Cricket History

Cricket History

Cricket is the second-most popular sport in the world after football/Soccer, with 2.5 billion supporters. These supporters are found all over the world, but majorities are from England, West Indies, Australia, and other Asian countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. When we talk about Cricket history, it is one of the oldest games in human history that has undergone multiple revolutions to reach its current state.

Cricket Formats

The longest and most prestigious form of cricket is test cricket, which lasts for up to five days. There are twelve officially recognized test-playing countries. Test matches are played with all players wearing white.

Cricket History
Test Match

The second officially recognized format is the One-Day International (ODI), which was first introduced in 1971. Today’s ODI cricket matches allow for a maximum of 50 Overs of batting for each team. Six legal balls are permitted in each over. The newest format for the game is Twenty20 (T20), which was introduced in 2003. This is the shortest form of the game, with each team playing 20 overs.

Cricket History
ODI Match

The Early Cricket History

Some historians believe that cricket may have been invented by children living in the Weald, an area of dense woodlands and clearings in southeast England, during the Saxon or Norman ages. A dictionary also refers to cricket as a boy’s game in 1611, the year it was first recognized as an adult sport. Village cricket had evolved by the middle of the 17th century, and in the second part of the century, the first English “county teams” were formed, with “local experts” from village cricket employed as the first professionals in the sport. The first game where county names were used to identify sides was in 1709.

Cricket History
Cricket History

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)

The original Laws of Cricket were written in 1744, which were then updated in 1774. Innovations like LBW, a third stump, the middle stump, and a maximum bat width were added to these laws. The regulations were created by the “Star and Garter Club,” whose members later founded the famous Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at Lord’s in 1787. Immediately, MCC became the custodian of The Laws and has been keeping them current ever since.

Rolling the ball down the ground was no longer used after 1760 then bowlers began pitching the ball. As a result, the straight bat took the place of the earlier “hockey-stick” kind of bat.

In 1864, overarm bowling was legalized, and the first issue of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, still in print today, was released. In the same year, W. G. Grace began his long and renowned career, substantially increasing his interest in cricket.

Cricket History
W. G. Grace

The Growth of Cricket

Cricket was initially introduced to North America in the 17th century through the English colonies, and it quickly expanded to other parts of the globe in the 18th century. It was introduced to the West Indies by colonialists, and sailors from the British East India Company introduced it to India. The sport made its way to New Zealand and South Africa in the early 19th century before arriving in Australia as soon as colonization began in 1788. The development of the train system helped cricket thrive because it made it possible for teams to play one another without consuming time over long distances. Additionally, there would be greater audiences since spectators could travel longer distances to the games. British army soldiers sent across the world encouraged locals to participate, which resulted in an increase in teams across the old British Empire.

Women’s Cricket

Cricket History
Women Cricket

In 1811, the first women’s county game was played, and women’s cricket significantly contributed to the development of the sport in the 19th century. Women’s matches often attracted large crowds, particularly in the South of England. In Australia, women’s teams initially entered the competition in the 1890s.

Cricket as an International Sport

In 1844, the United States and Canada engaged in the first-ever international cricket match at the St. George’s Cricket Club in New York. In 1859, a group of distinguished English professionals traveled to North America for the first time. In 1862, the first English team visited Australia, and six years later, an Aboriginal cricket team made its first overseas trip to England.

Two games between an England touring team and full Australian XIs were considered the first Test matches in cricket history, which were played in Australia in 1877. The next year, the Australians made their first tour to England, and the success of this tour ensured that there would be demand for other such ventures in the future. The Ashes were established at The Oval in 1882 after an Australian victory in a thrilling finale. South Africa rose to become the third Test nation in 1889.

Cricket History
England vs Australia

Establishment of the International Cricket Council (ICC)

The Imperial Cricket Conference (The present name is International Cricket Council/ ICC), was created in 1909. At the time, only South Africa, Australia, and England were involved. However, the West Indies (1928), as well as New Zealand (1930) and India (1932) all became Test nations before the Second World War. Pakistan became a test-playing nation in 1952.

One Day International Cricket History

The inaugural limited-over international game was played at Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1971 as a filler after a Test match was abandoned owing to heavy rain on the first two days. In reaction to this trend the International Cricket Conference, as it was then called, organized the first Men’s Cricket World Cup in England in 1975. West Indies won the tournament’s final match at Lord’s, which included all the test-playing nations at that time.

Cricket History
1975 World Cup Winner

New Era of Cricket History

After the inaugural World Cup’s success, it was decided to add additional tournaments to make it a regular part of the calendar. Cricket The last World Cup to be contested with a red ball and white uniforms was in 1987 when it was hosted by India and Pakistan. Earlier World Cups were held in England in 1979 and 1983. The 1992 World Cup of Cricket marked the start of a new era with the addition of colored equipment, floodlights, and a white ball. The first time a third umpire was used to adjudicate run-out disputes using television replays was in the 1992 Test series between South Africa and India. Since then, the third umpire’s duties have expanded to include making decisions about a variety of aspects of play, such as stumpings, catches, and boundaries.

Cricket History
Trent Bridge | England

The global game continued to expand as more ICC Associate and Affiliate Members became involved in planning regional competitions before moving on to the international stage. And in the last years of the 20th century, three of those countries—Sri Lanka (1982), Zimbabwe (1992), and Bangladesh—became Test nations (2000).

Also, read about the best moments in cricket history

Development of a New Format

In the twenty-first century, the game saw some of its most rapid modifications ever. The addition of the Twenty20 format was the biggest modification. The sport has evolved significantly with the addition of Twenty20 cricket, which was first played in county cricket in England in 2003. While the quality of fielding has significantly increased, bowlers have begun to master a broad variety of unique deliveries to halt free-scoring hitters with strong hits and strokes executed in all directions. The third official version of the sport, the Men’s Twenty20 International, was staged the year after the first Women’s Twenty20 International.

T-20 Leagues

The first ICC World Twenty20 final between India and Pakistan was held in Johannesburg in September 2007, almost 400 million people watched this match. Therefore, the Indian Premier League (IPL) was established the following year. Cricketers in the twenty-first century now must play all year round owing to the global proliferation of Twenty20 competitions.

Cricket History
IPL Ceremony

Teams’ Rankings in the ICC

In 2001, the ICC also unveiled a “Test Championship Table,” officially ushering in a new century. The next year, the “One-day International Championship Table” was added. The ICC Test Championship Mace is held by the top teams in the Test rankings, which have evolved into the present MRF Tyres ICC Team Rankings for all three game types.

The ICC has broadened the scope of its development program to produce more competitive national teams across all sports. Due to their persistent efforts both on and off the field, which helped to significantly improve and expand cricket in their respective countries, Afghanistan and Ireland were granted Full-Member status in June 2017, increasing the total to 12.

Field Alteration

Additionally, the field has undergone alterations, such as the installation of Power-plays in Twenty20 cricket, the usage of two new balls in One Day Internationals, and even the construction of dugouts for batters to enter. The first-ever day-night Test Match between Australia and New Zealand was played at the Adelaide Oval and was a big improvement for Test Match cricket as well.

There have also been a lot of recent technological developments in the game, such as ball tracking, flashing stumps, and bails to ensure accurate run-out decisions, infrared cameras, edge detection technology, and the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, which is used to predict targets and results in limited-overs matches in case of bad weather.

Cricket History
Decision Review System

A new referral system, which allowed players to report specific on-field decisions to the third umpire, made its international debut in a series between India and Sri Lanka in 2008. It has grown to become the acknowledged Decision Review System.

There are many more things that are not covered yet in this topic but will be covered in other posts. If you have any queries feel free to ask.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *