Cricket

Shepherds from the southeast of England are recognized as the creators of cricket in the 1300s. They played a game on the short grass pastures where it was possible to bowl a ball of wool or rags at a target. The target was usually the wicket gate of the sheep pasture, which was defended with a bat in the form of a shepherd's crooked staff. Records show that King Edward II was a fan of the game, as well as Oliver Cromwell. It was a sport adopted and appreciated by the upper class, and there are gambling records from 1751 showing bets made on matches exceeding £ 20,000 (Lords 2004). In an effort to formalize how the sport was played, rules and regulations were formed in 1787, at the Marylebone Cricket Club (Farmer 1979).

The objective of cricket is quite complicated, as it is based upon a multitude of rules and regulations. To simplify, cricket is a team sport for two teams of eleven players each. Although the game play and rules are very different, the basic concept of cricket is similar to that of baseball. Teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs, while the opposing team fields and attempts to bring an end to the batting team's innings. After each team has batted an equal number of innings (either one or two, depending on conditions chosen before the game), the team with the most runs wins. (Mar)

The traditional dress (sometimes referenced as "creams") worn for cricket is cream or white in color, symbolizing cleanliness, confidence, and keenness (Dunn et al. 1975). All players typically wear cotton/polyester trousers and a buttoned-down cotton/polyester shirt. Some will wear a cable or heavy rib-knitted V-neck vest or sweater (also in cream or white). White shoes or "boots" for cricket are worn, which look like golf shoes and serve a similar purpose of providing traction. Protective batting gloves, thigh pads (worn on the inside of the trousers), and combination thigh, knee, and shin pads

(worn on the outside of the trousers) are worn to protect the player from ball impact. Each batter has a wooden bat that is shaped long like a baseball bat, but has a flat surface for hitting. In the past caps were worn more than helmets and sometimes players did not cover their heads at all. Helmets are worn for impact protection, but even in the late 1970s many players thought they were not "manly." One reference states: "If a senior player feels sufficiently unnerved by the speed of a fast bowler then there is nothing in the rules to prevent him placing one on his head. But avoid the indignity if you can" (Farmer 1979, p. 10). Some international matches are played in football (soccer)-styled uniforms with colorful jerseys and trousers. Some traditionalists feel that these uniforms disrespect the heritage and eliteness of the sport, as football was traditionally a sport for the working class.

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