I was surprised to know when I asked this question from several people and they gave me a wrong answer. Even a person who has lived his whole life in England, he got it wrong. What is England’s national sport? He replied; Football. I said; WHAT! No-way its CRICKET!!
Lets go back to the history of Cricket:
Having originated in south-east England, it became the country’s national sport in the 18th century and has developed globally in the 19th and 20th centuries. International matches have been played since 1844 and Test cricket began, retrospectively recognized, in 1877.
The origins of cricket lie somewhere in the Dark Ages – probably after the Roman Empire, almost certainly before the Normans invaded England, and almost certainly somewhere in Northern Europe. All research concedes that the game derived from a very old, widespread and uncomplicated pastime by which one player served up an object, be it a small piece of wood or a ball, and another hit it with a suitably fashioned club.
How and when this club-ball game developed into one where the hitter defended a target against the thrower is simply not known. Nor is there any evidence as to when points were awarded dependent upon how far the hitter was able to despatch the missile; nor when helpers joined the two-player contest, thus beginning the evolution into a team game; nor when the defining concept of placing wickets at either end of the pitch was adopted.
Etymological scholarship has variously placed the game in the Celtic, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, Dutch and Norman-French traditions; sociological historians have variously attributed its medieval development to high-born country landowners, emigré Flemish cloth-workers, shepherds on the close-cropped down land of south-east England and the close-knit communities of iron- and glass-workers deep in the Kentish Weald. Most of these theories have a solid academic basis, but none is backed with enough evidence to establish a watertight case. The research goes on.
What is agreed is that by Tudor times cricket had evolved far enough from club-ball to be recognizable as the game played today; that it was well established in many parts of Kent, Sussex and Surrey; that within a few years it had become a feature of leisure time at a significant number of schools; and – a sure sign of the wide acceptance of any game – that it had become popular enough among young men to earn the disapproval of local magistrates.
Format of Cricket Matches;
- Test Match (5 Days consecutive 12 hours match with breaks, officially recognized test match was played in 1877)
- ODI’s (One Day International for approximate 8 hours, played in 1971)
- T20 (a fast match last for 3 hours, internationally introduced in 2005)
Cricket is now a famous sport played around the globe, beginning from the streets, matches between friends, local clubs, domestic level, national level, international. Cricket has become more fast with time as the Match Structure, initially it used to be Test Match, then ODI’s were introduced and now T20. If you want to learn more about Cricket please visit espncricinfo.com .