Very early images

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2000 BCE – Tomb of Kheti- Beni Hassna – Egypt

I accept this is not cricket. But it is very old and is commonly believed to be a bat and ball game played with a hockey-style stick.

500 BCE – Kouros base with ball-players – Athens

A bas-relief on a base that would have supported a Kouros – an Ancient Greek sculptures of a naked male youth of noble rank. The image is of youths who seem to be in ball-game playing mode. A similar image to the one portrayed above. Hockey-style sticks much in evidence, clothing less so.

What is going on?

8th Century – Venerable Bede

From the Life of Cuthbert by the Venerable Bede. Hockey-style stick again.

13th Century – Canterbury Cathedral

The Six Ages of Man, Canterbury Cathedral, window in North West Transept depicting The Six Ages of Man. The Youth is holding a hockey-style stick, presumably indicating some type of sporting activity.

13th century – Manuscript of the Galician Cantigas de Santa Maria.

Young men playing a bat-and-ball game in a 13th-century manuscript of the Galician Cantigas de Santa Maria.

14th Century – Gloucester Cathedral

A medallion in the great East Window in Gloucester Cathedral. Around 1360, often associated with golf, but the ball could be moving (it does seem to be above ground level) so could be a cricket style game.

14th Century – The Romance of Alexander

This illuminated manuscript, held by the Bodleian Library, from about 1340 (The Romance of Alexander) shows what appears to be some kind of ball-game. Benny Green in his book, A History of Cricket, is impressed with the line of monastic slip fielders.

14th Century – Ghistelles Hours

Another drawing of a ball game appearing on the edge of a manuscript – Ghistelles Hours, a 14th-century Flemish book of hours probably made for John III, Lord of Ghistelles, and Ingelmunster (Belgium).

15th Century – non-cricket image

This is not a cricket image, it present a less appealing form of medieval entertainment. It shows four blind men tasked with beating a pig to death. The amusement arose from their missing the pig and hitting each other instead. Cricket was definitely a step forward.