Coupon Accepted Successfully!


History of Cricketing and Clothing

The game of cricket grew out of the many stick-and-ball games played in England 500 years ago, with different rules. The early version of cricket played in villages of England grew into the modern game played in giant stadiums in great cities. During the seventeenth century, cricket had evolved enough to be recognised as a district game and it was popular. Till the middle of the eighteenth century, bats were roughly the same shape as hockey sticks, curving outwards at the bottom. The curve was a simple reason that the ball bowled underarm along the ground and the curve at the end of the bat gave the batsman the best chance of making contact.

Sport is a part of the contemporary life: it is one of the ways in which we amuse ourselves, compete with each other, stay fit, and express our social loyalties. The social and economic history of England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, cricket’s early years, shaped the game and gave cricket its unique nature.

The peculiarity of Test cricket is that a match can go on for five days and still end in a draw. No other modern team sport takes even half as much time to complete. A football team sport takes even half as much time to complete. A football match is generally over in an hour and a half of playing time. Even a baseball game, a long drawn out bat and ball game by the standards of modern sport, completes nine innings in less than half the time that it takes to play a limited overs match, the shortened version of modern cricket.

The cricket pitch is 22 yards, but the size or shape of the ground varies. For instance, it can be oval like the Adelaide Oval or nearly circular, like Chepauk in Chennai. A six at the Melbourne Cricket Ground needs to clear much more ground than a lofted shot for the same reward at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.

Cricket was the earliest modern team sport to be codified, to make the play uniform and in a standard way than other team games such as soccer and hockey. The first written ‘laws of cricket’ were drawn up in 1744. Two umpires will be chosen to decide all disputes. The stumps must be 22 inches high and the bail across them six inches. The ball must be between 5 and 6 ounces, and the two sets of stumps 22 yards apart. There were no limits on the shape or size of the bat. It appears that 40 notches or runs were viewed as a very big score.

The world’s first cricket club was formed in Hambledon in 1760s and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was founded in 1787. The MCC published its first revision of the laws and became the guardian of cricket’s regulation in 1788. The MCC’s revision brought in many changes in the game. During 1760s and 1770s, it became common to pitch the ball through the air, rather than roll it along the ground. This gave bowlers the options of length, deception through the air, plus increased pace. It also gave rise to spin and swing. The batsman had to master timing and shot selection according to the bowler. The curved bat was replaced by a straight one.

The ball weight was limited to between 5 ½ to 5 ¾ ounces, and the width of the bat to four inches. Later the size of the bat appeared to be as wide as the wicket. In 1774, the first leg before law was published. Also around this time, a third stump became common.

The game was introduced with protective equipment like pads and gloves, boundaries were introduced where previously all shots were to be run and overarm bowling became legal. Cricket remained a pre-industrial sport that matured during the early phase of the industrial Revolution.
Originally, cricket matches had no time limit. The game went on for as long as it took to bowl out a side twice, thus, showing the connection of predominance of the rural or village life before the Industrial Revolution. On the other hand, football and hockey were strictly time-limited to fit the routines of the industrial life style.

Cricket’s most important tools are all made of natural, pre-industrial materials. The bat is made of wood as are the stumps and the bails. The ball is made with leather, twine and cork. Even today, both bat and ball are handmade, not industrially manufactured. The material of the bat changed slightly over time. Unlike golf and tennis, cricket has refused to remake its tools with industrial or man-made materials: plastic, fiber glass and metal have been firmly rejected. Australian cricketer Dennis Lillee tried to play an innings with an aluminum bat, only to have it outlawed by the umpires.
The protective equipment of the cricket has been influenced by technological change. The invention of vulcanised rubber led to the introduction of pads in 1848 and protective gloves and the helmets were made out of metal and synthetic lightweight materials.

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name