What is the United Kingdom’s national sport? Many people would commit the mistake by screaming ‘football’ and with utter vigor no less! The correct answer would be cricket. Care to know more about it? If you do then read on.
Cricket as a sport has nothing to do with the insect but rather its etymology comes from the Old English term ‘cricc’ or ‘cryce’ which translates to a crutch or staff. Certain accounts suggest that it has since been present since the 16th century where it was first a game played amongst children. Eventually it became an inter-village and inter-parish activity among adults as well. It was not until the 18th century when the game underwent some serious development and various rules and regulations have been set some of which we can still observe up until today.
It is defined to be an outdoor sport played chiefly in England and Commonwealth countries by two teams of 11 players using a flat bat, a small hard ball, and wickets. To score, a player bats the ball and runs, while the defenders can get a player out by bowling and hitting the wicket, catching a hit ball, or running the player out. It is one of the most popular team sports and is played in over 120 countries all over the world with only football and basketball exceeding it in popularity.
The ball here is pretty much the same size of a baseball and cannot be larger than 9 inches in circumference with a weight of between 156 and 163 grams. It is made up of alternating layers of cork and wool and is then covered by either red or white leather. The bat on the other hand is flat and elongated, often made of willow, which is fitted with a cane handle that comes with a rubber grip. It measures 38 inches long and 4.5 inches wide. Cricket is played in grassy, large circular areas between 114 and 160 meters in diameter.
The sport is governed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). It represents the national bodies from over 70 countries. The council visits member countries maintains the code of conduct, qualifies umpires, promotes the game worldwide, and organizes the World Cricket Cup which is to be held every four years starting in 1975. The IWCC or International Women’s Cricket Council is a similar governing body and since 1973 has been hosting world championships every four years.