of the 20th century, three affiliate nations became Test nations also: Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
In the 1960s, English county teams began playing a version of cricket with games of only one innings each and a maximum number of overs per innings. Starting in 1963 as a knockout competition only, limited overs grew in popularity and in 1969 a national league was created which consequently caused a reduction in the number of matches in the County Championship.
The first limited overs international match took place at Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1971. It was tried simply as an experiment and to give the players some exercise, but turned out to be immensely popular. Limited overs internationals (LOIs or ODIs, after one-day Internationals) have since grown to become a massively popular form of the game The International Cricket Council reacted to this development by organising the first Cricket World Cup in England in 1975, with all the Test playing nations taking part.
Increasing use of technology
Innovative techniques that were originally introduced for coverage of LOI matches were soon adopted for Test coverage. The innovations included presentation of in-depth statistics and graphical analysis, placing miniature cameras in the stumps, multiple usage of cameras to provide shots from several locations around the ground, high speed photography and computer graphics technology enabling television viewers to study the course of a delivery and help them understand an umpire’s decision. In 1992, the use of a third umpire to adjudicate runout appeals with television replays was introduced in the Test series between South Africa and India. The third umpire’s duties have subsequently expanded to include decisions on other aspects of play such as stumpings, catches and boundaries
Cricket remains a major world sport in terms of participants, spectators and media interest. The ICC has expanded its development programme with the goal of producing more national teams capable of competing at Test level. Development efforts are focused on African and Asian nations; and on the United States. In 2004, the ICC Intercontinental Cup brought first-class cricket to 12 nations, mostly for the first time. In June 2001, the ICC introduced a “Test Championship Table” and, in October 2002, a “One-day International Championship Table”. Australia has consistently topped both these tables in the 2000s.
Cricket’s newest innovation is Twenty20, essentially an evening entertainment. It has so far enjoyed enormous popularity and has attracted large attendances at matches as well as good TV audience ratings. The inaugural ICC Twenty20 World Cup tournament was held in 2007 with a follow-up event in 2009. The formation of Twenty20 leagues in India – the unofficial Indian Cricket League, which started in 2007, and the official Indian Premier League, starting in 2008 – raised much speculation in the cricketing press about their effect on the future of cricket. LAWS OF CRICKET
Law 1: A cricket team consists of eleven players, including a captain. Law 2: a substitute may be brought on for an injured fielder but he can’t bat , bowl , act as captain or keep wicket Law 3: There are two umpires, who apply the Laws, make all necessary decisions, and relay the decisions to the scorers. In higher level cricket there is a third umpire Law 4:. There are two scorers who respond to the umpires’ signals and keep the score. Law 5: A cricket ball is between 8 13/16 and 9 inches (22.4 cm and 22.9 cm) in circumference, and weighs between 5.5 and 5.75 ouncesOnly one ball is used at a time, unless it is lost, when it is replaced with a ball of similar wear. Law 6: The bat. The bat is no more than 38 inches (97 cm) in length, and no more than 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) wide.
The hand or glove holding the bat is considered part of the bat. the blade of the bat must be made of wood Law 7: . The pitch is a rectangular area of the ground 22 yards (20 m) long and 10 ft (3.0 m) wide. Law 8: . The wicket consists of three wooden stumps that are 28 inches (71 cm) tall. The stumps are placed along the batting crease with equal distances between each stump. They are positioned so they are 9 inches (23 cm) wide. Two wooden bails are placed on top of the stumps. The bails must not project more than 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) above the stumps, and must, for men’s cricket, be 45⁄16 inches (10.95 cm) long.. Law 9: Each bowling crease should be 8 feet 8 inches (2.64 m) in length, centred on the middle stump at each end. The popping crease, which determines whether a batsman is in his ground or not, and which is used in determining front-foot no balls (see law 24), is drawn at each end of the pitch in front of each of the two sets of stumps.
The popping crease must be 4 feet (1.2 m) in front of and parallel to the bowling crease The return creases lie perpendicular to the popping crease and the bowling crease, 4 feet 4 inches. Law 10: the rules governing how pitches should be prepared, mown, rolled, and maintained. Law 11: The pitch must be covered before play to protect it from due and rain. Law 12: Before the game, the teams agree whether it is to be over one or two innings, and whether either or both innings are to be limited by time or by overs. Law 13: In a two innings match, if the side batting second scores substantially fewer runs than the side batting first, the side that batted first can force their opponents to bat again immediately. Law 14: The batting captain can declare an innings closed at any time when the ball is dead. He may also forfeit his innings before it has started. Law 15: There are intervals between each day’s play, a ten-minute interval between innings, and lunch, tea and drinks intervals.
There are also provisions for moving the intervals and interval lengths in certain situations. Law 16: Play after an interval commences with the umpire’s call of “Play”, and at the end of a session by “Time”. Law 17: There may be no batting or bowling practice on the pitch except before the day’s play starts and after the day’s play has ended. Law 18:. Runs are scored when the two batsmen run to each other’s end of the pitch. Law 19:. If the ball is hit into or past this boundary, four runs are scored, or six runs if the ball didn’t hit the ground before crossing the boundary. Law 20: If a ball in play is lost or cannot be recovered, the fielding side can call “lost ball”. The batting side keeps any penalty runs. Law 21: The side which scores the most runs wins the match.
Law 22:. An over consists of six balls bowled, excluding wides and no balls. A bowler may not bowl two consecutive overs. Law 23:. The ball comes into play when the bowler begins his run up, and becomes dead when all the action from that ball is over. Once the ball is dead, no runs can be scored and no batsmen can be dismissed. Law 24: if the bowler bowls from the wrong place; or if he straightens his elbow during the delivery; or if the bowling is dangerous; or if the ball bounces more than twice or rolls along the ground before reaching the batsman; or if the fielders are standing in illegal places, a ball can be called no ball.. Law 25:. An umpire calls a ball “wide” if, in his or her opinion, the batsman did not have a reasonable opportunity to score off the ball. A ball is called wide when the bowler bowls a bouncer that goes over the head of the batsman Law 26:. If a ball passes the striker and runs are scored, they are called byes. If a ball that is not a no ball hits the striker but not the bat and runs are scored, they are called leg-byes.
Law 27: If the fielders believe a batsman is out, they may ask the umpire “How’s That?”, commonly shouted emphatically with arms raised, before the next ball is bowled. The fielding side must appeal for all dismissals. Law 28: Several methods of being out occur when the wicket is put down. Law 29: The batsmen can be run out or stumped if they are out of their ground. Law 30: A batsman is out if his wicket is put down by a ball delivered by the bowler. Law 31: An incoming batsman must be ready to face a ball within 3 minutes of the outgoing batsman being dismissed, otherwise the incoming batsman will be out. Law 32: If a ball hits the bat or the and is then caught by the opposition within the field of play before the ball bounces, then the batsman is out.
Law 33: If a batsman willfully handles the ball with a hand that is not touching the bat without the consent of the opposition, he is out. Law 34: If a batsman hits the ball twice, other than for the sole purpose of protecting his wicket or with the consent of the opposition, he is out. Law 35: If, after the bowler has entered his delivery stride and while the ball is in play, a Law 36: If the ball hits the batsman without first hitting the bat, but would have hit the wicket if the batsman was not there, and the ball does not pitch on the leg side of the wicket, the batsman will be out.
Law 37: If a batsman willfully obstructs the opposition by word or action, he is out. Law 38: A batsman is out if at any time while the ball is in play no part of his bat or person is grounded behind the popping crease and his wicket is fairly put down by the opposing side. Law 39: A batsman is out when the wicket-keeper puts down the wicket, while the batsman is out of his crease and not attempting a run. Law 40: The keeper is a designated man from the bowling side allowed to stand behind the stumps of the batsman. He is the only player from his side allowed to wear gloves and external leg guards. Law 41: A fielder is any of the eleven cricketers from the bowling side.