The game overcame a lack of investment early in the nineteenth century as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, and recovery began in 1815. Sussex was the first English county club to be established in 1839, and the rest followed suit by the end of the nineteenth century. A travelling “All-England Eleven” was created in 1846 as a commercial operation that did much to popular the game to places that had never seen top-class cricket before. The expansion of the railway network aided the growth of cricket by allowing teams from large distances apart to play one another without the need for a time-consuming travel. Not only that, but viewers may travel longer distances to matches, boosting crowd size. British army forces across the world encouraged people to play, resulting in an increase in the number of teams throughout the former British Empire.
Women’s cricket was important in the growth of the sport in the nineteenth century, with the first women’s county match taking place in 1811. Women’s matches were frequently played in front of big crowds, notably in the south of England, and the first women’s sides began playing the sport in Australia in the 1890s. Overarm bowling was legalised in 1864, and the year also saw the release of the first Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack, which is still in print today. W. G. Grace began his long and prominent career the same year, greatly increasing cricket’s popularity.
The first international cricket match was played in 1844 between the United States and Canada at New York’s St George’s Cricket Club, and in 1859, a team of prominent English pros toured North America on the first-ever overseas tour. The first English team visited Australia in 1862, and six years later, a team of Australian Aborigines visited England, making them the first Australian cricket team to travel abroad.
An England touring squad in Australia played two matches against complete Australian XIs in 1877, which are today considered the inaugural Test matches. The Australians travelled England for the first time the following year, and the success of this trip established a widespread desire for such expeditions in the future.
The Australian triumph at a close finish at The Oval in 1882 gave rise to The Ashes. In 1889, South Africa became the third Test country. In England, the formal County Championship was established in 1890. The Currie Cup was established in South Africa in 1889-90, and the Sheffield Shield was established in Australia three years later. The era from 1890 until the commencement of World War I has come to be recognised as the “Golden Age of cricket”, as it had many legendary players such as Grace, Wilfred Rhodes, C. B. Fry, Ranjitsinhji, and Victor Trumper.
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