History of Cricket
The history of cricket has been researched in great detail, although no-one is really certain of its origins. However, its an exciting thought that we are now part of a sport that is probably over one thousand years old in its earliest forms, and over 400 years old as a game that is recognisable as the one we play today.
This page is a quick guide to the history of cricket and how it fits into the modern game, so that you can get a feel for the great tradition that you are following. If you’re curious for more detail, then try Cricinfo or Wikipedia.With thanks to their authors, most of the following summarises parts of these excellent resources.
The origins of the game are most likely to be in Northern Europe, before the 11th Century. This was a simple game, with one player propelling an object – a piece of wood or some other form of ball - and another player striking it with a suitable club. Historians have placed this game in the Celtic, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, Dutch and Norman-French lands, but clear evidence is lacking.
However, even non-historians will recognise the link between this ancient pastime and the gladiatorial contests of the 21st Century, with Brett Lee propelling a ball at over 150kph to Sachin Tendulkar.
Court documents from 1597 provide the first clear record of the history of cricket in more recent times. They concern a dispute over the ownership of a plot of school land. A 59-year old coroner, John Derrick, testified that he and his school friends had played "kreckett" on the site fifty years earlier – around 1550.
By the early 1600s, village cricket was played in the English counties of Surrey, Kent and Sussex and was soon adopted as a leisure pursuit in many schools. However, the local Judiciary considered it a bad influence on young men, and in 1611 two men in Sussex were prosecuted for playing cricket on Sunday instead of going to church!
It was a dangerous game – the first documented fatal accident related to cricket was in 1624, at Horsted Green in Sussex. Sadly, Jasper Vinall died after being struck by a bat while trying to catch the ball. Its unclear if this was an accident, or if the batsman simply put too high a price on his wicket.
Cricket matches between village teams are documented before the English Civil War (1642-1651). The game developed steadily after the war, as town and city teams developed.
The history of cricket also records how the sport first attracted gambling for significant sums of money in the 18th century. This was an unattractive, though perhaps inevitable development, but did have the benefit of being the cause for the establishment of the first Laws of Cricket in 1744.
The most famous early club was Hambledon in Hampshire, which became the headquarters of the game for about 30 years until the opening of Lords and the MCC in 1787. The MCC has been the custodian of the Laws of Cricket ever since then.
English colonialism brought cricket to other parts of the world; to North America in the 17th century, to the West Indies, India and Australia in the 18th century, and to New Zealand and South Africa in the 19th Century. The USA played Canada in the first international match in 1844.
The game developed into today’s club, county and international structure through the 20th century. The International Cricket Conference (ICC) has become the global governing body, while the MCC remains the custodian of the rules.
When you play cricket on the beach, in the garden, or even for your club or county you are upholding a very long tradition. You may have thought that the old cry of injustice “its just not cricket!” is rather quaint, but there’s more to it than this. A game that has taken over a thousand years to develop deserves a great deal of respect!
Cricket is a game of two teams between eleven players. It is played with the bat and ball as well as it is divided into six over. Cricket game is established with the team sport. It is the most popular sport in the world.
In the cricket, there are three types of bawlers like fast bawlers, spin bawlers and medium pace bawler. The ball has bounces only one time before reaching the batsman. In the sport of cricket, the bawling is like a action of propelling the ball towards the wicket defended by a batsman. It is played on the grass field and roughly in the oval shape.
All batsman plays the ball with the wooden type of cricket bat and the remaining members of the bawler's team stand with the different positions. In this game if the batsman not out, then they run between the wickets and exchanging ends with the second batsman.
Two-on fields umpires preside over a match. One empire stands on the behind of the bawler's wicket and the other one stands with a side view of the batsman.
The cricket field consists of the large oval shaped with the grassy ground. Its diameter is usually between 450 feet to 500 feet. The parameter of the field is known as boundary and the boundary is marked with the painted line or with a rope.
The main purpose of the bawler's team is to get the each batsman out and the purpose of the batting team is to score as many runs.
How to Play Cricket
Anyone can learn how to play cricket. Providing that you understand the basics first, then build on them, you’ll get maximum enjoyment from this wonderful sport. Whether you’re young or old, male or female, there will be at least one aspect of the game that suits you. And, if there’s a young cricketer in your family, you’ll have a great time supporting them.
The basics of cricket are simple. Two teams of up to 11 players each compete against each other and the team that scores the most runs is the winner. The game has several different formats, but these basics are common to all of them. Of course, this hides lots of detail as you might expect from a game that is over 1000 years old. For more information, try this simplified explanation of how to play cricket.
The game has a rich vocabulary of cricket terms that is available in print and online. One difficulty with most of these resources is that they assume a certain level of cricket knowledge. Amongst them,
Wikipedia is a good starting point as it gives the basics as well as providing links to more detailed explanations. And such is the variety of terms, even old hands at the game can still discover new ones – I did!
The picture shows the heart of the action on a cricket field. The two sets of wickets are 22 yards apart, with the cut area of the pitch between them. It takes skilled preparation to produce a pitch that gives true and consistent bounce of the ball.
The visible players are the two batsmen, the bowler, the wicket keeper and slip fielder. The umpire at the bowler’s end is one of two umpires who must adjudicate on all aspects of the match.
With some understanding of the rules of cricket and cricket terms, you’ve made a solid start on learning how to play cricket. Now, there are different paths depending on your aspirations as a player or supporter, or both. Of course, you and your family can have a great time playing garden or beach cricket without any coaching whatsoever. But, developing cricket skills is a whole new journey, for junior and senior players alike.
There is simply no substitute for an experienced cricket coach for improving playing skills. Most cricketing nations have a structured coaching system that didn’t exist even 20 years ago. So, today’s aspiring players have a big advantage, if they’re prepared to listen, learn and practice. Your first step is to find a local cricket club with good practice facilities, a qualified coach or coaches, and a certified child protection policy.
There are some great online coaching resources, providing guidance on how to play cricket. These are a good backup to a club coach, but not a substitute as they can’t give feedback on a player’s performance. A skilled coach provides interactive tips and tricks that you won’t find online or in print. However, his/her main message will be “practice that move 500 times and you’ll get it right every time”. So, dedication is the key.
Although cricket is a team game, only one bowler, two batsmen and one wicket keeper can be part of the action at any one time. Experienced fielders treat every ball in an innings as a big event, where they can gain an advantage over the batsmen. However, it takes years to learn this and junior players can get frustrated if they don’t bat or bowl. So, variations have been developed to give all the team a go at batting and bowling.
For example, Kwik Cricket (age 5-11) and Inter Cricket (age 12-14) are fast and furious games that have been created for beginners. They use special “low impact” equipment to avoid any injury, and to develop confidence. For the bridge into full scale 11 a side cricket, 8-a-side pairs cricket (age 12-14) is an excellent variation for more experienced players, using a hard ball and full match kit.
Want to know more about how to play cricket? This web site gives some top tips that you won't find in most coaching books.This page describes the basics of how to play cricket, and how to develop this knowledge. Once you and your junior cricketer have started this journey, then you have the key to a lifetime of enjoyment. There’s no greater pleasure than simply being on the field of play, or from experiencing an exciting match in on
There are literally hundreds of cricket information sites on the web. Here are our recommendations for those that give you the best quality information about the different aspects of the game.
The BBC Sports Cricket web site provides top coverage of a wider range of cricket issues than any other leading site.
Most cricket magazine sites give details about the latest international matches and controversies, but the BBC offers these and much more, such as skills master classes, laws and equipment, women’s cricket, coaching, juniors and how you can get involved. Follow this link to find out more about BBC Cricket.
Cricinfo labels itself as “the home of cricket on the internet”. It’s one of the top 500 most popular web sites in the world. It opened in 1993, and incorporates the famous Wisden brand. It’s integrated with Cricinfo sites in all the test playing countries; it gives the latest scores and fixtures worldwide, and much more. However, there are no coaching or junior sections.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the governing body of world cricket. Their site is attractive and user friendly, and is high in the global web traffic rankings. If you need to know original information about any aspect of world cricket, this is the place to start.
The site also displays the league tables for the ICC world test cricket and ODI championships, as well as providing details of rules and regulations, umpires, women’s cricket and global cricket development.
The national cricket associations are the best source of cricket information in your country. Of these, the ECB and Cricket Australia sites are outstanding, with information on national and domestic cricket. They include pages for cricket clubs, fans, women and kids, as well as cricket development, archive material and statistics.
Cricket broadcasters have immediate access to the latest scores. Try the sites of ABC Sport, BBC Sport or Sky Sports, to keep in touch with the cricket news as it happens. The BBC Sport Cricket site has the added bonus of a comprehensive online coaching section, as well as details about how you can get involved in the game as a volunteer, coach, umpire or scorer.
There are many independent cricket magazine sites, of varying quality. CricketNext, 123India, CricketWorld and Cricket365 are among the best, with detailed up to date articles about world cricket news and the latest scores. All four are well inside the top 1% of global web sites. They all take different editorial angles, so you may want to follow the one that suits your taste.
Cricket is developing in parts of the world that would have seemed very unlikely, even ten years ago. Cricket information web sites are playing their part in spreading the word about the game.
The USA has major potential for cricket development. Cricket is being slowly popularised by foreign nationals, despite massive competition from Baseball. However, there are new signs of grassroots support at junior level. You could try the USACA site for more details.
China became an Affiliate Member of the ICC in 2004. The Asian Cricket Council has a 10 year plan to develop the game in China, with the support of the ICC. Cricket is alien to most Chinese, but has already been established at over 50 schools in Beijing and Shanghai. A Chinese Women’s team toured Europe in 2007. What price China qualifying for the 2019 Cricket World Cup?
There are many cricket portal sites, providing links to other cricket web sites. The portals rarely give unbiased descriptions of their partner sites, many of which are simply poor quality. However, Howstat is extremely popular and provides lots of well organised, high quality links, as well statistics and ratings. It’s well worth a look.
And finally, do you have opinions about the latest world cricket issues? Want to debate them with like minded fans? Why not try out the latest cricket blog web site?
Quite rightly for the great game, there are many cricket sites on the web. The top ones have achieved a level of excellence that is helping to promote the sport globally. If you start with Cricinfo then explore the others on this page, you’ll soon find the high quality cricket information that you need.
The world cricket scene includes ten nations who have test match status, and 87 other nations who form the ICC World Cricket League. The ICC framework means that fixtures, rules, umpiring and playing conditions are well regulated. This is all well structured and good for global cricket development.
However, the bonus is that each team brings a different skill to the cricket party. This includes the passion of India, the mercurial brilliance of Pakistan, the ruthless professionalism of Australia, the determination of England, the exuberance of the West Indies and the resilience of Sri Lanka. But, it’s still a formidable challenge for cricket fans to agree who are the best teams in the world, and who are the best current and past players.
You might think that a sport that generates so many statistics could easily provide the facts and figures to solve this challenge, but it isn’t so easy. The test playing nations don’t play the same number of games; opponents vary in strength, and there’s no set representative period for calculating ranking points.
For example, a strong side like South Africa might easily beat a developing team like Bangladesh in a 5 match test series. But, how should that compare with a hard fought series between say, India and Pakistan? Sir Donald Bradman had a test match batting average of over 99, but how should this be compared with today’s stars of world cricket who play far more tests, but where a batting average of over 50 is considered as outstanding?
Various dedicated fans have developed rating systems to solve these problems. These rank individual players by awarding points or by calculating batting/bowling averages. Ranking periods range from 18 months to a whole career. None are perfect, but the best known system was developed by Price Waterhouse Coopers (accountants), and is now used by the ICC.
The ICC rankings rate players on a 0-1000 point scale, separately for tests and ODIs. They consider the runs scored or wickets taken, the ratings of their opponents, the total runs scored in a game and the match result. These rankings are a moving average, so if a player’s performance improves on his past record, his rating increases. But, it reduces if his form declines.
This is great for comparing current and past players. The calculations are pretty complex, but the LG ICC player comparison tool does all the work for us. Select Mens Test/Mens ODI or Womens ODI then "compare players" from the drop-down menu. Try comparing Sir Len Hutton and Brian Lara, and see if it solves your after dinner debate about who is the best. It’s clever stuff, but of course it’s only as good as the rules for awarding rating points. Team ranking systems are equally complicated. The first system for test teams was devised in 1995 by Wisden, and awarded points for a team’s performance in recent test series. This was used by the ICC from 2001, when the global test championship was inaugurated. But, the system didn’t take account of the relative strength of opponents, and a new test championship system was adopted in 2005.
This was devised by David Kendix, a cricket scorer and an actuary. It works like a batting average – a winning team improves its average/ranking while a losing team sees its ranking fall. Tests and ODIs use different variations of this system.
The “official” ICC-Kendix system is comprehensive, but there are still several others that are based on points, ratings, averages or some combination of these. They show that cricket records are a statistician’s dream, but what do they all prove?
The bottom line is that Australia are currently top of all the different rankings for tests and ODIs. South Africa are rated second in all ODI rankings, and England are second in all but one of the test match ratings. The official ICC ratings give definitive league tables.
So much for rankings, but there’s far more to world cricket than number crunching. The “premier league” of world cricket comprises ten nations who play each other in test matches, ODIs, the Cricket World Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy. However the ICC World Cricket League includes 87 other nations who don’t have test status, but do play ODI cricket. These form five global divisions, and take part in five regional ODI tournaments.
Kenya are the present WCL champions, and the six members of WCL division one qualified for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, alongside the test playing nations. There are financial benefits for achieving test match status and for playing in the world cup, which in turn aids cricket development. So, the WCL promotes cricket development and offers non test playing nations a route through to cricket’s “premier league”.
The Twenty20 format doesn't yet feature in the rankings, but has brought new excitement to the game. The 2007 World Cup in South Africa was a great success, and the latest international Twenty20 competitions are in India. These are the privately run Indian Cricket League (ICL), and the BCCI sponsored Indian Premier League. Both feature a mixture of international and local players, and you can find out more at Cricket24/7 - Cricket Fan Club
The world test cricket championship, ODI rankings, world cricket league and player ratings are relatively new. Whether you love or hate them, they give cricket real global interest which is great for the sport. But despite all this science, will fans ever agree who is the best?
Womens cricket has a long history. The first match took place in 1745 between Bramley and Hambleton, in Berkshire, England. However, it was almost 200 years before first test match in 1934, between England and Australia.
The game grew steadily, and the inaugural womens world cup took place in 1973. Ten nations now have a women's test cricket team.
International womens matches are organised by the ICC. You can find summary information about womens cricket on their web site, but the CricinfoWomen page gives more detail about the top womens teams and players, and about the latest international matches and ranking lists. Not only are Australia the top men's team in the world – their womens team are also top of the womens rankings.
A woman was responsible for creating the over-arm bowling action that is now a key part of the modern game. This was devised by Christine Willes in the early 1800s, as a practical solution to avoid getting her bowling arm tangled in her huge, hoop skirt.
But, there's no need to be a test player to take part in womens cricket. The club game has expanded rapidly since the ECB took over the running of the women's game in the UK in 1998.
A record number of women's teams have been entering the game at school, club and county level since 2000, and in 2003 the ECB stated that girl's cricket had over 2 million players. The same picture is also true in India, Australia and New Zealand.
In the UK, the ECB are responsible for promoting the game, setting up new clubs and leagues, and introducing new girls to the sport. If you're excited about getting into the game and you want more information, the Women's Regional Cricket Managers can help you. Alternatively, try your own county Cricket Development Manager. Whatever your standard, there’s a level of cricket that you can enjoy.
Girls don't necessarily have to play in a girl's team. Many club's junior sections will welcome girls to mixed coaching sessions, and will pick a mixed team based on merit. This works while junior players arrive at the ground already changed, as usually happens up to age 12 or 13. However, without separate changing facilities, girls will then take the path towards women's cricket.
If you’re keen to set up a women's cricket section at an existing club the ECB can offer guidance, and even a funding route. Their club development flowchart will help you with the right steps to take, including how to attract new members and how to set up links with ECB Cricket Development Managers.
For coaches, most girls will not have played cricket before, so learning the basics through Kwik Cricket and Inter Cricket is a good starting point. As with all beginners, its good to emphasise how much fun they can get from the game on the field, and from the social side.
Many girls find it difficult to play cricket at the same standard as boys of the same age group, so encouragement is vital if they are playing in mixed teams or at the same coaching sessions. From this viewpoint, separate girl’s teams are an advantage.
However, at county and international level, there are many competitive and talented women players, so as with the boys, the rewards are there for the most determined. Nevertheless, the key to enjoying all forms of cricket is to have fun, and that’s the message for all cricket parents to
2011 Cricket World Cup
After the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, we can all look forward to the 2011 World Cup in Asia. The competition will be hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who have promised a spectacular event that will be “as big as the one for football”.
They could be right. Their winning bid stressed how "cricket is a religion" in their part of the world, and how everything, including marriages and Bollywood movies are organised around the cricket schedule. Even the ferocious traffic stops when a big game happens, and there are likely to be a billion viewers and spectators on the sub continent alone (Dawn, 2 May 2006).
The ICC have acknowledged that the 2007 event was too long, and will likely reduce it by about a week to 40 days. Lets hope that ticket prices are far less than in the West Indies – you need to be an ultra passionate local to pay a month’s wages to see a one day cricket match.
Having said that, my son and I still enjoyed the 2007 tournament. We kept in touch with all the scores by radio, internet and satellite TV; we were on the edge of our seats for the tied game between Ireland and Zimbabwe, and for England’s 1 wicket win over the West Indies. But only two words for the Australians – awesome champions!
The ICC favour the same 16 team format for the 2011 finals. This is likely to comprise the same 10 test match nations, and six qualifiers from the World Cricket League. The second cycle of the WCL starts in 2008, and will contain two extra divisions to accommodate new cricketing nations.
The 2011 Cricket World Cup final will be played in the 45,000 capacity Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. This will be the last of the 22 matches to be played in India; the other games include 14 in Pakistan, 9 in Sri Lanka and 6 in Bangladesh. The opening ceremony and first match will be at one of three major stadiums in Bangladesh.
So, it’s another great chance for us to get completely involved with the best teams, the giant killers, the stars on the pitch and the personalities surrounding it. But, although 2011 will doubtless arrive sooner than we expect, there’s much cricket to be played before then, and plenty of time for new cricketing stars to rise.
I’ll keep these pages updated as more details become available. But, food for thought after this year’s event - would you like to bet against Australia being champions yet again?