Cricket is one of the most popular sports today. In fact, with 2.5 billion fans backing it, the sport is second only to football. In the 21st century, the game is most enjoyed in England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Southeast Asian countries, like India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, etc.
If we take a look at online sportsbooks, we will find that cricket is one of the most thoroughly covered and appreciated sports of all time. Punters the world over follow the latest trends in the game, and hope to find great odds at these online sportsbooks. We will also find that these bookies often double as gambling sites. For example, a casino online like Novibet, has all of the games you would expect from a land-based establishment, and more.
The massive popularity of the sport makes many people wonder: where did cricket come from? In this article, we will explore the history of cricket, and how the game came to be.
The Inception of Cricket
The origins of cricket date back to 16th century England. If the theories on its inception is to be believed, the sport began as a children’s game, where kids would smack balls with a stick. Pretty soon, the game spread through the country, and was quickly embraced by adults.
In fact, the first ever mention of cricket we have comes from a legal document dating back to the 1500s, in which two people are punished for skipping Sunday church and staying out to play cricket. The name of the sport comes from the Dutch word for stick.
The game’s popularity continued to grow in the 1500s, reaching its apex in the late-16th and early-17th century. During this era, the start of professional cricket could be seen. Local nobles would sponsor their teams, and even travel through the land playing against other Shires. Sometimes, these nobles would even bet among each other, making this the official inception of cricket betting as well.
In the following 100 years, cricket kept growing in popularity in England. However, it never reached the same amount of popularity throughout Europe. For this reason, the game is the United Kingdom’s national sport, and is most commonly associated with the English.
However, the 1700s-1800s were the years of Colonialism. European merchants, sailors, soldiers, etc., set up colonies throughout Africa and Asia. And England’s most notable colony was India.
How Cricket Came to India
During the 18th and 19th centuries, India was under heavy English rule. English laws were imposed on a good portion of the country, and an English ruling class controlled the nation. Naturally, this led to many English expats moving into the country. And these people, brought with them a passion for cricket.
The local population would often attend these matches, and many of them developed a love and a passion for the sport as well. Today, India is one of the best cricket countries in the world, producing some of the greatest players, and most notable events.
The Indian national team is also among the highest ranking teams in all three cricket formats: One Day International, Twenty20 International, and Test Cricket.