It is a proud moment for all Indians. The Indian Women’s team won the Asia Cup this year defeating Sri Lanka. Indian women's cricket team created history by defeating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in Asia Cup. Let us tell you that the team has captured the title for the seventh time. I am sure you would be interested in the history od Cricket and especially Women’s cricket. Women’s cricket as a sport and as an industry and was popular only in the last decade. When we watch Mitali Raj or other players we need to remember “that their very presence is the result of a long, often forgotten, struggle on the part of generations of women to insist that they have a right to play at the highest levels of the game”.
Cricket is my favorite sport and for many in the British Commonwealth countries, as it was invented by the British, and became popular in the countries ruled by them. Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration i.e., five days and is considered the toughest, and a true test of a batsman or bowler’s caliber for the entire five days. Each team plays two innings each, and the best wins… not always, you can drag a match to a boring draw too.
Now I am going to take you down memory lane to the history of Test Cricket. India is a country where cricket is very popular and cricketers are treated as Gods. Cricket is most popular in India and Pakistan. The movie Lagaan was a super hit because of the Cricket theme and villagers defeating the mighty British. The origins of cricket are very vague, and many theories have been put forward suggesting its origins. Extensive studies and were conducted to trace its history and it is believed that the game originated from a very game played by shepherds in England. We in India used to call it Gulli Danda.
The first evidence of cricket as a game occurred in 1550, played by the students of Royal Grammar School, in England. In fact, in 1611 two young men from Sussex were punished for playing cricket instead of going to the church. The first recorded match was played in Kent in 1646. Cricket used to thrive as a ‘gambling game’. People used to place huge amounts of bets in matches and thus the game started to get recognition and fame.
During the 18th century cricket survived due to the huge amounts of money via monetary backing and gambling. We also witnessed the emergence of two types of cricket players called as the retained player and the individual player. The retained player was the servant of the Lord and the individual player was free to play for a payment anywhere with his skills.
For the first tome huge crowds gathered to watch matches that took place on the Artillery Ground in Finsbury, London, with ‘single wicket’ games being the most popular. The practice of ‘bowling’ a ball instead of rolling or skimming it towards the batman was introduced only in 1760 AD. The practice of using three stumps and LBW came in the latter part of the Century.
The famous Marylebone Cricket Club or MCC was also created. The MCC has since then gone on to become one of the most prominent bodies in world cricket. Cricket in its initial days were restricted to the aristocratic class of England. Cricket gradually went on to become the national game of England. The game spread far and wide due to the British Empire and had led to the overseas expansion of the game. “The game continued to develop, and underarm bowling was replaced, first by round arm and then by overarm bowling during the 19th century.
The first officially recognized Test match took place between 15th and 19th March 1877 and was played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia, with Aussies winning the match comfortably. In those days even United States and Canada played cricket.
Cricket was introduced to India by the British East India Company in the 18th Century. The first Cricket Club was established in 1792. In 1848, the Parsi community in Bombay, formed the Oriental Cricket Club, the first cricket club to be established by the Indians. After slow beginnings, the Europeans eventually invited the Parsi’s to play a match in 1877. By 1912, people of all religions of Bombay played a quadrangular tournament with the Europeans every year. In the early 1900s, some Indians went on to play for the England cricket team. Some of these, such as Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Duleep Singh were greatly appreciated by the British and in 1911, an Indian team went on their first official tour of the British Isles but only played English county teams and not in the England cricket team.
In the present times, cricket has its own following of loyal fans. The International Cricket Council, better known as the ICC is the governing body in world cricket. The ICC was founded on the 15th of June 1909. All laws relating to Twenty20, ODIs and Test Cricket are framed and implemented by the ICC.
Now let me take you to the history of Women’s cricket. Although the first recorded women’s cricket match was played in the 18th century, the Women’s Cricket Association was founded in 1924 in England. After a decade later New Zealand and Australia created their own associations and the global reach led to the first International matches being played when England toured Australia in 1934/35. England won 2 out of 3 matches. International cricket continued to grow which led to the foundation of the International Women’s Cricket Council in 1958. Eventually, there were five members but the numbers went on increasing. India joined in 1973 when the first women’s cricket association in India was set up.
The Women’s World Cup was played much before men’s cricket in 1973 and the first Men’s World Cup was held in 1975. The Women’s World Cup has been a success, recently, and there have been 12 World Cups so far which have seen 3 different winners. Australia in the current World Champion. In the year 2005, the International Women’s Cricket Council handed over the control of the women’s international cricket to the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The first Women’s T20 World Cup was held in 2009 together with the Men’s T20 World Cup. The Semi-finals and Finals saw the women’s game being held before the men’s match. This secured more audience and media coverage. Hope Women’s Cricket become more popular.