As for many other popular sports it is not obvious when the first variety of cricket was invented. Both kids and adults have probably been engrossed in a game bearing resemblances to the modern sport of cricket for many centuries. One thing is clear though. Modern cricket began to formalise in England during the 17th century. The first time cricket (then spelled ”krecket”) was mentioned in writing was in 1597, when the sport of cricket apparently had some importance in a trial about a piece of land.
In the late 17th century, cricket was a well-known sport in the whole of England. Most teams had a patron in the form av a nobleman or a rich businessmen. Most players, if not all, were members of the higher classes. Since a cricket match, at that time as well as today, takes days to complete, the possibility for workers and merchants to partake in a cricket match was slim to say the least.
The year 1744 marks a milestone in the history of cricket. This year the first official rules of the game were put into writing. This was an important event in two ways. First, the official rules enabled umpires to be consistent in their overseeing of matches. Earlier, disputes regarding for example scoring had been very frequent. Second, having official rules made it easier for the English to spread the sport outside of the country’s borders. Since 1744, some of the rules have changed a number of times, but many of the most common rules are the same today as in 1744. Since 1787 Marylebone Cricket Club is the main regulatory body for rules and regulations in cricket.
Cricket spread quickly around the world during the 19th century, when the British colonised large parts of the world. The West Indies, Australia and India were just a few of the countries where cricket became an instant hit. Even though cricket is most popular in the former British colonies, cricket is nowadays a global sport.