The earliest use of the word is in 1598 -crekett - this could come from Middle Dutch or krick meaning a stick or old English cricc meaning a stool. I've also heard it said the French invented the game and the word - although the idea of the French playing cricket is absurd.
The first mention of cricket in history is in Guildford in 1598 where it was played at The Royal Grammar School.
|Collection of historical bats.|
Patronage of teams began in the 18th century as did gambling on the result. By 1725 rich patrons started their own teams in order to influence the outcome. 2nd Duke of Richmond, Sir William Gage, Alan Brodrick and Edward Stead are the most notable among them.
Cricket spread to the colonies before it reached the north of England. It appeared in the West Indies and India in the first half of the century. It arrived in Australia in 1788 and had followed to New Zealand and South Africa by the Regency.
The Duke of Richmond and Alan Brodrick drew up the laws of cricket - called - Articles of Agreement - in 1728. In 1744 The Laws of Cricket were introduced and although modified are not a lot different today.
|Print of an early game.|
On June 17th 1815, on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, British soldiers played a cricket match in the Bois de la Cambre park in Brussels. Ever since the park has been called, La Pelouse des Anglais, (the Englishmens's lawn.)
Strange to think only underarm bowling was allowed - I believe it was a woman who introduced 'round arm' bowling because she couldn't manage underarm wearing a crinoline!!
There - that wasn't so bad, was it?