Cricket’s origins date back to the sixteenth century, having first been played in the south-east of England. While this is the oldest records we have of cricket, it is likely that a variant of the sport, or even the sport as we know it, has been played even earlier than we know. Cricket quickly became quite popular in England, and it became the country’s national sport in the 1700s. With the age of colonialism that began in the 18th century, the British spread cricket to all of the Empire’s territories, and cricket quickly caught on, and is now a globally recognized sport, with hundreds of millions of fans worldwide.
Cricket is in the top 10 most popular sports in the world, which of course attracts many bettors, offline and online. Even though cricket is globally very popular, the top of the game is dominated by only a few countries, which makes betting on the sport a bit easier than most other sports. Online betting shops like the ones found on Helpbet see a large amount of traffic when it comes to cricket betting.
In this article, we are going to briefly go through the long, and storied history of Cricket.
The Origins (the 1500s & early 1600s)
The first recorded mention of Cricket that we have is dated to a Monday, in January 1597. The sport likely originates earlier, and historians have posited that it was created during the Norman era, in the Weald, an area around Sussex and Kent. The first recorded spelling for the sport was creckett, and it is believed the name has its etymology in the medieval Dutch word for stick.
The earliest mention of Cricket as a game played by adults, is from 1611, and the story behind it is quite interesting. Rather than mention of a cricket game, or tournament, the first reference to the sport as an adult pastime, is from a court trial, wherein two adult men were prosecuted for not attending church on Sunday morning. Apparently, the two men had been playing cricket instead of attending to their Christian duty.
The Civil War (the 1600s & 1700s)
In the mid-1600s, England was thrown into disarray, as Civil War swept the land. Before the eruption of the civil war, cricket was played among adults as a team sport. There is no evidence for city teams, or national tournaments, however, we do know that different parishes had their own teams, and participated in local games.
During the protestants’ rule of England, unlawful assemblies were banned, and we have very little evidence that cricket was played. However, there is also no concrete evidence that Cromwell’s regime banned the sport.
Cricket Goes Global (late 1700s & 1800s)
After the restoration of the monarchy, Cricket became widely popular, thanks in large part to gambling, which brought about patrons, and serious teams. The late 1700s also saw the rise of the Age of Colonialism, and one of the biggest Empires during this time was the British Empire, having colonies all over the world. Through these colonies cricket was introduced to India, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
Today cricket is still the most popular sports in these countries, with Indian players consistently holding the number one rankings in the sport.
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