This article is about the game. For the insect, see Cricket (insect). For other uses, see Cricket (disambiguation) and Cricketer (disambiguation).
Eden Gardens under floodlights during a match.jpg
Eden Gardens, India under floodlights during 2016 ICC World Twenty20 Final
Highest governing body International Cricket Council
First played 16th century; South-East England
Contact No
Team members 11 players per side (substitutes permitted in some circumstances)
Mixed gender Yes, separate competitions
Type Team sport, Bat-and-Ball
Equipment Cricket ball, bat, Wicket (Stumps, Bails), Various protective equipment
Venue Cricket field
Glossary Glossary of cricket terms
Country or region Commonwealth and British territories
Olympic (1900 Summer Olympics only)
Part of a series on
Cricket pictogram
Forms of cricket[hide]
Test cricketOne Day InternationalTwenty20 InternationalFirst-class cricketLimited overs cricketList A cricketTwenty20T10 cricket100-ball cricketClub cricket
History of cricket[hide]
History of cricket to 1725History of cricket (1726–1763)
Cricket may be a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on a field at the centre of which may be a 22-yard (20-metre) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to stop this and dismiss each batter (so they’re “out”). Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side catching the ball after it’s hit by the bat, but before it hits the bottom. When ten batters are dismissed, the innings ends and therefore the teams swap roles. the sport is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a 3rd umpire and match referee in international matches. they convey with two off-field scorers who record the match’s statistical information.

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Forms of cricket range from Twenty20, with each team batting for one innings of 20 overs, to check matches played over five days. Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. additionally to the essential kit, some players wear protective gear to stop injury caused by the ball, which may be a hard, solid spheroid made from compressed leather with a rather raised sewn seam enclosing a cork core layered with tightly wound string.

The earliest regard to cricket is in South East England within the mid-16th century. It spread globally with the expansion of British Empire, with the primary international matches within the last half of the 19th century. The game’s administration is that the International Cricket Council (ICC), which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches. The game’s rules, the Laws of Cricket, are maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. the game is followed primarily within the Indian subcontinent, Australasia, the uk, southern Africa and therefore the West Indies.[1] Women’s cricket, which is organised and played separately, has also achieved international standard. the foremost successful side playing international cricket is Australia, which has won seven at some point International trophies, including five World Cups, quite the other country and has been the top-rated Test side quite the other country.
Main article: History of cricket to 1725

A medieval “club ball” game involving an underhand bowl towards a batsman. Ball catchers are shown positioning themselves to catch a ball. ‘Canticles of Holy Mary’, 13th Century.
Cricket is one among many games within the “club ball” sphere that basically involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement; others include baseball, golf, hockey, tennis, squash, badminton and Ping-Pong.[2] In cricket’s case, a key difference is that the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket (originally, it’s thought, a “wicket gate” through which sheep were herded), that the batsman must defend.[3] The cricket historian Harry Altham identified three “groups” of “club ball” games: the “hockey group”, during which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets (the goals); the “golf group”, during which the ball is driven towards an undefended target (the hole); and therefore the “cricket group”, during which “the ball is aimed toward a mark (the wicket) and driven faraway from it”.[4]

It is generally believed that cricket originated as a children’s game within the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the medieval period.[3] Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite regard to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597 (Julian calendar; equating to 30 January 1598 within the Gregorian calendar). The case concerned ownership of a particular plot of land and therefore the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that:[5][6][7]

Being a scholler within the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies.

Given Derrick’s age, it had been about half a century earlier when he was at college then it’s certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in Surrey.[7] The view that it had been originally a children’s game is reinforced by Randle Cotgrave’s 1611 English-French dictionary during which he defined the noun “crosse” as “the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket” and therefore the verb form “crosser” as “to play at cricket”.[8][9]

One possible source for the sport’s name is that the Old English word “cryce” (or “cricc”) meaning a crutch or staff. In Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary, he derived cricket from “cryce, Saxon, a stick”.[5] In Old French, the word “criquet” seems to possess meant a sort of club or stick.[10] Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and therefore the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may are derived from the center Dutch (in use in Flanders at the time) “krick”(-e), meaning a stick (crook).[10] Another possible source is that the Middle Dutch word “krickstoel”, meaning an extended low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps utilized in early cricket.[11] consistent with Heiner Gillmeister, a eu language expert of Bonn University, “cricket” derives from the center Dutch phrase for hockey, met de (krik ket)sen (i.e., “with the stick chase”).[12] Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but also the game itself could also be of Flemish origin.[12]

Growth of amateur and professional cricket in England

Evolution of the bat. the first “hockey stick” (left) evolved into the straight bat from c. 1760 when pitched delivery bowling began.
Although the most object of the sport has always been to attain the foremost runs, the first sort of cricket differed from the fashionable game in certain key technical aspects. The ball was bowled underarm by the bowler and along the bottom towards a batsman armed with a bat that, in shape, resembled a hockey stick; the batsman defended a coffee, two-stump wicket; and runs were called notches because the scorers recorded them by notching tally sticks.[13][14][15]

In 1611, the year Cotgrave’s dictionary was published, ecclesiastical court records at Sidlesham in Sussex state that two parishioners, Bartholomew Wyatt and Richard Latter, did not attend church on Easter Sunday because they were playing cricket. They were fined 12d each and ordered to try to to penance.[16] this is often the earliest mention of adult participation in cricket and it had been round the same time that the earliest known organised inter-parish or village match was played – at Chevening, Kent.[5][17] In 1624, a player called Jasper Vinall died after he was accidentally struck on the top during a match between two parish teams in Sussex.[18]

Cricket remained a low-key local pursuit for much of the 17th century.[9] it’s known, through numerous references found within the records of ecclesiastical lawsuits, to possess been proscribed sometimes by the Puritans before and through the Commonwealth.[19][20] the matter was nearly always the difficulty of Sunday play because the Puritans considered cricket to be “profane” if played on the Sabbath, especially if large crowds or gambling were involved.[21][22]

According to the social historian Derek Birley, there was a “great upsurge of sport after the Restoration” in 1660.[23] Gambling on sport became a drag significant enough for Parliament to pass the 1664 Gambling Act, limiting stakes to £100 which was, in any case, a huge sum exceeding the annual income of 99% of the population.[23] along side prizefighting, racing and blood sports, cricket was seemed to be a gambling sport.[24] Rich patrons made matches for top stakes, forming teams during which they engaged the primary professional players.[25] By the top of the century, cricket had developed into a serious sport that was spreading throughout England and was already being taken abroad by English mariners and colonisers – the earliest regard to cricket overseas is dated 1676.[26] A 1697 newspaper report survives of “a great cricket match” played in Sussex “for fifty guineas apiece” – this is often the earliest known contest that’s generally considered a primary Class match.[27][28]

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