The Cricket Story
Cricket is believed to have begun possibly as early as the 13th century as a game in which country boys bowled at a tree stump or the hurdle gate into a sheep pen. This gate consisted of two uprights and a crossbar resting on the slotted tops; the crossbar was called bail and the entire gate was a wicket.
The journey of cricket in India began when the sport was brought to Indian shores by British traders and soldiers during colonial rule.
It is believed that the first cricket match played in India was by British sailors at Cambay (Khambat in present-day Gujarat) in 1721.
The earliest definite reference to cricket is dated Monday, 17 January 1597. It is a deposition in the records of a legal case at Guildford, Surrey, regarding the usage of a parcel of land.
John Derrick, a coroner, testified that he had played cricket on the land when he was a boy in about 1550.
Some might call the game of cricket a bat-and-ball game. While the definition may have worked back in the 16th century when it was first played in South-East England, it may receive unfavorable support now.
We are now living in the 21 st century, and as things have changed, evolution so to speak, the gentleman’s game has evolved into becoming something bigger.
Though initially stated to be a children’s game by historians, the game has only gone on to become sophisticated and technical, and hence no longer just a game of bat-and-ball.
To celebrate what we have currently, we ought to honor the past as well. And to take a little walk down the line regarding the game of cricket, we go to England in the old days.
Although cricket now attracts money from all corners, it started its journey as a low-profile sport not pursued by many.
Slowly and gradually, the game started getting recognition.
Since then, cricket has also been able to create a junction where the different categories of people could compete, but most importantly enjoy the same sport.
The same movement was triggered in India when the East India Company introduced to game to the Indian masses.
The revered Bombay Quadrangular (held from 1912 to 1936) is one such example. The longest format of the game, Test cricket, has continued to exist even after so many years.
In the early 1960s, once again the story moves to England and its counties, and the need for a limited overs format was discussed.
The changes were duly made, both domestically and internationally. This meant that the sport would now have a World Cup of its own.
When we talk about the limited overs format, we are only talking about day internationals right now since the very popular T20 cricket comes much later in the timeline.
The main reason why One Day internationals became a popular choice was that by the end of the game, you surely had just one winner.
This paved way for the cricket world cup, which has been played every four years since 1975, with few exceptions in between.
During this time, there was a rise in cricket governing bodies. With a new format, there were new teams.
The figures were only to increase, with the entry of the shortest format of the game, T20s.
Originally introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), T20 games were introduced in 2003 for the inter-county competition.
The first men's international T20 match was played between Australia and New Zealand in February 2005 in Auckland.
The newest format, the shortest one on the list, provided astonishing moments. One can think about India’s win in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, a campaign that included remarkable moments.
The game of cricket, whenever altered to provide something new, always leads to a new option.
With T20, cricket’s club competition system was introduced. Twenty-twenty gave birth to franchise T20 leagues around the world.
The Indian Premier League (IPL), one of the flagship T20 leagues, is probably the best example.
This gave fans a chance to watch thrillers on the ground more often than usual. Franchise-based T20 cricket tournaments also became huge money-spinners, with sponsors jumping onto the T20 franchise cricket bandwagon.