Sports in society has become an essential part of everyday life. We eat, breath, and live on sports. Wherever we go in the world, we are surrounded with sports culture. In the United States, we love our American Football. College or professional, you will see that society here treats Football as like a religion, and Sunday as the day of the Sabbath. We buy merchandise, start fantasy teams, hold game day parties, attend the actual game, and much more. It’s the Sport we love and cherish. For the other side of the world, Soccer is their love. Even though in the United States we aren’t as big fans of the sport, Soccer is undeniably the World’s most popular sport. Society in Europe is just plain out crazy about Soccer, even their rivalries don’t compare to the ones in American Football. Although American Football and Soccer remain favorites in their own respective sports, there is one sport that has been growing rapidly in popularity. The sport of Cricket has been expanding since the 16th century. Today, Cricket is the second most popular sport in history. But the question remains, how did Cricket expand globally and reach this height in fame?
Before we dive in to the question itself, let’s look into the history first. Cricket has a blurred beginning, no one truly knows when it exactly started. It is said that Cricket was actually started back in the 16th century in England by shepherds, using their Shepard’s staffs (or “criccs”) as bats. Some even claim that it really started in the 13th century, unfortunately the history is lost in the mist in time and we might never know when it officially began. The first recollection to a cricket match, played in the city of Sussex for a stake of 50 guineas (England’s currency at the time), was in 1697. In 1709, Kent played Surrey in the first recorded match at Dartford, and it is probable that about this time a code of laws existed for the conduct of the game. Although the earliest known version of such rules is dated 1744. The original rules, or Laws of Cricket, were six basic rules. The first law pertains to the overall rules of Cricket. The pitching the first wicket is to be determined by the coin toss. When the first wicket is pitched and the popping crease cut, which must be exactly 3 Foot 10 inches from the wicket. The Other wicket is to be pitched directly opposite, at 22 yards distance, and the other popping crease cut 3 Foot 10 inches before it. The bowling creases must be cut in a line from each stump. The stumps must be 22 inches long, and the bail 6 inches. The ball must weigh between 5 and 6 ounces. When the wickets are both pitched and all the creases cut, the party that wins the toss-up may pick which side to go in first at his option. The second law pertains to the bowlers. The bowler must deliver the ball with one foot behind the crease even with the wicket, and when he has bowled one ball or more shall bowl to the number 4 before he changes wickets, and he shall change but once in the same innings. He may order the player that is at his wicket to stand on which side of it he pleases, at a good distance. If he delivers the Ball with his foot over the bowling crease, the umpire shall call no ball, and the player is bowled out; which he will do without being asked, and no person has any right to ask him. The third law is for the Strikers. If the wicket is bowled down its out. If he strikes or treads down, or falls on the wicket in striking it’s out. A “Stroke” or “Nip” over or under the bat or on the hands (not arms), if the ball is held before it touches the ground, it’s out. If in striking both feet are over the crease and his wicket put down, except the bat is down within, it’s out. If a ball is nipped up and strikes them again before it comes to the wicket, it’s out. If the players cross each other, the person that runs for the wicket that is put down is out. If the bail is down before, the person that catches the ball must strike a stump out of the ground, ball in hand, then it’s out. If the striker touches or takes up the ball, unless asked by the bowler or wicket keeper, it’s out. The fourth is meant for if the hand, foot, or bat is over the cease. When the ball has been in hand by one of the keepers or stumpers and the player has been at home, he may go where he pleases till the next ball is bowled. If either one of the strikers is crossed in his running ground design, which design must be determined by the umpires. The umpires may order that notch to be scored. When the ball is hit up either of the strikers may hinder the catch in his running ground, or if she is hit directly across the wickets the other player may place his body anywhere within the swing of his bat so as to hinder the bowler from catching her, but he must neither strike at her nor touch her with his hands. If a striker nips up a Ball just before him he may fall before his wicket, or pop down his bat before they go to it, to save it. The bail hanging on one stump, though the ball hit the wicket, is not out. The fifth rule is for the keepers. The wicket keeper shall stand at a distance behind the wicket, and shall not move till the ball is out of the bowler’s hands. Finally, the last rule is for the umpires. Allow two minutes for each man to come in when one is out, and ten minutes between each hand to mark the ball, that it may not be changed. They are sole judges of all fair and unfair Play, of frivolous delays, of all hurts, whether real or pretended, and are discretionally to allow whatever time they think proper before the game goes on again.
In case of a real hurt to a striker, they are to allow another to come in, and the person hurt to come in again, but are not to allow a fresh man to play on either side on any account. They are sole judges of all hindrances, crossing the players in running, and standing unfair to strike, and in case of hindrance may order a notch to be scored. They are not to order any man out unless appealed to by one of the players. Each umpire is the sole judge of all nips and catches, ins and outs, good or bad runs at his own wicket, and he cannot be influenced by another umpire without the consent on both sides. When the four balls are bowled, he is to call over. These were the original laws, over time the rules have been changed for different countries or leagues but these were the fundamentals on which Cricket was found.
Going into the 18th century, the Hambledon Club, playing in Hampshire on Broad halfpenny Down, was the dominant cricket club in the time before the rise of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London. The club moved to Lord’s Cricket Ground in St. Marylebone borough in 1787 and became the MCC and in the following year published its first revised code of laws. Lord’s, which was named after its founder, Thomas Lord, has had three locations over its history.