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Cricket: Origin of the name


How many of you have given it a thought? Well, here is some trivia that will help you get some perspective as to why the game is called so.

The first reference to the game came in 1598 when a pupil of the Royal Grammar School in Surrey, England confirmed in a court case regarding the school property that he used to play creckett there along with his peers around the year 1550. As to the name itself (creckett), it is thought to have varied origins, and two theories regarding it are most widely supported. It could have come from the Middle Dutch word kricke meaning a stick, or the old English word cryce meaning crutch, both referring to thing which we call a bat that used to be much leaner and possibly not flat like we have today. A third theory suggests that it may have come to England with the French during the Norman invasion as criquet, meaning club ball.

It is only over time that creckett became cricket, with the south-east English country being credited for being the birthplace of this sport which is the second most popular in the world today, preceded only by football. The first international game of cricket was played in 1844. The first time that adults played the game was way before, in 1611, and there is a story which goes that two people were held guilty of playing the game on a Sunday instead of going to church. The Hambledon cricket club of Hampshire, which was formed in 1760 claims to have established the basic bowling and batting techniques. The famous MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) is credited for laying down the first formal laws of the game.

For those who are looking for further etymology of cricket terms, here’s something interesting. The origin of the name ‘run’ must have definitely been this- when you run across the pitch, you score a ‘run’. Intuitive, right?

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