Early Stages of Cricket

Experts agree that cricket was created during the Saxon or Norman periods by children living in the Weald, a region of thick forests and clearings in south-east England. Cricket was first mentioned as an adult activity in 1611, and a dictionary categorised it as a boy’s pastime the same year. There is also the possibility that cricket evolved from bowls due to the intervention of a batter attempting to prevent the ball from reaching its goal by striking it away.
By the middle of the 17th century, village cricket had evolved, and the first English “county teams” were created in the second half of the century, when “local specialists” from village cricket were hired as the first professionals. In 1709, the primary documented game during which teams used county names was played.
Cricket became a serious sport in London and therefore the south-eastern counties of England within the first a part of the 18th century. Travel limitations hampered its expansion, but it was gradually gaining popularity in other regions of England, and Women’s Cricket dates back to 1745, when the first known match was played in Surrey.
The initial Laws of Cricket were published in 1744 and were later changed in 1774, when innovations such as lbw, a third stump, – the middle stump, and a maximum bat width were added. The regulations were created by the “Star and Garter Club”, whose members went on to build the illustrious Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord’s in 1787. MCC was immediately appointed as the keeper of the Laws, and changes have been made ever since to the present day.
When bowlers began to pitch the ball after 1760, rolling the ball down the ground became obsolete, and the straight bat replaced the traditional “hockey-stick” kind of bat. For approximately thirty years, until the founding of the MCC and the opening of Lord’s Cricket Ground in 1787, the Hambledon Club in Hampshire was the focal centre of the game.
Cricket was brought to North America via the English colonies as early as the 17th century, and it spread to other regions of the world in the 18th century. Colonists brought it to the West Indies, and British East India Company seafarers brought it to India. It came in Australia nearly immediately after settlement began in 1788, and the sport spread to New Zealand and South Africa in the early nineteenth century.

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