Cricket is a sport played, watched and celebrated by beloved fans around the world.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned spectator or new to the game, you’re sure to fall in love with it! From its fascinating history to fun facts you can impress your friends with, Palmerbet has rounded up everything you need to know about cricket.     

The history of cricket

Cricket dates back to the late 16th century with roots in the south-east of England. It is not known who designed the sport but it is widely believed that cricket derives from bowls. 

In its humble beginnings, players would even practice the game with alternatives such as a ball of sheep’s wool to throw with a stick for a bat. Genius!

The first reference to cricket being played as an adult sport was reported in 1611 when two men from Sussex, England were prosecuted for skipping church to play the game. In the same year, the English Dictionary listed cricket as a boy’s sport.  

By the 18th century, it was officially the country’s national sport and its growing popularity soon began to spread on a global level in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

It was first introduced to the West Indies and eventually Australia in 1788. New Zealand and South Africa adopted the game shortly afterwards. 

The first international match took place in 1844 and test cricket followed in 1877. 

Cricket is currently regarded as the world’s second most popular spectator sport after football – also known as soccer in other pockets of the globe. 

It’s governed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) which has over 100 countries in membership with 12 of which play test cricket. 

Cricket in Australia 

One of the first things that springs to mind when you think of Australia? Cricket, of course. Regarded as the national summer sport, it’s widely played across the country. 

It has only continued to grow in popularity too with more than 2.3 million people attending cricket during the 2017 to 2018 summer – surpassing the record 1.8 million reached the year before. 

The first recorded cricket match in Australia took place in Sydney in December, 1803. 

The history of women’s cricket

The first recorded women’s cricket match was reported in July 1745 by The Reading Mercury. But it wasn’t until 1887 that the first known women’s cricket organisation, the White Heather Club, was established in Yorkshire, England. 

An Australian women’s cricket league was founded in 1894 shortly followed by South Africa. 

In 1958, the International Women’s Cricket Council was launched to help coordinate women’s cricket games around the world. In 2005, the IWCC merged with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to form one unified organisation to manage cricket.  

The first international women’s cricket game took place between England and Australia in December,1934. The following year, New Zealand also took part.

The Women’s Cricket World Cup has now been held nine times.  

Fun facts about cricket 

  • The first ever international cricket game took place between the US and Canada in 1844. The historic game was held at St George’s Cricket Club in New York.

 

  • The longest cricket match in history lasted 14 days before ending with a draw and took place in 1939 between England and South Africa.

 

  • Cricket was played for the first (and last) time at the Olympic Games in 1900 where Great Britain won the gold medal. However, there is talk of welcoming the sport back to the Olympics in the future.  

 

  • Australia famously beat England in the first ever test match by 45 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1877. One hundred years later, it was déjà vu as the opposition, venue and result were the same!

 

  • English cricketer, Alec Stewart, scored 8,463 runs during his test cricket career – the same number as his date of birth (08/04/63).

 

  • Antiguan cricketer Sir Vivian Richards and Australian cricketer Ellyse Perry are the only names in history to have played at the World Cup in both cricket and football.

 

  • In 2011, India became the first team to win a Cricket World Cup on home soil. Australia followed suit in 2015 before England took home the trophy four years later. 

Palmerbet is on hand to offer year-round coverage, analysis and betting tips for every major cricket tournament. No matter which team you support or which betting market you want to take a swing at, our blog is dedicated to keeping cricket lovers from around the world up to date with the latest action.