The origins and facts about cricket
They say you have to be born into cricket, me,I love it, an American friend once described it as “baseball on valium”.
The origins of the game of cricket are lost in the mists of time. There is a reference in the household accounts of King Edward I in 1300 of a game much like cricket being played in Kent.
The English game originated in the sheep-raising country of the South East, where the short grass of the pastures made it possible to bowl or roll a ball of rags or wool at a target. That target was usually the wicket-gate of the sheep paddock, which was defended with a bat in the form of a shepherd’s crooked staff.
In reality there was actually a large number of different games played under a variety of local rules. The idea of a single past time evolving seamlessly into the sport we know and love is appealing but not very likely. However, hitting a ball with a stick does seem to have been a popular past time. Whatever the variety or origins of games played, records show Edward II wielding a bat, and it was suggested that Oliver Cromwell also played the game. In fact, “bat” is an old English word meaning stick or club. The earliest types of bat were much like a hockey stick – long, heavy clubs curved outwards towards the bottom. The design of the bat reflected the type of bowling that was prevalent at the time – fast, underarm bowls rolled along the ground. By the eighteenth century, the bat had developed into a heavier, longer, curved version of our modern bat – the handle and blade were carved out of a single piece of wood.
The 1st recorded cricket match took place in Kent in 1646 and, by the late 1600s fines were actually handed out for those missed church church to play. Cricket was popular and widely documented in England during the 1700s. In 1706 William Goldwyn published the 1st description of the game. He wrote that 2 teams were 1st seen carrying their curving bats to the venue, choosing a pitch and...