Gear up for cricket

Cricket is a bat to ball team sport that’s full of history. There has been speculation that Prince Edward, the son of Edward I played a game that was called creag in 1301 that mirrored cricket. This presents the possibility that cricket could have been around longer then it was first documented in the 16th century in Southern England. It increasingly became popular throughout the centuries. Cricket was at its high in London as early as 1707. This became apparent as large crowd would flock to matches on the Artillery Ground in Finsbury. The single wicket form of the sport attracted huge crowds as well. Bowling evolved around 1760 when bowlers began to pitch the ball instead of rolling the ball towards the batsman. This caused a revolution in bat design. By the 18th century cricket became national sport and took a major leap overseas to the first ever international cricket match between the United States and Canada in 1844. In 1859, a team of England players went on their first overseas tour to North America. In 1862 the English team jumped on the bag wagon making their first tour in Australia. This wasn’t the first stop in Australia for cricket. Between 1876 and 1877, an England team took part in the first-ever Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Australia.

The last two decades before the First World War have been called the “Golden Age of cricket”. This period produced some great players and memorable matches, especially as organized sport. One player in particular is W G Grace, who started his long career in 1865. Towards the end of the century his career was often said to have revolutionized cricket. In the 19th century cricket’s journey overseas expanded even further as well as the players. During the First World War Don Bradman from Australia became the greatest batsman of all time. The England team devoted themselves to steal the crown and brought about the Bodyline series in 1932 through 1933. The Bodyline was also known as the “fast leg theory”. This a tactic the English team used during the Australian tour to stand out in cricket. This introduced us to the short-pitched bowler Harold Larwood. The expansion of cricket in the 20th century brought on to more additions, including the West Indies, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Today, the International Cricket Council has 104 countries practicing.

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