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Cricket in India

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Last updated date: 18th Apr 2024
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What is the Significance of Cricket in India?

Cricket is one of the foremost sports of modern times. It is a game played with two teams of 11 players. Interestingly India is synonymous with Cricket. Was it always the same? This game originally began out as a sport only played by the British. So, how it became synonymic with India? Isn’t it fascinating? Let’s hear out the story of cricket with its introduction.


During the early 17th century, English colonies introduced cricket in North America. Subsequently, in the 18th century, this game became a favourite around the globe. It marked its presence in Australia almost as soon as colonisation started in 1788. Followed by this, the sport reached New Zealand and South Africa in the early years of the 19th century.


Here, we will understand the history of cricket including the story of cricket including the spread of cricket, Also, we will understand the representation of cricket along with the laws of cricket. 


Belief On Cricket Origination 

It was also believed that cricket was originated in the earliest 13th century as a game that comprises country boys bowling at a tree stump or at the hurdle gate into a sheep pen which can be seen in the image below:


The Story of Cricket: Invention

In the 19th century, cricket was invented in the South-Eastern part of England. The British forwarded the game all around the world. This incorporates their colonies in Africa and Asia. After gaining independence from the rulers, these colonies became assembled in the form of a Commonwealth.


Hence, the story of cricket is fundamentally associated with Commonwealth countries. The main countries having cricket as their sport is:

  • India

  • Pakistan

  • Sri Lanka 

  • Bangladesh

  • Australia

  • New Zealand

  • England

  • West Indies

  • Zimbabwe

  • South Africa 

  • and Kenya

Now, let us go through the past of cricket.


History of Cricket: How Cricket was Originated?

As per the concord of expert view, cricket may have been invented at some point in Saxon or Norman times by children residing in the Weald, a place of dense woodlands and clearings in south-east England. 


In 1611, the first recommendation was to play cricket as an adult game. In the same year, a dictionary described cricket as a boys' sport. There is likewise the notion that cricket may have taken from bowls, by the intercession of a batsman trying to stop the ball from reaching its target by hitting it away.


Village cricket had developed by the middle of the seventeenth century and the first English “county teams” were formed in the 2nd half of the century, as “local experts” from village cricket were hired as the earliest professionals. The first known sport in which teams utilized country names was in 1709. 


In the first half of the eighteenth century, cricket set up itself as the eminent game in London and the south-eastern counties of England. Its unfolding was limited by the constraints of travel, however, it was slowly gaining a reputation in other parts of England, and Women’s Cricket dates back to 1745, whilst the first regarded match was played in Surrey.


In 1744, the first Laws of Cricket were drafted and consequently amended, while innovations included lbw, a third stump, - the middle stump, and the maximum bat width were added. The codes were drawn up by the “Star and Garter Club” whose members ultimately founded the well-known Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord's in 1787. MCC immediately became the custodian of the Laws and has made revisions ever considering the fact that then to the current day.


Rolling the ball along the floor was superseded someday after 1760 when bowlers commenced pitching the ball and in response to that innovation, the instant bat replaced the old “hockey-stick” style of bat. In Hampshire, Hambledon Club was the centerpiece of the sport for about thirty years until the formation of MCC and the opening of Lord's Cricket Ground in 1787.


Representation of Cricket 

Since the invention of cricket, the story of cricket is usually raised for the following three specialties:

  • Fair play, 

  • Gentlemanliness, and 

  • Discipline.

However, in current times, it has become more commercialized.


1. Cricket as a Villagers’ Game

There are some vital rules that were followed in this game right from the early ages. The rules of the game were framed prior to the industrial revolution. So, a match could go on and on till it was called off. After the Industrial Revolution, sport became strictly time-bound.


Cricket was at the start played on common lands in the countryside. The length of the common lands varied from village, and region to region. Therefore, the dimensions of the ground to be played were left for mutual decision before any game.


2. Materials Used in the Game

All the materials that were utilized in the sport were crafted from herbal assets like wood. The bat and the stumps were manufactured from wood. With technological advancements, new things began coming up. The invention of vulcanized rubber led to the advent of pads in 1848. Protective gloves were added quickly thereafter. Soon after, there was a recognition of helmets made out of steel and synthetic lightweight substances.


Laws of Cricket 

  • In 1744, the first written ‘Laws of Cricket’ was drawn up. As per these laws, the principals shall select amongst the gentlemen present two umpires, who shall certainly seek out all disputes. 

  • The stumps were sure to be 22 inches high and the bail across them six inches. The ball ought to be between five and six ounces, and the 2 sets of stumps 22 yards apart.


Spread of Cricket Around the World

In numerous colonies, cricket became a famous sport either by white settlers (as in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, and Kenya) or by nearby elites who desired to replicate the habits of their colonial masters, as in India.


British imperial officers not only introduced the sport to the colonies, however, additionally they made numerous attempts to spread cricket, in particular in colonial territories. Playing cricket became a sign of advanced social and racial status. The first non-white club in the West Indies was set up towards the end of the nineteenth century and the sport became famous in the Caribbean.


When the West Indies received their first Test series against England in the 1950s, the country celebrated it in a massive way as a major achievement. However, the first time that the team was led by a black pack was in 1960 while Frank Worrell was named the captain.


Some Unknown Facts About Cricket History

Data shows that Sri Lanka has the sole test win against the Australia to date. 

  • Sri Lankan player Sanath Jayasuriya has more ODI wickets than Australian player Shane Warne.

  • Sher-e-Bangla stadium and Bangabandhu stadium in Dhaka have hosted more ODIs than London’s Lord's Cricket Ground.

  • The highest number of runs scored in an over is 77, instead of 36.  The below data illustrates the same:

  • Indian bowler Ishant Sharma has made the three highest scores made by a batsman against India in the 21 st century. Below is the list of cricketers, who were all dropped by Ishant early on in their winnings:

  1. Alistair Cook – 294 Runs, Edgbaston 2011 

  2. Michael Clarke – 329 Runs, Sydney 2012

  3. Brendon McCullum – 302 Runs, Wellington 2014

  • Indian spinner  Bapu Nadkarni bowled 21 continuous maiden overs vs England at Chennai on 12th January 1964.

  • Adam Craig Gilchrist AM was an Australian cricketer who holds the record for playing the most number of Tests straight after debut. He continuously played all the 96 Test matches between 5th November 1999 and 24th January 2008.

  • New Zealand cricketer Chris Martin and Indian former cricketer B.S Chandrasekhar attempted the maximum Test wickets in their career than the test runs they scored.

  • In the year 1792, the first Indian club was established as Calcutta Cricket Club. 


Gandhiji’s Views On Cricket

According to Mahatma Gandhi, a game was essential for growing stability among the body and the mind. However, it was of the view that games like cricket and hockey were brought into India by the British and were replacing conventional games. According to him, those games showed a colonial mindset and were less active education than the simple exercise of people who worked on the land.


Conclusion

So, we can see that cricket has always been a major game, originating in south-east England. This game has a known history beginning in the late sixteenth century. Following the time, it became India’s favourite sport in the 18th century and has developed across the globe in the 19th and 20th centuries. In today's world, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports. Therefore, In this article we have covered all the important information about the story of the cricket.

FAQs on Cricket in India

1. Describe the story of cricket in the period of the 1760s-70s and 19th century.

During the phase of the 1760s-70s and 19th century, cricket became common to pitch the ball via the air. The bowlers at this period could get the alternatives of length, deception through the air, plus increased percent. It additionally opened new opportunities for spin and swing. In 1774, the first leg-before-wicket law was set up.


Furthermore, the idea of the third stump became common. In the nineteenth century, the sport noticed a few major changes. The idea of wide balls was usual and the exact circumference of the ball was additionally decided. Pads and gloves became a usual thing.

2. Describe how cricket was established on the principle of race and religion.

In colonial India, Cricket was organized at the precept of race and religion. The first official record of the sport being played in India is from 1721. The 18th century saw the game in India as a game, primarily played by British army men and civil servants in all-white clubs and gymkhanas.


The first Indian community to initiate playing cricket was the small community of Zoroastrians, the Parsis. It was they who founded the primary Indian cricket club, the Oriental Cricket Club in Bombay in 1848.

3. Where did cricket originate?

The sport of cricket is said to have originated from the grounds of England. It is also known as the National sport of this country as well. As per the opinions of various experts, this sport must have originated from the South - East England. 


From England, this game has been spread to other countries. Britishers took this sport in their colonies and played a vital role in spreading this. It was considered in 1611, when it was played for the first time as an adult sport.