Learn About The Origin, Rules, And History Of Cricket

Learn About The Origin, Rules, And History Of Cricket

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Cricket is an internationally recognized and loved form of sport, and it is one of the most popular sporting events in the whole world. The game has been around for ages and has accumulated a rich history along the way. Cricket has given the whole world many talented players, teams, and heart-wrenching moments and has grown into an enormous sport that has millions of fans. There is a lot to know and learn about this game which dates back centuries ago. In this article, the origin and history of cricket are discussed in brief, alongside its basic rules, popularity, and other essential stuff about cricket.

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Origin of Cricket

There are no concrete pieces of evidence that tie up together as the single source of the origin of the cricket game. Instead, there are numerous theories and studies that indicate multiple versions of the true origin of the game. One of the most common theories behind the origin of cricket is that it was evidently a form of a game that shepherds used to play to strive through as their leisure activity, in England. Even without any clear evidence, it is popularly believed that cricket originated in the country of England and it is also regarded as the birthplace of cricket as most early sources and other information about the cricket indicate it to be.

Who Invented the Game of Cricket?

The story about the inventor of the cricket game is also unknown, just as its actual origin place. But the popular beliefs consider that the game was invented by English shepherds, while other beliefs indicate that the game was created by children from the Saxon or Norman period. The first-ever reference to cricket as a game was mentioned during an ownership disagreement court case in 1598 by John Derrick. He argued during the court case that he and his friends were playing on that disputed land a game referred to as “creckett” during that time. While the very first reference of cricket to be played as an adult sport has been dated to be in 1611. In that very year, cricket was defined as a “boys’ game” by a dictionary.

What are the Basic Rules and Format of Cricket?

The basic concept and cricket rules are that it is played between two teams, each having 11 players. Both these teams have to play attack, which batting to make runs, and play defense, which is fielding to not let the other team score runs. These phases are called innings, and the first team to bat or field is decided by a “toss” at the start of the game. The first team to take up batting has to score as many runs possible before the total overs run out or until all their wickets fall, which is ten in total, and the other team’s job is bowling and fielding with the aim to drop all their wickets and not give any runs to them. When the first innings ends, the total score made by the batting team becomes the target of the other team, as their roles switch. To win the game, the other team has to score one point more than their opponent, within the same total overs and 10 total wickets. The matches are supervised by individuals known as cricket umpires.

There are three main formats of cricket that are played all over the world. These cricket formats are;

  • Test Match- This is the traditional format and Test match rules are more or less, the same with it currently being limited to a 5-days, with two innings per team. An inning ends when the team’s all 10 wickets fall down or when the captain decides to call off and close it for the team.
  • ODI- In One Day Internationals or ODIs, the match is played within a day with one inning per team. The innings conclude once all 10 wickets of the team fall down or the total 50 overs of the inning are exhausted.
  • T20- T20 or Twenty20 format of cricket is a shorter version of the ODI, but instead of 50 overs, both teams’ innings are 20 overs long, each.

When was Cricket Established Officially?

The very first official “Laws of Cricket” were composed and amended in the year 1774, and it had included new innovating rules to the game like the inclusion of a third stump, LBW, the maximum width of a cricket bat, and others. These cricket codes were drawn up by the “Star and Garter Club”, the members of which later, founded the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at Lord’s in the year 1787. The MCC is still the primary custodian of the “Laws of Cricket” and is responsible for its revisions to this day. But it was only a century ago, in 1909, that cricket was established as an international sport officially. In the same year of the new decision, the International Cricket Board or the ICB was formed at Lord’s in England. The ICB was founded to regulate the matches between the three countries of England, South Africa, and Australia. As of now, the ICB operates under a new name, which is the International Cricket Council (ICC) and includes a total of 12 cricket-playing nations.

When did Cricket Become a Popular Game?

The massive popularity of the cricket game took a lot of years to reach the place it is now. The game has been popular since its initial days and was referred to as the “Gentleman’s sport”. But the earlier and original format of the game, Test cricket, was so long that it couldn’t grow as much. But its popularity started to grow more since the invention of ODI back in 1971. However, with the introduction of the shorter format of Twenty20 (T20) back in 2003, the game started attracting a lot of fans and audiences from around the world. The T20 format is fast-paced, much easier to understand, and as thrilling and exciting as ever.

Most Popular Countries to Play Cricket

The two main prevailing versions of cricket are Internationals and Domestic. Cricket International matches are played between national cricket teams of the countries, and Domestic cricket is played between clubs within a region. Cricket has been a major sport for many countries across the world and with the introduction of domestic cricket and T20 leagues, a lot of new regions have entered the scene with many talented players. Like the Indian Premier League or the IPL, which has redefined the cricket history in India, there are plenty of other popular leagues that are played among the popular cricket-playing regions, on par with International games. As of now, the most popular countries to play cricket in the world are definitely India, England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Cricket History in a Timeline


What took place

Pre-16th Century

The first and earlier forms of cricket game were established


The term “creckett” (cricket) was first mentioned during a court case


Cricket was included in a dictionary as a “boy’s game”


The first rules between the Duke of Richmond and Alan Brodick for two matches of cricket were established as “The Articles of Agreement”


The “Laws of Cricket” were established which included new rules such as the LBW, maximum width limit of a cricket bat, and so on


First-ever cricket match of Australia in the history of cricket was played in Sydney


The very first international game of cricket was played between Canada and the United States of America in New York


The first international Test match was played between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. This match has become a crucial part of the test match history for many reasons.


The beginning of the most iconic series of rivalry between Australia and England started, named “The Ashes”


Cricket was played for the first and only time in the Olympics in Paris.


The first-ever ODI cricket was played against Australia and England


The very first Women’s Cricket World Cup was hosted in England


The first Cricket World Cup was hosted and it was won by West Indies


The Twenty20 or T20, which is a shorter and most popular format of cricket was introduced and played

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Question Answer
When and where did cricket originate? Cricket's origins can be traced back to 16th century England, where it was played in rural areas. It gradually evolved into a popular sport in the 18th century.
What is the earliest known reference to cricket in history? The earliest known reference to cricket dates back to 1598 in a court case in England, indicating its presence in the late 16th century.
When was the first international cricket match played? The first international cricket match took place in 1844 between the United States and Canada in New York. However, it wasn't until 1877 that the first Test match, between England and Australia, was played.
Who is considered the greatest cricketer of all time? Sir Don Bradman, an Australian cricketer, is often regarded as the greatest batsman in the history of the sport. He holds numerous records and boasts an incredible batting average.
What is the significance of the Ashes series in cricket history? The Ashes series is a famous cricket rivalry between England and Australia that began in 1882. The term "Ashes" originated when Australia defeated England, leading to a mock obituary stating that English cricket had died, and "the body will be cremated, and the ashes taken to Australia.