Today we turn our attention to one of the greatest English exports – Cricket.
The game was first played in southern England in Tudor times and by the end of the 18th century, it had developed into the national sport of England.
The earliest written reference to the game was in evidence given at a 1598 court case that mentions ‘creckett’ played on common land in Guildford, Surrey. ‘Creckett’ is a name that may have been derived from the Middle Dutch work ‘krick’ menaing stick, or the Old English ‘cricc’ or ‘cryce’ meaning crutch.
By the end of the C17th cricket had become an organised sport and it is believed that the first professionals appeared in the years following the Restoration in 1660. As the British Empire expanded, cricket became popular overseas, with the first international match being held in the mid C19th.
The quintessentially British sport is popular globally, particularly in Australasia, India, the West Indies and South Africa. The fierce rivalry between England and Australia gave spurned The Ashes in 1882; this has remained Test cricket’s most famous contest.
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