Cricket history

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Cricket history

  1. 1. Cricket HistoryThe history of cricket to 1725 traces the sports development from itsperceived origins to the stage where it had become a major sport inEngland and had been introduced to other countries. The earliestdefinite reference to cricket occurs in 1598 and makes clear that thesport was being played c.1550, but its true origin is a mystery. All thatcan be said with a fair degree of certainty is that its beginning wasearlier than 1550, somewhere in south-east England within thecounties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey, most probably in the regionknown as the Weald. Unlike other games with batsmen, bowlers andfielders, such as stoolball and rounders, cricket can only be played on relatively short grass,especially as the ball was delivered along the ground until the 1760s. Therefore, forestclearings and land where sheep had grazed would have been suitable places to play. Thesparse information available about crickets early years suggests that it was originally achildrens game. Then, at the beginning of the 17th century, it was taken up by working men.During the reign of Charles I, the gentry took an increased interest as patrons andoccasionally as players. A big attraction for them was the opportunity that the game offeredfor gambling and this escalated in the years following the Restoration. By the time of theHanoverian succession, investment in cricket had created the professional player and thefirst major clubs, thus establishing the sport as a popular social activity in London and thesouth of England. Meanwhile, English colonists had introduced cricket to North Americaand the West Indies; and the sailors and traders of the East India Company had taken it tothe Indian subcontinent

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