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The first name that comes to mind when talking about the game of India is cricket. When it comes to playing in every house in India, from the youngest to the oldest, cricket will come first.

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But cricket is not the national sport of India. There are differences of opinion about the Indian national game.

According to some, hockey is the national sport of India and according to some, kabaddi is the national sport of India. Although cricket is so popular in India, it originated in England.

Cricket is believed to have been around since possibly the 13th century. That’s right cricket was around in the same era as the Mongol empire.

However if we’re on the safe side, the sport of cricket has a known history beginning in the late 16th century.

And you must be thinking oh it’s something invented by the noble elite of the time. No, who played it, sheep boys.

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That’s right country boys bowled a tree stump or a hurdle gate into a sheep pen. This gate consisted of two uprights and a crossbar resting on the slotted tops.

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The crossbar was called a bale and the entire gate was called a wicket. So that’s where bail comes from.

Not the other definition, in terms of the word cricket a number of words are thought to be possible sources for the term.

In the earliest references, it was spelled croquet. The name may have come from the middle dutch word crick meaning a stick. Or the old English crick.

Or christ meaning a staff. Or the french word cricket meaning a wooden post. Or the middle dutch one meaning a cricket there it is a lot of words.

It could have been any of them these early bats were shaped branches of trees a bit like modern hockey sticks but longer and heavier.

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The bat was shortened in the handle and straightened and broadened in the blade which led to forwarding play driving and cutting.

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Unfortunately, these sheep boys still hadn’t figured out the ball. So batting dominated bowling until the 18th century.

Having originated in southeast England it became the country’s national sport in the 18th century. A key part of cricket in the 1800s was something you might not expect.

Gambling

gambling introduced a lot of money into the game. Because some of the gamblers decided to strengthen their bets by forming their own teams.

This is how the first county teams were formed and also how some of the first professional cricketers were introduced.

Well, cricket hadn’t reached a stage where it was a viable career option. But people were still getting paid a little bit as local experts from village cricket.

And then cricket was introduced to North America by the English colonies. However, I don’t think it really caught on there did it.

But it was introduced to the west indies by colonists and also to India by the East India company.

And both those countries are now major cricketing nations and the prisoners on the ships to Australia also bought it with them when they were sent there.

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The late 1800s to the early 1900s was the era of W.G Grace often credited as the pioneer of modern-day batting.

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One of the things he invented was specific foot movement. Previously batsmen often made a specialty of a certain stroke and stuck to that.

However, grace incorporated both forward and back play into his repertoire of strokes.

And favoring only that which was appropriate to the ball being delivered at the moment basically a fancy way of saying he moved forward and back.

A turning point in the game was in 1864 when overall bowling was legal. The earliest bowling was underwritten.

And the next step around 1800 was roundarm bowling. However, by the 1860s the bowlers were trying to sneak the hand above the shoulder to try and gain.

An edge on the batsman as is always the case in cricket. In 1862 Edgar Wilshere playing for England against Surrey at the oval was no bald for overall bowling.

There was a bit of a controversy around this and two years later the MCC relented and overall bowling was legalized.

Unfortunately, we did lose some cricketing nations in this period. Canada and America as they separated from the English also lost interest in the game and both the countries saw a decline in its popularity of it from 1860 to 1960.

Cricket also had to compete with the growing rise of baseball in these two markets and eventually lost out to it.

However, cricket was still growing as strong as ever in Britain as well. In fact on the eve of the battle of waterloo British soldiers played a cricket match in the park in Brussels and they won clearly it worked.

At the start of the 19th century, the game underwent a fundamental change of organization with the formation of the first modern county cricket clubs.

Despite first coming out in England it paved the way for other countries to set up the system that eventually is in use today.

And then, of course, the first international cricket game was between England and Australia India and England, No it was the united states in Canada despite as said earlier the game dropping off in these areas.

This game was a momentous occasion it kicked off the tradition of international cricket.

And in 1859 a team of leading English professionals set off to North America on the first-ever overseas tour and in 1862 the first English team toured Australia. You could say the true beginning of the actions.

4 ball per over to 6 ball

Another interesting change over the course of time in cricket is balls per over.

Cricket started with four balls per over however in 1889 it was replaced by five balls per over and then this was changed to the current six balls in 1900.

Subsequently, some countries experimented with eight balls per over. In 1922 the number of bulls per ovals changed from six to eight in Australia only.

This however didn’t last and we were left with the six balls of over we used today.

And just as well for some batsmen, I’m not sure they’d like jasper boomer or pat Cummins bowling at them for eight balls in a row.

In the 20th century, the ICC was formed but no not the international cricket council.

The imperial cricket conference was founded in 1909 only England, Australia, and South Africa were members.

However, they let in the west indies new Zealand, and India all became test nations before world war ii and Pakistan soon afterward.

The international game grew with several ICC affiliate members being appointed.

And in the last quarter of the 20th century, three of those became four members Sri Lanka zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

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