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  • History of Cricket

    Posted on February 6, 2013 by Selby


    A brief history of Cricket

    Sadly there is very little Cricket Memorabilia from the early days of the game and the earliest that I have collated has been late 19th century. The MCC museum has been collecting artefacts since 1864

    .Today with International Test and ODI Cricket Collectables are more popular than ever; I personally still prefer to collect Pre WW2 Items especially from the Ashes Series,Bradman and the Invincibles, Bodyline series and all the other legendary characters and memorable events. Particularly I collect signed cricket bats, cricket photos, RPP postcards, signed team sheets and Tour Itineraries.

    Early records show Cricket was played in the South East of England around the middle of the sixteenth century, usually on a Sunday afternoon as a way of relaxing from the arduous week, which was the norm for many fortunate to have employment.

    Early mentions of the game in 1610 refer to Creckett being played in the woodland areas of the Weald and Upland close to Chevening Kent, in those days playing conditions meant that wickets were up to 6ft wide and only around a foot high which figures as underarm bowling was usual, with the ball travelling along the surface to the pitch. Bats were shaped like hockey sticks, earlier still like shepherds crooks.

    County cricket teams are first recorded in 1660 when landowners and similar notable figures are understood to have taken an interest in fielding teams to play against neighbouring Shires, villages from other counties would compete and some players were compensated for playing becoming the first cricket professionals. Records are available for the first inter county match Kent v Surrey in 1709

    It is known that gambling in England around this time was rife and substantial wagers are understood to have been placed on Cricket matches, (rather like today). It is referenced in 1697 that a match was played in Sussex with 11 players a side for a wager of the considerable sum of 50 guineas

    It is interesting to note that the divide in English cricket created by amateur and professional status remained in place until 1962. This was due a requirement for clubs to generate income and generally to put sport on a more professional basis.

    The Stars and Garter club in Pall Mall, later to become the Marylebone Cricket Club formalised the laws of cricket in 1755 and amongst other things pitching the ball became the accepted bowling style.

    It was 1864 before overarm deliveries became usual, the same year that the Wisden Cricketers Almanack was first published.

    Public school matches are recorded as played in 1794 the first being Westminster v Charterhouse.

    England lost their first recognised Test Match in 1877 against Australia in Melbourne the hosts won by 45 runs, three years later the first Test series was played in England when they defeated the tourists by five wickets at the Oval this was followed by an Australian win in the return series in 1882.

    Following England’s first defeat by Australia on home ground in 1882 the Sporting Times periodical published an obituary notice stating that “the England team are in Ashes”, this led to England v Australia Test matches being referred to as the Ashes series.

    Since then more than 2000 Test Matches have been played by eleven competing teams.

    The Ashes are kept; irrespective of who wins them, in a small ceramic urn at Lords Cricket Museum, which incidentally has the best collection of Cricket memorabilia in the world, well worth a visit.

    .A label is attached to the urn which contains the following song lyric originally published in the Melbourne edition of Punch magazine on Feb 1st 1883

    When Ivo goes back with the urn, the urn; Studds, Steel, Read and Tylecote return, return; The welkin will ring loud, The great crowd will feel proud, Seeing Barlow and Bates with the urn, the urn; And the rest coming home with the urn.

    Prior to the disputed Fourth Test held in Feb 1883, a velvet bag made by Mrs Ann Fletcher, daughter of Joseph Hines Clarke and Marion Wright, of Dublin, was given to Ivo Bligh containing the urn.

    A more detailed account of how the Ashes were given to Ivo Bligh was outlined by his wife, the Countess of Darnley, in 1930 during a speech at a cricket luncheon. Her speech was reported by the London Times as follows.

    In 1882, she said, it was first spoken of when the Sporting Times, after the Australians had thoroughly beaten the English at the Oval, wrote an obituary in affectionate memory of English cricket “whose demise was deeply lamented and the body would be cremated and taken to Australia”. Her husband, then Ivo Bligh, took a team to Australia in the following year. Punch had a poem containing the words “When Ivo comes back with the urn” and when Ivo Bligh wiped out the defeat Lady Clarke, wife of Sir W. J. Clarke, who entertained the English so lavishly, found a little wooden urn, burnt a bail, put the ashes in the urn, and wrapping it in a red velvet bag, put it into her husband’s (Ivo Bligh’s) hands. He had always regarded it as a great treasure.”[11]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ashes#Urn

    From early 16th century beginnings Cricket is now played enthusiastically in over 100 countries around the world, collecting Cricket Memorabilia is indeed a worthwhile hobby or small business.

     

    Written by Tony Selby

    CricketCollectables


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia and was tagged with sports memorabilia, cricket collectables, Don Bradman Memorabilia, bodyline series, Signed Cricket Bats, history of cricket, cricket photos, rpp postcards, ashes series, mcc, lords cricket ground

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