The independent voice of cricket


Five interesting facts about cricket in England

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

While most of English cricket wonders what the future holds, it’s worth remembering that the sport was invented in this country. And anyway, surely things can only get better in the future, right?

England have been a rejuvenated side under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, but looking ahead to the Ashes, which England are 13/10 to win according to Mr Green Sportsbetting online cricket odds, they aren’t in the best possible shape, with Australia a strong side. Make no mistake about it, it’s a series of games where England need to be at their very best.

Improvements will hopefully come, but in the meantime, it’s worth remembering that England started this glorious game; a sport that has been exported around the world and adored in a number of foreign territories. In countries like India, for example, cricket is almost like a religion. But the sport hasn’t had the smoothest journey.

Cricket started with two stumps

While cricket lovers will be immediately aware of the fact that the sport has three stumps for bowlers to try and hit and batsmen to try and protect, cricket originally only had two stumps. After a bowler named Lumpy Stevens bowled three consecutive balls straight through the middle of the two stumps, a rule change was needed which essentially resulted in a third stump being added into the mix. Funny, right?

The first cricket ball was actually made of wool

It’s unknown how cricket actually started initially but it’s thought that shepherds first played the game as a way of keeping themselves entertained while they were looking after their beloved sheep. With that theory in mind, it’s believed that the first cricket ball was actually made of wool rolled up into a miniature ball. Dating back to 1597, the balls of wool were said to be easy to put together and essentially did the job at the time. They most definitely didn’t use balls of wool in the first ever official Test match between England and Australia in 1877, though.

England’s oldest ever player was 52

Wilfred Rhodes is officially the oldest player to have ever turned out for England. Aged 52, Rhodes eventually made his final appearance for the nation on April 12, 1930. Rhodes played 58 times for England and was known to be a solid player. Rhodes’ record will probably never be beaten.

England hosted the first ever men’s Cricket World Cup

Taking place in 1975, England was the home of the first ever men’s Cricket World Cup. Largely because it had the stadiums and the crowds needed to host such an event, but also due to its successful side at the time, England staged a fantastic tournament, although home fans were left disappointed after the England side failed to bring home the prize. The eventual winners, the West Indies, beat Australia in a thrilling final.

Cricket bats haven’t always been straight

While cricket bats these days are straight, that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, the original bats players used were curved. As the sport has evolved, though, bats were changed in an attempt to help batters more. The curved bats were essentially seen as a hindrance, resulting in the subsequent change. Since then, the sport hasn’t looked back.

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