ESSAY: History of Cricket

The origin of cricket is obscure, and there are several theories on how it started. One is that shepherds used to play it — one would stand in front of the wicket gate to the sheep fold, and another would bowl a stone or something at him, and he would have to hit with his crook, which was known as cricce.

Other theories are that it derives from a game called club-ball, or a game played in churchyards. The first reference to cricket being played is thought to be in 1300, between Prince Edward and his friend Piers Gaveston and the first recorded match took place at Coxheath in Kent in 1646. The first match between the counties on 29th June 1709, when Surrey played Kent at Dartford Brent. Today’s bat was invented around 1853, with a blade made of willow, and a cane handle, which is layered with strips of rubber, tied with twine, and covered with rubber to make a grip. The ‘V’ shaped extension of the handle into the blade is the splice. The early balls were stones and other missiles. Rather dangerous really, and not surprising that some one came up with an alternative! They’re now made of cork, and covered with hand stitched leather quarters dyed red. The wicket — the stumps are the three posts. Originally there were two at one point, four. The size has varied, too — in the 17th Century, these were upto two metres wide!!

Basic rules of cricket:

Cricket is played by two teams of eleven on a level, closely cut oval “pitch” preferably measuring about 525ft(160m) by about 550ft(170m). Two wickets are placed 66ft(20.12m) apart nearly the middle of the field. A wicket consists of two wooden crosspieces (bails) resting on three wooden stumps crosspieces 28 inches (71.1cm) high.

Some news about cricket:

The first ever ODI was played at Melbourne between England and Australia in January 5, 1971. Australia won by five wickets. Englishman John Edrich (82) scored the first fifty and was adjudged the first man of the match. The first ever ODI to be played in England in August 24, 1972 was held at Old Trafford, Manchester. England won by six wickets. English man Dennis Amiss (103 in 134, 161 minutes, nine fours, 100 in 130 balls in the 46th over) recorded the first ever ODI hundred in debut. He puts on 125 runs (in 86 minutes and off 26.4 overs) for the 2nd wicket with Keith Fletcher- the first ever ODI century partnership in ODI. And there are about 133 One-Day grounds in the world.