Cricket World Cup History
precise origins of cricket, and even of its name, remain unclear.
Some manuscripts from the 12th and 13th centuries show diagrams of
early forms of cricket. The Royal Wardrobe accounts for 1299-1300
report that £6 was paid out for the 15-year old Prince Edward to
play creag and other games, though there is no evidence that
this creag was a form of cricket. Certainly little was heard
of the game for the next 300 years. Nor is there any record of any
commercial interest in the game from innkeepers or other
entrepreneurs. Cricket, if it was played at all, was not of
sufficient popularity or disruptive enough to be subject to a
specific prohibition, although some club and ball games were banned
in England. For example, a statute of King Edward IV in 1477–8 (17
Edw. IV. c. 3) made the playing of Hands in and hands out
illegal because it interfered with the compulsory practice of
there was a dispute over a school's ownership of a plot of land in
which a 59-year old coroner, John Derrick, testified that he and his
school friend had played "creckett" at the site fifty years earlier.
This is generally considered to be the first mention of cricket in
the English language - the school was the Royal Grammar School,
Guildford. In the same year John Florio, in his Italian-English
dictionary defined the verb sgillare
as "to make a noise as a cricket, to play cricket-a-wicket, and be
game was mostly a child's game. The first reference to it being
played as an adult sport was in 1611, when two men were prosecuted
for playing cricket instead of going to church. There are other
mentions of cricket prosecutions in the years that followed, as
cricket slowly emerged from just being played by children to being
played by adults for money. In 1646 an organised game for a bet of a
dozen candles gave rise to a lawsuit.
the English Civil War, which ended in 1648, the new Puritan
government clamped down on unlawful assemblies, in particular the
more raucous sports such as football. Also, laws meant there needed
to be a stricter observance of the Sabbath than there previously
was. As the Sabbath was the only time the lower classes had,
cricket's popularity waned. However, it did flourish in the public
fee-paying school such as Winchester and St Paul's.
Cricket gained in popularity as a betting game, with the only
problems arising as a result of gaming laws that declared made bets
greater than £100, and later £10 illegal. In 1748, a London
magistrate accepted that cricket is a "manly game" that was not bad
in itself, but condemned its "ill use" by betting above the £10
legal limit. All the law did, however, was to force the bets to be
for "eleven pairs of gloves" or "eleven velvet caps". These sound
innocuous enough, but in reality would be very valuable items.
First-class cricket is said to have started in 1815,
at the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
first one-day international match took place in Melbourne in 1971,
as a time-filler after a Test match had been abandoned because of
heavy rain on the opening days. It was tried simply as an experiment
and to give the players some exercise, but turned out to be
immensely popular. One-day internationals have since grown to become
the most popular form of the game.
One-day internationals proved so popular so quickly that the
International Cricket Council organised the first Cricket World Cup
in 1975, pitting all the Test nations against one another in a
series of one-day games, hosted in England. The West Indies beat
Australia in a thrilling final that cemented the popularity of the
short form of cricket and led to World Cups being held every four
cricket world underwent a major upheaval in the years 1977-1979,
precipitated by a single man, Kerry Packer. The conditions of poor
player working conditions and remuneration were ripe for Packer to
sign some of the best players in the world to a privately run
cricket league, outside the structure of international cricket.
Series Cricket hired some of the banned South African players and
allowed them to show off their skills in an international forum,
against other world-class players. Both rebel test matches (known as
'Supertests') and one-day international matches were played. Barry
Richards performed particularly impressively, and cricket fans began
to realise just what they were missing out on with South Africa
banned from officially sanctioned cricket.
1979, the schism in world cricket had been removed and the "rebel"
players were allowed back into the establishment of international
cricket, though the Supertests and one-day matches have never been
granted official status. The fallout of World Series Cricket
included the introduction of significantly higher player salaries,
as well as bringing the innovations of coloured uniforms and night
games into the mainstream.
the late 1970s and 1980s the West Indies were universally feared and
respected thanks to a fine combination of terrifying fast bowlers
(such as Michael Holding, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and Malcolm
Marshall) and powerful batsmen (such as Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd
and Gordon Greenidge). Although there was no official test
championship at the time, they were widely regarded as being 'world
champions' and famously 'blackwashed' England by beating them 5-0 in
two five match series.
February 17, 1982, Sri Lanka played England in its first Test at P.
Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo, in Sri Lanka. On October 18, 1992,
Zimbabwe played its first Test match against India at the Harare
Sports Club, Harare, Zimbabwe. Bangladesh played India in its first
Test on 10 November 2000.
June 2001 the ICC introduced a 'test championship table', and in
October 2002 a 'one-day international championship table'. Australia
has topped both these tables since they were published, apart from
January to May 2003 when it was topped by South Africa, but this was
only because South Africa had gained maximum points from playing the
weakest two nations, whereas Australia had not played them.
Cricket remains a major world sport and is the most popular
spectator sport in the Indian subcontinent, which gives the Asian
cricketing nations a lot of political clout in the ICC. The ICC has
expanded its Development Program with the goal of producing more
national teams capable of competing at Test level. Development
efforts are focused on African and Asian nations, and the United
States. In 2004, the ICC Intercontinental Cup brought first class
cricket to 12 nations, mostly for the first time.