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Monday, 4 August 2014

Cricket (Sport)

Like all bat-and-ball games, cricket evolved gradually from various sources. One game it is related closely to is "stool ball," which was played particularly at Easter. One player threw a ball at an upturned, three-legged stool which was defended - with his outstretched hand - by another player. Subsequently, a second stool was added. That is how the two wickets came into existence.

The first ever-recorded mention of cricket can be found in King Edward I's laundry accounts which mention a match at Newenden Kent. in 1300 The account of the Royal Household itemised the expenditure of a hundred shillings for the king's son, the Prince of Wales for "the Prince's playing at creag and other sports at Westminster."

The name of the game “cricket” is believed to have been derived in the late 1500s from the Middle French word criquet, meaning “goalpost.” It was first used to refer to a game in 1575, but the earliest definite reference to it being played in England was in a court case in 1598.

In 1628 the Archbishop’s Peculiar Court fines ten men 12d each for watching or playing cricket during a church service.

The oldest description of the sport of cricket has been attributed to a poem by William Goldwin, of King's College, Cambridge, published in 1706

The first fully documented cricket match was played in 1744, a thrilling affair between Kent and All England  played at the Artillery Ground, Finsbury, London, which was won by Kent by one wicket.

The first recorded women's cricket game took place in England on July 26, 1745.  The match was between the villages of Bramley and Hambledon near Guildford in Surrey with the Hambledon ladies winning by 8 runs.. According to a contemporary report in the Reading Mercury, "The girls bowled, batted, ran and catches as well as most men could do in that game."

A 1779 cricket match played by the Countess of Derby and other ladies.

Frederick Prince of Wales who captained Surrey and London Cricket teams died at the Honourable Artillery Company’s ground in 1751 after being struck by a cricket ball in the side.

A committee met in the Star and Garter in Pall Mall to draw up the rules of cricket in 1774

By 1700, two upright stumps two feet apart had taken the place of the original single stick. This arrangement soon proved inadequate as the ball went between the stumps without touching either of them. To remedy this, a third stump came into existence in 1776. The first time it was used was in a match in Surrey between Coulsdon and Chertsey.

In 1788 The Marylebone Cricket Club, (MCC) published the first official Laws of Cricket.

In its early years the Marylebone Cricket Club wicket was ‘prepared’ before a match by allowing sheep to graze on the grass.

Cricket reached the United States towards the middle of the eighteenth century and, until the advent of baseball, was pursued with zeal. George Washington was a cricket enthusiast and was known to have played the sport.

John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset organised an international tour of English cricketers to France in 1789, but it was abandoned due to the French Revolution.

In 1816 a law was passed by the MCC to declare round arm bowling illegal but was so unclear it proved impossible to enforce and round arm bowling continued.

Round arm fell into decline after 1864 when the current style of over arm bowling was legalized, although W. G. Grace continued to use it to the end of his career.

English cricketer Darren Gough about to deliver the ball overarm-style. By Stephen Turner  Wikipedia

The first Eton v Harrow cricket match took place in 1805. One of the players on the Harrow team was 17-year-old Lord Byron who despite suffering from a club foot had become a good all-around sportsman.

The first wides to be entered in a cricket scorebook were bowled in 1827.

A cricket match on February 11-12, 1851, played by teams from Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and Port Phillip District (now Victoria), was the first between two Australian colonies. It was recognised in later years as the initial first-class cricket match in Australia. The Tasmanian team won by three-wickets.

The first recorded use of ‘duck’ or ‘duck’s egg’ to mean no score in cricket was in 1863.

Overarm bowling became legal in cricket in 1864.

A cricketer who scored no runs had a large zero placed next to his name on the scoreboard. Spectators soon remarked on the resemblance of the shape of this "nought" with that of an egg. So they called it a "duck's egg." Subsequently, they dropped the egg altogether, to keep the "duck."

Enraged by a controversial umpiring decision, when star Australian batsman Billy Murdoch was given out by the umpire, cricket spectators rioted and attacked the England cricket team during a match in Sydney, Australia on February 8, 1879.

An 1887 cricket match in progress at Sydney's Association Ground, the site of the riot

The major English county cricket sides met in 1889 to agree a way of deciding an order of ranking for the following season, giving birth to the County Cricket Championship.

The Sheffield Shield is a silver trophy purchased from a donation of £150 by Lord Sheffield to promote Australian cricket. It has been the object of annual cricket competitions between the the states since 1892-3 and was first contested between New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

In 1907 George Dennett, aided by Gilbert Jessop, dismissed Northamptonshire for 12 runs, the lowest total in first-class cricket.

The Australian cricket team set a first-class world record on May 15, 1948 that still stands by scoring 721 runs in a day against Essex.

Snow stopped play in an English county cricket match on June 2, 1975 at Buxton between Derbyshire and Lancashire.

Cricket was allowed under the Taliban in Afghanistan, but applause by the crowd was banned.

Yorkshire has won the county cricket championship more often than any other county: 30 times plus once shared.

In cricket a score of 111 is often called a Nelson, supposedly referring to one arm, one eye and one leg. But Lord Nelson always had two legs.

Source Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999. Published by Webster Publishing

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