When Does Cricket Sport Start – A Short History Guide

Discover from this post the short history of cricket sport and how it all started.

Cricket sport history is laden with several exciting periods across centuries. It is one of the world’s oldest surviving sports and continues to grow in global appeal and dominance. Top teams like India, Australia, New Zealand, and many more have dominated the game for decades; however, the sport didn’t kick off in any of these locations.

Let’s check out the history of cricket as a sport, where it started, and other interesting historical details you should know.

When Did Cricket Start?

Several historical references claim cricket began in the 1500s and gained prominence a century later. In most cases, early records of the game are in Western Europe and some regions north of the Mediterranean.

Where Did Cricket Start?

Cricket sport history began in the Norman and Saxon era when children across several woodland areas in present-day England engaged it in its earliest form. Most historians agree that England is the earliest location on record where cricket was played.

How Did Cricket Start?

Experts claim cricket began as a children-only game for many years and survived long before its adoption by adults. Reports claim cricket became a regular pastime for adults from the 17th century onwards.

Other speculations claim the earliest items used in playing cricket could have been sheep’s wool for the ball, a flat stick or farm tool as the bat, and a stump or wood gate as the wicket. 

When Did Pitched Delivery Bowls Start?

It is on record that pitched bowling was adopted by the modern game kicked off in the late 18th century. Several records show that cricket bats evolved over time from slender hockey sticks to the flat, straight bats we have today.

Where Was Cricket Mentioned for the First Time?

Also, the first written reference to the word ‘cricket’ appeared in English literature around the 16th century. A court case in 1597 mentions ‘creckett’, the first time this word ever made it into literature.

The dispute was between two individuals where one claimed he and his schoolmates engaged in this sport as children. This disagreement in Surrey, England also suggests that cricket has been a major activity for several decades before it became a thing anywhere else.

Where Was Cricket as an Adult Sport Mentioned for the First Time?

Cricket as an adult sport was first mentioned in 1611. Two men received sanctions for playing cricket on a Sunday instead of being at church. The incident happened at Sussex, further pointing to England as a place where cricket received wide acceptance. These men were parishioners at the time and were mandated to pay a fine.

Reports also claim that the first village cricket match took place in the same decade. Other records of adult cricket popped up in 1624 when cricketer Jasper Vinall was killed by a pace ball during an inter-parish game.

Are There Disagreements Over the Origins of Cricket?

Yes, some scholars believe the earliest form of cricket took off in France. These speculations get their steam from a 1300s reference to King Edward II playing ‘creag’ in Newenden and Westminster. Supporting scholars argue that the word ‘creag’ is an Old English rendering of cricket. However, other experts deny this, claiming the term means something else entirely.

Was Cricket Banned in Its Earliest Periods?

Yes, cricket was banned in its earliest periods, sometimes during the Commonwealth era. The Puritan government of that time proscribed cricket, football, and some other activities.

These officials cited profanity as their major reason behind placing a ban on cricket. They also discouraged playing cricket on the Sabbath and shunned large crowd gatherings or wagering at games.  

When Did Cricket Get Its Big Break?

Cricket became a popular sport once more after the Puritan era ended. Members of the court during King Charles II’s reign engaged more in cricket games and betting on matches was widespread. A legislative act in 1664 (1664 Gambling Act) brought more popularity to the sport as it limited stakes to £100, a fortune at the time.

Cricket continued to gain popularity throughout the late 17th century into the mid-18th century. The popularity of cricket as a sport heralded the opening of several cricket clubs and championships into the 19th century.

The expansion of the British empire saw cricket become a popular sport in the Caribbean, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and North America.

When Did the First International Cricket Match Happen?

The first international cricket game took place in 1844 where the United States faced Canada. England will tour North America 15 years later to set the first overseas tour record.

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