Reportedly, cricked started out during Saxon and Norman times, England and was played by children. It was a very primitive version of the game we know today, but energy and soul were already there. Cricket became England’s national sport in the 18th century and spread globally throughout their colonies by the 20th century. This is also why India, Australia, and New Zealand are strong cricketers.
Fun fact: Cricket is the second most popular spectator sport in the world, after soccer.
The history of cricket is very progressive for its time. Initially, starting out as village cricket, where different English villages competed with each other. From there, the sport spread to London and south-eastern counties of England. More surprisingly, perhaps, Women’s Cricket started out around that time in the 18th century – now that’s progressive because women were barely allowed to even work, not to mention take part in public sports. But cricket was different, it was a pioneer of its time.
The word “cricket” is supposedly derived from the Middle Dutch language, having something to do with chasing wooden sticks.
Cricket has officially packed its bags and spread all over the world, with ICC (International Cricket Conference) cricket world cup winners competing for millions of dollars. Having started out as a game played by children in the woodlands of England, it is a recognized multi-million dollar global sport with approximately 105 national cricket teams representing all major continents.
Some of the most notable competitions are undoubtedly the ICC T20 World Cup, first being held in 2011 when India took the cup.
Fun fact: The T20 trophy weighs a little over 7 Kilograms. This is more than the FIFA World Cup.
Other more popular tournaments are the Ashes Series between England and Australia, The Indian Premier League (2 months of nerve cracking excitement between the best India has to offer – which is a lot, by the way). The Border-Gavaskar battle between India and Australia and Asia Cup are also among the topmost anticipated events in the world of cricket.
Cricket bettors and betting
With all international sports, there is a strong betting culture. This holds true for cricket as well. With historical gambling documents dating back to the 17th century and had become a notable gambling sport by the end of that century.
When cricket could be freely reported in the newspapers in the second half of the 20th century, gambling and betting really took off. Now it was possible to keep up with favourite teams, players, and tournaments at all times.
The next great change came with the internet, as fans were now able to bet on cricket from their homes, in their bed, or even while being on the move. Cricket betting and gambling started moving away from brick and mortar betting stations and towards smartphones in our pockets.
The Internet has also allowed reporters to put out news and updates real-time because there is no longer a need for printing, distribution, sales, etc. Fans can get updates as they happen and with just a few taps on the screen.
The Future of Cricket
With faster online connection, better transport solutions, globalization, and better technology, we will see more international tournaments and fewer local, small competitions. With the need for better and larger playing fields, we could also see new closed roof stadiums being built.
We could see 20/20 cricket growing larger because it is short, quick, and extremely nerve-racking. We are leading such fast-paced lives and do not always have time to sit down and watch long games. More explosive game styles might become a new trend.
One-day cricket could become a niche game style because while it is the traditional way of playing cricket, it is also decreasing in popularity. It is possible that this trend will stay as-is and on-day cricket could be a side-line thing.
Test cricket could become the favourite for the most devoted cricket fans. This is because test cricket is a five-day physical, mental, and emotional challenge. This is a trial by fire, where the best will rise.
The biggest challenge for future cricket is getting the new generations to pick up those cricket bats and hit the field. There are just so many other sports to choose from. We should also keep in mind that digital devices and video games are developing at the fastest pace. Cricket has to compete on multiple fronts for the attention of those young boys and girls.
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So Where Did Cricket Come From?
While it did start somewhere in the English woodlands, played by children, it really started from the heart. Those children grew up and never lost the love for cricket, their love inspired others and within a few generations, that game was played all over Southern England. There is some kind of magic behind certain sports and why they keep growing ever larger.
Colonies and naval technology enabled the spreading of traditions, sports, and culture to very distant parts of the world. Today we can see India and Australia being as strong (or perhaps even stronger?) than England. Maybe one day, if mankind starts exploring space, we could see history repeating itself and cricket growing its influence to different intergalactic colonies as well. We do not know what the future holds for us. What we do know is that cricket is here to stay and will only get more popular.