History and traditions of cricket

History and traditions of cricket

Cricket is thought to have originated in the south east of England. The historical chronicles of King Edward I often refer to a game similar to cricket, which was enjoyed by the people of the county of Kent in the 13th century.

History of cricket

The word ‘cricket’ itself may have derived from the word ‘cric’, the name of a curved shepherd’s stick. It was used to lock gates that led to pastures. Cricket was mainly played by young peasants, and it is reported that the game was known in continental Europe before it became widespread in England in the XVII century.

In the early 1960s, the first cricket club was formed in Hambledon, Hampshire. The team from that county was the country’s strongest club for 25 years. No-one struck and threw the ball as hard and as sharply as the Hampshires. Soon the centre of English cricket moved to London: a certain Thomas Lord opened a ground for the game on Dorset pitches. The Lord’s Cricket Ground, the cradle of cricket in its modern form, is still located in this very spot in the British capital.

Later on, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was also opened there. It soon became the most powerful club in the country, and under its pressure the rules were changed, and so it is now the seat of world cricket’s governing body. Cricket was briefly included in the Olympic programme at the beginning of the last century but the sport was dropped for lack of competition. Nowadays, apart from competitions in England, cricket fans also like to watch the Indian Premier League and other leagues.

Traditions and etiquette of cricket

Cricket spread around the world as the British Empire grew in power. Hence, if one looks at the 2003 World Cup participants, the list of countries participating will, with few exceptions, represent the former colonies of the empire. Cricket is most developed and popular in Australia (world champion), New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Canada and West India (Caribbean team).

Cricket matches can last for days and often there seems to be nothing happening on the pitch, with the players just standing around lazily watching. Often it can take several minutes between overs. Therefore, fans take their trip to the stadium very seriously, stocking up on food and drink baskets. Being a cricket fan in England is prestigious, and often the rich have their own box at the stadium. Though as they say here, in such boxes during matches most of the important business is decided, and what happens on the pitch is just a background.

  • Cricket is played between two teams of 11, each team getting a chance to bat and pitch. The objective is to destroy the opponent’s wicket with the ball.
  • The team with the higher number of wickets wins the match.
  • The team is not knocked out until there is one unbeaten batsman left. After the team has knocked out all the opponents’ batsmen, the teams change positions.

If you want to know more about the sport, keep an eye on IPL T20 and other prestigious leagues.