How did this sport appear on an oval field?
Cricket is a team sport in which two teams of ten players compete in a game of ball and bat. It is usually played on a grassy, oval-shaped pitch with a twenty-meter-long area in the center and a wooden structure, the wicket, at either end. A meeting is divided into several parts. During each of these, one of the teams attempts to score runs (runs) and has two batsmen on the field at the same time, each facing one of the wickets. When the ball is in play, a point is awarded for each change of position between these two players.
Their ten opponents are also present on the field of play. One of them throws the ball in the direction of the wicket of one of the two batsmen. The goal of the second team is to prevent the first team from scoring , mainly by eliminating opposing batsmen, for example by destroying the wicket with the pitcher’s ball.
More than a hundred countries are affiliated to the International Cricket Council, which organizes events such as the Cricket World Cup. According to its history, cricket is most popular in the countries of the former British Empire.
The birth of cricket
The origins of cricket are unknown. In 1300 Prince Edward, the future King of England , was playing “creag and other games “, although there is no evidence that this is the origin of cricket. One of the most popular theories about his origins claims that he was born to a children’s playgroup in the South East of England. A poem attributed to John Skelton and written in 1533 suggests a Flemish origin and a practice first practiced by shepherds.
The oldest mention of cricket (1478) is in a letter of complaint addressed to the King of France Louis XI, which reports a quarrel about this game in the village of Liettres, near Saint-Omer. Each year, the Challenge de Liettres 1478 commemorates this ancestor. In his book Les Sports et jeux d’exercise en ancien France (1901), the author Jean-Jules Jusserand mentions the reference of Liettres in 1478 and asserts that cricket is only a variant of lacrosse or soule at the butt. The first recorded reference to cricket in England was in 1597, when John Derrick, a solicitor, testified in court that he and his friends played ” creckettwhen he was a student at the Royal Grammar School in Guildford, Surrey, around 1550.
The etymology and origin of the word cricket
There are several theories about the origin of the word “cricket”. Considering the many exchanges between the south-east of England and the county of Flanders in the Middle Ages, it is possible that it comes from the Dutch krick (stick). Another possibility is the Anglo-Saxon cricc or cryce (crutch, stick). In his Dictionary of the English Language , Samuel Johnson deduces cricket as a shout (1755). Cricket was a term formerly used to describe a club or goal stick in the game of boules. The Dutch word krickstoeldesignates a stool used for kneeling in churches, and whose shape is similar to that of the first wickets. Heiner Gillmeister, a German linguist, believes the word cricket originated from a Dutch expression for hockey by krik ketsen .
cricket around the world
The first-ever world tour was canceled for political reasons . John Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset, former British Ambassador to France, plans a trip to France in 1789. Players meet in Dover, where they meet the Duke, who fled the French Revolution and will not continue his journey. The first international match in history took place in Manhattan’s Bloomingdale’s Park on September 24–26, 1844, between American and Canadian players . It is billed as a game between the United States and Canada, although the players are mainly drawn from two clubs. This match is won by Canada by a margin of 23 runs. five thousand peopletraveled for the first match, which also served as a platform for Major Paris. The teams met again the following year, in Montreal in July and in New York the following month, for two Canadian victories, and again in 1846, in Harlem, where the game ended with the abandonment of the match by the Canadians after an American player threw the ball at the Canadian batsman responsible for preventing the ball from being caught in the air . After this incident, it would take seven years before the two teams met again.
In September 1859, a group of twelve English professional players left for the United States. Several matches are scheduled, ten English against twenty-two Americans. As the Civil War led to a decline in the popularity of cricket in the United States in favor of baseball, competitive teams would emerge in some cities, including Philadelphia. Until the 1920s, the English and Australian teams would visit North America on occasion, and the Philadelphia team would visit England on several occasions.
With the Civil War in the United States , UK tour operators focused their efforts on Australia. Heathfield Stephenson led the first English team to tour Australia in 1861-62, and many more would follow in the years to come1. Private tournaments, which include professional players, aim to win money. Stephenson’s tour at the time brought in a total of £10,000. In 1868, the first Australian team to travel to England was made up entirely of native players. She takes part in seven matches on British soil and demonstrates boomerang and spear throwing. Tom Wills, a cricketer who, among other things, laid down the first rules of Australian rules football in 1858, is the team’s coach.
In 1876-77, James Lillywhite led an all-professional team to New Zealand and then to mainland Australia. On 15 March 1877, the All England v A Combined New South Wales and Victoria XI match took place , pitting Lillywhite’s team against a group of players from New South Wales and Victoria. This match, won by the Australians on March 19, will be remembered as the first cricket test match in history, and as a match between England and Australia. English tours of Australia and Australian tours of the UK are now commonplace. In 1882, the surprise victory of the Australiansat The Oval about an English team made up of amateurs and professionals results in a satirical obituary in the Sporting Times, announcing the death of English cricket, whose ashes “will be sent to Australia.” This is the beginning of the Ashes (literally, “the ashes”), a competition which takes place every two years on average and which opposes two teams.
In a painting titled First Australian Team to Visit England to Play a Cricket Match against Willsher’s Gentlemen at Chilham Castle, Kent, August 1878, English painter and illustrator William Andrews Nesfield commemorates the first Australian cricket match on English soil .
The principle of cricket
Cricket pits two teams of ten players against each other on an oval-shaped field. A match can last from a few hours to several days, depending on how you play. A meeting is divided into several parts. During each of them, a team tries to score points (races or course), while the other tries to prevent it. The object of the game is to score more runs than the other team.
During a game, the team that must score points has two players on the field at the same time: the batsmen . They are each equipped with a bat, a wooden accessory. The ten players of the opposing team are also on the field of play. The two batsmen are in the middle of the field, at the ends of a rectangular piece of the field of play called pitch. Each of these batsmen is posted in front of a set of three vertical stakes flanked by two witnesses: the wicket. The two counters are separated by about twenty meters.
One of the team’s ten starting players is designated as the wicket-keeper . He is just behind the wicket of one of the opposing batsmen. He wears gloves as equipment. The other ten players have the option of being pitchers, which means that they will have to throw the ball. When one of these ten players is given the task of throwing the ball, he runs until he comes up to one of the wickets, at which point he releases the ball in the direction of the another counter. The pitcher raises his arms above the shoulder and most of the time the ball bounces off the ground before reaching the batsman at the intended wicket.
When facing the pitcher , the batsman must attempt to bat the ball with their bat. After the batsman has tossed and, if necessary, stuck the ball, he and his teammate may swap positions. Each exchange of position gives rise to a point , and other exchanges are possible thereafter. Then, the batsmen keep the position they had after the exchanges: if the number of exchanges is low, it is the batsman who has not faced the previous pitcher who faces the next one. If the ball hit by the batsman leaves the field without touching the ground, his team scores six points. She scores four runs if she goes out after touching the ground. In both cases, the batsmen return to the position they occupied before the pitch.
If the pitcher’s ball hits the wicket, the batsman facing the pitcher is out. He is also eliminated if the ball he hits with his bat is caught in the air by one of the ten opposing players. Likewise, if the players are running to try and make a run and one of the wickets is destroyed with the ball by one of the ten opponents, the player directing their attention to the destroyed wicket is out . A total of nine different elimination modes are available . When a pitcher is eliminated, one of his teammates who has not played for a while takes his place on the field.
Every six balls, the team running the pitchers changes pitchers. The new designated pitcher begins his pitch on the opposite side of the previous pitcher and continues in this manner until the end of the game.
When ten of the opposing team’s ten batsmen are out, the two teams switch roles .
The Laws of Cricket, also known as the Rules of Cricket, are made up of forty-two laws and four schedules. They are codified by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), a private club based in London which is the oldest governing body of cricket in the world.
The first known code was established in 1744 by a group of ” Noblemen and Gentlemen “. It was revised in 1755 by a committee of ” Noblemen and Gentlemen ” from Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex and London. There are six laws in this edition. In 1786, a similar committee revised the laws again. The first MCC code was adopted on May 30, 178824. Since then, it has been regularly updated.
In the 2000 edition of the code, a new preamble was added: the Spirit of Cricket, or “spirit of the game”: it establishes a new context, or moral framework, in which a match of cricket is to be played.
According to the preamble to the Laws of Marylebone Cricket Club, “Cricket is a game which owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it must be played not only within the rules, but also within the spirit of the game.”
This preamble makes the captains responsible for the fair play of their team and for respecting the spirit of the game.
The cricket ground
In most cases, a cricket pitch has a somewhat oval shape. The laws of cricket do not specify any size or shape, but it is usually a low eccentricity ellipse with axes measuring between 90 and 150 yards . For international matches, minimum dimensions have been set: since October 1, 2007, they are 137.16 meters for the longest axis and 148.13 meters for the shortest axis. The limits of the field, also called borders, must be marked by a white line, a rope, or a solid object with an edge or marked by a line.
The pitch is a rectangular area in the center of the pitch that is oriented along the major axis of the pitch. It has a length of 20.12 meters and a width of 3.05 meters. It is held in place at each of its ends by two white lines called bowling pleats, each measuring 2.64 meters. Other white lines are found on the field, including a goal line that runs along each of the goal lines at a distance of 1.22 meters.
A wooden structure, called a wicket, sits at the ends of each court. The two wickets are 20.12 meters apart and parallel to each other. A wicket is made up of three stumps and two bails .
Stumps are vertical cylindrical rods with a diameter between 3.49 and 3.81 centimeters and a diameter between 3.49 and 3.81 centimeters. They reach a height of 71.1 centimeters above the surface of the pitch. The bails are small mobile witnesses with a length of 10.95 centimeters that climb on the stumps.
Description of cricket bat and ball
For a junior men’s cricket match, the cricket ball must weigh between 155.9 and 163 grams new. Its circumference must have a diameter between 22.4 and 22.9 centimeters (or a diameter between 7.13 and 7.29 centimeters). For the women’s matches, the dimensions and weights are different, ranging from 140 to 151 grams and from 21 to 22.5 centimeters in circumference, while for the junior matches, the dimensions and weights are from 133 to 144 grams and from 20.5 to 22.0 centimeters in circumference.
The cricket ball is made of a hard leather covering cork. The leather is divided into two hemispheres which are connected by a seam. The ball is traditionally red in color, with a white dress. For throwing matches (overs) in limited numbers, white balls are used. Some of these matches take place in the evening. It is a legacy of World Series Cricket , a rebel tournament held between 1977 and 1979 that ushered in evening matches and a ball color easily seen in floodlights. A brief experiment was conducted in the 16th century to introduce blue balls for women’s cricket matches, as red was deemed too offensive for women.
A cricket bat is made up of a rattan-like hand and a willow-like body. This part of the bat, called the ” blade “, is flat on one side and rounded on the other to ensure its stability. To hit the ball, the batsman uses his left hand.
The length of the bat must not exceed 96.5 cm, and its “blade” must not exceed 10.8 cm at the most prominent point. The soule which constitutes the ball may be covered with a protective material provided that this is not thicker than 1.56 mm and does not endanger the ball. The hands of the batsman or batswoman, as well as any protective gloves, are considered part of the bat , according to the rules of cricket: If the ball strikes a hand or a glove holding the bat, it is considered to have was hit by the bat.