Cricket was probably created during Saxon or Norman times by children living in the Weald, an area of dense woodlands and clearings in south-east England that lies across Kent and Sussex. The first definite reference is dated Monday, 17 January 1597 ("Old Style" Julian date, the year equating to 1598 in the modern calendar). There have been several speculations about the game's origins including some that it was created in France or Flanders. The earliest of these speculative references is dated Thursday, 10 March 1300 and concerns the future King Edward II playing at "creag and other games" in both Westminster and Newenden. It has been suggested that "creag" was an Olde English word for cricket but expert opinion is that it was an early spelling of "craic", meaning "fun and games in general". It is generally believed that cricket survived as a children's game for many generations before it was increasingly taken up by adults around the beginning of the 17th century. Possibly cricket was derived from bowls, assuming bowls is the older sport, by the intervention of a batsman trying to stop the ball from reaching its target by hitting it away. Playing on sheep-grazed land or in clearings, the original implements may have been a matted lump of sheep’s wool (or even a stone or a small lump of wood) as the ball; a stick or a crook or another farm tool as the bat; and a stool or a tree stump or a gate (e.g., a wicket gate) as the wicket.
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First Grand Match of Cricket Played by Members of the Royal Amateur Society on Hampton Court Green
Unknown artist – Artist • Public domain
History of cricket
Retrieved 23 July, 2018