Friday, 7 August 2009

Eighteenth century cricket

See also: 1697 to 1725 english cricket season and dverview of english cricket1726 - 1815

[edit] Patronage and players
Gambling introduced the first patrons because some of the gamblers decided to strengthen their bets by forming their own teams and it is believed the first "county teams" were formed in the aftermath of the Restoration in 1660. The first known game in which the teams use county names is in 1709 but there can be little doubt that these sort of fixtures were being arranged long before that. The match in 1697 was probably Sussex versus another county [1].
The most notable of the early patrons were a group of aristocrats and businessmen who were active from about 1725, which is the time that press coverage became more regular, perhaps as a result of the patrons' influence. These men included Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, Sir William Gage, 7th Baronet, Alan Brodrick and Edward Stead. For the first time, the press mentions individual players like Thomas Waymark [5].

[edit] Cricket moves out of England
Cricket was introduced to North America via the English colonies in the 17th century [4], probably before it had even reached the north of England. In the 18th century it arrived in other parts of the globe. It was introduced to the west indes by colonists [4] and to India by british east india company mariners in the first half of the century [5]. It arrived in Australia almost as soon as colonization began in 1788 [5]. New Zealand and South Africa followed in the early years of the 19th century [5].

[edit] Development of the Laws
See also: Laws of cricket
The basic rules of cricket such as bat and ball, the wicket, pitch dimensions, overs, how out, etc. have existed since time immemorial. In 1728, the Duke of Richmond and Alan Brodick drew up "Articles of Agreement" to determine the code of practice in a particular game and this became a common feature, especially around payment of stake money and distributing the winnings given the importance of gambling [6].
In 1744, the laws of cricket were codified for the first time and then amended in 1774, when innovations such as lbw, middle stump and maximum bat width were added. These laws stated that the principals shall choose from amongst the gentlemen present two umpires who shall absolutely decide all disputes. The codes were drawn up by the so-called "Star and Garter Club" whose members ultimately founded Mcc at lords in 1787. MCC immediately became the custodian of the Laws and has made periodic revisions and recodifications subsequently [8].


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