This website is in the early stages of development
To the English sports enthusiast, it may well seem like a reasonable proposition to say that the ball sports we all love were the product of the nineteenth Century. The Football Association was formed in 1863; Web-Ellis’s supposed invention of Rugby took place in 1813; Lawn Tennis traces its invention to Birmingham in the 1860’s. Cricket’s great player from Ancient History, WG Grace, was born as late as 1848, the County Championship emerged around 1871 and the first test match took place in 1877. Even Lord’s Cricket Ground in St John’s Wood, the home of cricket from ages past, came into use in 1814.
What is not always appreciated, though, it that cricket has a much longer history, not merely as a schoolboy game or casual pursuit on the village green, but as an adult organised sport. Approaching 800 major matches have been identified as taking place in the Eighteenth Century and cricket was certainly around before then. The object of this website is to provide a small insight into the cricket that was being played in England in this period. It does not pretend to offer original research in any way, rather it draws in the wonderful work that has been done by Cricket historians and statisticians over the past hundred years and more. The emphasis will be on offering the newcomer to the subject a small view of how cricket was played in those days – the laws, the grounds, the players, the teams and – most elusive of all – what it may have been like to see or play a game in those days.