It is known for certain that the British played cricket as early as the 16th century. At the same time, some historians claim that the game “creedge”, which the future English king Edward II became in 1301, is one of the earliest forms of cricket. The etymology of the word “cricket” is also a subject of controversy among specialists. In the documents containing the earliest mention of cricket, the game is called “crackett”. One hypothesis says that the word could have been borrowed from the Middle Dutch language, since in the Middle Ages, trade relations between England and Flanders were strong. In the Middle Dutch, the word krick means a staff. According to another version, the word comes from the Old English cricc or cryce, meaning “crutch” or “staff.” In the old French language, the word criquet, apparently, means “club” or “stick.” In Samuel Johnson’s vocabulary, the word “cricket” is derived from the Saxon cryce, which means “stick.” Another hypothesis refers to the middle-könderland word krickstoel, denoting a long low chair used for prayer. The shape of this chair resembles the construction of the gate used at the dawn of cricket. European language expert Heiner Gillmeister argues that the word “cricket” is derived from the middle Dutch expression met de (krik ket) sen, which the inhabitants of the medieval Netherlands have meant hockey. Gillmeister believes that not only the name, but also the game itself is of Flemish origin
The first evidence of a cricket game dates back to 1598. It says that as early as the middle of the century, the game of “crackett” took place on a common ground in Guilford. A certain John Derrick, a 59-year-old coroner, who claimed that half a century ago he was a student at Guilford Free School, where he and his peers «played crackett and other games», presented evidence at the trial. It is assumed that initially cricket was a child’s game, and the first mentions of the participation of adults are dated to 1610. Soon cricket matches began to be held in the English villages. In 1624, a player named Jasper Vinall died on the head with a ball during a match between two Sussex teams.
In the XVII century, the game was developed in the south-east of England, as evidenced by numerous documents. By the end of the century, cricket had become an organized event. Fans of the game made a bet with each other, trying to predict the outcome of the match. It is believed that the first professional cricketers appeared shortly after the restoration of the Stuarts in 1660. The number of the Foreign Post newspaper dated July 7, 1697 reports that a large match took place in Sussex, in which eleven players from each team took part. This note is the first mention of a cricket match in newspapers.
In the XVIII century, the game moved to a new stage of development and became the national sport in England. The popularity of cricket was fueled by the evolution of the betting system, which by then had led to the creation of full-fledged professional clubs, patronized by wealthy British . By the turn of the century, the game had become quite popular in London, matches at the Artillery Ground stadium gathered a large number of spectators. A very common type of cricket with one wicket. The modern bowler’s role was formed around 1760, when players in most cases began to serve the ball with a rebound from the pitch, and not to roll it. A new method of filing has led to a change in the shape of the bits. Straight beats allowed to better reflect the ball going along a more complex trajectory, but earlier it resembled a hockey stick in shape. In the 60s of the XVIII century, the Hembldon club was created, which for twenty years was the leading organization in the world of cricket. In 1787, the Marylebone Club and Lords Old Ground Cricket Stadium were opened, which quickly gained the status of cricket centers. “Marylebone” became the keeper of the rules of the game, a new set of which was published at the end of the century.
Cricket’s traditional manner of serving the Underarm, when the bowler’s hand passes below its waist, was replaced in the first half of the 19th century by the roundarm bowling method. This method assumes that there is a right angle between the arm and the bowler’s body at the moment of the throw. Finally, in 1864, another method of service, over-the-ore (English overarm bowling), used in modern cricket, was recognized. Performing the flow in this style, the bowler holds his hand above shoulder level. The introduction of new ways of giving the ball caused controversy in the cricket community.
In 1839, the Sussex Cricket Club was created, which marked the beginning of the formation of county-level competitions. In 1890, the regular county cricket championship started. Meanwhile, the expansion of the empire contributed to the popularization of the game in India, North America, the Caribbean, South Africa and Australasia. In 1844, the first international match took place, in which the teams of the United States and Canada took part. However, none of the teams had test status, so this meeting is not considered a top-level match.
In 1859, the players of the English national team went on the first international tour, visiting the countries of North America. Aboriginal pastoralists, who in 1868 spent several matches with teams of English counties, staffed the first Australian team that played overseas. The British arrived in Australia for the first time in 1861, and in the 1876/77 season the English team took part in the first test match on cricket, where they played with the Australians at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
One of the most famous cricketers is William Gilbert Grace, who began his career in 1865 and completed it in 1908. According to some experts, Grace became one of the revolutionaries of the game. During his career, Grace scored 54896 wounds, 126 times collecting hundreds, and took 2876 wickets. In 1882, the British and Australians began to fight annually for the trophy called The Ashes. The tournament is one of the most famous cricket competitions today. The third test team was the team of South Africa, which played with England in the 1888/89 season. The end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century is considered the golden age of cricket. Partly, the isolation of this particular period is associated with the nostalgic moods that emerged among game lovers after the devastating period of the First World War.
The interwar period was marked by the absolute dominance of one athlete – the Australian player Don Bradman, the best batsman of all time. The average score of his performance in matches of the first level is 95.14, while in test matches Bradman showed a performance of 99.94. In the first half of the 20th century, teams from the West Indies, India and New Zealand became participants in the test matches. After World War II, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh joined the elite. In 1970-1992, the South African team was excluded from the cricket elite due to the country’s discriminatory policy of apartheid.
In 1963, cricket entered a new era. Teams of English counties began to use a system of limited overs, which allowed to hold meetings for one day. Reducing the duration of one match allowed to increase the number of meetings held. The first international match using this system took place in 1971. The International Cricket Council appreciated the benefits of the new format, and initiated a one-day world cricket championship, the first drawing of which took place in 1975. In the XXI century, a new system of limited overs called Twenty20 appeared, which quickly became widespread.
Cricket matches can be held in one of the generally accepted formats. There are two main types of cricket: first-class cricket, in which the matches are limited in time, and each team holds two innings as a batter, and to limited overs cricket, where the duration of the match is limited by the number of overlays played, and beating off the opponent’s feed. The first level matches take three days or five days, in the past, “indefinite” matches were recorded. Within one game day, teams spend about six hours on the field. A match with limited overs, the number of which is usually 20 or 50, is played in one day. On the other hand, participants in a match with limited overs can spend more than six hours on the field. Along with classic cricket, indoor cricket and garden cricket continue to develop.
One of the most successful formats in cricket history has become a single wicket game. This format, popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, presupposes the presence of one to six athletes in each team, only one of whom performs the functions of a Batsman during the entire innings. This type of cricket has lost ground with the advent of matches with limited overs.