Cricket is one of the most respected and traditional sports in England. Behind this sport is a century-old tradition sacred to the British. In England, cricket is synonymous with horse racing and is even ahead of the national sport of soccer. It is primarily due to the sport’s history and its importance to the people of England at the time.
As for modern entertainment, Bollywood’s best games are one of the most famous representatives, on par with cricket betting. But what was earlier? And how did cricket, so popular today, come about? Let’s take a look!
History of cricket
It is impossible to trace the exact beginning of cricket; the first known form dates back to 1300. It is when the ancient early form of the ball sport originated, played by Kent’s rural population.
It is also known that Prince Edward played this form of early cricket at this time. There is also the first written evidence of this era of the sport, which was then called “creag.” It can be proved that the word “cricket” comes from the word “creckett,” which was first mentioned in writing in 1598. The first recorded cricket match occurred in 1646 at Coxhit near Kent, England. During the 17th century, the sport became increasingly popular, particularly in the southern and southeastern regions of England, and by the end of the century, it had become an organized sport.
Cricket, a sport for gentlemen
- The rules of cricket, which are still in force today, were established by the Duke of Dorset as early as 1774. This general definition of the rules was one of the reasons why cricket became the national sport in England in the 18th century. More and more aristocrats and wealthy merchants began to form their teams and compete against each other.
- At this time, a site was found on Artillery Field near Finsbury, which was replaced in 1787 by the newly opened Lord’s Ground. Addresses of the best athletes quickly emerged, and the Marylebone Cricket Club team soon came out on top.
- Today, the club remains one of England’s most famous and respected cricket clubs. Cricket was allowed to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris in 1900 but was not included in the program after that. England, which won at that time, has the right to use the title of Olympic champion to this day. The International Cricket Association has been campaigning for years to restore the sport to the Olympic program.
Since the organized sport began, cricket has symbolized fair play and represented a classless game. The sport was considered noble with its modern rules because it was initially played primarily by the English landed gentry. It became a classless sport because ordinary people were not excluded from the game. The nobility formed the first teams in the country’s villages, playing against “common” villagers without discrimination.
Although the teams were divided according to their status, a fair game was nevertheless played. It was a highly modern way of thinking and attitude of the English nobility and also unique to absolutist-ruled Europe. The elite would never bother with the “common” people. The nature of cricket also reflects this fair play, for it is a sport based not on strength and speed but on patience and tactical intelligence. Thus, the English people were also able to defeat the aristocracy through skill. There was no dominant play and suppression of the opponent, as is the case today in sports such as rugby or soccer.
Cricket usually plays a role only in England, the Commonwealth, and the former British colonies; outside of these countries and in Europe, the sport has little or no importance and is very rare. It is due, on the one hand, to the long duration of the game and, on the other hand, to the rules of the game, which are complicated for outsiders. A match can easily drag on for three days and cannot keep up with other ball sports because it is unsuitable for the media and the general public. The sport became widespread due to British colonization and was intended to promote their cultivation.
In much of the colonies, cricket was accepted and epitomized the unity of the British Empire. People there, too, could play games against their “masters,” and it also helped improve the social climate. The exception was the black population of the Caribbean states, who were allowed to play games, but for a long time, the masters of the colonies were unwilling to compete with them.
The same thing happened to the Aborigines in Australia, who were sidelined for a long time by the rule changes and deprived of winning a match. To this day, there is an intense rivalry between England and Australia, although the English feel that losses to Australia are terrible.
Cricket is a very strictly regulated game, where each player does a specific job, and the umpire is highly respected, as it is considered highly unsportsmanlike to challenge a decision. Cricket is about defeating the opposing team through skill. The sport goes against all known rules compared to other ball sports, so the better teams play, the quieter and slower the game. It is entirely at odds with fast-paced sports in which it is essential to make quick moves. The patient style of cricket means a match can last up to three days.
The team’s goal is to break up the game, there is no fighting for the ball, so the English describe the game as highly civilized. It is more important for players to play a fair game with hot team spirit than to win. The strict regulation of the game is also evident in the players’ clothing, where it is specified precisely who must wear what. First of all, all participating players need a jersey and often long pants. The shoes should be white and have a unique tread. For some matches, the jersey color is stipulated; for example, the match attendant must be white in a test match. The most important is the protective clothing, which protects against the strong impact of the ball. It consists of shields protecting the feet, a helmet, gloves, protective elbow guards, chest protectors, and catching gloves, which are only allowed to be worn by the goalkeeper. The umpire wears a white coat.
England’s love of cricket.
Every town and village in England has a cricket ground with manicured lawns and comfortable seats for spectators – there’s nothing wrong with taking a nap during a long game of cricket. Matches between prestigious teams are major social events and attract visitors from all walks of life. The match between Eton School and Harrow School at the legendary Lords Ground is considered a highlight. During the two-day match, spectators enjoy plentiful food and drink. Cream tea, a staple of most cricket matches, is trendy here. The hour-long cream tea is a three-course snack, followed by sandwiches, tea rolls with cream and jam, and sweets.