Cricket is believed to have begun as early as the 13th century as a game in which boys bowled at a tree stump or at the hurdle gate into a sheep pen. This gate consisted of two 90 degree angles and a crossbar resting on the open tops. The crossbar was called a bail and the entire gate a wicket. Early documents argue about the size of the wicket, which acquired a third stump in the 1770s, but by 1706 the pitch, the area between the wickets, was 22 yards long.

    The ball, once a stone, has remained the same since the 1700s. Its modern weight of between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces was established in 1774.

    Since then the bat was shortened in the handle and straightened and broadened in the blade, which led to forward play, driving, and cutting. As bowling technique was not good during this period, batting dominated bowling through the 18th century

          Cricket is played with a bat and ball and involves two competing sides (teams) of 11 players. The field is oval with a rectangular area in the middle, known as the pitch, that is 22 yards (20.12 meters) by 10 feet (3.04 meters) wide. Two sets of three sticks, called wickets, are set in the ground at each end of the pitch. Across the top of each wicket has horizontal pieces called bails. The sides take turns at batting and bowling (pitching); each turn is called an “innings”. Sides have one or two innings each, depending on the prearranged duration of the match, the object being to score the most runs. The bowlers, delivering the ball with a straight arm, try to break (hit) the wicket with the ball so that the bails fall. This is one of several ways that the batsman is dismissed, or put out. A bowler delivers six balls at one wicket, then a different player from his side bowls six balls to the opposite wicket. The batting side defends its wicket.

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