For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Cricket is a ball and bat game played between two teams of 11 players each. It's a bit like American baseball, but the bat is very different. The cricket field has a rectangular center with a 22-yard-long pitch that contains a wicket, or a set of three wooden stumps) at the end. One team bats and attempts to score as many runs as possible while the opposing team fields. Just like in baseball, each phase of play is called an inning. After either ten batsmen have been dismissed (stuck out in baseball), or a fixed number of overs have been completed the innings end and teams swap roles.
The cricket bat typically consists of a cane handle that is attached to flat-fronted willow-wood blade. The length of the bat cannot exceed 38 inches (965 mm) or more than 4.25 inches in width (108 mm). The cricket ball is a hard, solid ball made of cork and covered with leather. The cricket ball is harder and heavier in weight than the typical baseball. The cricket wicket, or stump, are three vertical posts which support two bails. The stumps and bails are usually made of wood, mostly commonly ash. The overall width of the wicket is none inches (22.9 cm). The cricket wicket consists of three of these stumps. Have i gotten you confused yet? I know I am!
Cricket can be traced back to Tudor times in England in the early 16th century. The earliest definite reference to the game is a 1598 court case which mentions "creckett." It is believed that cricket was originally a children's game but soon after it's origins, adults began playing, as well. During the 17th century there are numerous references to the growth of the game in southeast England. By the end of the century it had become an organized activity played for high stakes. It is widely believed that professional cricket players first began playing as early as 1660. The earliest known reference to a cricket match, or game, is a newspaper article that appeared in Sussex in 1697. The game underwent major development in the 18th century, with betting becoming one of the key factors. A few controversial changes were made to the game in the 19th century and was also the time when county clubs began to spring up and ultimately formed the official County Championship in 1890. By the mid-1800's the game of cricket had spread from England was now being played in many parts of the world. International championships were organized and in 1844 the first-ever international match was played between teams from Canada and the US.
This is going to be a great weekend! The weather is warm and it'll be wonderful to spend time outside with my best friends. And, who knows, we might even go out for a plate of crickets after our cricket match....
Whatever your plans are for this beautiful April weekend, I hope it includes times spent outdoors with friends and family. Stay safe and i hope you'll all join me back here on Monday. (I wonder if I'll be croaking with a British accent by then?)