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cricket

cricket. As with most games, cricket was played in a primitive form many years before rules were drawn up, and some of the most enjoyable cricket is still played in back lanes with a dustbin as wicket. There are suggestions that shepherds in the Sussex weald played some form of the game in forest clearings, presumably with stones, a stick, and a tree stump. Among the games condemned by Edward III for distracting men from archery practice was club-ball. Cricket is not mentioned in James I's Book of Sports (1617) but was certainly well developed before the end of the century. An eleven-a-side match for 50 guineas was played in Sussex in 1697 and in 1709 Kent played Surrey at Dartford. Bowling was underarm and the bat was a heavy curved club. In 1744 there was an attempt to formulate agreed rules and the same year an All England XI played the men of Kent at the Artillery Ground, Finsbury. The patronage of the nobility helped to make the game fashionable. Frederick, prince of Wales, was a keen cricketer in the 1740s and the duke of Dorset in the 1770s, being a member of the Hambledon Club which played on Broadhalfpenny Down (Hants), outside the Bat and Ball Inn, and a patron of the White Conduit Club, which played at Islington Fields. A meeting at the Star and Garter in 1774 drew up new rules, with 22-yard pitches, 4-ball overs, stumping, and no-balling: ‘the wicket-keeper should not by any noise incommode the striker.’ In 1785 the White Conduits played Kent for 1,000 guineas, winning by 306 after Kent's second innings had collapsed for 28. In 1787 Thomas Lord opened his new ground at Marylebone and in 1788 the Marylebone Cricket Club issued revised rules, prohibiting any attempt to impede a fielder while making a catch. The club moved to its present ground in 1814.

The most important change in the rules in the 19th cent. was the introduction of overarm bowling in 1864 after some vehement controversies. The Gentlemen v. Players match was first held in 1806 and was annual after 1819; Oxford v. Cambridge dates from 1827. By 1864 enough cricket was being played for John Wisden, himself a celebrated bowler (who took all ten wickets playing in 1850 for North v. South), to launch his Cricketers' Almanack. The first test match was played at Melbourne in 1877, when Australia won, and when they won again at the Oval in 1882 (England needing 85 in the second innings were all out for 77, Spofforth taking 7–44), the Sporting Times declared that the ashes of English cricket would be taken to Australia. Though county teams competed from early days, the county championship did not start until 1889, and was dominated in its early years by Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Yorkshire, and Lancashire. Gloucestershire, for whom the great W. G. Grace played, had been strong in the 1870s. Grace, probably the best known of all Victorian figures, gave cricket a national following. When he first turned out at 16 for the Gentlemen in 1865 they had lost their last 17 matches to the Players: subsequently they won 35 out of 39. Grace played until well over 50 and took ten wickets on two occasions, in 1873 and 1886—on the second occasion scoring a century as well.

The two main developments of 20th-cent. cricket were the spread of international competition, as the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and others came in to join England, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and the introduction after the Second World War of limited-over cricket at the highest level. Limited-over cricket was not quite the innovation sometimes suggested, since village, club, and northern league cricket had always been played on that basis. It was made necessary because gate money could no longer support the traditional county championship in the face of alternative leisure attractions. With limited-over cricket came sponsorship—the Gillette Cup in 1963, the John Player League in 1969, the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1972. It is not difficult to deplore negative bowling, six-hitting flails, complex rules, and often predictable finishes, but cricket has always had its bizarre side. Married women and maidens played at Bury in Sussex in 1793; one-legged Greenwich pensioners v. one-armed Greenwich pensioners in 1796; teetotallers v. whiskey-drinkers at Ballinasloe in 1840; and cricket on the ice at Cambridge in 1870. Disagreeable developments of more recent years have been the intrusiveness of crowd behaviour and the revelation that heavy betting has led to widespread corruption.

Nicholas J. Bryars; and Professor J. A. Cannon

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"cricket." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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cricket (sport)

cricket, ball-and-bat game played chiefly in Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries.

Basic Rules

Cricket is played by two teams of eleven on a level, closely cut oval "pitch" preferably measuring about 525 ft (160 m) by about 550 ft (170 m). Two wickets are placed 66 ft (20.12 m) apart near the middle of the field. A wicket consists of two wooden crosspieces (bails) resting on three wooden stumps 28 in. (71.1 cm) high.

At each wicket stands a batsman. If the opposing bowler, delivering the ball from near the opposing wicket, knocks down the bails of the batsman's wicket, the batsman is retired. In delivering the hard, leather-covered ball, the bowler throws overarm but may not bend the arm, and the ball usually approaches the batsman on one bounce. After six bowls to one batsman, an umpire (there is one at each wicket) calls "over," and another bowler begins bowling to the batsman's partner at the opposing wicket. The players in the field shift position according to the batsmen.

If the batsman hits the ball with his willow paddle-shaped bat far enough so that both batsmen may run to exchange places, a run is scored. When the ball is hit a long distance (in any direction, since there are no foul lines), up to four exchanges or runs may be made. (If the ball crosses the boundary of the field on the ground, four runs are scored automatically; if it clears the boundary in the air, six are scored.) However, if the opposing team recovers the ball and uses it to knock down the bails of a wicket before the batsman reaches it, the batsman is out. A batsman is also retired if an opposing fielder catches a batted ball on the fly (as in baseball), or for any of several more technical reasons. An outstanding turn at bat may result in more than 100 runs, a "century."

A game usually consists of two innings; in one innings all players on each team bat once in a fixed order (unless a team, having scored what it considers runs adequate to win, chooses to retire without completing its order); a game may take several days to complete. Substitutions are allowed only for serious injury.

Origin of Cricket

Cricket's origin is obscure. Evidence suggests it was played in England in the 12th–13th cent., and it was popular there by the end of the 17th cent. By the mid-18th cent. the aristocracy had adopted the game. In 1744 the London Cricket Club produced what are recognizably the rules of modern cricket. The Marylebone Cricket Club, one of the oldest (1787) cricket organizations, is the game's international governing body.

Principal Modern Matches

In Great Britain the principal cricket matches are those between the universities (especially Oxford and Cambridge) and between largely professional teams representing the English counties. Among international, or test, matches (begun 1877), the most famous is that between Australia and Britain for the "Ashes." Since the 1970s the West Indies (a team assembled from several nations), India, Pakistan, and South Africa have challenged English and Australian claims to world dominance.

Recent Developments

In the early 21st cent., Twenty20, a new version of cricket with a much faster, more compressed format, emerged in India. A typical Twenty20 game lasts about three hours, in contrast to the regular cricket's customary five-day test match. Twenty20 is played by a much younger and fitter group of cricketers, whose vigorous athleticism is also in sharp contrast to the play of the older, traditional players. In 2007, 27 games were played by 12 countries in the first Twenty20 world tournament.

Bibliography

See Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1864–); R. Bowen, Cricket (1970); J. Ford, Cricket (1972).

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cricket

cricket Bat-and-ball game popular in Britain and other Commonwealth nations since c.1700. Two teams of 11 players compete on an oval or round pitch. The game revolves around two wickets, 20.1m (66ft, 22yd) apart. A wicket comprises three wooden stumps, 71cm (28in) high, connected at the top with two small cross-pieces (bails). Leading nations compete against each other in a series of test matches, the most famous of which is probably The Ashes. A test match is held over a maximum of five days and two innings per side. In an innings, all the players of one team bat once, while the other team fields, providing the bowlers and a wicket-keeper. A batsman stands within a marked area (crease) on the pitch, 1.2m (4ft) from the wicket. The bat is traditionally made of willow wood. Fielders are placed at strategic positions around the ground. A bowler is allowed to bowl six consecutive overarm deliveries (an over) at the wicket defended by a batsman, this is followed by another over from the opposite end of the pitch by a different bowler. Bowlers may be slow (relying mostly on spin), medium pace (relying on swinging the ball or moving it off the pitch), or fast (relying on speed to beat the batsman). The ball is made of stitched leather with a seam. A run is usually scored by a batsman making contact with the ball, and running between the wickets with his partner before the ball can be returned to either wicket. If the ball reaches the boundary of the pitch it scores four, or six runs if it does not bounce. A batsman can be given out in a number of ways: by being bowled (when the ball delivered by a bowler hits the wicket); by being caught (the ball struck by the bat or glove is caught on the full by a player); by being run out or ‘stumped’ (a player dislodges the bails with the ball when a batsman is outside the crease), by being ‘leg before wicket’, or ‘lbw’ for short (the ball pitches in line with the stumps and hits a batsman's padded leg and would, in the umpire's opinion, have hit the wicket); or by hitting his own wicket. Two umpires adjudicate on the field. If they are uncertain of a dismissal, a third umpire (off the field) makes a definitive judgement based on television replays. From the 1960s, one-day or ‘limited-overs’ cricket became increasingly popular. Since 1975 cricketing nations compete every four years in the World Cup, a one-day competition. The administrative and historical headquarters is at Lord's Cricket Ground, London.

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cricket

crick·et1 / ˈkrikit/ • n. an insect (family Gryllidae) related to the grasshoppers. The male produces a characteristic rhythmical chirping sound. crick·et2 • n. an open-air game played on a large grass field with ball, bats, and two wickets, between teams of eleven players, the object of the game being to score more runs than the opposition. PHRASES: not cricket Brit., inf. a thing contrary to traditional standards of fairness or rectitude.DERIVATIVES: crick·et·er n. crick·et·ing adj. crick·et3 • n. a low stool, typically with a rectangular or oval seat and four legs splayed out.

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"cricket." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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cricket

cricket 2 game played with ball, bat, and wicket. XVI. of uncert. orig.; perh. — OF. criquet stick used as aiming-mark in a ball-game, with which cf. Flem. krick(e) stick.

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"cricket." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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cricket

cricket •adit •bandit, pandit •accredit, credit, edit, subedit •Chindit • conduit •audit, plaudit •pundit • refit • misfit • benefit •profit, prophet, soffit •forfeit • outfit • Tophet • photofit •buffet, tuffet •comfit • counterfeit • surfeit • agate •margate, target •frigate • Tlingit • hogget •drugget, nugget •Brigitte • gadget • eejit •Bridget, digit, fidget, midget, widget •budget •Blackett, bracket, jacket, packet, placket, racket •blanket • gasket • bedjacket •straitjacket • lifejacket • leatherjacket •downmarket, market, upmarket •basket, casket •breadbasket • Euromarket •Newmarket • hypermarket •Becket, Beckett •cricket, midwicket, picket, picquet, piquet, pricket, snicket, thicket, ticket, wicket •trinket •biscuit, brisket, frisket •identikit •brocket, crocket, Crockett, docket, locket, pocket, rocket, socket, sprocket •airpocket • pickpocket • skyrocket •toolkit •bucket, Nantucket, tucket •Blunkett, junket •musket • rust bucket •circuit, short-circuit

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