The Story of Cricket is written by Ramachandra. Cricket is a very popular game today. It entertains and attracts the young and the old alike. This lesson traces the history of this sport.
Cricket grew out of the stick-and-ball games played in England 500 years ago. It is played with a bat which means stick or club. Till the 18th century bats were shaped like hockey sticks. The reason was that the ball was bowled along the ground.
The strange feature of cricket is that a test match can go on for five days, and still remain undecided. A football match is over in an hour-and-a-half.
Another notable thing of cricket is its pitch. It has to be 22 yards in length, but there is no limit on the dimension of the playing ground as in hockey or football.
Cricket grounds differ greatly in size. Laws of cricket were first drawn up in 1744. It has two umpires. The stumps are 22 inches high, and the ball across them is six inches.
The world’s first cricket club was organised in 1760. The bat was made straight. In 1774, the first leg–before law was published. Even today both the bat and ball are hand made. Once the bat was cut out of a single piece of wood. Now it consists of two pieces, made out of the willow wood. Plastic, fibreglass and metal are not used at all.
The pads were introduced in 1848, followed by gloves. The modern game is not imagined without helmets, made of light weight materials.
Indian cricket had its origin in Bombay. The Parsis were the first to adopt it. They founded the first Indian Cricket Club in 1848. It was funded by the Tatas and the Wadias. Initially they had some problem about the use of park or field.
Modern cricket is dominated by Test and One day internationals. C.K. Nayudu was an outstanding batsman of his times. He played for India in its first Test matches against England in 1932. India entered the world of Test Cricket in 1932, 15 years before it became an independent nation.
Television coverage changed cricket. It took the game to towns and villages. Children got the opportunity to watch International Cricket and learn how to play well. Cricket has got a global market. India has got the largest number of viewers for the game. Indian players are the best-paid and most famous in the game. They are paid professional. One day game has overshadowed Test Cricket.